Moving a 5,000 vinyl LP collection safely


Hello everyone,

I am moving from New York City to the Hudson Valley. I have packed my 5,000 LPs into boxes that are 13 x 13 x 13.

My questions are:

— Is it OK to stack them up to 4 boxes high? 5? 6? Since there is about 1/2 of space left in the top of each box, bubble wrap is laid over the top of the vinyl to fill the remaining gap before closing and sealing the box so that the boxes stay square and don’t collapse.
— When put in a moving truck with a rear cab that is 10 x 26, should I be worried about how hot it will get in there for a 2 hour ride from New York City to the Hudson Valley when the temperature is expected to be about 80 degrees?

Thank you in advance for your helpful advice.

unreceivedogma
unreceivedogma
The answer depends more on the strength of the corrugated box you've used in relation to the per-carton weight than anything else.  A 12 inch high stack of records weighs quite a bit, probably ~30 pounds.  A single-wall 200 lb. test box would almost certainly split at the seam at that load with any serious jolt.  A 275 lb. test double-wall box would not.  That information can be found in the roundel stamped onto the bottom flap of the box.

As far as stacking goes, I would strongly recommend against it.  Far better for you to have the boxes loaded so that the records inside are perpendicular to the floor of the truck, firmly strapped or blocked into place so they can't shift and loaded in such a way that nothing can fall on or crush them from above.

On temperature, so long as the inside of the truck doesn't get above 100 F and you allow the records to return to room temperature for 24 hours before unpacking, you're good.  I've moved my collection across the country 5 times that way without a single problem of any kind.

Good luck with the move and happy listening!

 I am in the middle of a much longer move.  I have found that Uhaul small boxes are perfect for vinyl lps. And at 99 cents a piece, even cheaper in packs of 25, they are really hard to beat. I stacked them 3 high with out a problem. I would not worry about the heat especially this late in the summer.. 

Hello effischer —

Thank you.

— The weight of each box is 43 lbs, give or take a pound
— The cartons are single wall. The stamp says they support 65 lbs
— I've got them stacked 4 high, no issues that I can tell.

I will tell the truck driver to be extra attentive to potholes. 
I have the boxes labeled so that it is clear which end is up, and they are vertical, and absolutely, they must be strapped.

I spoke to Craig Moerer's office. They said that in their warehouse they stack 'em like this up to 6 high and for indefinite amounts of time without any damage: as long as the boxes show no signs of collapsing, they should be fine.

My main concern is the temperature. 
lostbears, I got my boxes from staples in a pack of 25, they were around 1.30 each but overnight shipping was free.
Control what you can control and don't worry about the rest.. Your move will go fine.
Well, I can go as far as a refrigerated truck. Craig Moerer's staff suggested that might be overkill.

Thank you though!
Refrigerated armored truck would do fine, no doubt.
Records are not easy to break.
in the NY area there are likely co.s that specialize in moving wine collections - find one of those
I know what I would do: Rent an Econoline-type van (or even a minivan), and pack and drive the LP’s myself. On the west coast a rental is $20/day plus about a buck a mile from U-Haul, or $50/day with unlimited miles from Enterprise.
unrecivedogma, Never heard the story about Sisyphus ?
+bdp24.
I shipped my collection overseas in taped plastic totes without any issues.

I moved my LP collection from Texas to New Jersey using they same/similar boxes with no issues. As long as the LPs are packed tight, completely vertical and boxes are taped properly, the boxes are bulletproof. Temperature should not be an issue in east coast this time of the year.

Good luck with your move.

temperature for 20 mile move in mid of September around NYC?? gimme break.
It's a 65 mile move, two hours, in 83 degree temp, from NYC going north to the Hudson Valley. Cars can get hot very quickly in those temps. I have no experience with trucks with no windows.

I finished packing. It is 68 boxes, not including the 4 of 78s. I will move those myself.

Part of the issue is that I have not moved in 41+ years, moving is new to me.
It will get hot in the truck, but it won't effect your records.  Think about how many hot trucks your records were in before you got them.
I recently moved from the lower Hudson Valley to Austin, TX, with approximately the same number of LPs. I packed them myself in double walled boxes that I got in bulk from one of the specialty suppliers, Bags Unlimited. I numbered each box and had a word document (i'm not great with spreadsheets) inventorying them, some specifically by title, others by catalog (where I owned a lot of a particular catalog). The movers taped the boxes, and hauled them from a third floor to the truck.
This was in the dead of winter, so heat wasn't the issue, but water slop was. The records were taken to storage in Conn. and in mid-April, hauled to Texas. I don't think 80 degree F temperatures are a big deal.
 Since commercial movers are what they are, no matter whether "white glove" or not, it may be worth talking to your insurance broker for some additional insurance during the period the records are in the mover's hands. Not that this is a complete solution, but it may give some additional comfort. 
My records arrived unscathed. 
Hudson Valley is beautiful in autumn and spring. Sounds like you are going north of Bear Mountain, which is approximately 50 miles north of the city. We were near Piermont. 
Good luck, time consuming, tiring but you'll get it done. 
Now that that's solved, what town are you moving to?

