How to Pack and Prepare Musical Instruments for the Move

a girl preparing her musical instrument for the move

Taking care of your musical instrument properly is extremely important, especially since you have to invest a lot of money, time, and research on choosing and buying the right one. Hence, if you plan to move to a new home, make sure you prepare your instrument for the transfer. Instruments are not only costly but also very fragile compared to furniture and appliances. This means your regular packing routine won’t do. For this reason, it is best if you do your research on how to pack and prepare musical instruments for the move.

Apart from this, taking good care of your instrument is vital for improving your playing skills. It is continuous, daily practice that makes perfect, and your instrument must be in immaculate condition for you to be able to practice playing it.

So, although relocating can disrupt your playing routine until you fully settle into your new home, do your best not to succumb to this onslaught of free —or better yet —non-playing time. Also, many students may find the whole relocation process disorientating, especially if they are used to working with their music teacher.

Packing your drums for the move

It is best if you use quality boxes and other materials to pack up your drum kit (or any other instrument). Do not use your regular cardboard box for this because drums are too heavy and clunky for such boxes to withstand.

Other than sturdy, perforated cardboard moving boxes, you should also procure a lot of wrapping material and materials that can cushion the drum kit - such as foam peanuts, old newspaper, packing paper, etc.

Firstly, you need to disassemble the drums 

Place all screws, small parts, and other drum pieces in a bag that you can tie well.

Wrap the bag well so that the parts do not get squished or lost in the moving truck. Be sure to label this bag so that you can locate it quickly.

  • Start with the legs. Remove them first and wrap them separately with thick, bubbly wrapping material.
  • Remove the head of the drum so that you can pack smaller drums into bigger ones.
  • Then pack up the cymbals by removing them from the stands.
  • Fold the cymbal stands and put them into hard, padded cases.
a drum kit with heads and cymbals
Start with the legs, not with the cymbals!

When you have disassembled the drums, you can start lining the boxes with protective material. Make sure there is no empty space inside the box - choose an appropriately sized container for this. Be sure to fill the box with a lot of wrapping material and tape, particularly the sharp or pointed areas of the drum set. When you feel confident about the layer of protection you have made, you can start stacking the drums into the box - from largest to smallest, one inside the other (remember, you must remove the heads beforehand to do so).

How to pack and prepare brass and woodwind instruments for the move

  • First, you need to disassemble your brass or woodwind instrument.
  • Place the parts into a hard case with slots for each part of the instrument.
  • Use wrapping material to wrap the pieces if you do not have such a case.
  • You can make padding from inflatable pillows or towels to ensure the covered parts of the instrument are safe.

As you can see, packing up your brass or woodwind instrument is relatively straightforward. You just need to make sure that the parts of the instrument do not collide during transportation.

a man holding a brass musical instrument
Make sure you do not lose parts of the instrument during the move.

How to pack and prepare a piano for the move

Having a piano at home is splendid, as anyone who owns a piano will surely agree. At least until you must transport it to your new place of residence. However, there is no need to worry - there are ways you can make sure that it arrives there intact.

a large old piano and sheet music
Relocating a piano is no easy task.

Of course, moving such a sizable musical instrument is no easy feat. Hence, owners of musical instruments are advised to look for a professional moving company that specializes in these kinds of transfers. Other than this, you can take a few steps to ensure your piano is packed and protected during the transfer. Although some moving companies offer this service as well, if you have the time, you can pack your piano on your own to be on the safe side.

  • Firstly, you need to make sure the keyboard lid is securely locked or tied. 
  • Do not use glue or other adhesives for packing your piano, as they may ruin the wood. 
  • Purchase moving blankets and wrap the piano with them.
  • Use tape to fix the padding.

Never lift the piano by the legs when loading it into the truck. To raise the piano onto the dolly, cross two strong moving straps beneath the piano. If you own a grand piano, you might have to (hire someone to) disassemble it before moving. And one final piece of advice - in order to keep the inner mechanism of the piano safe, make sure it is always kept straight when lifted.

Pack your guitar or violin for the move

Whether you rent or buy your violin or guitar, you want to make sure it is safe no matter what. So, if you cannot keep the instrument next to you during the move, you need to take the necessary ‘packing’ precautions. Start disassembling parts of the violin after you find all the required supplies:

  • You need to loosen the strings and remove the bridge and tailpiece.
  • Place the removed strings neatly into a zip lock back.
  • Wrap all of the parts first with clean paper or cotton towels and then with wrapping material.
  • After you have disassembled the instrument, place it in a hard, secure carrying case that will not crack or break during transportation.
  • Next, find a sturdy cardboard box that is 5-inches larger than the case itself.
  • Fill it up with more wrapping paper that will keep the case fixed inside the box.

Of course, you can do without the additional box if you think your case is resilient enough to withstand the relocation to your new home. However, this is somewhat risky since you can hardly anticipate what might happen during transportation. For this reason, we advise you not to cut corners and do anything that is in your power to pack and prepare musical instruments for the move properly.

What Now?

Now that you have the guidelines for how you should be packing your instrument properly for your move, you are ready to take action and get packing!