Moving with kids

Box Clever: Choosing The Right Packaging Materials For Transporting A Flat Screen Television

Moving all of your worldly goods and belongings during a relocation can be a stressful endeavour, particularly when it comes to safely transporting your expensive electrical goods, such as flat screen LCD or plasma televisions. However, you can do far more to protect your television on its long journey than simply load it on the van and pray — packaging material suppliers offer a range of ways to protect your television from damage while in transit, including some specialised materials designed specifically for TV transportation.

Choosing a box

A sturdy box is the best way to quickly and easily protect your television from bumps, scrapes and impact damage, particularly to the fragile screen. However, not just any old box will do, and you should purchase a box (or have one made to order) that fits your television quite snugly, while leaving enough room for padding and packing materials to be added. Make sure to add stamps or stickers to the outside of the box signifying that your television is fragile and should be kept upright.

You should also consider what your box will be made from, especially if you are having one custom-made. Wooden boxes provide excellent durability and can be assembled quickly by packaging material suppliers, but they are also quite expensive and many are non-recyclable. You might wish, therefore, to choose a cardboard box instead, and a suitably corrugated cardboard can provide adequate protection for most moves, especially when supplemented with padding and void fillers. Many custom-built cardboard TV boxes are flat-pack, allowing them to be stored away easily when not in use.

Choosing protective wrapping

Before your TV goes in its box, you should make sure to wrap the TV in some kind of protective layer to protect delicate components such as the screen and speakers from dust and detritus. If your TV came with a dust cover that you still possess, that can be used. However, similar protection can be achieved with tightly wrapped bubble wrap, cellophane, stretch wrap or even a sturdy blanket secured with tape (make sure to avoid wool blankets that can cause static electricity buildup). Make sure to avoid any kind of wrap with metallic properties, such as foil, as these can damage your TV's electronics.

Choosing void fillers

Once your TV is wrapped and boxed the spare space in the box should be filled with void fillers, which help to provide cushioning against blows and prevent shifting during transit. Traditionally newspaper is used as a versatile filler, but this can leave unsightly newsprint smudges on your screen that may be difficult or impossible to remove. Instead, choose a clean, inert void filler such as styrofoam packing peanuts, bubble wrap, air cushions or foam roll that has been cut to size. Recyclable versions of all these materials are available if you seek to lower your move's overall carbon impact, but be aware that they are generally slightly more expensive.