packed studioIf you follow me on Twitter or read my latest post about Sweetwater, then you know that my wife and I recently moved back down to Tennessee from Indiana. Over the next few weeks and months I’ll clue you in as to what I’ll be doing down here (it’s actually really exciting and has a lot to do with Home Studio Corner).

Today, however, I want to talk about moving. If you’ve ever had to move your home studio, you know how stressful it can be. All your precious gear will be at the mercy of the road.

Packing studio equipment isn’t all that different from packing anything else valuable, so I won’t bore you with the obvious, like using towels, pads, bubble-wrap, etc. to protect the gear.

There are two pieces of advice I can give that will hopefully save you a bit of headache on your next move.

1. Keep your equipment in the rack.

Some may disagree with me on this one, but I can only speak from my experience. I’ve got four pieces of equipment in my home studio that are in a rack. Rather than unscrew them all and pack them separately, I decided to just leave them all in the rack.

I was a bit worried about this, but it just seemed to make sense. I made sure to pack the rack in a safe place on the moving truck (actually on one of our couches). It worked like a charm. The gear was safe, and I didn’t have to unscrew a bunch of gear and pack it separately.

2. Keep your boxes.

A buddy of mine made this suggestion to me a few years ago, and it’s been a life-saver. You know how manufacturers usually go to great lengths to package their products in really protective boxes? And you know how those boxes take up a lot of room?

Do yourself a favor and don’t throw them away.

These boxes were born to protect gear. With all the cute little custom foam pieces and padding, it really is the perfect solution for transporting your gear (aside from an insanely expensive custom case.)

Most boxes you can break down and flatten and hide away under a bed or in a closet. Trust me, you’ll be glad you kept them. My M-Audio EX66 monitors are huge, and so are their boxes. The way the boxes are designed, there’s really no way to break them down, so I just kept both boxes in their enormous entirety in a spare closet.

Sure, they took up a lot of room, but when it came time to move, I was able to pack them up with two inches of foam on all sides. Nothing aside from a bullet was going to damage those monitors.

Another good reason to keep the manufacturer box is if you ever have to ship the item back for a warranty repair. This actually happened with my M-Audio monitors. One decided to stop working a few months back, so I whipped out the box and shipped ‘er off to M-Audio for repair. It would’ve been a huge headache had I not kept the boxes.

If you’re still not sure if it’s worth it to keep your boxes, at least keep the boxes for your speakers. They will thank you.

Here’s to you hopefully never having to move your studio. If you do, I hope this helps.

Be on the lookout for more videos this week. I finally have internet at my studio, so we’re back to the regularly scheduled programming.

  • Jack

    How do we pack them if my parents threw the boxes away?

  • Using coloured packing tape can be an easy way to keep track of which boxes belong in which rooms. You can use colours or labels to let movers know whether a box is fragile or heavy.

    Mark@Packingboxesbrisbane

  • John Lawton

    Always keep the boxes!

  • You MUST keep the boxes!!! I kept the box for all my home theatre stuff as well…including the 46-inch plasma. The deal is…you WILL need this eventually.

    Keeping rack gear racked is a great tip, too (but still…keep the boxes).

    SFB

  • Just moved my studio, and I’m building it back up at the moment. Bigger, better, faster… more disorganized. Every new space is a whole new set of parameters to work through. My Advice? Visualize (and then measure) your needs in advance! Where’s that two ton organ going? Are those racks going to fit there? There… no wait… there…. no wait. There’s nothing more frustrating than moving around and around because you didn’t think in advance.

  • Great post, this is exactly why I’ve kept all of my boxes as well. Every time we’ve gone on a long trip or vacation, I still pack some of the more expensive gear away just as a precaution (I live in a nice neighborhood but you never know!) .

    Glad you got through the move. Thanks again for these great articles and videos. I’ve learned more in a couple weeks here than I’ve learned all year.

  • Donnie

    Timely post – I’m going through this now. My wife wonders why I keep the boxes for my gear.

    My challenge though is my racks are part of the RTA producer station desk – which doesn’t fit through the door in one piece…but thankfully I have the boxes. 😉

    Congrats on getting through the move!

  • Another reason to hold on to boxes is for resale value. I doubt too many of us will keep gear until it’s disintegrated into dust. Most of us will sell it after a few years to upgrade to something better. You can get way more on an ebay auction or private sale if you have the original box and packaging.

  • My girlfriend made me throw all my boxes away. Although I’m thinking that I don’t have as much gear as you to move around.

    Congrats on a successful move and I’m looking forward to seeing what you have cooked up.