How to Pack a TV for Moving: A Packer’s Guide
Take logical steps to ensure your TV survives the house move
In the rush to pack everything for a house move it’s easy to cut corners – but problems and damage can result if certain items aren’t packed properly for transportation.
For expensive electrical equipment, such as televisions, damage can easily be caused through neglecting basic packing procedures, and frustrations can arise when setting it up in your new space if you didn’t record exactly how the unit was set up and plugged in previously.
Following a logical sequence will help you pack a TV for moving and ensure your TV arrives at your new home in pristine condition.
On approaching moving day
If you have TV subscription services such as cable or satellite, advise your providers you’re moving on a certain day and inform them of your new address where you’d like the services supplied to.
This is a good opportunity to check you’re still on the best tariffs possible assuming you’re not still under contract.
Leads and connections – in order to ensure you connect your TV up properly in your new abode, ensure you know exactly where the various leads plug in.
To this end, it’s a good idea to take a photo on your phone or digital camera of the rear of the TV with everything still connected.
Label each lead with masking or electrical tape so you know what lead connects to where: for example, label the relevant leads ‘audio output,’ ‘DVD player,’ ‘hard drive recorder’ and so on. A modern TV may have many leads and connections, so don’t run the risk of confusion when you set it up at your new home.
Ideally, all leads and connectors relating to the TV and associated equipment (DVD power lead, hard drive recorder and internet connecting cables and so on) should be grouped together for transportation; put them in a secure box or bag and label them accordingly.
Related accessories – the same applies to remote controls and items that you may have to detach from the TV such as the stand (although this may fit in the original packaging – see below).
You may have several remote controls for various items of AV equipment so don’t run the risk of mislaying one – round them up and put them in a bag or box.
Boxes and packing materials – ideally, you’ll still have the original box and packing materials the TV was supplied with; if so retrieve it from its storage place.
It’s worth turning the box upside down and ensuring any debris, dust and the odd cobweb is removed if it’s spent several months or even years in a cupboard or the loft.
User instructions – find the instructions that came with your TV so as to remind yourself how the unit should be packed (it’s not always obvious where the odd pieces of polystyrene go and which end of the box the TV goes into).
If you can’t find the instructions, try the manufacturer’s website; many keep digital downloadable copies of instruction manuals online. You should be able to search by your TV’s model number or maybe group (for example, “TV units beginning with model number 9800” or similar).
If you don’t have the original packing – buy a box of suitable size rather than transporting the TV loose with maybe just a piece of bubblewrap protecting it; it’s too easy for damage to occur.
Removal companies or hardware stores should be able to supply an appropriate box; ensure it’s appropriate for your TV’s screen size (it’ll likely be measured diagonally) and isn’t much larger than the TV itself.
You may think an oversized box ensures your TV fits inside, but the unit is likely to shift about in transit risking damage. Packing it full of bubble wrap or polystyrene is one way round this but extraneous movement is still possible if the packing materials move.
Have some brown parcel tape on hand to secure the box and seal it once you’ve packed the TV. Don’t rely on the box staying securely closed even if you’re using the original; it can easily open.
Packing the TV
With your box, packing materials and user instructions to hand you can pack the TV ready for transportation.
Dismantling and preparing for packing – you’ll likely need to remove the stand; this is where the original user instructions are useful as it can be difficult to remember in some cases how stands come apart. Forcing or incorrect removal could result in damage to the stand or the TV itself.
Give the TV a wipe over with a lint free cloth to remove any dust and then cover it with any covering that came with the original packing materials – often a simple dust cover or polythene bag.
If you haven’t got this, find a suitably sized polythene cover or something like a piece of non-abrasive material or maybe small blanket. Be careful of bulk; don’t be tempted to cram it in causing the box to bulge.
An alternative to a covering is a layer of bubble wrap.
Secure the covering or bubble wrap with parcel tape being careful not to stick any to the TV casing.
Ensuring the TV is secure in the box – once the TV is covered, slide it carefully into the box ensuring any polystyrene blocks are in the correct position (if you have the original packing materials and box).
Pack the stand with it (again assuming you’re using the original box and packing as these include secure stand storage).
If you have a large screen TV, ask someone to help you; TV units can be awkward to handle often being thin and with slippery glossy cases.
Flat panel and plasma TVs should be kept upright at all times during the storage and transportation period to protect the delicate, lightweight glass.
Once the TV is securely inside the box, check it’s being held firm by the packing materials and isn’t likely to move in transit.
Securely stowed – once you’re satisfied the TV won’t move seal the box.
Use plenty of parcel tape to secure both ends of the box, and clearly mark it as ‘fragile,’ ‘this end up’ and ‘TV inside’ so the TV is transported and stored correctly even if you’re using the original box; it just reminds people to be careful.
If you’re packing your TV and storing it for a period before onward transportation to your new home beware of storing in extreme cold or hot and humid environments. Our storage units are perfect for this.
Correct storage in transit – if you’re using a removal firm, they should be aware of how to pack a TV for moving but, as mentioned above, label the box clearly so they know what’s inside. Remember, on the moving day time is usually of the essence and it makes it easier for your moving professionals to quickly identify items requiring particular care and specific storage.
If you’re doing the move yourself, the best way to load your TV into the van or truck you may have hired is to slot it in upright between bulky items such as furniture, mattresses or storage units.
Don’t be tempted to position your television on top of items where it could easily fall off – and avoid storing heavy items on the TV box.
Unpacking your TV
While you may be keen to make your new abode feel like home as soon as possible with your furniture and appliances in place, take your time when unpacking the TV; if you need a hand then wait until someone is free to help.
Let the unit adapt to its new environment’s temperature before first use; spend time plugging everything in properly using the photos you took earlier as a guide, and refer to the user instructions to properly mount the TV on its stand.
Setting up the TV
You may have to experiment to achieve the best viewing conditions in your new space, so don’t spend time concealing wires and cables until you’ve settled on the best spot – especially paying attention to the light and position of your TV in relation to the windows.
Some basic principles to achieve the best placement of your TV:
Minimum viewing distance – simply multiply the size of your screen by 1.5; for example, a 50” TV should be at least 75” (6.25’) from the seating used to watch TV from.
Maximum viewing distance – double the minimum viewing distance; in the above example of a 50” screen, the maximum viewing distance would be 150” (12.5’).
Mounting – if you wall mount your TV ensure the screen is at eye level when sat watching it; you may need to use a mounting that enables the screen to be tilted down to achieve this if set above a higher feature such as a mantelpiece.
Finally, store the box and packing materials carefully away in case you need to move the TV again in the future.
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