If you are planning to move soon, you obviously want to have all your belongings get to your new house in one piece. If you have any stringed instruments, like a cello, violin, etc., it's imperative that you take extra care when moving them. Here are some tips to safely move and store your stringed instruments.
Prepare Them Properly for the Car or Moving Van
Like important documents and jewelry, you may want to move your instruments in your car because they are valuable investments. If you have enough space in your car, then a stringed instrument should be just fine in a soft nylon or polyester case. Of course, even though these instruments are covered by soft material, you should place some acid-free tissue paper or linens between the wooden parts and the lining of the case for extra protection.
If you cannot fit your instrument in the car—like a double bass—then you need to do slightly different preparations for the moving van. You'll want to invest in a hard case, like a fiberglass shell, as soft cases will not protect the instrument enough in a moving van. While hard cases can cost hundreds of dollars, they are worth it since many instruments are tens of thousands of dollars. Mark the instrument with "fragile" stickers and have your moving company load it near the end. If you load it first, the instrument could receive too much pressure since it is oddly shaped.
Prepare Instruments for Storage
If you cannot move in right away or do not have enough space for the instruments at your new home, then you need to prepare them for storage.
Clean the instrument off with a clean cloth (music stores make specific cleaning cloths for instruments) to remove any dust. Do not use, oil-polishes, alcohol-based products, or household cleaners to wipe of the instrument, as these chemicals can warp and damage the wood.
Lastly, before putting the instrument in its case, remove the strings and insert a f-hole humidifier or Dampit humidifier. Since wooden instruments expand and contract, the strings could actually warp or snap the neck of your instrument if left too tightly! And while you don't want your instrument to be wet, humidifiers that can be inserted into the instrument's sound holes are vital to keep the wood from cracking.
Choose the Right Storage Unit
Some moving companies have storage units on hand that have climate-controlled conditions. If you can get one of these units, do so, as instruments are very sensitive to changes in temperature. Seventy degrees Fahrenheit is usually a good temperature, with humidity ranging from forty to sixty percent. You can contact a music professional for the exact specifications for your instrument. Look for a storage unit that has shelves, so that the instrument isn't exposed to moisture on the floor or air from vents.
If you keep these tips in mind, you should be able to safely transport and store your instrument come moving day!