If you are one of the 51 percent of American families who own a video game console, you need to take steps to protect your console during an out-of-state move. Consoles can be expensive, and you certainly don't want them to get ruined or stolen along the way. Here are five tips to keep in mind:
1. Remove the games and peripherals.
Before shutting off your console and unplugging it, make sure to remove the games. If you transport your console while discs are in it, the discs may move around in the machine and get scratched and damaged. Also, detach any peripherals including thumb drives, controllers and cables -- it's easier to pack these items safely if they are not attached to the console.
2. Deal with dust.
Once everything is detached, remove dust from your console. Dust can get in the air vents of the console, weighing down and gumming up the internal parts. To prevent that, vacuum the outside of your console using an upholstery brush attached to your vacuum.
Then, spray a bit of dusting polish on a soft cloth and use it to wipe anything else that is going to be packed with your console. That includes power cords, controllers and even game cases. A bit of dust on the cord of a controller won't affect its functioning. However, if you pack a dusty controller with your console, the dust can easily migrate to the console and get inside of it.
If you are moving out of state, the journey can be long and dusty, and to ensure your console is protected along the way, you should wrap a thin piece of linen around it before packing it. Alternatively, you can make dust proof pouches with some wax paper and tape, or you can order dust and static-proof bags from many electronics specialists. Moving companies who sell packaging supplies may also carry these bags. Finally, be sure the box is well sealed to prevent dust from getting into it on the road.
3. Cushion the carrier.
If you still have the original manufacturer's box with the packaging materials, that is the safest way to pack your video game console. In lieu of that, find a sturdy cardboard moving box. Take three pieces of packaging foam, and use them to line the bottom and sides of your box. They will act as cushioning from outside pressures.
Then, place the console, all of the cords and the controllers to the box, and surround these items with crumbled up pieces of newspapers. Finally, add a sheet of packaging foam to the top layer of the box -- essentially, the packaging foam should be lining your entire moving box.
4. Store safely.
If you have to store your items during your move, make sure to store your video game consoles carefully. Remember that extreme temperatures can damage electronics, and because of that, you shouldn't store your consoles in your garage or a storage unit, unless they are temperature controlled.
5. Thwart thieves by disguising the boxes.
Also, remember that consoles may be a target for thieves. If you are going to have a stack of boxes sitting outside your home while you wait for the moving truck to arrive, try not to draw attention to the box of video game consoles.
For example, if you have the console in the manufacturer's box, consider covering it with plain brown packaging paper or slipping it inside another box. If you have your console in a regular moving box, label it with a symbol or code that makes sense to you and your family but not others. If you put "video game console" on the side of the box, it just may entice a thief to grab the box and carry it off while you are not looking.
For more tips on moving video game consoles safely and securely, contact a moving company, such as United Moving and Storage.