Learn more from Transit Systems about the reasons why entertainment centers get damaged during a move, make sure you’re protected.
If you need solutions for moving entertainment centers, this article will help — and help is certainly something many people need when it comes to this topic. An entertainment center is one of the most challenging items to move because of its immense size, odd (and often unique) shape, fragility and large number of components.
The underlying reasons why damage occurs when moving entertainment centers: lack of preparation, improper packaging and shipping issues. Let’s take a closer look at all three areas.
Preparing for Your Entertainment Center Move
The wrong way to approach your move is to haphazardly disassemble and package your entertainment center. Instead:
- Disassemble as many components and pieces as possible, collecting all loose parts (cords, connectors, wires, remotes, drawer handles, etc.) and placing them in plastic bags or cartons. Any protruding hardware is an accident waiting to happen during a move, so definitely take the time to remove anything removable.
- Carefully label each bag or carton with the contents. All parts may be fresh in your mind now, but a few days or a week later you may not remember how everything fits together.
- Measure the outside dimensions of all large pieces, such as the flat-screen TV and entertainment center cabinet. Make sure you have enough room to transport these pieces through doorways and halls leading out of the location and into the truck. Finding a different route or removing doors from hinges can overcome space problems. If those options don’t work, you may have to disassemble cabinetry, which will require additional time and expertise.
- Protect surfaces of TVs and cabinetry. An excellent product for this is thin (1/32-inches or 1/16-inches thick) polypropylene flexible foam. Polypropylene foam has outstanding surface protection properties, and provides a bit of cushioning — using thicker foam will provide yet more cushioning protection. Polypropylene foam is widely available in pre-perforated rolls, 12 inches or 24 inches wide. It is somewhat more expensive than polyethylene foams or bubble packaging, but well worth the expense for valuable items like entertainment center components.
Packaging Your Entertainment Center
When your entertainment center is stripped down as much as possible, you can package it for transport. Key bases to cover:
- Carefully pack the components you earlier disassembled and placed in labeled bags or cartons, and put them in labeled, heavy-duty shipping boxes. Use bubble packaging or wadded-up newsprint paper for cushioning and/or filling voids inside the box, to keep the bagged/boxed parts from shifting. Don’t use overly large shipping boxes — the heavier the shipping box, the more chance of a drop or damage occurring if the box shifts or falls while on the truck.
- If you have the original boxes and interior packaging for your big-screen TV, DVD/Blu-ray player, speakers, and other audio and video equipment, use them now. Nothing will fit these components better or protect them better.
- If you don’t have the original packaging, your game plan should be to wrap all components with large bubble packaging or polypropylene/polyethylene foam (1/8-inch or greater). Wrap liberally, as the packaging material cost is a fraction of the value of what you are wrapping. Secure the wrap with a heavy-duty box sealing tape, again using as much or more than needed. Place the wrapped component(s) in a labeled shipping box, using foam or paper to provide additional cushioning and filling any voids. Seal the shipping box with the same heavy-duty box sealing tape.
- A flat-screen TV probably won’t fit in a standard-sized shipping box, so for this item you will have to rely on wrapping (as noted above), with the addition of moving blankets. Make sure the TV is positioned vertically on the truck, wedged tightly between two heavy items (e.g., mattresses) that are securely stabilized on the truck and unlikely to move.
Shipping Issues for Moving Entertainment Centers
Selecting the right shipper to move your entertainment center is critically important. Things to look for:
- Does the shipper have experience moving high-end entertainment centers? The more experience, the better and faster the mover will be able to package your entertainment center and transport it damage-free. Remember, too, that physically moving big-screen TVs and cabinetry requires skill and experience. You can prepare and package your entertainment center to the hilt, but if someone drops it while taking it out of the truck, damage may still occur.
- Is the shipper properly insured? This is an obvious concern, but surprisingly, many people overlook it when they are vetting moving companies. Price is certainly important when moving, but you get what you pay for. With high-value items, basing a decision on price alone could end up being very costly.
- Does the shipper know the route? You won’t want your high-value entertainment center barreling down back roads full of potholes. Shippers familiar with the territory will know the safest, smoothest route from departure point to destination. Again, this is an easy thing to overlook, but something to definitely consider.
- Range of services. Be sure you understand which services are covered and not covered before you sign a contract. Does the shipper provide packaging materials? Is the cost for packaging materials separate? Does the shipper do the actual packaging of your entertainment center? A question that comes up frequently for this item: does the shipper reassemble it in the new location? If so, will the shipper work on reassembly until the entertainment center is working properly? You may not need or want all of these services, but you will want to know what is included so there are no surprises.
Transit Systems has years of experience moving entertainment centers. If there’s a challenge in packaging an entertainment center or maneuvering it in and out of a location, chances are we’ve figured out a solution. Our goal is to make sure your entertainment center arrives safely at its destination, in full working order. To learn more about our services and experience, check out our company blog.