Moving house, even if you're only moving to a home a few blocks away, can be a nerve-wracking endeavour at the best of times. It can be even more stressful if your possessions include one or more woodwind instruments, such a clarinets, saxophones and oboes, as these notoriously delicate instruments do not take kindly to the knocks and bumps they may encounter on their journey from place to place.
Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to minimise the chances of your woodwind instrument(s) suffering damage as much as possible:
Hire a reputable removals company
The first and most obvious step in protecting your woodwind instruments is ensuring that the company you hire to transport them alongside your other possessions is up to the task. Choosing a well-reviewed, reputable house removals company with a good reputation for handling delicate items (such as antique furniture or ceramics) gives your instruments the best possible chance of surviving your move.
You should also pay particular attention to the vehicles and equipment your chosen removals company uses. Vehicles fitted with specialist equipment for transporting delicate items, such as tie-down straps and lift gates, should work best.
Make your needs known
Even the best removals company around can't be expected to give your clarinet all the protection it requires if they don't know they're transporting it, so you should make sure that they are well aware that they will be transporting delicate instruments. Your instruments should be included in your full inventory of goods, and any packing materials you use to protect them should be clearly marked as fragile.
Pack your instruments safely
Protecting your instrument(s) by packing them in protective packing supplies will also be a great help for preventing physical damage. If you possess dedicated carrying cases for your instruments, they are a good first step, but you should augment the protection they provide by wrapping your instruments in protective padding, such as foam sheeting and bubble wrap. Pay particular attention to the mouthpiece and keys of your instrument (making sure to remove the reed beforehand) and pack the bell tightly with polystyrene or similar materials to prevent crushing.
Choose your route carefully
If your instruments are set for a longer journey, for instance if you are moving to another state, you should plan the route your removals company's vehicles will take carefully. Sticking to smooth highways and avoiding winding and/or poorly paved rural roads will minimise bumps and vibrations and give your instruments maximum protection. Be prepared to pay a little extra if avoiding these roads means taking a longer route than the shortest possible route.