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How to Pack Your Instruments for the Move Back to School

How to Pack Your Instruments for the Move Back to School
If you're heading to college for the first time or going back to your dorm for a new semester, one of the most important things you'll need to pack is your instrument. Having your instrument carefully packed helps keep it safe during travel and gives you peace of mind. Since most instruments aren't cheap, it's important to make sure they're packed and transported properly. Follow these tips for packing to get your instrument to school unharmed.

Get a Moving Company

One of the best things you can do to keep your instrument safe during transport is to contact a moving company. Although you could move your instrument yourself, hiring a moving company will give you extra assurance that it's being moved properly. A moving company can also pack the instrument properly for you, which comes in handy if you're unsure how to pack it yourself or would rather leave this job to professionals. Some instruments need specific humidity or climate controls that you may not be able to provide on your own. However, moving companies can offer trucks that include these features.

Have the Right Supplies

It's tempting to scrimp on packing supplies, but when it comes to your instrument, the savings aren't worth the risk. Get high-quality packing supplies, including a sturdy box that is large enough for your instrument, packing inserts, and packing tape. Make sure you have what you need to keep your instrument from moving around inside the box. Whether you use bubble wrap, cardboard inserts, or packing peanuts in the box depends on what you're most comfortable with and what type of instrument you're moving.

Know How to Pack

Different types of instruments require different steps for packing. For example, if you have a brass instrument, it's important to take the mouthpiece off and pack it separately — otherwise the mouthpiece could end up broken or damaged. If you have a stringed instrument, be sure to loosen the strings before putting the instrument in a box. This keeps the strings safe from snapping during the move. Instruments that come apart, such as a flute, should be taken apart and their pieces wrapped separately before packing.

Acclimate the Instrument

If you're moving from one climate or region to another, it's important to let your instrument acclimate once it has moved. Different temperatures and altitudes can affect the instrument and, if you play it too soon, can cause damage. It's generally a good idea to leave your instrument unplayed for at least 24 hours after you unpack it. If it's not possible for you to leave the instrument unplayed, be very careful with it. Stringed instruments should be carefully tuned, for example, to keep strings from breaking.

As you're getting ready to move, keep the security of your instruments in mind. No one wants to get back to school and have to find a new instrument before classes start. Talk to a moving company to get the best results. For best results, make sure that you have a schedule set out and that you have enough time to get your instrument packed, moved, and acclimated before classes start.

Image via Flickr by pellaea