How to Move Your Entertainment Center the Right Way

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According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American can expect to move roughly 12 times during a lifetime. That’s great news for packing supply stores and moving companies, but it can be hard on the person who’s stuck boxing up his or her most valuable possessions.

Few areas of the home are trickier to dismantle and transport than the modern entertainment center. Thanks to the pricey components, intricate wiring and bulky hardware, moving an entertainment center from one house to another requires preparation and know-how. To help make things easier, here are a few handy tips that’ll take the worry out of your next move. If this sounds like a lot to handle, know that DISH makes it easy to move your TV service.

Getting started

One of the most important tools you’ll need when moving an entertainment center is a label maker. Before unplugging a single cord, label each one on both ends, making note of what type it is and what device it’s connected to. This will help immeasurably if you need to replace faulty wires while rebuilding the center in its new home. Be sure to put your cell phone’s camera to good use by taking plenty of photos of your current wiring connections. Having a clear visual record will make duplicating it somewhere else a breeze.

Disconnecting

Once you’ve labeled them, carefully disconnect all cords from each separate component. But whatever you do, don’t just yank them randomly. First, shift the entire entertainment center away from the wall, giving yourself as much access to the cables as possible. Second, to avoid costly mishaps, grip the head of each plug and gently pull it from the port, one at a time. Finally, keep each cable cleanly wrapped, kink-free and organized according to type. This will prevent loss and guarantee a much smoother rewiring job down the road.

Flat screen

Anyone who has tried lifting a massive old tube-based TV knows that flat-panel televisions have made moving an entertainment center much easier. Once the cables are fully disconnected, dismount your flat screen from its stand, but spare yourself some serious heartache and enlist a friend when removing the TV from a wall mount. If you didn’t save the original box, a moving blanket draped over the set and secured with tape will do the trick nicely. Add a few extra layers of thick bubble wrap for additional support. To avoid undue stress on the set, transport it standing up rather than lying flat, and sandwich it between upright mattresses if you’re moving them too.

Components

Just as you would with any delicate item, carefully place each entertainment component in a box lined with padded foam or wrapped in moving blankets with an extra layer of bubble wrap. If you’re still concerned about breakage, strong plastic bins with hinged lids are excellent for transporting electronics, because they can be stacked atop one another without shifting or crushing the contents.

New home

Because you don’t want to have to move it a second time, choosing the best spot to rebuild your entertainment center is crucial. So before you unpack, take into consideration how the new space works with your sofa and furniture. What type of window glare are you getting, both during the day and at night? Are the electrical outlets ideally located? Does the layout lend itself to mounting surround-sound speakers in the future? Finally, remember that moving your entertainment center is the perfect time to revamp your cord management system, so invest in cable sleeves, ties and the latest surge protectors. With a few simple upgrades, your new setup will be better than ever.