1. Your Instrument
Your complete instrument, with all of its parts: mouthpiece, ligature, neck strap. When you are finished playing, the safest place for your instrument is in its case. The case will shield it from accidents, temperature, and humidity (or lack thereof). All parts of your instrument should go into your case. That way, when you open it next time, you won’t be surprised to find the ligature missing.
2. Your Reeds
Keep your reeds in good condition by putting them away properly after you play. Gently dry them off a bit, then put them in their sleeves, your reed guard, or reed case. Don’t store them uncovered in the instrument case, and please, for crying out loud, don’t leave it on the mouthpiece!
3. Your Swab
Your swab is not for occasional cleaning at home. Your swab is to remove the condensation from the inside of your instrument every time you play. Every time.
4. Your Pencil
Your band director has probably lectured you enough on this. Mine did. I have three in my case. You’re ok as long as you have one.
5. Your Cork Grease
Address sticky, dry corks right away - before they seize or tear.
6. Your Polishing Cloth
For those times when you’re sitting and waiting. Why sit absent-mindedly staring at nothing? Put that idle time to use by polishing those fingerprints away and making your instrument shine.