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Ask Allied: What’s the Best Way to Pack Record Albums?

by Jackie Heath on May 17, 2019
The most important thing to remember when packing your records is to keep them in a cool space, packed snuggly, and have the boxes labeled and sealed tightly.
Ask Allied: What is the best way to pack record albums?

Whether your record collection stretches back decades or is a new obsession, you’ll want to take care when packing and moving records. Records are fragile and can warp, break and even melt if mistreated. Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, here’s how to pack and move your collection successfully.

Be sure to include the value of your record collection when you decide which type of valuation coverage you want. If you have a lot of rare albums, consider talking to your insurance agent about purchasing a separate policy to cover them during the move.

First, you’ll want to prep your collection. If you haven’t already, consider creating a catalog, especially if your collection runs to thousands of albums. This is much easier than it used to be, and there are websites and apps that can help you identify exactly which version of classic albums you have. Then you’ll want to be sure all albums have poly inner and outer sleeves. Inner sleeves protect the record, outer sleeves protect album covers from wear and damage. Poly inner sleeves, rather than paper, will help protect the records from static build up and scuffing.

A 33 LP is 12.35” square, so you want boxes as close to 12.5” square as you can find. Pack records upright – do not lay them flat across the bottom of the box. And while it may seem like a good idea to put them in so you can read the spine when the box is open, this will lead to the records falling out of the sleeves as you unpack. Pack boxes full (about 80 single albums will fit in a square box). Too many and they’ll be hard to remove, too few and they’ll slide around and could be damaged. If you have room on the top or sides, pack it full of paper or bubble wrap. The box should feel solid, and when you lift it, nothing should shift around inside.

Seal boxes top and bottom seams completely and label your boxes. If you have multiple boxes, include info about which albums are in the box. While you’re packing, don’t stack boxes of records more than three high, as that will create too much weight on the bottom box.

If you’re moving locally and it’s under 80 degrees, your record collection can go on the truck. But because the inside of a moving van can be hotter than the air temperature on a hot, sunny day, you’ll want to consider carefully when moving long distances during the summer. They’ll be better off in an air-conditioned car, so if you only have a few boxes, consider bringing them with you. 

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