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How To Pack Vinyl: Record Players and Records

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Your vinyl collection and turntable are probably some of the most fragile and difficult things to move. You have to take care to keep the records clean and un-warped for the entire time they are in transit and make sure that there are no damages to your record player. Packing them correctly will maintain their good condition until they can claim their place in your new home. 

Materials you'll need

  • Boxes for all of your records
  • Box for your record player
  • Bubble wrap
  • Padded envelope
  • Newspaper
  • Packing Tape
  • Poly sleeves
  • Packing foam sheets
  • Acid-free paper liners

Packing vinyl records

Put each record in it's own poly sleeve.
Each record, no matter how old, should have an acid-free paper liner around the record itself, a sturdy jacket, usually the album cover, and a poly sleeve to protect it from dust, heat and moisture. The plastic sleeve will keep the record itself from getting dirty and the cover from getting scratched or damaged.

Pack the record outside the jacket.
It is recommended that you take the record out of the jacket and put them next to each other inside the poly sleeve. Otherwise, the record could leave a round imprint on the album cover. Only do this if you have a paper sleeve on the record itself. Make sure that the opening of the plastic sleeve is at the top so they won't slide out during transit.

Pack them vertically in the box.
Never lay your records flat in the box, the weight will crush the ones that are at the bottom. Stand them up vertically next to each other. Make sure they fit snugly in the box, but don't squeeze them too tightly together or they could start to warp. 

Use sturdy boxes.
The newer the box, the better. Boxes that are just going to fall apart after they're packed are useless.  As long as the box is 14x14x14, your records should fit with little extra room to move around.  Line the bottom and sides of the box with newspaper to give it extra padding and absorb the shock of the moving truck. Fill any extra space with newspaper so the records aren't jostled around. Tape the box securely and label which side of the box is up so the movers don't accidentally leave it on it's side or upside down.

Tip: Used wine boxes are the perfect size to fit 12" LPs.

Packing a record player

Take apart all of the removable pieces:
  • The dust cover- Remove the cover and clips that hold it in place. Do not lose the clips.
  • The platter- Remove the platter and cover. Take off the belt from under the platter.
  • The tone arm- Remove the counter weight from the tone arm. Wrap bubble wrap around the arm and clip and secure with tape so it doesn't fall onto the base.
  • The turntable- Record players usually have separate screws to secure them for transportation. Check the manual to see where they are. On some players they will be attached but on others you may need to buy new screws if you lost them. 

Wrap everything in bubble wrap.
Wrap the dust cover, platter, and turntable individually in multiple layers of bubble wrap and secure with tape. You can wrap the platter and its cover together. Make sure the tape doesn't doesn't touch any components of the player, as it will leave a mark when you take it off. Wrap the clips, counterweight and any small parts individually in bubble wrap and place in a padded envelope. Put the belt in the envelope and seal it.

Pad the box.
Cut the packing foam to the dimensions of the box. Line the bottom and sides with foam before you put any pieces inside. Make sure there is at least an inch of foam between the parts of the record player and the sides of the box.

Pack the heaviest pieces first.
Start with the platter as this is the heaviest, then the turntable and envelope and then the dust cover. Put layers of foam in between each piece so they don't touch. Fill in any spaces with newspaper or bubble wrap to make sure they cannot move at all. Fill up any space in the top of the box completely with foam. Tape the box securely and mark which way is up.

As long as you take good care to pack your precious albums and record player carefully, they all will arrive at your new location un-harmed and in perfect condition!

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on June 17, 2016 - Moving Expert
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