How to: Pack Records

How to pack vinyl recordsOh hey there, old-timey friend. Do you smoke a corn cob pipe and have a tin of moustache wax? Do you talk about the good-ole days and yell at kids to get off your lawn? Haha I don’t know why I imagined a person who listens to records like that. I mean, I’m a person who listens to records and grew up listening to my dad’s records (Hello Puff the Magic Dragon by Peter Paul and Mary and old Alabama records!) and I don’t have a moustache or smoke a pipe, though maybe it’s only because the lack of testosterone in my body.

Look, no matter the reason you have for indulging in the very cumbersome and visceral experience of listening to records (I like it just for the pure indulgence of the experience! Others like the sound and others still are just hanging on to some other time in their life), your records are going to be one of the heaviest and delicate items you’ll move with you. While boxes of books will be just as heavy, they aren’t nearly as sensitive as records. record collections how to pack and moveVinyl records are made of, well laquer and vinyl and are sensitive to things like heat, are susceptible to damage like scratches and dust is so attracted to vinyl’s material it may make your records skip.

All of these are reasons to take a few extra steps to protect your records so they arrive at your new home unscathed from the rough process of moving. I’m going to list a few different ways of packing so you know you have options.

Options for supplies:
    •    Record box or Book box or Kitchen Dish box
    •    Milk crate
    •    Packing paper
    •    Packing tape

There’s a few important rules you’ll need to remember when packing your records.
    •    Records are sensitive to heat
    •    Records are stronger as units
    •    Records should never be packed flat, always standing upright
    •    Boxes should be as snug of fit as possible

So those are the basics. And really the only direction you need. Milk crates are great because they’re 12” x 12”, which, conveniently are the size of records. They’re sturdy and have handles which are convenient. But milk crates are not covered and open to the elements which could be bad for you as you dash around in a light rain on moving day. Record boxes are boxes specifically meant to handle the weight and size of records. These are sold through very specialty dealers and can get pricey pretty quickly.

Book boxes, which are similar in size to record boxes are great because you can source them easily. Book boxes are 16” x 12” x 12” which are perfect for records. Keep a check on the weight, though, and fill up any empty space which lighter items or crumpled packing paper.

Kitchen dish boxes are double walled to handle the weight and help absorb any shock or vibration the box will get in transit. But, they are not perfectly sized for records so you’ll need to pack a lot of packing paper or bubble wrap in all of the empty spaces. You don’t want those records shifting in the box.

Moving recordsAny box you use will need to be taped really well. We recommend using two to three pieces of packing tape across the bottom seam of the moving box. Make sure these boxes are noted which side is up as you really, really, really want to keep those records upright in the box. If they’re flat, they have so much surface area to warp and absorb impact and get damaged that way. If you’re not filling a box entirely with records, make sure the weight is evenly distributed. And remember, remember, remember to lift these boxes with your legs and not your back.
If you can avoid it, don’t move records in bad months like August. And if you can afford it, move records in climate controlled moving trucks. If not, keeping them out of direct sunlight is the next best option and keeping them in as climate controlled environment as possible.
You know what? Sitting on a porch in a rocking chair with a nice glass of ice tea and twisting a moustache while listening to a good record and yelling at those kids to get off my lawn sounds like a lovely way to spend an evening. Keep on doing you, you beautiful creature.

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