How to pack musical instruments for moving

Packing Tips - September 5, 2019

The items that will definitely remain in place in the moving truck are sofa, living room items, books, and clothes. These items will safely arrive at your new location. You won’t have to worry, especially if you hire one of the moving companies in Chicago to assist you with your relocation. But this is not the case with your musical instruments! These items are fragile and can get damaged easily. Therefore, you should know how to pack musical instruments for moving. We have prepared a guide just for you!

How to Pack Musical Instruments Properly?

Musical instruments are very fragile and they can easily be destroyed if they suffer falling, shaking or extreme temperature changes. Writing “fragile” on the box after you close it up won’t be enough. You will also have to take all the necessary steps if you want to protect your musical instruments. However, hiring one of the moving companies Arlington Heights IL is highly recommended. Professional packers will pack musical instruments and relocate them safely. If you want to be sure that you have packed your musical instruments properly, you should follow these steps and pack each of these instruments safely:

  • Piano and Organs
  • String Instruments – Cellos, Violins, etc.
  • Woodwind Instruments and Brass
  • Drums

Pianos and Organs

Almost every professional moving company nowadays train their employees for packing and safely relocating these kinds of instruments. Every experienced and professional moving company has a piano moving service in their portfolio. However, if you want to be sure that your pianos and organs are safe, you can take some steps to prepare them for the move:

  • Remove music stand, or/and any other removable parts.
  • Close the keyboard cover and lock it down if that is possible.
  • You can also put some extra wrappers on the pedals and legs.
  • Your professional mover will provide all packing supplies. However, you can prepare some extra blankets and towels if you wish.
Protect your piano! Close the keyboard cover and lock it down if it’s possible.

String Instruments – Cellos, Violins, etc.

Instruments such as guitars, harps, and cellos, require extra care when packing. All strings must be loosened. If the instrument has adjustment keys, they all should be turned and in the parallel with the headstock. If you have a hard case, put the instrument inside and then add crumpled paper, especially around the headstock. Packing peanuts can get inside of some stringed instruments so you should avoid them. If you don’t have a hard case, you will have to wrap the whole instrument in plastic. Seal it with packing tape and use bubble wrapping. This will prevent any possibility of water entering the instrument.


You will need a lot of packing peanuts to fill the empty space of the box around the instrument. You should shake the box gently from time to time to check if there are any movements. If there are, open the box and add more packing peanuts and crumpled paper to ensure greater stability. After the relocation, you will have a lot of packing peanuts to recycle. Therefore, you should know how to remove packing peanuts without making a mess! String instruments are sensitive and that makes them very difficult to move. You should follow these steps if you want to prevent deformations and cracking on your musical instruments:

  • Loosen the strings lightly
  • Loosen the bow hairs too
  • All setting keys should be turned in the parallel to the headstock
  • Add some extra padding for protection
  • Buy heavy cases if you don’t have any
Lightly loosen the strings on your guitar before you place it in the moving box.

 Pack Musical Instruments – Woodwind Instruments and Brass

Woodwind instruments and brass should be completely disassembled before packing. It would be perfect to pack them in a hard case. If you don’t have a hard case you should buy some. The moving box should be big enough so the instrument and a few inches of protection can fit inside. Use bubble wrapping to protect the instrument and fill the box with inflatable pillows, towels and packing peanuts to prevent the instrument from moving.

But, since the moving process takes time and stresses us out, you should know how to avoid moving injuries, too! Prepare in advance, get proper clothes, don’t skip meals and drink a lot of water, especially if you are moving during one of the hot summer days!


The box for the drums should be at least 2-4 inches bigger than the drum so you will have space to put some protection around the instrument. You should contact your local music store and ask them if they have some heavy boxes available. First of all, you will have to remove the rims and heads. After that, you will have to insert the drums, placing one inside the other. Get a plastic bag and pack tension rods and other small parts inside. Protect legs and spurs with bubble wrapping. Before you place the drums inside of the moving box, you should add a layer of packing peanuts!

Insert drums in the moving box, placing one inside the other.

Other Important Things To Know

Before using your string and woodwind instruments again after the move, you should give them 24 hours. If you need to store some of your musical instruments temporarily, you should choose a climate-controlled storage unit. You should contact your professional mover in advance and ask for their storage services. If you have heavy musical instruments such as piano or organ, you should hire a professional moving company to assist you with the relocation. Trying to carry, lift or move these musical instruments can cause serious damage to your back, neck or limbs.

These are the things that you should know in order to pack musical instruments properly. However, it’ always better to hire a professional mover to pack and relocate your musical instruments fast and safely. Have a good move!


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