January 6, 2023 Posted in Moving Tips
Julie Grace

Originally from The Golden City, Julie has explored the ins and outs of moving and has written all the tips down.

Everything You Should Know About Shipping Musical Instruments Across the Country

Moving across the country is a difficult process. One of the most challenging aspects of relocating is figuring out how to move your belongings, especially if you’re shipping musical instruments and other bulky and fragile items. Check what steps you should take and ensure that your instrument arrives safely at its destination.

A row of acoustic guitars being prepared for cross-country moving overlay
Take the best care of your musical instruments when preparing them for the move

How to Ship Musical Instruments – Get All Needed Materials and Supplies

There are some fundamental packaging supplies to keep on hand when you want to learn how to ship musical instruments of all sizes, whether they be electric guitars, keyboards, woodwind, brass, or percussion instruments.

In fact, if you wish to move efficiently, you shouldn’t omit this task on your to-do list, even if you book the best cross-country moving services to help you with the packing process. So, here are some of the packing materials you should have:

  • Enough packaging paper,
  • Durable packing tape,
  • Different-sized boxes,
  • Bouncy tape,
  • A rubber band.

All professional cross-country movers will tell you that packing peanuts is probably the most common relocation mistake when it comes to securing musical instruments. It’s because they can move and might not provide the high level of protection necessary to keep the instruments safe.

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Research Your Options if You Want the Best Care of the Instruments

After you’ve chosen the best time of the year to move, the first step in shipping a musical instrument is researching your options. Many different cross-country moving companies offer shipping services for musical instruments, so it’s important to research their policies and prices before making a decision. Additionally, it’s important to make sure that the company you choose specializes in shipping both fragile objects and putting the same effort into moving large items like musical instruments. This will ensure that your instrument is properly packaged and handled with care during transport.

Clear Labeling Aids in Preventing Mishandling or Loss

If you don’t want to wait for a reputable cross-country moving company to do all the packing, you need to organize the packing process, especially if you’re moving out for the first time. One of the things that will ensure an efficient packing session is clearly identifying your packages. It’s just something you have to do, even if it’s a last-minute move.

You can do it easily with labels for boxes. That way, you’ll prevent the instrument from becoming lost in transportation, which should virtually go without saying. Some working musicians take more thorough precautions. To make sure the box is handled correctly during transit, you can optionally add labels with handling instructions.

Picture of a labeled box overlay
Ensure the containers are properly labeled

Learn Some Tips for Transporting a Guitar Safely

The temperature and humidity variations that occur during transit are another aspect to consider while using string instruments. Since genuine wood makes up the majority of string instruments, they may contract or expand when transported through extremely hot or cold conditions (for example, if relocating in the summer or winter). The strings may also be impacted by temperature fluctuations.

Due to its size requirements, shipping a guitar might be difficult. Because guitars are delicate, you also have to be concerned about the strings (if it’s not in a suitcase) getting caught on the box, the neck breaking or warping, and other possible damages that could happen in transit. If you wish your instrument to reach its destination unharmed, taking the steps below will allow you to move safely and without unnecessary risks.

Prepare a moving box for a guitar

Make a suitable bottom layer of brown paper or crumpled newspaper in the box for the instrument or guitar case to rest on. To relieve stress, loosen the strings just a little bit (it’s not necessary for the guitar to be completely detuned, just ensure the pressure is released). To prevent the guitar case from sliding around while transported in a hard case, plug any gaps with newspaper or microfiber cloth.

Handle the guitar's head with caution

It’s best to elevate the guitar’s neck with crumpled paper and put some of the paper between the strings and frets. This will secure the guitar head. You can also use padding paper (not packing) to absorb impact right below the point where the head and neck converge.

Lay the guitar correctly

Any open areas should be carefully covered with paper. You should find it challenging to move the box with your hand if all of the empty areas are filled. When the box is full, add a layer of crumpled paper on top of the one you made before. Securely tape all the edges.

If you want to prevent heavier boxes from falling on top of the guitar crate and perhaps causing damage, you can place “don’t lay flat” stickers on each side of the box. Despite the fact that your shipment will be safely packaged, we advise getting shipping insurance to safeguard your musical equipment.

