How To Properly And Safely Pack A Flat Panel Television Using Simple Materials

Posted on: 24 August 2015

Of the items most people move, televisions require an extra level of care due to their exposed screens and sensitive internal electronics. Some people purchase special television moving boxes to transport their sets, but if you are on a tight budget, you may be seeking a lower-cost, do-it-yourself alternative. Below is how to affordably pack a television set so it arrives at its new destination unscathed:

Supplies and materials needed

  • Packaging tape

  • Corrugated cardboard

  • Utility knife or box cutter

  • 12-inch wide rolled bubble wrap

  • ¼-inch square balsa sticks

  • Large flat box

  • Moving blanket or other soft surface

  • Television screen cleaning solution

  • Lint-free cloth

  • Cable ties

  • Screwdriver

Step-by-step procedure

1. Once you have unplugged the television and ready to pack it, position it horizontally, screen-up, on a soft, flat surface, such as a moving blanket or rug, in order to prevent scratches. Your first step is to remove anything on the television that can cause the set to be broken; cables can be pulled or jammed, resulting in damaged terminals or jacks. Television stands are vulnerable to breaking at their point of attachment.

To begin, locate and remove all cables from the television unless they are hardwired into the set; roll up the cables in small bundles and secure them with cable ties to prevent unraveling. Set the cables aside for later packing.

After the cables are removed, carefully remove the stand from the television if it contains one. Place screws for the stand inside a plastic sandwich bag, seal it, then tape the bag to the bottom of the stand.

2. Since the screen is the most vulnerable point on almost any television, it should be provided the most protection from breakage. Simply piling on bubble wrap will not necessarily help to the extent necessary, especially on larger screens.

The first step is to thoroughly wipe down your screen with an approved cleaning solution and lint-free cloth; you will want to do this to prevent dust particles from being rubbed into the screen during the move and causing scratches.

Next, wrap a layer of bubble wrap around the television in a horizontal direction allowing one inch of overlap. Use only one layer of bubble wrap at this point, and be sure to tape the bubble wrap together so it holds. Do not apply tape to the television at any point. After that, cut a piece of corrugated cardboard to the exact same size as the screen. Position the cardboard layer on top of the bubble wrap immediately above the screen.

3. After laying down the initial two layers of material, the next step is to make a set of blow-absorbing ribs; these ribs should consist of several cross pieces of ¼-inch square balsa wood. Position a piece of balsa wood across the front of the television in a diagonal fashion and cut it to a length where the ends of the wood pass the screen by an inch or so. Next, lay down the next strip of balsa wood so that it crosses the previous piece in a diagonal fashion. Again, cut it to where the balsa is hanging over the edge of the screen by about an inch. Tape the ends of the diagonal strips to the bubble wrap, then cut a piece of corrugated cardboard measuring six-by-six inches. Place the cardboard square beneath the point where the cross pieces meet, and add additional squares, if necessary, so they touch the cross pieces. Once the cross pieces touch a square, Apply another strip of tape over the cross piece junction and cardboard.

4. Once the ribs are constructed and installed, wrap the entire set with 2 additional layers of bubble wrap. Fasten down the bubble wrap using tape, but be careful not to directly tape the television itself.

Next, lay pieces of unfolded newspaper over the television and create a paper "cocoon" by taping them down to the bubble wrap. Continue layering and taping more pieces around the television to create a thick, even pad of paper.

After padding the set with paper, cut 4 strips of corrugated cardboard in 3-inch by 12-inch dimensions. Fold the strips in half, then position and tape them at each corner of the set, so they protect these vulnerable places from bumps and scrapes.

5. If you have a flat box that is large enough for your television, then use this for the television; if not, you can construct a box by cutting the four corners off a smaller box, tape them to the television corners and fill in the surface gaps with flat pieces of cardboard.

Once you have your set inside a suitable box, stuff loosely wadded newspaper inside the box along with the cables and television stand. Seal it shut with a final strip of tape, and properly label it as fragile for the mover's (someone like Hollander Storage & Moving) benefit.