Packing appliances is practically an art form. If you think about how much some appliances cost, you’ll agree it’s an art worth learning. Whether you’re packing for self storage or a big move, this is something you really need to get right, first time and all the time.

Packing basics

The first thing to do is some risk evaluation. Computers, gaming consoles and TVs need special care, and so do their peripherals.

  • Containers: You will require solid containers, preferably strong materials like heavy duty cardboard or even wood. (Two ply can be a bit too brittle, particularly if there’s a lot of handling involved. The containers must be significantly bigger than the appliances, because otherwise the appliances are exposed to direct impacts.
  • Interior packing: Never put appliances directly on the base of a container. If they’re dropped, transfer shock is instant, and more likely than not it’ll trash the appliance. The bottom of the container should be lined with Styrofoam, packing beads, or something similar, to a depth of at least 5cm (2 inches, roughly) and the appliance should sit comfortably on this base. (Shredded paper is fine, but needs to be about twice as thick. Whole newspapers and magazines can also work, just keep the bedding stable.)
  • Packing around appliances- Very important: Each of these items must be supported and protected on all sides, top and bottom. Just do it, and you’ll save yourself money as well as a lot of cursing. Be patient, and make sure the appliances are packed so they’re surrounded with cover and not able to jolt around inside the container.
  • Bubble wrap: The old reliable bubble wrap is perfect for appliances, and re-usable for years. Use very large sheets, and wrap the appliance horizontally and vertically completely at least twice.
  • Sealing the appliances: There’s one risk most people never suspect, when packing appliances- Moisture. A humid day or simple lack of ventilation can cause problems. The packing needs to be air tight, which will also control the moisture issues.
  • Original boxes. Some appliance boxes, like TV shipping boxes are OK, some are unspeakably lousy. The basic requirements are solidity, and you still need to pack them properly. (If you’ve still got their original packing, that’ll be good, but again, make sure they’re stable and not in direct contact with the container surfaces.

Storage containers

Most people think that the big storage containers solve the storage issue. They don’t. They’re designed to make handling and storage easier, not packing. In storage, they’re space savers. They solve the big issue of having a large container, but they can get complicated when you’re packing. The best options aren’t simple, but they will take your appliances safely to where they need to go.

You will need:

  • Packing tape, and tons of it.
  • Lots of packing materials
  • Good strong smaller containers

The load inside the storage container should be well balanced, with the heavier stuff under the lighter materials. Do not put anything in a position in which the weight of a heavy appliance can move against it and crush it.