How to Pack Your Computer for the Move

You can copy all your valuable data to an external hard disk. These come in various sizes including 500 GB, 1 TB and 2 TB capacities. If you don’t have that much data to save, burning your files to a DVD is another option. DVDs (depending on their burn speed) generally hold around 4.7GB. That’s enough space for most of your files; however, the easiest option would be to purchase a flash drive. Their storage capacity ranges from as small as 16MB to as large as 256GB. Make sure to keep your DVDs and flash drives in a safe place, as they are very small. Store the DVDs, flash drives, instruction manuals and all software disks in a lock box.

How to Pack

  • Gather packing and cushioning material. Buy packing paper, bubble wrap, pad paper, newspaper, loose fill peanuts or air-cellular cushioning material.
  • It’s always better to place your computer in its original box with original packing material. If you have discarded the original packaging, make a point to choose a sturdy box which is large enough to surround the computer with enough packing material to keep it from moving around. You can also ask for styrofoam inserts from your moving box company, as it will be crucial in ensuring the safe arrival of the computer parts.
  • Remove any disks from all the drives. Make sure that the computer is powered off and the monitor is disconnected from the power source.
  • Remove the base and any attachments from the monitor. Wrap the monitor with both bubble wrap and pad paper. Move it face-down.
  • Measure the printer’s width and length and get a box that is slightly larger than those dimensions. Remove printing cartridges before shipping. Place the cartridges inside a sealed plastic bag. Cushion the printer properly. You can also refer to the owner’s manual for specifications regarding your printer model.
  • The Central Processing Unit (CPU) should be treated with utmost care because it is extremely sensitive to any movement. Pack a computer tower or a desktop unit on its side with the motherboard side resting flat on the bottom. If the original box is not available, use an appropriate sized box and shock resistant insulation as an alternative.

When You Finish Packing

After the sealing is done, mark the boxes appropriately. Indicate in large, bold letters that it is fragile and contains a computer box or monitor.

If you are worried about your computer, bring it in the car and pack the components in a box. Wrap the computer in a towel or blanket and keep it in your vehicle, unboxed. Remember not to keep your computer upright in a seat or on the floor of your car. Make sure that you have parked your vehicle in a safer place if you are staying overnight in a hotel.


Make sure that you are getting adequate insurance coverage. See to it that the moving insurance pays for any damage to the computer. Before selecting a protection plan from the mover, it’s best to obtain a present retail cost of your computer system.