20mi or 68mi doesn't matter and 83 degrees isn't an issue.

been moving quite a-bit and quite-a distances with quantities far exceeding 5000 records.

I'm moving cross country with about the same amount of LP's. 
I have heard two schools of thought on packing them in boxes.
Some guys say to pack them LP's standing up and other say to pack them flat.
When I worked at a record store many years ago, the records would always ship flat.
Any thoughts on this?
Also consider that the records would have to reach the 80 degree mark or whatever temp you are worried about.  Just because the air temp in the transport vehicle reaches X the heat has to penetrate the cardboard which is double walled with an air-space and then warm the records which are further insulated within their cardboard jackets.  The mass of vinyl would have to cook a LONG time before even the outer ones gained enough heat to warp.  Worry about an accident instead as that is far more likely to damage your collection.  Now a move where it might take weeks to arrive is a whole 'mother kettle of fish.
@milanos.  No way would I ship them flat!  I'm no expert but records stored for decades on edge don't warp.  There was a guy on AK that experimented with horizontal storage with poor results toward the bottom of the stack IIRC.  I don't think there is anything to gain.  I get nervous if I leave records laying horizontally for more than a day or two. 
I had a few records lying flat for years - nothing happened.
Well then that is what I'd do.  Ignore millions of vertically stored records that aren't warped after decades and do as inna suggests.  
No, I don't suggest it, I store records vertically, I simply had in storage a few lying flat.
Thank you all for your advice! Much appreciated. Where we seem to be netting out:

— Yeah, records used to be shipped in vast quantities to record stores - remember record stores? - in all kinds of conditions, many probably far worse than this. But these are MY records.
— All discs are packed vertically, tight but not squished, in 72 single-sided boxes. All seams are taped with strong plastic shipping tape. They are stacked 4 high. Nothing has started to collapse.
— The 83 degree temperature, for a two hour distance, seems non-threatening.
— I will make sure that the boxes are stacked and strapped so that they cannot move.
— I will move the 78s myself
— And last but not least, the mover just said he is a vinyl collector himself, he is assigning his son to this move to keep an eye on it.

It seems that you cannot get moving insurance without first making an inventory of each and every record. That would mean not moving until December! At least I wouldn’t have to worry about the truck getting hot then.

lewm, I’m moving from NoHo, now the 2nd most expensive residential area (folks who are or once were my "neighbors" are Nora Jones, David Bowie, Keith Richards, Denzel Washington, to name a few) in New York City, to The City of Newburgh on the west bank of the Hudson River. Newburgh is known as the Murder Capital of NY State (Preet Bharara’s first big bust was of a couple of major drug gangs there some 12 years ago: he rounded up over 40 people in one big bust together with the FBI). But since Newburgh also sports the second largest Historic District in the State with gorgeous brick townhouses at prices that are far less than what you would pay in Brooklyn, who cares? When I moved to NoHo in 1976, NoHo was not exactly the safest place in the world either, so this is sort of a going home. Lots of fellow artists are moving there: we like edgy, inexpensive places where there is a sense of community and where we can work collaboratively and where we can afford to experiment. And, it is quiet at night, no noisy bridge and tunnel people (what snobby NYer’s call the folks who come into the city in the evenings and weekends from the suburbs), no gawking European and Japanese tourists. The ground doesn’t vibrate. The night air has a fresh snap to it.

I will let you all know how it goes!
There's a section of Newburgh near the river that is old houses+ gorgeous. I forget what it is called. Yeah, it is a little rough there. I used to drive my sports cars and bikes north and would sometimes come through in one direction or another. 
And agreed, before it was called Noho, that area between the Village and Soho wasn't exactly grandma friendly. We lived in Brooklyn long before it was 'chic' and there were some very "edgy" neighborhoods as well. Now, it is unicorns and 20 dollar cocktails.

