Packing musical instruments – tips and tricks

Whether you are a professional musician or only play as a hobby, your musical instruments probably mean a lot to you. After all, it’s hard to find a high-quality musical instrument that you really like. They are also quite expensive and therefore pretty difficult to replace. And, of course, it’s seriously easy to get attached to one that suits you and your playing style perfectly. So when you’re moving, your musical instruments should come along with you! But before you can play them in your new home, you need to get them there safely. And packing musical instruments can be difficult. That’s why we’ve asked expert professional movers for tips on how to do it right!

Problems you face when packing musical instruments

While any kind of packing for a move tends to give people headaches, some things are still more difficult to pack than others. Unfortunately for musicians everywhere, musical instruments are some of the hardest things to pack and relocate. And regular packing services Florida won’t cut it this time either, no matter how good they are. This is because musical instruments are very susceptible to damage from seemingly innocuous things in addition to often being clunky and irregularly shaped. Special care must, therefore, be taken when packing musical instruments for a move.

Guitar laying flat.
Musical instruments are fragile and easy to damage.

So what presents a potential danger to your beloved musical instrument? The simple answer is virtually everything (including simply playing it). But during relocation, your biggest enemies will be:

  • above average temperatures
  • below average temperatures
  • humidity
  • dust
  • improper handling

Let professionals deal with packing musical instruments!

One of the best and easiest ways to pack and move with musical instruments is not to do it yourself. There are trained professionals out there whose job is to move your instruments for you. A number of moving companies Deerfield Beach FL offer piano moving, for example. You can find similar specialty services across the country too. Packing musical instruments and moving them will be much easier, safer, faster and less stressful with the help of experienced movers.

Tips for packing musical instruments yourself

If you want to pack your musical instruments yourself, you should learn how to do so properly. Poor handling can damage them before they’re even on the way. And once you put them in a storage unit or load them into a moving truck, they’re doomed if they haven’t been packed properly. So what are the best ways to pack different types of instruments yourself?

Preparing pianos and organs for a move

Pianos and organs are among the most difficult musical instruments to move largely due to their sheer size and weight. For your safety as well as the instruments, it is best that you let professional piano movers take care of the actual loading and transportation. But if you can handle the packing part yourself if you don’t want to pay extra for those services.

Piano keys and note stand.
Don’t carry a piano or organ yourself.

Start by closing the piano cover and keyboard lid. If possible, lock them in place. Then, remove all removable parts such as the music stand. Do leave removable wheels on though because they may make moving the piano out of the house easier. You can lock them in place or remove them later, once the instrument is safely in the back of a moving van. Finally, use blankets, towels or bubble wrap to wrap around the instrument, taking extra care with thin and protruding easily breakable elements such as the legs and pedals. Affix the wrapping material with plenty of packing tape. If you’re planning on leaving your piano in storage for a while, you may want to bring an extra blanket to cover it and protect it from dust.

Packing musical instruments of the brass and woodwind families

In the division of musical instruments into families, brass and woodwind instruments fall into separate categories. However, both include a wide variety of instruments that produce sound when air is blown into them. The biggest difference is the material they are made of (brass or metal and wood or metal respectively). But since they are relatively similar in size and weight, you can pack them in similar ways.

First, disassemble the instruments completely. The ideal solution is to then simply place them in their original hard-case packaging and be on your way. But if you don’t have that kind of case, you can use a regular moving box with a layer of pillows or soft towels and blankets on the bottom. Wrap each individual part in bubble wrap first to protect it. You want to prevent the parts from knocking and rubbing together during transport. So if you have too much space in the box, fill it with packing peanuts. Be careful with the small parts – don’t lose them!

How to pack violins, cellos and other string instruments

String instruments have a lot of fragile parts. This makes them easy to damage in transport, even though they are usually easy to carry around. To prevent that, loosen the strings just enough that they won’t strain. Where applicable, loosen the bow hairs as well. If the instrument has adjustment keys, set them parallel to the headstock so they won’t detach. Ideally, you’ll then transport the instrument in its own hard case. If you don’t have one, wrap all parts in bubble wrap, put them in a moving box and add cushioning material.

Violin on white surface.
Loosen the strings on string instruments before moving.

Relocating with drums

Drums are surprisingly easy to pack! First, remove the rims and heads. Then put the drums inside one another like Russian dolls. Finally, put the drums in a box that’s 2-4 inches wider than the largest drum and fill the empty space with packing peanuts or shredded paper. Wrap the remaining parts in bubble wrap and pack them in a separate plastic bag or box. That’s it!

After the move: treat your instruments with care

You can’t just continue playing immediately after packing musical instruments and storing or transporting them! Musical instruments are fragile and fickle. Let them adjust to the new environment first. Wait at least 24 hours before reassembling and playing the instruments, especially woodwind and string ones. Remember that you may need to tune your instruments before playing them again. But if you packed them properly, they should be in perfect condition once reassembled and tuned!

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