Why You Might Want to Store Your Piano and How to Store It Properly

Posted by Gordon Bolton
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Pianos in storage

Having a piano in your home can definitely be an asset. If you enjoy playing, it gives you an amazing way to express yourself to others or release pent-up anxiety. At the same time, few feelings can compare to finally mastering a song you’ve been practicing for weeks or even months.

On top of that, pianos make nice conversation pieces and lend a beautiful note to a home in more ways than one. That said, relocating them for a while is sometimes necessary. Consider some of the reasons you may need piano storage and the best ways to approach the matter.

Reasons You May Need to Store Your Piano

People need to place their pianos in storage for a variety of reasons. In some cases, a piano is purchased for a child or grandchild interested in learning how to play. However, as the child grows up, they lose interest, and the piano goes unused. Rather than sell it, they hold onto it in case another family member wants to play in the future.

Left Behind

Other times, people purchase pianos for their children who maintain an interest in playing. Then, their children grow up and move away, leaving the piano behind. From there, it sits idly by, gathering dust. Again, holding onto it seems to be a better option than getting rid of it. After all, those now-adult pianists may eventually take up the art of playing again or pass it along to their little ones.

Downsizing

Another reason people decide to put their pianos in storage is downsizing. They may relocate for a job or move to a retirement community, and their new home just doesn’t have enough space for a piano. Still, it may come back into the picture at some point, so it lands in storage in the meantime.

Remodeling

Remodeling is also a common reason pianos make their way to temporary storage. For one, pianos and furniture tend to get in the way during remodeling and redecorating projects. Secondly, having a piano exposed to falling or flying debris, excessive amounts of dust, paint splatters, and other renovation hazards just isn’t a good idea.

Those are some of the most common reasons pianos are placed in storage. Whether you’re moving from a spacious house to a cramped apartment or simply tired of dusting a piano that never gets played, storage may be the best solution. Of course, there’s a right and wrong way to approach the situation.

What Not to Do When Storing a Piano

If you need to store a piano, whether for a short time or indefinitely, it’s important to do so correctly. Pianos should never be stored in garages, basements, or backyard storage sheds. These are complex and delicate musical instruments made of a range of materials. In any of those places, they could be exposed to moisture, dust, and extreme temperature changes. All of those elements will destroy a piano.

Moisture and heat cause the wood of a piano to swell and warp, leading to mold growth and destroying the piano’s finish. On the other hand, cold can make the wood shrink and crack. Heat causes a piano’s strings to stretch, while cold air causes them to contract. Over time, dust will accumulate in a piano’s soundboard and other components, which can be equally harmful. Avoiding storing a piano in direct sunlight or drafty areas is also advised for the same reasons.

How to Safely Store a Piano

That brings us to the safe, proper way to store a piano. If you’re renovating a single room or area of your home, you could potentially move the piano to another area of the house to protect it and keep it out of the way. In the event that’s not an option, a climate-controlled storage unit is recommended.

Find the Right Storage Unit

First and foremost, be sure to do plenty of research on storage units in your area. Not all climate control measures are created equally. Some facilities claim to offer climate-controlled units, but all they really do is keep the doors closed to keep out most of the rain.

Others provide indoor units that regulate temperatures via heating and air conditioning. These are the ideal choices that will protect your piano from extreme temperature changes no matter what the weather is like outside.

Moisture control is also a factor to consider. In some cases, even facilities that offer climate-controlled units overlook the problem of humidity. Others use desiccants to help control moisture. Those are basically larger versions of the moisture-drawing containers you’d find in certain medications or placed in a closet to keep clothes from smelling musty. Certain facilities use more advanced mechanical dehumidifiers; as you might imagine, this is far more effective.

Don’t forget to measure your piano before choosing a unit, either. While an upright or electronic keyboard might fit in one of the smaller units, a baby grand or grand model will need more spacious accommodations. The piano should sit flat on the floor. Never, under any circumstances, should a piano be stored on its side or back.

Before Sending a Piano to Storage

Consider taking a few proactive measures before sending your piano to storage. Dust the piano thoroughly, and wipe it down with a protective oil that’s safe for its finish. This will help safeguard it against any moisture that might make its way into the storage unit and keep dust from building up as quickly. You can also place a towel or other soft cloth over the keys and close the lid over them to keep dust out of the internal mechanisms. Placing a protective cover over the entire piano is also recommended.

In the Storage Unit

Climate control may not be the only problem to worry about while your piano is in storage. If it’s going into storage with other items, try not to stack them on top of the piano. Placing pads or moving blankets between the piano and other items may be a good idea, too. That’ll help prevent scratches, nicks, and dents and may provide a little extra insulation.

Keeping Your Piano Protected While It’s Not in Use

In addition to all those factors, making sure your piano reaches the storage unit safely is crucial. Otherwise, all your protective efforts could be in vain. Failing to exercise caution while moving a piano could cause extensive and irreparable damage.

At Piano Movers of Texas, we’re your local experts in this regard. We know how to safely move and store all types of pianos. If you have doubts about storage units, we can also help you find the right one. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help keeping your piano safe and in optimal condition until it is time for it to make beautiful music again.

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