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How to Pack DVDs

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DVDs, and their cousins CDs and Blu-Rays, used to be the primary way we stored movies, video games, and music. Streaming and downloading services may make these physical copies obsolete one day, but until then, you will value your library of discs. That means you'll want to protect these fragile media storage items during a move.

DVDs are quite fragile and sometimes expensive. Packing them correctly can mean the difference between having your full library of media at your new home and losing your favorite movies (or worse, converted home videos) forever. If you have old VHS tapes, it is advisable to convert them to DVDs because the quality lasts longer and there's no risk of a VCR eating your memories. But during a move, a DVD is just about as susceptible to damage as a VHS tape.

Here are the common ways that they get damaged:
  • Moisture. DVDs are more resilient to wetness than most storage or electronic devices, but it still is not good to get them wet. Prolonged moisture can make the disc unreadable and if a wet disc is inserted in any type of media player, it could destroy the whole machine.
  • Breaking. DVDs, Blu-Rays, and CDs are all fragile. These discs aren't quite as brittle as glass, but they aren't too far from it. You could easily break a DVD by sitting on it, even on a cushioned couch. When they do break, they often shatter into sharp pieces like glass, making the break unfixable and dangerous.
  • Dirt. The information on a disc is stored in that reflective part on the bottom. Some discs are double-sided, meaning a laser reads the tiny grooves in both sides of the disc. If dirt gets on the surface of the information-carrying part of the disc, it can become unreadable. There are ways to clean Blu-rays, CDs, and DVDs, but it is best to keep them protected from dirt by keeping them in cases and not handling them too much.
  • Scratches. Scratches are the most common way to damage your DVD, and what you need to guard against the most. It doesn't take much to scratch a DVD and if it is deep enough, the disc becomes permanently unreadable.

Packing DVDs, CDs, and Blu-rays

The procedure for packing discs focuses on limiting the aforementioned dangers when moving your DVDs, Blu-rays, and CDs.
  • Use a 1.5 foot cubic box. If you fill a bigger box with CDs and their cases, the box could be too heavy to support itself.
  • Add a layer or two of packing tape to the bottom of the box to reinforce it. The box still is going to be heavy.
  • Place all discs in their original cases. If they are unavailable you can buy new jewel cases for them or wrap them in paper and then bubble wrap. Don't directly wrap discs in bubble wrap because the plastic could smudge the readable area.
  • Add a layer of packing paper to the bottom of the box.
  • Place the cased discs vertically in the box, making sure they are tightly standing against each other.
  • After the first layer is complete add more packing paper and repeat a second layer until the box is filled or you are out of discs. You may need to use multiple boxes if your library is large.
  • You could lay a few discs flat on top of the second layer after adding more packing paper. Avoid doing this if possible since the flat discs are more vulnerable to breaking from impacts.
  • Fill in all space in the box with packing paper.
  • Tape the box shut and label it "fragile".
  • If you're concerned about moisture or rain, you can wrap the packed box in plastic wrap to make it waterproof.
If you lack the time, patience, or materials to do this confidently, you can hire professional movers to do the job for you. A good mover should be able to keep your DVDs, Blu-rays, and CDs safe. You wouldn't want to risk losing the hours of entertainment your music, movies, and video games bring you.

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on November 4, 2014 - Moving Expert
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