How to pack musical instruments for relocation

Packing tips and tricks - December 4, 2018

Are you an aspiring musician with dreams of making it big? Well, then moving to Nashville is an excellent first step. But, what about your musical instrument? Musical instruments are surprisingly fragile. You have to find experienced professionals if you want them to be treated right – if you’re moving soon, this can be a headache. How do you pack musical instruments for relocation? It doesn’t matter if you’re a hobbyist musician, if you’ve just started, or if you’re an acclaimed professional.

Music instruments should be handled with utmost care. And, of course, this extends to packing them. Your instruments need to be packed very carefully, so they don’t get damaged in the move. And even if they’re handled with expert care, unless they’re also expertly packed, it’s the curtain call for them. No matter if you’re moving to the center of Nashville, or to Old Hickory, your instruments deserve equal care. You need to ensure their safety! And, maybe you need to ensure their safety.

Someone playing a violin very gently.
You don’t want to damage your violin by not knowing how to pack musical instruments for relocation!

Consider professionals that know how to pack musical instruments for relocation

Real, experienced professionals know exactly how fragile musical instruments truly are. It’s why they’re considered the cream of the crop! So, if you have a company that understands, you’re in safe hands. That’s why many aspiring musicians decide to hand their instruments over for professionals to handle – there’s no risk of damaging them! But, you’ll want to hire nothing but the best. You don’t want to hire movers Brentwood TN only to realize they can’t tell a piano from a clarinet! So, you need to research your moving company and settle for nothing but the best service. You deserve it. Of course, it helps if their customer service is impeccable too.

  • It’s important that your movers know how to move musical instruments for relocation. They should have some experience in this. The more the merrier. Don’t be afraid to ask!
  • You need to research your moving company carefully – ask their license and registration, the whole nine yards.
  • You might want to hire them for their packing services too, to make your life easier.
  • Your moving company should have excellent reviews on independent review sites.
  • The moving company should give you the in-house moving quote in writing – don’t forget the difference between binding and non-binding moving quotes.
  • It’s helpful if your moving company doesn’t outsource their labor – this way, they can guarantee that their moving crew is someone you actually want in your house. Moving can be stressful because of the ‘strangers moving around in your house’ angle too!
  • Don’t move your piano alone. Just don’t do it.

Pack musical instruments for relocation – woodwind or brass

Every type of musical instrument is different – what works for a saxophone won’t work for a cello. This is why you need to research your specific music instrument – if you haven’t already. Your instruments deserve only the best handling. The way you move woodwind or brass instruments is a bit complex – you have to take them apart before moving.

The clarinet is finicky - you need to learn how to pack musical instruments for relocation really carefully if you want to move it.
Your clarinet is worth it, however.

Ideally, you already have a case for it. But if you’ve lost the case, or don’t have one, to begin with, you can just wrap every part of your brass or woodwind instrument in a few layers of wrap. It’s very important that none of the pieces of the instrument touch during the move. Don’t forget to use packing peanuts or towels!

Pack musical instruments for relocation – stringed

Stringed instruments include guitars, violins, cellos, violoncellos, and many others. They need a lot of care and maintenance even without moving. You don’t want a string snapping during the move, right? You need to loosen the strings of your stringed instrument – that helps prevent expansion and contraction damage. Of course, you have to put the tuning keys parallel with the headstock. The next question is easy – do you have the hard case? If you do, excellent! You just place the instrument in the hard case and fill it gently with wrapping paper. Make sure not to use any kind of packing peanuts – loose material can easily get inside your stringed instrument!

A close-up of a cello.
Be very careful when handling a stringed instrument in the move, especially if you don’t have a hard case.

But what if you don’t have a hard case? Well, then you’ll need to wrap the whole instrument in plastic. Yes, the whole instrument. If you’re thrifty, a garbage bag should do fine. Then, you should place it in a slightly over-sized box and heap a generous amount of packing peanuts inside. The plastic will ensure the packing peanuts don’t get inside the instruments and will protect it from getting wet. Shake the box. Do you hear moving? Time to add more packing peanuts, or wrapping paper, or whatever you have handy.

Remember, your stringed instrument is delicate, and without proper protection, any fall will be fatal. This is why you shouldn’t scrimp on the packing peanuts! They’re less expensive than replacing your whole instrument.

Pack musical instruments for relocation – percussion

Instruments such as drums are probably the easiest to pack. You’ll need to start with a box larger than the instrument itself if you want to pack musical instruments for relocation well.  There needs to be a lot of place for cushioning – packing peanuts, wrapped paper, the whole nine yards. Then, you remove the rims and heads – afterward, you just need to nest the drums in themselves.

The smaller parts of the drum set, like tension rods and drumsticks and suchlike, should be packed separately. You don’t want to lose them, right? Pack them in a plastic bag, with a closing mechanism. Spurs and legs should be wrapped in protective cushioning too.Don’t forget to put a layer of crumpled paper or packing peanuts on the bottom of the box before putting the drums inside! If the instruments can move inside, there aren’t enough packing peanuts.

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