These days, just about everyone has a number of electronic items to pack when moving. Computers, video game systems, stereo equipment, televisions and cell phones are among the many types of electronic equipment that require special care and attention when packing. If you want to get your electronics to their new home unbroken and in good working order, there are a few guidelines that you should follow.

1. Always pack electronics in appropriate boxes. If you still have the original box for your equipment that should be your first choice. You can also get replacement boxes from the electronics manufacturer by requesting a product-return box. When no equipment-specific box is available, try to find double-walled cardboard boxes for extra support. The box you use should be only slightly larger than the equipment itself, in order to avoid shifting in transit.

Packing materials are also important when it comes to electronics. For sensitive equipment, try to avoid packing materials – like foam peanuts – that can conduct electricity. Wadded newsprint and dry popcorn are good, non-conductive substitutes in such cases. You can also use soft household items like pillows, blankets and clothing for additional padding. Place a layer of padding at the bottom of the box before you put in the electronics. Be extra careful to protect the glass screens on computers and televisions.

2. Watch what you pack together with electronics and label your boxes well. You should never pack heavy items in the same box as fragile equipment, as shifting during the moving process could crush the electronics. By labeling your boxes carefully, you can avoid similar crushing from other moving boxes. Use a permanent marker to write “Fragile” or “Top Load Only” so that the moving company will know to be careful. You should also indicate exactly which equipment is in each box to allow for more care in moving and greater ease in finding what you need upon arrival.

3. Keep all accessories and cables together with their electronic devices. It is easy to misplace small items, such as remote controls and power cables, during a move. Avoid this by attaching any small and removable parts directly to the equipment itself. You can attach many parts with painter’s tape, or you can wrap the accessories in plastic before using packing tape to stick them together. Simplifying your packing and staying organized will defiantly help you when packing electronics.

4. Remove what you can from inside your electronics. Batteries left inside equipment during the move run the risk of damage, drainage (if the device turns on) and overheating. Ink cartridges can leak when jostled during the move, so wrap any accessible cartridges in plastic. Unless your product manual suggests otherwise, take out media such as DVDs, CDs and computer floppy disks from drives and pack them separately.

5. Keep in mind electronic equipment that requires special packing procedures. You must pack large-screen, LCD and plasma televisions in specialized wooden crates for their safe transit. These should be available from your moving company. Back up computers and other data-storage devices in order to avoid the loss of files if the system is damaged during the move.

6. Make sure you know how to reassemble any electronic equipment before you disassemble it. If you have a large number of wires and cords to disconnect, use stickers and colored labels to mark their proper configurations before you unplug anything. Alternatively, you can photograph the equipment in its proper assembly for later reference. Make sure you have your user manual available, and pack it together with the electronics. If you cannot find the manual, look online at http://www.manualsonline.com/ to see if you can find a replacement.

By following these packing guidelines, you can be certain that your electronic equipment will arrive at your new home in good shape and ready for use.