The Hudson Valley can be spectacular. Lot's to explore. Good luck w/your move. 
I moved my 5000-7000 collection three times in the last 10 years using The Container Store Supreme Crates, with no damage.  They are perfectly sized for records and can safely be stacked 4 levels.  They hold 80-100 LPs each.
Don't stress this. I just moved 10,000+ LPs from NW Montana to Washington state's Olympic Peninsula. Two U-haul trips of two days each time. Middle of summer with temps routinely > 90F. I used the biggest (non-refrigerated) truck each time and U-haul "Small" boxes. Each box about 1.5 cubic feet. Each box weighed slightly more than 65 pounds.

The U-haul boxes were inexpensive, readily available at larger U-haul locations, and much stronger than some moving boxes I had on hand from Home Depot and Allied Van Lines.

I stacked the LP boxes 4 high and kept them toward the front of the cargo area and centered on the centerline of the truck, with lighter boxes filling out the area from the LP boxes to the walls of the cargo area. Lighter, bigger boxes also got stacked on top of the LP boxes all the way to the ceiling.

The 26' U-haul trucks ride very rough on rough roads, and I can't imagine roads much rougher than the construction area through I-90s Snoqualmie Pass.

Absolutely no damage to any of the records I've unpacked so far. I did all the packing, loading and unloading myself. Some tips:

You want all the contents of your truck tight -- everything snugly packed in side-to-side, top-to-bottom, and front to back. If you leave space between boxes the load will shift around and boxes could split if allowed to move and bounce. Build your load vertically to the ceiling before you start filling the truck from front to back. Every couple of vertical rows use some line or cargo straps to secure the layers. Most rental trucks designed for cargo have rails or wood rub strips on the side walls to secure a line or straps going side to side to secure the load. Imagine how the load will want to move if you have to slam on the brakes, or going through tight turns and pack accordingly.

Make sure you pack each box full. Loosely packing the box can allow the records to move and vibrate inside the box and can lead to ring-wear on the covers. Not having the boxes snugly full will also compromise the strength of the box -- that's why boxes crumple and fail. Absolutely a box will crumple and fail if it is not packed all the way to the top where the flaps fold over and other heavy boxes are placed on top.

Leaving the boxes filled too loosely could also allow LPs to warp, though I doubt it's going to get hot enough long enough to warp any records on your move. Cardboard is an excellent insulator, as are the rest of the contents of the truck. I had zero warpage.

For valuable LPs consider removing the record in its inner sleeve and placing it beside the record jacket with both jacket and LP inside a plastic outer sleeve. This will avoid seam-splits, though I have to say I haven't found any seam-splits in any of the jackets of the LPs I just moved, and the vast majority of them were packed with the LP in its inner sleeve inside the LP outer jacket or cover just like they come from the pressing plant.

Use a dolly to save your back and save time. If you're using boxes smaller than the U-haul "Small" box -- it sounds as if you're using what U-haul calls a "Book" box -- you can easily move four boxes stacked on a dolly or hand-truck. I didn't go more than three of the larger boxes at a time (approximately 195 pounds).

This wasn't the first time I've had to pack up and move house with all my stuff including a large number of LPs. When I was working most of the moves were paid for by my employer. Now that I'm retired it was up to me to move them this last time. Whether moved by me or by a commercial moving company -- and some were good, bad and one was really bad -- I have not had an LP damaged by the moving or storage process.

Hope this helps,

Steve Z 
PS:

Maybe this was covered already but your homeowner's insurance may cover your property during the move (mine does) without any need for special "moving" insurance. Check it out.

Good luck,

Steve Z
@steve_zettel please note that most homeowners insurance specifically excludes coverage for records and other media. If you haven't checked this please do
Really, folkfreak? Then I must be one of the lucky ones. My homeowners insurance policy does not exclude coverage for media, including LPs. In fact, they paid off on LPs and other media at replacement cost some years ago when I had a leaking pipe that damaged some LPs and CDs that were on the floor of my listening room.
REPORT: Mission accomplished, I think: though I have yet to open any of the boxes, everything seems to have made it and made it safely.

The move of all of our stuff required two 27 ft trucks. I also did two runs with a 9 ft u haul cargo van. Still some odds and ends here that will be a couple Mazda 3 runs, and then we collapse for 3 or 4 days before starting to reorganize the "warehouse" that is our temporary home until the new permanent one is ready. We are doing a gut renovation of a 3.5 story 1865 brick townhouse.

For the trip with the records (there was also 80 boxes of books), we lucked out and had a cloudy, overcast day.

Insurance was crazy insane expensive, and one company wouldn't insure records at all. So I took my chances.

The moving company was terrific: personable, professional, considerate, thoughtful and fast: TDY Moving.

Thanks again to everybody!!!