Storage Tips: How to Store Musical Instruments
Your expensive musical instruments need special care when you place them into storage, no matter if you tickle the ivories on a piano, strum a guitar, or bang on a drum. Learn how to keep your instruments safe with these easy-to-follow storage tips.
Things You’ll Need
- Musical instrument cleaner or polish
- Boxes or plastic storage containers
- Furniture pads
- Cloth covers
- Acid-free paper
Step 1: Clean Your Instruments
Taking the time to remove any dust or debris that can scratch or damage your instruments will help them last longer. Always use the recommended cleaner or polish designed specifically for your instrument.
Step 2: Take It Apart
Disassemble parts like reeds, mouthpieces, straps, and mutes, and loosen strings and bow hairs slightly to prevent damaging expansion and contraction while in storage.
Step 3: Carefully Pack in Original Case or Box
If possible, store musical instruments in original cases. If you don’t have the original packaging, consider buying a replacement case at a music store or pack in sturdy boxes or containers sized to fit your instruments.
It’s also a good idea to drape a cloth or sheet of acid-free paper over your instrument once placed inside the box or storage container.
Step 4: Find a Secure Storage Facility
Ensure the safety of your valuable musical instruments by looking for a self storage facility near your home or business that offers:
- Fencing around the property perimeter
- Video surveillance throughout the facility and property
- Electronic gate access with private keypad entry codes
- Indoor storage units with controlled access
- Secure access to your floor only (if it’s a multi-level storage facility)
- A facility manager living on-site
- Individually alarmed storage units
Step 5: Get a Climate-Controlled Storage Unit
Severe heat and cold, drastic temperature changes, and above-normal humidity levels can cause instruments to go out of tune, grow mildew, or experience serious structural damage. That’s why climate-controlled storage is recommended when storing musical instruments. This self storage feature maintains temperatures between 55 and 80 degrees at all times and reduces in-unit humidity.
Step 6: Hire Professional Movers for Large Instruments
Consider hiring professional movers to transport large, heavy instruments like pianos into storage. This not only helps prevent damage to your instrument but also saves you from having to lift it!
Step 7: Carefully Store Your Instruments
It’s a good idea to raise musical instrument cases and boxes off the ground in your self storage unit by utilizing shelving or pallets. Place lighter boxes above heavier ones to protect them.
It’s also a good idea to keep musical instruments near the storage unit’s back, away from vents and doors.
When using a larger storage unit, leave a small walkway to access items throughout your storage unit, especially if you plan to take things in and out regularly.
Step 8: Drape a Protective Cloth Over Large Instruments
While storing musical instruments in climate-controlled storage can help prevent damage from temperature changes, it will still collect dust over the weeks and months in storage. Prevent dust-related damage — as well as damage from pests and mildew — by covering large instruments with a protective cloth or canvas.
Have questions? Remember that your facility manager is an excellent resource for additional tips and assistance in protecting your musical instruments in self storage!