Moving the entire audio and home theater system inside your house is probably one of the most frustrating challenges when moving houses. They’re expensive, a lot of them have very, very fragile screens, and they have a billion wires coming out that create a rat’s nest, which you’ve hidden behind that table (we know because we did the same thing).
Either way, there are more than a few things you can do to make sure this process becomes as smooth as it possibly can. Here’s our guide on moving home audio and home theater equipment easily and safely, so that you can have it back up and running in no time!
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Prepare Your Arsenal Of Packing Equipment
Like every soldier going to war, you need to make sure you have all of your munitions. Thankfully, most of your artillery is easy to use and mostly available in a hardware store. Metaphors aside, when you’re out shopping for packing supplies, make sure you buy some that are made specifically for moving electronics. For instance, here’s a list of what you’ll need, and what you can buy that’s made specifically for electronics.
Anti-static packing paper
Boxes made for moving electronics
Boxes made for screens
Original packing – only if available.
Of course, you can find boxes and packing paper that aren’t made specifically for electronics. The problem with that is, they won’t protect your devices as well as these would. Considering the fact that you’re moving something that costs thousands of dollars, we highly recommend investing in this type of equipment.
Thanks to you, or the technician who installed your audio system in your house, it does the job of concealing all of the wires and cables very well. However, they have a network of wires running in the background and require a lot of attention and care when installing or uninstalling them.
You also want to be careful with your speakers, woofers, subwoofers, and all the other audio devices because the membrane on top of the speaker is extremely important and delicate. Here’s what you can do to safely pack and transport all of it to your new place!
Before you disconnect or unhook any of the equipment, make sure you photograph the entire system. This will give you a pretty good reference for when you settle into your new place and try putting it all back together.
Now, without taking the actual devices out of their place, just disconnect all the wires and cables that come out of them. However, as you’re doing that, make sure you mark every wire to represent what two devices it connects to. Then, collect all of these marked and labeled wires in a single box. This way, when you’re setting everything back up, you have everything you need in one place.
If you come across a wire that goes into the device and is unremovable, simply roll it, zip tie it so it stays rolled, and tape it to the device itself. This will keep the wire from dangling everywhere and possibly damaging the device, or hurting you.
If your system has a lot of remotes, get a separate box and keep all the remotes in it. If it only has a couple of remotes, you can keep it with the remotes for your home theater system, which will be discussed later in this blog.
Now, take everything off of their mounts and/or designated places. However, before you pack all of them up, we recommend you clean them a little. Simply take a damp cloth and run it over the entire device, making sure you don’t let any water seep into the device itself. Once done, immediately dry everything off with a dry microfiber towel.
Here’s when you come to the actual packing. Assemble all of your boxes. If you can find the original boxes and their packing, they would serve you the best since those things are designed to keep specific equipment safe. If you cannot find the original packing, just make sure you pick a box that’s big enough to fit your devices and a little bit of packing material.
Wrap every device individually using the packing paper. Then, layer the boxes with bubble wrap or packing peanuts (preferably anti-static) and keep the device inside. Add one more layer on top of the device.
Seal the box shut with tape. We suggest you be generous with the tape as it also helps with the integrity of the box itself. Then, mark the outside of the box as ‘fragile’, so that the movers don’t play catch with your speakers.
Packing a home theater system works a lot like packing a home audio system. It’s just on a larger scale with a lot more wires, screens, and remotes. If you’ve hooked up additional devices like gaming consoles, secondary screens, media streaming equipment, and DVD players, we suggest you pack them with the entire home theater system itself.
To give you a very brief overview, start by photographing how every device in your home theater system is wired. Then, start taking everything apart. Disconnect the wires that will come out entirely and tape the ones that won’t come out to the device itself.
Then take all of the disconnected wires, mark them with the devices they connect to, and keep them in a box. Do the same for your remotes. As a safety measure, don’t keep any batteries in the devices, no matter how big or small.
The next step would be to clean all of the devices. However, you have to be very mindful of what device you’re cleaning with the damp cloth. You might end up damaging a several-thousand dollar device with a damp cloth and nobody wants that!
After the cleaning, you will have to pack everything in boxes. As suggested earlier, use anti-static packing material and electronics/screen-specific boxes wherever possible. Before packing, layer every box with packing paper, and after packing, seal every box shut with tape and mark it as ‘fragile’.
How To Pack The TV
The only thing that remains undiscussed in these two parts is how to pack a TV. After all, what good would a theater and audio system be without a screen to see any of it? So, here are a few steps you can follow to safely pack a TV.
Purchase a TV box. These cardboard boxes are built in the shape of TVs and you can buy them in all shapes and sizes. Moreover, these boxes are double-walled and can telescope to give your TV a snug fit. Also, some of them have easy-grab handles, making it much easier for you to carry these boxes around.
