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Proper Moving & Storage Techniques For Musicians

As diehard musicians, there is nothing more important than our instruments and the songs we create. Because of the significance of these possessions, it is essential that they are always stored and moved as securely as possible, so they are not warped or otherwise damaged by the elements.
Whether you are storing your equipment for the day or the next year, you want to make sure that it is properly cared for. Also, when you are going from one gig to the next, you want to ensure that your equipment arrives in the same condition in which it left. To help with these scenarios, consider the following advice:

How to Properly Move your Equipment

When you are moving your musical equipment from point A to point B, you want to make sure that everything arrives in pristine condition. The packing method you’ll use depends on the instrument. 
For large instruments like pianos and organs:
Lock the keyboard lid
Secure any moveable parts
Wrap the piece in plenty of towels, blankets and bubble wrap, with a special emphasis on the legs and pedals
Stringed instruments are often more fragile and need extra care. 
Loosen the strings, as cold temps will tighten them and you don’t want them to snap
Transport the instrument in a hard case so it will be safe from moisture
Brass and woodwind instruments are usually pretty robust, but it is still advised to take the instruments apart and wrap each section separately and store them in a hard case. For drums and percussion instruments, buy a box that is slightly larger than the drum and insert padding at the top, bottom, and the sides.
Any of your electronic equipment will need some extra care. If possible, move all electronics in their original boxes with the original packing materials. If these aren’t available, buy proper packing materials that will keep the items snug and secure. When packing, you can never have too little bubble wrap or paper padding. Things can shift and become damaged during transport, so the more cushion, the better. To avoid headaches, take a picture of the wires as they are plugged in so you can rewire the equipment easily once you get to your final destination.

Properly Storing Physical Equipment

Self-storage units aren’t just useful for brand practice — it turns out you can actually use them to store your gear! Jokes aside, once you have moved your equipment to the storage location, you will want to be sure that everything is properly stored so it can stand the test of time. When choosing the location, find a unit that is temperature controlled; severe heat or cold can cause many issues to your instruments, including:
Structural damage
Mildew growth
Stringed instruments may go wildly out of tune
Also, keep the instruments away from doors and vents to avoid drafts, as this can harm your instrument.
It will also help to clean your instruments before you put them into storage. Use a damp cloth to clean off any dirt or dust residue, but avoid alcohol-based polish that could lead to damage over time. Keep all of the instruments securely in their cases, and as an extra precaution, line the case with a buffered acid-free paper to prevent damage from humidity.
More delicate items like paper copies of sheet music will need extra precautions. Properly storing your sheet music will not only keep it safe but will also keep it organized so you know where to find what you need. Keep your music in a sturdy binder with the categories separated with color-coded dividers. Put your name and contact information in the binder in case it goes missing. Always keep your music sheets flat to avoid curling.

Audio Files and Insurance

Potentially more important than your musical instruments is the beautiful music you have used them to create, so securing your digital music files and compositions is essential. Start by creating organized files on your hard drive with everything you need sorted into folders and subfolders. Make it a habit to back up your data on an external hard drive regularly. You might also consider cloud storage, which allows you to store everything you need online so you can access it anywhere.
Regardless of whether you are protecting your musical instruments or your music recordings, it’s always a good idea to get your valuable possessions insured. While we don’t like to think about it, negative situations like damage and theft can occur, so getting property insurance can be a real lifesaver. This insurance can cover incidents including fire damage, stolen instruments, and any income lost if your equipment is destroyed.
Instruments or recordings with a value of over $2,000 should certainly be insured. This insurance would be separate from your homeowners insurance unless you get an endorsement within that policy that applies specifically to your musical possessions. Take time to think about how much insurance you need. You’ll want to cover not only your primary instrument but also any sheet music and other accompanying equipment.
We never want to see our property get damaged or lost. Ensuring that you properly store, move, and insure your musical equipment can go a long way to keeping it around for a long time to come.

Proper Moving & Storage Techniques For Musicians

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