When it’s time to move, there is a lot to think about. Organizing movers, alerting your landlord, changing your address… there’s a long to-do list, and that doesn’t even include all of the packings.
Never anyone’s favorite part of the process, many people put it off until the last moment. Procrastination leads to shoving things randomly in boxes (something we of course don’t recommend!) and haphazardly trying to get things from point a to point b.
Your most precious items need more attention, and if you have a record collection, it should be high on that list. Don’t take a chance of damaging or breaking your vinyl records during the move. Here are some tips for packing records for moving, so they arrive safe and sound in your new home.
Are you the organized type when it comes to your collection? Are your shelves lined up according to the genre, artist, or some other way? If so, you’re already one step ahead!
If not, it’s time to get a bit organized. Making a cataloged list of your records will help you keep track of them in the move. If your records are in multiple sizes, make sure to separate them. You’ll need to use the right boxes when it’s time to pack.
Prep Your Records
This may come as a surprise, but to start preparing your records for packing, remove them from their sleeves. While the cardboard sleeves are meant to protect your vinyl, they can cause damage on the move. To keep your album covers in good condition, separate them from the albums themselves. You’ll avoid marks from the records, or even splitting the sides of the sleeves due to movement in transit.
If your inner sleeves are still intact, leave the records inside. If you want to be extra careful, pick up poly sleeves for each record. Poly sleeves protect your albums from moisture, dust, scuffing, or dirt. You can also wrap each record in packing paper or an anti-static bubble roll.
Prep Your Boxes
Among the most important elements of packing your record collection is ensuring that you use the right-sized boxes. Find sturdy boxes that fit the records snugly, but allow room for you to pay them to protect them from shock.
If you have a variety of sizes – say, 7”, 10”, 12” – you need a different size box for each. Choose boxes that are a couple of inches larger than the albums themselves.
Once you have your boxes, grab your heavy-duty packing tape and seal the seams. Then, line the bottom of the boxes with padding material such as bubble roll or a cushioned layer of foam sheets.
When moving your records, you want to keep them upright each step of the way. Ensure you pack records vertically. Here are a few simple steps to packing your albums:
- Pack only the same-sized records in each box, don’t mix-and-match
- Make sure records are packed vertically and boxes are clearly labeled for orientation – on multiple sides and the top
- Insert jackets next to their albums in the box – this will help with cushion and protection, and help you to easily reinsert them when unpacking
- Face the openings of your poly sleeves upward
- Ensure your records are snug in the box to prevent shifting, but not too snugly to prevent warping
- Fill any extra space in the box with padding – foam sheets, packing peanuts, bubble rolls, or crumpled packing paper are all great for protection
- Add a foam sheet to the top before sealing the box
- Seal tightly, enforce the top seam, and test with a little shake to be sure your albums are snug
Be Careful While Moving
If you have a professional moving company helping you with your move, they’ll ensure your albums are safe. They’ll know the best way to pack your record boxes in the truck, securing them to reduce the risk of damage.
Sometimes, things happen. Make sure you have insurance coverage so you can move with peace of mind, particularly if you have rare or valuable albums.
Whether you’re moving with a company or doing it yourself, there are a few key things to remember:
- Record boxes should always go on a flat and even surface
- Don’t allow heavy items to rest on or near your albums
- Never stack more than two boxes of records
If you’re moving in hot weather, discuss your albums with your moving company. Heat can melt or warp records and damage them easily, and you’ll need to keep them cool in transit. This is an especially important consideration if you’re moving long distances.