How to Pack a Printer for Moving

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When packing a computer for relocation, remember to include all computer peripherals such as a mouse, keyboard, scanner, game controllers, microphone, webcam, and other input devices, as well as a monitor, printer, projector, headphones, and speakers (output devices).

The printer is one of the most difficult peripheral devices to pack and move. Why?

On the one hand, printers, no matter how solid they appear, are extremely fragile devices. A printer can be permanently destroyed if handled incorrectly, which is never a smart idea given the expensive cost of that computer hardware. If a box containing a printer is not properly padded and is dropped, paper jams may be the least of your concerns.

Inkjet printers, on the other hand, contain ink cartridges that can make a large mess if the ink spills during the relocation. Similarly, laser printer toner cartridges include toner powder that, if not handled properly, can make everything messy.

1. Prepare the moving box

That’s fantastic news if you maintain the printer’s original box from when you first got it. It’s worth noting that original boxes are made to protect fragile products during shipping. Manufacturers’ boxes, in the case of a printer, feature unique Styrofoam inserts that perform two critical functions during the transportation stage:

1) The object is protected by the extra thick insulation.

2) They completely immobilize the item inside the box.

So, if you happen to have the original printer box stashed someplace in the house (check all storage spaces), all you have to do now is pack up the printing device in that container. If not, you’ll have to replace it with another box.

Look for a sturdy cardboard box that is roughly 4 inches larger on all four sides than the printer – you’ll need that additional space to fit the printer once it’s been properly padded.

As an added precaution, double-tape the bottom of the container with high-quality packing tape twice. You must ensure that the moving box does not shatter under its own weight while being carried to the moving truck, as this will spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E for the peripheral device.

2. Pack the printer cartridges separately

When moving your printer between houses, never leave ink cartridges (for inkjet printers) or toner cartridges (for laser printers) inside. If you do, ink or toner powder may leak out of the cartridges during transportation.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that spilled ink or toner powder produces unsightly stains on any surfaces it comes into contact with — ink stains that are extremely difficult to erase. Furthermore, spilled ink can cause significant damage to internal printer components such as rollers, seals, and drums.

By removing and packaging the printer cartridges separately, you can reduce the chance of spilled ink or toner.

  • To securely remove the ink or toner cartridge, follow the directions in the printer’s manual.
  • As the first layer of protection, wrap the printer cartridge in soft wrapping paper.
  • Place the printer cartridge in a resealable plastic bag to catch any ink or toner powder that may spill during transportation.
  • Place the bag in a separate compact cardboard box with the printer wires, printer components like removable trays, and other odd items like the printer manual.

3. Secure the printer cables

When packing a printer for a move, it might be difficult to keep the cables secure.

To begin, you’ll need a power cable, which you’ll put into a wall outlet to power the printer. Those power cords are almost always unable to be detached from the printer unit and must be shipped with it. To accomplish this, use masking tape to tie the power cable to the rear of the printer.

The USB printer cable, which links the printing device to the computer, is the second item. Those cords are easily detachable, so unplug it safely from the computer before unplugging it from the printer. Then, together with the secured printer cartridges, place that cord in the tiny printer accessories box.

If you have a modern Wi-Fi printer, you’ll only have to worry about the power cord because the connection to the computer(s) is wireless.

4. Wrap the printer in bubble wrap

Your printer is now ready to be packaged for travel once you’ve chosen an appropriate box, removed the cartridges, and secured the cable.

  • Remove any remaining paper from the paper tray.
  • Remove any detachable printer trays, panels, or other printer components from the printer and place them in the Printer Accessories box.
  • Close all of the printer’s non-removable trays, panels, or doors and secure them with masking tape so they don’t open during the transport.
  • Place a huge sheet of bubble wrap on a desk or table, or directly on the floor, in the midst of which you will place the printer. For the best protection, use plastic wrap with huge air bubbles if at all possible.
  • Wrap the printer completely in bubble wrap, leaving no exposed or unprotected areas. Wrap the printing device in two layers of bubble wrap, covering the top and bottom as well as the sides and back of the peripheral device.
  • Assemble the thick protective covering around the bulky, fragile item.
  • Secure the ends of the bubble wrap sheet with packing tape so that the protective plastic material may be fixed in place.
  • Examine the end result of your printer packaging efforts: the printer should be completely encased in two layers of bubble wrap.
  • Install the printer, bubble-wrapped, into a large plastic bag (using a clean garbage bag is OK). This step is required to prevent the packing peanuts from entering the printer — for more information, see the section below.

5. Pack the printer into the box

It’s time to put the secured printing equipment into the box so it may begin its journey to the new home, which is the final step in packing a printer for a relocation.

  • More packing peanuts should be added to the empty places surrounding the printer until it is completely covered. You won’t have to worry about any small packing peanut particles getting inside the printer and causing all sorts of post-move issues because you’ve already fitted a top-layer plastic bag over the device.
  • When feasible, use biodegradable packing peanuts, which are environmentally benign because they are formed of starch and, unlike plastic peanuts, decompose over time.
  • Fill the box with packing peanuts until the bottom is completely covered. The protective layer of packing peanuts on the bottom should be around 4 inches thick.
  • Carefully place the packed printer in the ready-to-move box. Place the peripheral device in the middle of the box, between the packing peanuts, so that there are equal gaps on all four sides of the container.
  • If you run out of packing peanuts or don’t have any, crumpled paper wads can suffice. The major purpose is to generate a thick protective covering all the way around the printer, including the bottom, top, and four sides.
  • When the packing peanuts have completely covered the top of the printer, close the box and secure it with a packing tale.
  • Label the box as fragile and handle it with care using a printer.

See also: What Kind of Printer Can Print on Canvas


As you can see, packing a printer for a move is not difficult in the least. All you have to do now is make sure the printer is sufficiently protected with bubble wrap to withstand any external stresses during the trip.

If you’re still worried about packing your expensive printer, you may always hire experienced packers to assist you.

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