As you pack up your vinyl collection to be transported to a new home, there are a number of safety precautions to keep in mind. When record albums become damaged during a move, it usually happens because of improper packing. The following five safety tips can help you move your record collection to your new home, damage-free.
1. Catalog Your Vinyl Collection
You've spent years scouting out rare and hard-to-find vinyl, but if you're not keeping an accurate catalog that lists each album in your collection, you probably don't really know what you have. Preparing to move is the perfect time to catalog your collection if you haven't already done so. This will help you keep track of your albums during the move to ensure that every box makes its way into your new home, as well as offer an up-to-date accounting of your collection if you ever need to file an insurance claim.
There are various ways to keep track of your collection as it grows, but many collectors find that a simple spreadsheet categorized into genres works just fine. When packing up your collection for the move, label your boxes by genre and assign a number to each album in its assigned genre.
2. Protect Your Record Jackets
To prevent damaging your cardboard album jackets during the move, remove the vinyl from them. Otherwise, you risk ending up with unsightly rings imprinted into the cardboard from the records themselves.
Another way to protect your record jackets from damage is by putting them into individual outer sleeves. These plastic outer sleeves will prevent the jackets from rubbing together, which can cause unnecessary wear.
3. Protect Your Albums
All of your albums should have, at the very least, acid-free paper liners that protect them inside the jackets. After removing the albums from their jackets, continue using these paper liners to protect the vinyl while being transported in moving boxes. Better yet, upgrade the paper liners to specially designed poly sleeves for better protection against moisture and dust.
4. Properly Pack Your Vinyl Collection
When packing your vinyl collection into moving boxes, do not stack the albums on top of each other. Instead, stand each record vertically next to its jacket to prevent split seams and imprinted record rings. Each record and jacket should already be covered with its own protective sleeve, as mentioned above.
Although the movers will treat your boxes with the utmost care, there's no way to prevent the records from jostling around a bit, especially during a bumpy ride in the back of a moving truck. Be sure to line the bottom and sides of each box with bubble wrap, Styrofoam or packing paper. This extra padding will help protect your collection, even if the ride to your new home is less than smooth.
5. Choose the Right Moving Boxes
Choose double-walled cardboard boxes for your vinyl collection that are large enough to tape shut once packed, but small enough to avoid too much jostling during the move. A smallish, 12- to 14-inch square moving box is a good choice for a few reasons:
- Boxes filled with record albums are heavy, so the smaller the box, the easier it is to carry.
- Your record collection will have very little room to jostle around in this size box.
- Smaller moving boxes are less apt to get crushed while stacked in the back of a moving truck.
Do not make the mistake of skimping on moving boxes. If you're going to the trouble of cataloging your albums and protecting them in sleeves, you certainly don't want them to get damaged because of flimsy boxes. Double-walled wine boxes often work well because they are the right size to fit standard 12-inch LPs and jackets, but if you don't have access to those, your best bet is to purchase durable moving boxes that will accommodate the size of your collection.
If you have questions about packing your vinyl collection, discuss them with your movers before moving day. Your moving company can likely suggest a safe packing method for your record albums.
For more moving tips, work with a local moving company like Bekins Van Lines Inc.