How to Take Care of a Drum Kit When Moving Cross Country

When you decide it’s time to move, one of the first things you need to do is hire long-distance movers. But, many people forget to check one simple thing with the professionals – what items they can’t transport. Luckily, instruments aren’t one of them.

So, similar to shipping a guitar, it’s crucial to fill all free space buffer rooms when transporting a drum set to prevent damage from falls or accidents in transit. Keep in mind that relocation expenses can be quite high, but shipping drum sets is even more expensive.

A person playing drums after cross-country moving overlay
Secure the drums in the best possible way

Wrap Each Drum Separately

Any drummer will agree that shattering or denting your cymbals is an absolute misery. If you’re relocating to a new home and want a completely stress-free move, it’s best to get hardshell cases (if possible). That’s how your drums will be shielded from the inside and outside. Although it may seem like a lot of work and money, just ask any drummer – these cases are a must-have when transporting drums.

Check out the video below and learn more about preparing drums for a move.

How to Prepare Other Instruments for Safe Shipping

Preparation is key when shipping an instrument, as even the biggest and most expensive instruments need to be handled with care. Even if you plan on getting a professional cross-country moving service, it’s good to know how to properly protect other instruments.

How to Protect the Wind Instruments in the Best Way

Even while wind instruments like horns, flutes, or clarinets are less expensive to ship and much simpler to pack, you still need to ship them with great care. These are made up of numerous parts, thus, it is best to disassemble them and wrap every element individually. Each component, including their cases, should be wrapped in plenty of bubble wrap and secured with tape before being placed directly into the shipping crate.

Also, make sure that the instrument has been professionally serviced before packing or shipping. This will help ensure the safety of the instrument during transport and prevent any further damage from occurring. If possible, keep the instrument in the same climate-controlled environment as you take it from one place to another. This will help prevent drastic temperature changes that could damage the instrument’s tuning and sound quality.

Piano Is One of the Largest Items in Your Household

When it comes to moving a piano, it requires careful planning and the right techniques to ensure both you and the instrument stay safe during transport. So, prepare the instrument by covering all openings (keys and soundboard) with a protective material such as bubble wrap or felt padding. Additionally, secure any removable parts like pedals or music racks, if applicable.

Once the piano is prepared, it should be moved to a secure area. If you are unable to move the piano yourself, consider booking long-distance moving services. Professional relocation crews usually have a ton of experience in moving pianos and other heavy objects, so they will know how to properly lift and support the instrument while avoiding any damage during the move.

Strong Man Lifting Old Wooden Piano overlay
Be careful when lifting the piano

Is Getting the Moving Insurance the Right Move to Take

It is crucial to obtain shipping insurance to ensure that the contents of your shipment are covered if you are transporting any irreplaceable, pricey, or fragile items. Here are a few justifications and reasons why getting relocation insurance is a good idea, even if it’s not planned in your relocation budget.

It brings mental tranquility

You shouldn’t have to be concerned about the instrument’s state upon arrival at its new location once you’ve sent it off. Getting insurance will give you confidence and reduce your stress levels throughout the day.

It's a responsible thing to do

It is always a good idea to include insurance with your shipments. Not only will you avoid losing money, but you also won’t have to be constantly worried during the move.

It is easy and simple to add insurance

One of the simplest tasks in the entire process is insuring your package. You can quickly set up the coverage you require, and the cost will be added to the overall cost of your shipping. Even though it may seem expensive, consider what could go wrong and the financial impact of a lost or damaged shipment.

Should the item be harmed, you will be compensated

Your loss will be covered by the insurance if your item is lost or damaged while being shipped. You can purchase insurance up to a number of various sums to fully cover the cost of your goods, potentially preventing a massive financial loss.

Shipping Musical Instruments With a Professional Long-Distance Moving Company Will Be a Breeze

As long as you take all necessary precautions when shipping a musical instrument across the country – such as researching shipping options and packing correctly – your instrument should arrive safely at its destination without any issues! With careful preparation and attention to detail, shipping can be a stress-free experience! That being said, if anything does go wrong during transit or if you have any questions about transporting an item like a musical instrument, contact an experienced professional who can help guide you through all the steps of the process.


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