How Do I Protect My Piano in Storage?
Your piano is precious, and whether it’s a beloved upright that the kids learned on or an elegant concert grand that you play every day, it deserves white-glove care when being placed in storage. The care and treatment you give your piano in preparation for storage is the ultimate key to its safety while in storage. Selecting a top-rated piano mover who has proven experience relocating pianos is the easiest way to make sure your piano is properly prepared for storage and fully protected once it gets there. The Movers NYC has decades of experience in the moving industry and the proven expertise required to move all types of pianos. Our crews use tools and equipment specifically designed for moving pianos in and out of storage, and they know every important step to be taken so that when your piano comes out of storage, it looks and plays like it did before it went in.
How To Properly Store a Piano in 10 Steps
Whatever the reason you may need to store your piano, either short or long-term, you’ll need to take specific steps to make sure it’s properly prepared to go off to storage and remain in storage fully protected.
Before moving your piano, you’ll need to take measurements to make sure it will fit through all doorways, halls, and stairways. Some pre-war buildings have elevators but they’re typically very small, so be sure to measure the elevator entrance as well as the interior dimensions.
2. Schedule your piano move with your building super
Most NYC buildings have specific moving rules which you agreed to when you signed your lease. Even if you’re moving just one item, you’ll need to follow the guidelines or you’ll face potential fines. Contact your building super to confirm your piano move-out date and to make sure the freight elevator is reserved. You’ll most likely need to buy materials required to protect common areas like the foyer, walls, and hallways.
3. Gather your materials
Protecting your piano starts with preparing and transporting it with the correct materials. Plan to rent a piano dolly, staps, heavy-duty packing tape, and a truck with a lift. You’ll need to buy moving blankets since the piano will remain wrapped while in storage. You’ll need tools too – several types of screwdrivers and Allen wrenches.
4. Choose a climate-controlled environment
Because temperature and humidity fluctuations are damaging to any piano, it must be stored in a climate-controlled storage facility. Dramatic changes in temperature and humidity not only affect the tuning but can permanently damage the piano’s wood finish and structure. Be sure to find storage that can maintain humidity at not over 42%. Clean, climate-controlled storage can be difficult to find so allow plenty of time to find the best facility for your piano.
5. Thoroughly clean the piano
Before you start the disassembly process, be sure to clean your piano thoroughly. The tiniest specks of dust, if not removed, can scratch your piano’s surface when it’s wrapped. To ensure the surface is maintained in ideal condition throughout storage, be sure to remove dust from all surfaces.
If you always wash your hands before you play, the piano keys may be fairly clean. But if you just plunk down and start playing your favorite riff, the keys could be pretty grungy. First, dust the keys from back to front. If there are crumbs or morsels of who knows what, be careful they don’t fall between the keys. Then with a slightly damped clean cloth, wipe each key in an up-down motion,
6. Disassemble as needed
Usually, uprights don’t need to be disassembled but grands absolutely must be dismantled – both to protect the instrument and also to get it through tight spaces like doorways, stairs, or elevators. The more parts that can be removed, the lighter and easier the move will be.
For parlor, baby, or concert grands, close and secure the keyboard lid, remove the lyre, pedals, and the music holder. Then remove the top lid. Place a piano board on the dolly a few feet from the long side of the piano. Lay several layers of moving blankets on the board and with a team, lift the piano, without putting weight on the legs, onto the dolly. With one person holding the piano steady on the piano dolly, remove the legs.
7. Wrap and pad the body and removed parts
Properly wrapping the piano body and parts is critical. Dings, dents, and scratches not only affect the worth of a valuable piano but also affect its aesthetic appearance. Absolutely avoid placing any type of plastic next to your piano’s surfaces because the moisture build-up will definitely wreak havoc on the finish. Heavy moving pads and blankets provide optimum protection.
Once each piece is wrapped, make sure the padding is secured with heavy-duty packing tape or plastic movers’ wrap. You don’t want any tape to touch the piano’s surfaces. For uprights, close the key lid then wrap the key lid and pedals with moving pads. For grand pianos, pull the moving blankets that were placed on the piano board up over the body of the piano. Continue wrapping the body with blankets or moving pads until it is fully protected. Secure the wrapped blankets and pads with heavy-duty packing tape.
8. Transport and place in storage
When your piano is fully padded and ready to leave your home, make sure you have the proper tools and equipment to move it. Place your upright on a piano dolly once it’s fully padded and wrapped. The grand piano is already on a dolly and fully wrapped. You can use a hand truck to move the associated wrapped parts. Now, the piano is ready to be moved out of your home and to the moving truck. If you’re handling the move on your own, place the piano as close to the truck cab as possible and secure it to the walls of the van with webbed ropes. As you drive to the storage location, take care when driving over potholes and rough roadways. You’ve already arranged for storage and are sure it’s a climate-controlled facility.
9. Arrange delivery and tuning
When you’re ready to reunite with your piano, get in touch with the storage facility and schedule pick-up. If you’re moving the piano to an apartment that has specific moving rules, don’t forget to notify your super about the impending delivery. Schedule the tuning for several weeks after the piano’s arrival so that it has sufficient time to acclimate to its new environment.
10. Hire Professional Piano Movers
Pianos are heavy, solid objects with delicate insides – kind of like Harrison Ford playing Hans Solo. If the above steps sound like too much to handle, hiring a piano mover is the ideal solution to successfully storing and protecting your piano. When you hire The Movers NYC, all of the steps that lead to optimum storage will be expertly taken care of for you.
We’re a fully licensed, bonded, and insured moving company serving the New York City and Tri-State area and have the specialized equipment required for safely moving and transporting pianos of all shapes and sizes. Our expert and experienced crews provide all the support and skill required to dismantle, wrap, transport, and place your piano in climate-controlled warehousing or self-storage. Many of NYC’s buildings are pre-war which means narrow doorways, tight stairways, and tiny elevators – if the building is lucky enough to even have an elevator. Imagine how much worry and stress you’ll save when you turn over the job to experienced professionals who know how to protect your piano before and during storage.
You’ll save worry and stress when you trust The Movers NYC to provide the safest piano storage available. Ask for a free quote today!