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Packing a TV for a move can be awkward and challenging, no matter what kind of TV you own. However, once you add the right moving supplies with the correct techniques, you can be sure your expensive home entertainment equipment will arrive without a scratch and be ready to play while you finish unpacking your new home.
This guide will show you how to pack a TV for moving, whether you will be boxing up a 22-inch screen or wrestling with how to transport a 65-inch TV.
Gather the Packing Supplies
When you are figuring out how to pack a TV, the first thing to always consider is if it is worth packing. If your TV is more than seven years old and you can afford a replacement, you may want to give it away or donate it. TVs and other types of entertainment electronics advance leaps and bounds in terms of both features and energy efficiency every few years, so it may be worthwhile to have one less item to pack.
Once you've decided to pack a TV, gather the supplies you'll need, starting with the original box the TV was purchased in. If you have kept the original TV box and packing materials, this will be the best way to pack the TV. The box is perfectly sized to fit the device, and the packing materials were designed to hold the TV securely and cushion the screen without allowing any shifting inside the box. In, addition, there is usually a predetermined space for accessories such as a stand, cords or a remote, so that they can be packed in with the TV.
If you do not have the original packing materials, the next best thing is to purchase packing tape and moving boxes to fit the TV size you have. A flat-screen TV box typically is sold with foam corner cushions and a screen protector; it is adjustable to fit televisions of different sizes. Ideally, each TV you will be transporting should get its own box.
Flat-screen TVs are the most common now, but if you need to move an older model TV, it may be too bulky to pack in a box. The next best thing is to wrap this type of TV as you would a piece of furniture, so rather than boxes, use a moving blanket, bubble wrap and stretch wrap.
Prepare the TV for Packing
Doing a bit of organizing upfront can save you some time and possibly some expense on the other end of the move.
- Take photos of wiring and cables connecting the TV and all of its accessories such as the DVD player, game console or soundbar. This will make reassembly easier once the move is complete. Then, disconnect the TV and accessories.
- Remove the TV from the wall TV mount, if needed.
- Remove any legs or stand from the body of the TV.
- Clean the TV by using TV screen cleaner on the screen, canned air to remove dust from the back vents and a microfiber cloth to wipe down the TV casing.
- Clean all the components.
- Remove batteries from all remotes.
- Organize the components, grouping any connecting cables, remotes and manuals with their respective devices.
- Collect the accessories into plastic storage bags and label for the device, then place them together.
Protect the TV Screen
However you intend to pack or move the TV, the most important thing is to make sure you protect the TV screen. While most people think of padding the TV against drops, few remember that the screen material is vulnerable to damage from scratches.
Use the original protective sleeve to cover the TV screen. If the original packing material is not available, use two layers of bubble wrap fit to the size of the screen to cover.
Secure the screen covering in place with packing tape. Be sure to tape over the wrap and secure the tape to the TV case. Do not allow tape to touch any part of the screen itself.
How to Pack the TV Securely
- Slide the original box inserts around the side and back of the TV as they are designed to fit, then slide the TV into the original box.
- If the original packing materials are not available, use bubble wrap to cover the screen, then pad each of the corners of the TV with foam or additional bubble wrap. Then place the TV into the appropriate packing box.
- Tape the box well, then label the top and front of the TV in large letters on the outside of the box. Also, be sure to mark the box, "FRAGILE" in several clearly visible places.
If you need to figure out how to move a flat-screen TV without a box, you can treat the device like furniture and use a moving blanket.
- Starting from the top of the TV, wrap the center of the TV with two to three layers of bubble wrap to form a protective layer over the screen.
- Pad each of the TV’s corners with a piece of foam. Secure with packing tape.
- Spread a moving blanket out, and place the TV flat in the center with the screen side facing up. Then fold each side of the blanket in and over the screen, as if wrapping a gift.
- Secure the edges with packing tape, then wrap the bundle with stretch wrap from top to bottom, and then again from side to side.
Using this method, you should be able to pack the TV without the original box and still have it arrive safely.
Safely Transport the TV
Once you've decided on how to move the flat screen in a car, make sure you keep the set upright. Flat-screen models are weight balanced and, if you lay one flat, there won't be proper internal support. Along with the vibrations in the car or moving truck, this can leave the screen vulnerable to cracking or developing edge distortion. Whether in a rental truck or a car, you should only pack the TV to ride upright.
If you are considering how to transport a 65-inch TV, you'll have to look at the size of your car. A compact car or sedan will not have enough back seat or trunk space to transport a TV of that size safely. If your car is small, it will be better to move your TV in a moving truck.
If you're moving the TV in a car, place it upright in the back seat. Fill in any empty space around the TV with additional boxes or rolled moving blankets to keep the movement of the TV to a minimum. Sit in the driver's seat and check the rearview mirror, then make any adjustments to be sure you have an unobstructed view.
If you are loading the TV onto a rental moving truck, it is best to place it between two other flat, upright and sturdy objects, so that it will remain upright and will not be crushed by any load shifts. If you can make a space next to your mattress and another item of furniture – say, the back or your sofa or a large chair – this should provide the TV with both support and cushioning for the trip. Fill in space around the TV with moving blankets for extra padding.
Unpack the TV Carefully
- Make sure the TV remains in an upright position as it is moved off the truck and placed in the new home. It can be leaned against a wall out of the flow of foot traffic until you are ready to unpack it.
- Unbox the TV and lift it out. If the set is large, get a helper to assist.
- Reattach legs or stand to the TV and place it in the spot it will occupy.
- Let the TV stand for a few hours and come to room temperature before you attempt to reconnect the cables and power it up.
- If you intend to wall mount the TV, leave it upright in the packing box until you have installed the wall mount.
General TV Packing Tips
- Don't leave packing the TV or related electronics till the last minute. In the confusion, vital parts may be lost and reconnecting at your new home will be more difficult.
- Avoid humidity when packing up the TV and components. If you have any concerns, you can add silica gel packs to help keep the interior of the moving box dry.
- Snap quick photos of video connections before you take the system apart to pack it. This can help you when reconnecting to make sure you are doing it properly.
- Be sure to pack devices and all related components together and label them clearly, including remotes.
- Don't forget any manuals you may have; while many device usage manuals are available online now, some are not, particularly if your device is more than a few years old, or not from a major brand.
Learning how to pack a TV for moving starts with the right moving supplies. Shop at The Home Depot for all of your moving supplies needs – we have every type of box and packing supplies truck rental. Use our moving calculator to see how many supplies you'll need for your moving job. Get all the tools you need to move a TV and everything else without the upfront investment. The Home Depot offers moving and lifting equipment rentals.