You can also purchase a TV cover for the move. This will cover the device and protect it from any dirt, dust, and a very small amount of damage that might get inflicted during the move.
After photographing the wires, marking them, and packing the wires and remotes separately, zip tie the wires that won’t come off and tape them to the back of the TV.
Then, put the TV cover on the TV. If you have the foam pieces that came in the original box, put them on the TV too. If not, just put one towel on each side, but make sure that it doesn’t get snagged anywhere.
Very carefully slide the TV into the box. If you see any empty space inside the box due to which the TV might shift around, use more towels or packing peanuts to ensure the stability of the device.
Lastly, seal the box with tape and mark it as ‘fragile’.
Before you move, we highly recommend you take a little bit of time to just look at the walls and the furniture and decide how you want everything to be placed. If possible, you could use some sort of a designing app on your phone that lets you draw over photos to click pictures of the place and decide the smaller details as well.
After you actually move, take another look at your plan. Once you have an idea of what you want everything to look like, bring out all the boxes, including your toolbox. Start with the main devices, like the screens, the speakers, and their paraphernalia. If possible, hang them up or set them down in their place before wiring. This way, you can navigate the wires in any way you want.
Then, refer to the photographs you took as well as the marking you made on the cables themselves. Start with one device and connect all wires that go out of it. Do this with everything until you have an entire network of cables.
Once you’re done with the primary devices, move on to the additional ones like record players, gaming consoles, and automation systems. Once everything is connected, plug in every device individually to check if they’re receiving power.
Also, keep in mind that this is a very good chance to organize your cables and wires. If your apparatus of devices has evolved over the years, there’s a high chance that the wires just kept piling on until they became a very tangled trap for your feet. Since you’re putting everything up from scratch, look into cable management systems and ideas on the internet and make sure that your cables are organized.
Now that we’ve covered all you need to know in order to effectively move your home theater and home audio system, there are a few tips that aren’t necessarily instructions but will make your life easier. So, here are a few hacks on moving home audio and theater equipment.
Pack Accessories First
While it might sound counterintuitive, packing accessories like remotes and cables first makes sense. It allows you to do two things: declutter your working space and make sure you mark and store all the accessories properly.
What we mean is, you’re going to move very expensive items over a potentially long distance. They need to be protected. So, don’t get lax on the packing material or get something that is cheaper but isn’t apt. It can turn very expensive, very fast. Also, when labeling boxes, mark these boxes as fragile but don’t specify what’s in them. This might act as a deterrent if a thief does take a gander at your moving truck.
Plan Before You Execute
This applies before you start packing as well as before you start unpacking. Before getting into the nitty-gritty of electronics and wires, just stand by the space and look around. Decide what you want to work on first and go from there to create an exoskeleton of a plan. Then, keep on filling in as you go. Before you know it, you’ll be testing all of your devices to see if they run right in your new home.
Think About Evolving Your Systems
Since you’re setting up a new place, it might be the best time to upgrade a few of your electronics. You have the space and you have to set things up anyway. Might as well bite the bullet and set up the newer and better version of your favorite gaming console!
Mount As Much As Possible
If possible, mount as many devices as you can to the walls. Nowadays, there are solutions available for not only your screens, but for your gaming consoles, and even speakers! Of course, it isn’t a risk worth taking if the device is too heavy or too delicate. But, we trust your judgment with that. This will allow you to have maximum floor space for things like furniture and, well, people.
Moving a home theater and home audio systems might seem like a gigantic and complicated task. The truth is, it isn’t. You can easily find instructions on the internet and we’ve jotted down everything that a manual wouldn’t. The only thing for you to remember is, try to keep it breezy, keep it as clean as possible, and take a break before you lose your mind. Happy moving!
FAQs How To Pack Home Audio And Home Theater Equipment
How Do I Pack My Audio Equipment For Moving?
The first and foremost thing you need to keep in mind is that you have to keep everything protected, you have to keep everything dry, and you have to figure out how to put everything back together. You can find an in-depth list of steps in the blog above.
How Do You Pack A Home Theater?
Packing a home theater system is a long-winded but easy process. You start with disconnecting the power. Then, disconnect all the concerned devices, pack said devices, and set them up in your new place. The blog itself has all the answers you will need when packing and moving a home theater system.
After taking the stereo off of its place, you need to prepare the box. Start by layering the bottom of the box with packing paper. Wrap the device in packing paper as well. Then, keep the wrapped stereo inside the box and fill it all the way up with packing peanuts. Then, seal the box shut with tape.
Alex Sherr is the founder of My Long Distance Movers, a blog that provides moving information and resources for people who are relocating. He has more than two decades of experience in the moving and relocation industry, and he is passionate about helping people relocate smoothly and efficiently. When he's not writing or blogging, Alex enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.