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Piano Storage

How to Store a Baby Grand Piano

Deciding whether or not to store your baby grand piano isn’t an easy decision. For me, it was the instrument I enjoyed each morning as it filled our home with pleasing sounds.

But the time came to move and my 90 year old baby grand piano needed a new home. I knew one day this would happen.

Even if you’re running out space or just want to clear out clutter, dealing with such a huge object can be emotionally draining and physically difficult. Baby grand pianos can weigh from 550 to 650 pounds, which is a lot of weight to move around.

These instructions below can work equally well for an upright and a full grand piano. You just need to make sure the destination space is large enough.

Also account for the weight:
Upright Pianos weigh from 500 to 1000 pounds
Grand Pianos weigh from 700 to 1200 pounds

The main thing is that when moving a piano (and when storing a piano), you want to keep any piano in it’s natural upright position and not lay the piano on it’s side.

With our piano move, we decided to hire a professional mover. I’m glad for that. It saved us a lot of grunt work and I knew the piano was packed carefully. I believe it’s worth it to make sure that the mover you choose is trained in moving pianos.

Once the mover arrived, he safely and quickly removed the foot pedals. I never guessed those pedals could come off that way. Then the mover took the legs off and wrapped up the piano to protect the finish.

The mover had a special dolly to get over the door threshold and then packed my piano into their special van. The mover then reversed those steps to get the piano set into it’s new home.

The baby grand is doing well in the new place now — although I still need to make sure the humidity level is correctly balanced with my Dammp-Chaser humidifier.

An 90 year old piano can be a joy to behold, the wood used back then was excellent quality. And the sound harp is in great shape. Through this experience, I learned that it’s important to correctly take care of the piano so you can have many years of music enjoyment.

Baby grand pianos can give years of enjoyment
With proper care, your baby grand piano can give you years of enjoyment.

Taking Care of a Piano

Pianos are an expensive investment, so if you want to keep one for a long time, paying attention to the best way to care for them should be worth considering.

Whether it’s due to moving, making repairs, or placing a new instrument into the house, proper storage of a grand piano is important. If you don’t have enough room in your home to store a piano, consider renting a place that has ample space. You may also need to make some adjustments to the interior of your home to accommodate the piano.

If you decide to store your piano at all, there are several options available. The first step is deciding where you will store it and what type of storage system you’ll use.

You can either store it at home on your own – or put it into a climate controlled storage unit. Each has advantages and disadvantages.

 

You Can Store It at Home

You may choose to store your piano at home in a garage, basement, attic, shed, or even outside on a porch.

Some people will opt to move their piano inside when they aren’t playing it. This allows them to enjoy the benefits of having a beautiful instrument while avoiding the hassle of storing it.

If you plan on keeping your piano indoors, you’ll need to think about how you’ll protect it from dust, moisture, and other hazards. Picking up a protective cover for your piano is a good idea.

When storing a piano, you’ll want to avoid direct sunlight because it causes the wood to expand and contract more rapidly. Fluctuating humidity levels can also cause the wood to expand and contract more rapidly — which could lead to cracked wood around the harp. Also, try to avoid storing a piano near heat sources like radiators and fireplaces.

After wrapping the piano in plastic, you’ll need to secure it using straps. This can provide extra protection against accidental movement.

Once you’ve wrapped your piano in plastic, you can store it anywhere. However, if you plan on storing it outdoors (which we do not recommend), you’ll need to find a location that is protected from rain, snow, wind, and extreme temperatures.

 

You May Need to Make Adjustments to Your Home

Depending on where you plan on storing your piano, you may need to make some adjustments to your home. If you plan on storing your baby grand in a garage (which we also do not recommend), you’ll likely need to remove the door so that it doesn’t block access to the space.

If you plan to store your piano in a climate controlled room of your house, you may need to install a ventilation system. You can do this by installing a window fan or opening a small hole in the wall.

 

The Reason Why We Suggest You Should Not Store a Baby Grand in the Garage

One of the largest spaces in any house is the garage. A garage is a separate area from the house that ideally stores things that cannot fit inside the house. Most people would think that storing a piano there makes sense, but it’s actually not a good idea.

If you’re planning on storing your piano in a garage or basement, make sure the temperature stays between 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in an extremely hot or cold region, you may want to look into purchasing a portable heater or air conditioner.

During the warmer summer months, the garage could be up to twenty degrees hotter than outside temperatures. This variation could make it very difficult to protect your piano.

Baby grand piano in large room
Baby Grand Pianos hold up well in a climate controlled environment.

Storing the Piano in a Professional Climate Controlled Storage Unit

A climate controlled storage unit is a great option for those who want to store their piano safely without worrying about humidity or temperature fluctuations.

Climate controlled units are usually located in a warehouse or building with special equipment that keeps the temperature constant. They are ideal for pianists who play frequently and want to ensure that their instruments stay in peak condition.

The cost of these units varies depending on the size and features you’d like. For example, larger units often include better insulation and heating systems.

The best way to determine whether this is a viable option for you is to contact a local storage facility. Ask them about the services they offer and what kind of facilities they have.

 

Preparing a Baby Grand Piano for Storage

A good location for a piano is in an air conditioned storage facility or a spare bedroom. Make sure the storage place is large enough to store the piano standing up rather than lying down. What people do is to cover it with several layers of protective cloth sheets — followed by a thin layer of plastic sheeting.

The last thing you need to do is put a blanket over the top of the piano. A blanket provides cushioning and protects the wood from damage.

You may also want to invest in a humidifier to help prevent mold growth. If you live in a dry area, you might want to buy a dehumidifier.

If you want to keep your piano safe from extreme temperatures and humidity, then you should put it in a climate-control environment.

If you store your piano at a different temperature than where you normally keep it, you’ll want to gradually expose it to the new temperature before storage so it doesn’t experience any damage.

 

Moving a Piano

It’s good to hire professional movers. My piano was moved several miles for only $220. A friend moved a piano within the same neighborhood and it was less than $100. Many people are surprised that a piano can be moved for much less than expected.

Keep in mind that a large piece of furniture like a grand pianos isn’t just an expensive purchase; it can also be heavy. You should definitely hire professionals to move your piano. Make sure they’re experienced and know how to handle heavy items properly.

What takes the mover only 10-15 minutes could easily take you three hours to complete. And it helps keep you safe if something were to happen.

A Piano Moving Horror Story

A friend thought he’d save around $150 and not hire a piano mover for a short move he needed.

He was moving his wife’s upright piano and got a group of friends together. They used a flat bed trailer with wood slats.

One of the slats caught onto the bottom of the piano and as they lifted the piano up and over the edge of the trailer, the trapped wood slat ripped out the piano harp.

The piano was ruined and my friend’s wife was not happy about this happening to her favorite piano.

My friend’s wife got a replacement piano and they hired professional movers to bring this piano to the house.

I think it’s best to hire a piano mover. To me, the moving cost greatly outweighs the possible risk of damage to the piano. However, if you’re still inclined to move a piano yourself, be sure to search the internet for some tips on moving a piano — or ask a professional company for advice.

 

Regardless of which storage and moving method you choose, be sure to keep all of your belongings safe while you’re storing your piano.