Moving a Home Theater System

by | Oct 11, 2017


Getting a new place to call home can be an exciting adventure. The act of moving, not so much. I will be the first to admit that I am not a fan of moving. Because of this, I do everything I can to make the experience as painless as possible. Just to be clear, I’m not going to talk about the heavy lifting. Big, strong friends with pickup trucks are the best answer for this part. Just be sure to pay handsomely with pizza and beer. No, I’m going to talk about moving your home theater components.

Pictures, Labels, Markers and Tags

The things you do first, when you are all excited and beginning the move, will make the end of the move infinitely easier. Proper preparation before things go crazy on moving day can make all the difference in the world.

Before you start to willy-nilly yank all of the wires out of the back of your receiver and box everything up, take a few pictures with your cell phone. Having a photo record of how everything is currently connected – when it all still works the way it is supposed to – will pay huge dividends later. There are few things more frustrating than trying to remember if that particular HDMI went here, or there. Remember that you probably won’t be putting your system back together first thing. In a move, there are always a couple of days spent getting more important things sorted out. You know, beds need to be made up, dishes and utensils located for eating, clothes and towels need to be found, etc. All these things generally take precedence over re-assembling home theater systems. Having a picture on your phone to refresh your memory can be a very useful tool!


Remember that label maker collecting dust on the top shelf of the hall closet? This is the time for you get familiar with it again. You should label every HDMI cable, component cable, and digital optical cable going in and coming out of the AV Receiver. Label both ends of every cable. Trust me, it helps. Label your power cords too, but just on the plug end. Identifying all the cables and cords will let anyone put your system back together just the way it was before the move. This will also make it much easier to find the right plug on your surge protector the next time you add or replace a component in your system. Don’t have a label maker? Now is the perfect time to pick one up. You can find a quality label maker at any office supply store for under a hundred bucks. Need to go cheap for the move? You can use masking tape and a permanent marker. It’ll still get the job done.

You get double, extra, bonus points if you label your cables before you take pictures.

When moving components, using the original packaging – if you have it stashed in the attic – is always best. If not, use moving blankets and cardboard boxes. Moving blankets cushion the components and keep them from getting scratched up in the move. When in doubt, more cushion is better. After wrapping the components up nice and cozy-like, stuff them into boxes. Yes, use boxes, because they stack neater than the blanket wrapped bundles by themselves. A big plus is being able to write on the outside of the box exactly what is inside. It’s not impossible, but it’s difficult to write legibly on blankets. You should also mark the boxes with “Fragile” so your friends know to be careful with these particular boxes. Finally, if you mark the box with the destination room in your new home, your helpers will know where to stack them on the other end.

If you are like most home owners, your cables and cords are a bit of a mess behind the cabinet where your home theater components reside. The perfect opportunity to implement a cable management system is when you put your system back together again.

The last part of your system that is usually considered, is the rack or stand for your home theater. A simple tag on the stand identifying its future location in your new home can save your sanity. As with the markings on the boxes above, the tag tells friends where to stash this piece of furniture. This information will help you avoid a scavenger hunt through your garage when the time comes to set up the TV for the game on Sunday.


If you are like most home owners, your cables and cords are a bit of a mess behind the cabinet where your home theater components reside. The perfect opportunity to implement a cable management system is when you put your system back together again. You can go as big or as small as you like with your management system. Zip ties gathering cables into bundles is a fabulous start. Using cable anchors to route those bundles is even better. Running your cables and cords through cable sleeves in between the zip tie anchors is right up there with professional grade work. There are cable sleeves with Velcro closures that you can pick up online for under $10.00. They can be cut to length, and make a big difference in how ‘put together’ your system appears. There are also articles on cable management on our website that talk about routing cables and hiding the speaker cables that run around the perimeter of the room.


Moving is usually a pain in the butt, and back, and legs, and…. Making the best out of the situation can help ease the pain a little. For me, there is satisfaction to be found in properly moving home theater components from point A to point B. To have everything work, just like it is supposed to, on the other end of a move, can be extremely gratifying. Cleaning up the cables and making it look neat and clean comforts my mind’s need for organization.

Choosing to see the positives in a move can make it easier. Like so many situations, outlook and attitude determines the outcome. Moving can be a good thing.

Images by Your Best Digs


About Brian Hill
Brian Hill is a home theater enthusiast who has an extensive background in sales. His interests include music & movies, F1 & NASCAR auto racing, hot rods (he has a '56 Nomad) and hockey — Go Sharks!
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