How to Prepare Your Piano for a Storage Unit

Piano hammers hitting keys

A piano may be a large instrument, but it is also a delicate one. It’s best to avoid putting your piano into storage for long periods of time and you should choose a local storage unit so you can check the piano periodically to ensure it is handling storage well.

Clean Your Piano and Note Imperfections

If you know that you will be putting your piano into storage, it is smart to polish it well and make sure all of the casters are tight before it is moved. Wipe down the keys with a damp cloth and use a polish that is appropriate for pianos on the rest. Be sure to note any imperfections before you move the piano, especially if you have hired a moving company to move it for you. It’s best to make sure that you have plenty of room to move before attempting to move the piano for transport to the storage unit.

Wait to Tune

You may have the urge to have your piano tuned just before moving so that it will be ready to play when you get it out of storage, but it’s best to wait until the instrument has had time to acclimate to its new environment before it is tuned. It should rest for at least two weeks before being tuned.

Cover with Fabric

Covering your piano with plastic will help keep it clean while it is stored, but it’s also likely to cause damage. Your piano should be stored upright, covered with a few blankets. Keeping the piano covered fully will protect it from dust and particles that often enter unused pianos and cause damage to their inner workings. You may want to tie that blankets around the piano before it is moved to ensure that they protect the instrument properly during transport.

Don’t Forget the Accessories

Try to keep all of your piano related items together in storage so that you can find them easily when it’s time to move the piano out of storage. The bench should be covered and stored near the piano, and the music books may be put into a box and sealed. It may be tempting, but don’t place any piano accessories or other items on top of your piano. The lid may look like a handy storage place, but storing items on top of your piano is likely to cause damage, especially if they are heavy items.

Choose a Climate-Controlled Unit

Climate control is very important when you’re storing a piano because they are extremely sensitive to changes in humidity and temperature. Large changes in temperature often cause warping and deterioration of the piano’s finish. Pianos that have been stored in harsh environments go out of tune much sooner than ones that are stored in temperature-controlled environments. Some experts recommend that mothballs be placed inside the piano if it is stored during the winter, but they should be removed before the piano is played.