Repacking complicated purchases can be easy, if you plan ahead.
There’s nothing worse than realizing you just don’t like that thing you bought and that you have to return it. Except, maybe, some insult added to injury: you’re fitting everything back into the little foam compartments and… you forgot what goes where. No matter how hard you try, the manufacturer has worked some magic that makes it so nothing will go back in the box (the fact that all returns must be in the original packaging no doubt inspired this masterpiece of unusable design). But there is, indeed, a way to fit everything back.
The answer is as simple as your smartphone. Take photos along the way! First snap one when you first open the box. Then you’ll be able to get a general sense of the layout--this is especially good for products that are a little more complicated than a laptop and charger. Maybe a new speaker system with some assembly in the works.
Then, take a couple more photos as you take pieces out of the box since you have your phone or camera out anyway. Maybe a little plastic bag of extra nuts or bolts is buried underneath something else in a tiny little crevice. Make note of that with a photo so you remember later.
Use an app like JotNot Pro, Scanner Pro, or FasterScanHD+ to take the photos. If you’re taking pictures of how your new computer was packed up, put all those photos in a single multipage document called “iMac 2014 packing pictures.” Then store all packing documents in a single folder called “Packing Pictures” so you always know where to find the reference pictures when you need them.
Repacking never again needs to be a hassle. Just use your smartphone camera to remember exactly how your products showed up in the first place.