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TV Boxes and other Moving Tips for Your Big Screen

If you don’t have the original manufacturer box, the first step is finding a replacement. You’ll still need to wrap and pack the TV, and you may have to find extra sheets, blankets, and bubble wrap to this end. These supplies, however, are easy to find compared to a custom-sized moving box. Yes, you can find TV boxes at most hardware and moving supply stores. On the other hand, you’re rolling the dice by assuming the day before a big move that the nearest store will have the right size box for your TV.

A better bet is to get the box beforehand. Pressed for time? Don’t relish the idea of fighting traffic and long checkout lines? There are a number of convenient places to buy boxes online, both from name-brand store websites and standalone e-commerce companies. Amazon is only the beginning. There’s also Uboxes, Uline, and Upack, just to name a few. Quick delivery times are part of what makes these online sources successful. 

Buying and Sizing TV Boxes

Be sure you get the right size. Most TV boxes are clearly labeled for what size TV they will hold. Just keep in mind that most TVs are measured by their diagonal length. Thus, a TV moving box that’s 56” wide can actually hold a 60” TV screen. Assuming your TV uses the nearly universal 16:9 aspect ratio, you can find an easy-to-use sizing chart here. On the other hand, if there’s any doubt in your mind, opt for the larger size box and then make sure you have plenty of blankets and/or bubble wrap. You can always use extra packing material for a slightly oversized box. One that’s too small may be essentially useless.

  • Box-Buying Tip: Be sure to get a TV box that has built in handles. Modern TVs aren’t particularly heavy, but they can be cumbersome to carry just from their sheer size. Handles make TVs much easier, and safer, to move.

TV Wrapping and Packing

Unless you know modern electronics like the back of your hand, do yourself a favor and take a picture of the back of your TV and any sound equipment in which there’s even the slightest chance you won’t know exactly which cable goes to exactly which port. The old advice used to involve color labels and shorthand descriptions. Nowadays, it’s often just as good, if not better, to grab your smart phone and take a couple quick pics.  

When that’s done, be sure you have a sufficient space for disconnecting, dismounting, and wrapping the TV. If you have a TV that’s over 50” and you don’t have gorilla arms, this is really a two-person job. What you’re really trying to do is cover every inch of the TV with a blanket. It can be a used blanket so long as it’s reasonably clean. Some people get away with shrink-wrapping the blankets or else packing T-shirts and clothes into the box around the blankets. An even better idea a layer of bubble wrap around the blankets and held together with packing tape. It’s imperative that the TV isn’t allowed to shift back and forth in the box.

  • Get a Second Opinion: In addition to our own experience and expertise, we also did our due diligence in seeing what other professional movers have to say on the subject. Looking for a second or third opinion? Check here and here for some of the best online guides we found for packing and moving a big screen TV.

Is it Okay to Place a TV on its Back when Moving?

This is an FAQ that most people hedge on when answering. Here’s the skinny: There’s nothing inherent about TV electronics that will get messed up simply from the TV being stored on its side. On the other hand, the TV (and especially the screen) is more susceptible to scratching, jostling, and impact-related damages forces when packed in this position. Put another way, if you think you’ll end up laying the TV down on its side, you better use best practices with bubble wrap and multiple layers when first packing the TV in its box.

The safest method is to wrap the TV and to secure the box in an upright position with the rest of your moving items. Of course, the orientation of the box depends on creating a secure and snug position. It’s better to lay a TV on its side from the beginning, rather than having it fall over the first time you abruptly hit the brake or gas pedal.

Don’t get Overwhelmed by Moving a TV

A lot of people are so excited about their new TV, careful unwrapping isn’t a big concern. Maybe you pitched the box because it was no longer in good condition. Maybe you got the TV secondhand, or maybe you didn’t want to deal with TV box storage. This can feel like an albatross hanging over your move, but it doesn’t have to be. With any luck at all, you can get the TV boxes and materials you need, as well as safely pack your TV for moving, in just a day or two.