Piano Moving and Storage: The Dos and Don’ts
Whether you want to move your piano to a new room within your current home or across town to a new home or you need to put it into storage for a short period of time, there are several dos and don’ts you should follow to help protect your valuable instrument.
Pianos have around ten thousand moving parts and components, and most have an average of two hundred and thirty wires (strings). Due to the inner workings of your piano, you have to take care when moving it or placing it into storage to not cause damage.
In addition, the size and shape of the piano can present moving and storage challenges. Your basic upright piano can weigh between three hundred and eight hundred pounds. Some uprights weigh close to a thousand pounds! Grand pianos are typically double your basic upright, and they average around twelve to thirteen hundred pounds.
There are even some very intricate grand pianos that can top out around two thousand pounds! Then there are baby grands. While “baby” indicates they are indeed smaller in size, weight-wise they fall in between uprights and grands, so they are still extremely heavy. You are looking at anywhere from between eight hundred to twelve hundred pounds, on average.
When it comes to piano moving in Chicago, aside from the weight and delicate nature of your piano, you have to consider the tight doorways, narrow stairwells, and other structural challenges of your current home or apartment building.
Simply rolling the piano on its legs across the floor, out the door, and onto the moving truck is rarely a good idea. Rather, you will need to prep your piano for its move, even it if is only being moved into an adjoining room in your existing home.
In-Home Piano Moving Tips
Let’s first take a look at what you need to do to safely relocate your piano to a different area of your current home:
- Do close and lock the keyboard lid. Even though you are not going that far, you need to protect the sensitive parts of the piano.
- Do take plenty of measurements. Measure the dimensions of your piano. Measure the width of hallways. Measure the width of doorways. You want to make sure your piano will fit; otherwise, you will need to take it apart.
- Do take off the legs and other parts if it won’t fit through doorways or hallways. Most pianos have removable pieces that make moving it easier.
- Do get help from a professional piano moving company. The sheer weight of the piano requires the right moving equipment to get it from one room to another—not to mention, if you have to take it apart, don’t you want an expert who knows how to put it back together correctly?
- Do remove all obstacles in your way. You want a clear path from where the piano currently resides to its new location. You need to move furniture, lamps, end tables, rugs, and so on out of the way. There should be nothing that you can run in to or trip over in the way.
- Do tell your piano movers the type of piano you own and its weight. You can locate the weight on the manufacturer’s label or call the manufacturer directly. For heirloom pieces, you can search online to get an estimated weight.
- Don’t push or pull the piano on its wheels. Most pianos have decorative wheels on the end of their legs. These wheels will seize up because they are never used. If you try to push or pull the piano, and the wheels lock up, it will place added stresses on the legs, and they could possibly break. Not to mention, the metal wheels can damage hardwood floors and carpeting.
Local and Long Distance Piano Moving Tips
Moving a piano across town or long distance requires some additional dos and don’ts. You should follow all the same tips as you would if you were moving the piano from one room to another, along with:
- Do tell your mover about any loose parts or existing damage. Providing this information will allow your mover to take extra care to prevent further damage.
- Do let your movers know where you want the piano unloaded in your new home. This will let them know to leave a clear path in that room as they are unpacking the truck.
- Do make your mover aware of any challenges of getting the piano out of your home. For instance, you live on the fifth floor and there is no elevator to use, or you live on the third floor of an older building with very narrow stairways, and so on.
- Do make your mover aware of any challenges of getting the piano into your new home. You should also inform your mover about any issues to get the piano into the room at your new home.
- Do verify the piano is secured inside the moving truck. Your piano moving company will use special furniture-grade straps to secure the piano inside the truck.
- Don’t place items on top of the piano. Your mover already knows this, so this is just to remind you as you prepare for your move.
- Don’t lay your hands on the piano once your movers arrive. It is now up to the professionals to handle your piano and move it to your new home. They will take the piano apart if it is necessary, take care of wrapping and protecting it and transporting it to your new home or storage.
- Don’t wait until the last minute to schedule your move. It is hard to find professional residential moving companies in Chicago that also are experts at moving pianos. If you wait until the last minute to hire a mover, chances are the company you get will not have the right equipment, let alone know how to safely and correctly move your piano to your new home.
Storage Piano Moving Tips
When placing a piano into storage for any period of time, you will want to follow the same tips for local and long-distance moves up to the point where the piano has been loaded onto the moving truck. At this point, things will be a slightly different.
- Do keep your piano wrapped and protected. While the piano is in storage, do not unwrap the padding and protection if it is going to be stored for a short period of time.
- Do use a climate-controlled storage unit. Humidity, dampness, and moisture can damage your piano if it is exposed to drastic temperature changes. Make sure your storage solution is climate controlled so the piano remains at consistent
- Don’t wrap the piano or parts of the piano in plastic. Plastic is non-breathable and will not allow air to circulate. Use cloth-based padding and materials since these are breathable and allow air to circulate.
Once you are ready to get your piano out of storage, use the same tips provided above in the previous section.
Regardless of the type of piano moving you require—in-home, local or long distance moving, or storage—one thing is for certain: Using an experienced piano moving company will provide you peace of mind. You do not have to worry about your piano getting damaged, and you know it will be properly padded and protected.
Plus, as an added bonus, you do not have to do the back-breaking labor of trying to lift and move a heavy piano. To request a free quote for piano moving and storage, either as a separate piece or part of a larger move, please feel free to contact Midway Moving & Storage at (866) 693-4148 today!
We offer professional piano moving, local and long distance moving, and storage solutions in the greater Chicago area!
- Bonus Tip: After moving your piano to your new home, your piano should be inspected and re-tuned. However, you will want to allow it time to acclimate to its new home for at least a month before you get it tuned.