A music therapist is no stranger to hauling instruments and carrying heavy loads from session to session. There is always a guitar, sometimes a keyboard, numerous instruments for clients, and music. I have had several years to perfect the art of hauling enough instruments for 50 people in one trip from my car, utilizing my back, both shoulders and keeping my hands as full as possible. There are several ways that I am able to accomplish this, reducing trips to my car and eliminating the need for additional help (which sometimes is nowhere to be found!).
1. Wheels- Make sure that you have several containers for packing that have wheels. I use suitcases and collapsable carts which have worked well over the years. This will allow you to drag the heavy stuff and free up your arms for the lighter part of your load.
2. Bungee Cords– With these little gems you can strap on a stray drum that didn’t quite fit in the cart, leaving your hands free for other things. I always have a stash in my glovebox.
3. Stack and Stash– Put instruments inside instruments to utilize the most out of your space. Often times I will even put mallets inside of my djembes to free up some room in the cart!
4. Straps- Make sure you keep the straps for your drums. I have several Remo djembes which all come with straps. Though for sessions I sometimes remove them, I always move my drums with the straps so I can easily throw them over my shoulder. This leaves more space in my cart (a djembe will take up a lot of room if you aren’t careful!) and my hands are still free to carry other things.
5. Trash Bags and Shower Caps– There is nothing worse than having to haul instruments in the rain. This is why I dress my drum heads up in shower caps for extra protection and use trash bags to pull down over my cart. The rain will run right off and your instruments will be nice and dry underneath. This works much better than trying to protect them with an umbrella (insert clever B roll here…) And if you are using a suitcase your instruments are already safe and dry!
Though these tips are revolved around packing instruments, they can generalize to other things you may need to pack. Just remember to utilize your space as efficiently as possible and you will be surprised how much you can fit into a small space!