One of the benefits of using professional movers to pack, transport and unload your things is that you can hand over responsibility for your fragile items – like your flat screen TV – to them.
But what if you’re going the DIY route and doing all the packing, loading and driving? This guide to move your flat screen TV will help ensure your televison arrives at your new home in the same condition as when you last sat in front of it.
Before you Start: Do you Need to Bring your TV at all?
It’s a fair question. As flat screen TVs become lighter, thinner and smarter, it might be worth considering an upgrade.
This is particularly the case if you are moving interstate and you are paying a company to do the driving. Weight is a factor in pricing in this case so if you can leave your old TV behind (and even sell it!) you could save yourself money.
Even if you are driving yourself, you should save a little bit on fuel costs and free up packing time.
A second reason why you should consider upgrading is that the size and layout of your new home may be more suitable to a different home entertainment set up.
Supplies you Will Need
If you do decide the flat screen TV has to come with you, first you will need to gather some supplies. You will need some or all of the following:
- Bubble wrap
- Electrician’s tape (different colors)
- Flat screen TV cartons/moving boxes
- Marker pens
- Packing tape
- Soft, dry cloth
- Someone to help load
- Sticky labels
- Smartphone, tablet or camera (ideally connected to a home printer)
- Ziploc bags
Step 1: Prepare Properly
Over time, a home entertainment system can become very complex with your flat screen TV, games consoles, cable boxes, speakers, Blu-Ray players and all manner of devices interconnected in a mass of cables.
Make use of your smartphone, tablet or camera to photograph the connections before you start unplugging everything. You could even print out the photo and pack it with your flat screen TV.
An alternative is to use colored Electrician’s tape to label each cable and where it plugs into. You could even use both methods to make extra sure.
Once you have disassembled everything, clean every item with a soft, dry cloth. Dust can shift during transport and cause scratches to the screen or damage to sensitive components. Besides, a clean TV just looks better. Follow any specific cleaning instructions included in the user’s manual.
Finally, don’t forget to sort out your cable and internet service at the other end. This should be simple if you are staying with the same supplier but if you are switching, make sure you are aware of any complications (new equipment hire, old equipment returns, cancellation fees, etc.)
Step 2: Perfect Packing
It should go without saying that flat screen TVs are very fragile. This is particularly the case with plasma screen models which contain two layers of heavy glass.
Although some companies recommend using the original manufacturer’s box to transport your TV, this is risky, especially if the TV is old and the box has degraded or been poorly stored.
We recommend buying a specific TV box for moving flat screen TVs. These flat screen moving boxes come in specific sizes based on the diagonal size of your screen. They are just big enough to hold the TV and sufficient packing material, giving no extra room for movement.
In terms of packing material, you can use blankets (without buttons or zippers) or bubble wrap secured with tape. Make sure the tape doesn’t touch the TV directly.
Pack cables, mountings, and hardware in Ziploc bags in a separate box. Alternatively, tape the bags to the outside of the TV box.
Don’t forget the remotes and batteries! You may want to carry them in the car with you or in an ‘essentials bag.’
Step 3: Label and Load
As with all moving boxes, it is good practise to label your TV box with the room it is going into. If the box isn’t pre-marked, make sure you add the ‘fragile’ and ‘this way up’ labels. You might also want to label it ‘TV.’
When loading, enlist the help of a friend or family member, especially if your TV is very big. Store it on the floor of the truck and wedge it between heavy, stable and flat items (e.g. mattresses, sofa backs, dressers, etc.) so that it won’t move around. Don’t put anything heavy on top of it and make sure protruding handles or other fittings are unable to pierce the box should sudden movement occur.
It is often a good idea to get the TV up and working ASAP at the other end. This can help the family settle in and make unpacking that bit more bearable. For this reason, try and load the TV near the back of the truck so it can be unloaded first.