Moving an iTunes Music folder that's outside of iTunes (Library) folder

My music is stored on my external hard-drive, but the iTunes folder (with the library and .xml file) is in my user "Music" folder on the main HD. I want to store more things on the external to make room on my HD, but I want to make some folders to keep the music separate first. But doing so will change the pathway. Is there a way of doing this change without losing all the track information (especially album art...that took me a LONG time to finish, I have a lot of music) ?
I guess an alternative question is...will putting other files in the same path as my music directory on my external affect iTunes in any way? Do I need to make more folders to separate the iTunes music from the non-iTunes music? Or can I lump them together as long as iTunes knows where that folder is? If this is the case, I would still like to know if the former is possible. I want it to be nice, neat, and organized : ).

Not sure if this helps your issue, but what I would do is close iTunes, then copy the entire iTunes folder to the external hard drive. Then you can use these instructions to open the library at its new location...
How to open an alternate iTunes Library file or create a new one
Now everything is on the external. Assuming you were successful in opening it at the external location, you can now delete or reduce in size the version on your internal drive. iTunes should still be able to access the stuff that was originally in the iTunes folder as well as the stuff in other folders outside the iTunes folder on your external drive.
Since everything is now on the same drive, you could use the consolidate command to move everything together into the iTunes folder. However this will move them and sort them the way iTunes wants to organize things, so if you have a different method of organization, this will mess it up.

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