Packing music instruments – simple guide

At-Home Packing Tips - September 20, 2019

Packing, packing, and more packing – is there a more tiring moving task than this one? The answer is no, there isn’t. Packing music instruments is only adding oil to the fire since it requires a lot of attention. While they don’t seem so, the instruments are very delicate. As every musician or collector can confirm. Most of them wouldn’t dream to put them in the hands of strangers, even if they are the professional packers for decades. Musical instruments have a big emotional value, and this guide will show you how to pack them properly for your upcoming move.

Preparation is the key to success

Before you start packing music instruments, you will need to gather packing supplies. Instead of usual common boxes, consider reusable plastic moving boxes. Not only they are sturdier, but they do offer a lot more protection for the instruments. Especially if you plan to store them for a while.

It is a bit pricier option, but your precious items are worth it. They are filling your heart with music, but they also don’t come cheap. So damaging them in the moving process will be hurtful both for you and for your wallet due to expensive repairs.

Of course, the cases made specifically for instruments are always the best solution. The original cases provide maximum protection due to their unique design. Its sole purpose is to keep the instrument safe in transportation. Therefore, they are the ultimate boxing solutions when moving music instruments.

Cat laying in the guitar case
Nothing beats the safety of original instrument cases.

When we have boxing out of the way, you will also need a lot of:

  • Cushioning
  • Packing or duck tape
  • Packing paper
  • Plastic wrap with air bubbles
  • Moving blankets for bigger pieces

Packing music instruments – brass and woodwind

Once you get moving bin rental and gathering of the packing supplies out of the way, it’s time to get to the business of packing music instruments. Find the section that corresponds to the type of your instruments and follows the steps.

The brass instruments are items like horns and trumpets, while woodwind ones are flutes, saxophones, and similar instruments. They are producing very different sounds, but they are requiring identical packing techniques and steps.

  • Disassembling – First thing to do is to take them apart.
  • Putting them into cases – If you don’t have them, this will be a good time to purchase them. It will make it easy to transport them safely, and you can use it for years to come.
  • Wrapping – While the cases are designed in a way to keep the instruments from shifting, it’s not the same with moving boxes. If you’re using those, make sure to wrap your instruments in layers of bubble wrapping. Secure it with layers of duck tape. Inflatable cushions, towels or packing peanuts are also a good solution.
  • Use a bigger box – Box should be big enough to have a layer of protection on the bottom and the top of the parts. About  6-inch layers on the bottom and the top of the box will keep these items safe.
  • Tape the box and label it properly – Once you put all the protective layers and wrapping, seal the box containing the instrument parts with layers of duck tape. Label the box, so you can find it easier.
Saxophone - Pacing music instruments of this type is easy
Pack brass and woodwind instruments in a same way.

Packing instruments with strings is more challenging

Your guitars, cellos, harps and other instruments with strings require more care. They require the same delicate touch like packing your fragile items does.
By investing just a little more effort and attention, your instruments will be safe during transport.

Just follow these steps:

  • Loosen the strings – This will ensure that they wouldn’t snap during the transport. If the instruments have keys, turn them parallel with the headstock so they don’t break off.
  • The hard case – Nothing beats original cases once again. If you have it, by all means, transport your instrument in it. Still, you will need to secure it more in order to stop the instrument from shaking within the case. The crumbled paper will serve just fine. Do not use shredded paper or packing peanuts! They can get inside the instruments and cause damages.
  • Wrap, wrap, wrap – This step is necessary when you don’t have cases. First, put an instrument in a garbage bag or dry cleaning one. Then wrap the instruments in many layers of the plastic wrap. Secure it with tape.
  • Pack it in the bigger box – Once again, the box has to be bigger than the item in question. Just like before, add layers of protective materials on the bottom. Place the instrument and cover it with more protective layers. Fill any gaps in the box, if there’s any.
  • Seal and label the box – Three or four-time tape the box and add proper labeling.
Harp
String instruments require more attention.

Packing drums

Drums are a special type of instruments, and at the same time easiest to pack. Still, just shoving them in the box won’t suffice, so keep reading these instructions.
Since these instruments are bulky and weigh a lot, it is recommendable to also follow the tips for packing heavy items.

How to pack your drums properly:

  • Find a huge box – Much bigger box is necessary. Get the one that is a couple of inches larger than the drum itself, so you can add cushioning.
  • Disassemble the drums – Remove heads and rims. Nest them inside one another. For smaller removable pieces of drum hardware, use a separate bag. Preferably with zipper.
  • Wrap the removable parts – Use a lot of bubble plastic wrapping to wrap packing spurs, legs, and similar equipment. Tape it with duck tape so they can’s shift.
  • Pack everything together – First place the body of the drums into the box or bin. Nest smaller part in the empty space. Add cushioning to every gap in order to immobilize all the parts.

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