Musical Instrument Storage Ideas to Best Protect Your Investment

Musical instruments are an investment. An instrument alone can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars, and that isn’t even considering the cost of reeds, strings or general maintenance over the years. So, if you need to put your instrument away for a while, it’s important to follow these instrument storage tips. An instrument stored properly and well-maintained can last a lifetime.

6 Tips for Violin Storage, Piano Storage and Other Musical Instruments

  1. Transport Your Instrument Carefully: Whether you’re transporting your instrument to another room, or across town, slow down and take your time. Musical instruments are very fragile and even just one ding can hurt the sound quality, costing hundreds to fix. If you are moving a large piano, consider utilizing a piano moving expert to safely transport your instrument to a new location.
  2. Follow Manufacturer’s Guidelines: Carefully follow the storage guidelines specified by the manufacturer. There are different recommendations for every instrument and accurately following the recommendations from your manufacturer will provide the best protection.
  3. Clean and Condition Your Instrument Before Storage: Just like you should clean appliances or vehicles before placing them into storage, you should also remove dirt and grime from your musical instruments before packing them away. Take your instrument apart and clean it thoroughly using an appropriate music cleaning cloth always. Never use oil or alcohol on wooden instruments. And, if you’re storing a violin, guitar or any other stringed instrument, release the string tension to prevent neck warps. Although there is no need to adjust the piano strings before storage, after a careful cleaning, a piano should be thoroughly polished.
  4. Store Your Instrument in Its Original Case: The instrument’s case was made to fit like a glove. When transporting your instrument use the case to protect it from accidental damage. To prevent the interior lining of the case from scratching the instrument, place acid free tissue paper between the instrument and the case.
  5. Climate Controlled Storage: If you do not have a location to store your instrument that is free from fluctuations in temperature and humidity, consider utilizing a climate controlled storage unit. Fluctuations in temperature and humidity can damage instruments, and in extreme situations, even ruin them. For example, rusting can cause the keys on brass instruments to stick or, for wooden instruments, the wrong climate can lead to warping and even cracking.
  6. Be Careful when Unpacking: Be extremely careful when unpacking your instrument. Damage from fluctuations in temperature or humidity can be amplified if an instrument isn’t carefully unpacked. The protective wrap inside of your case can become molded to your instrument, ripping the finish off the instrument when it’s removed. If you notice any damage to your instrument, immediately take it to a professional music repair shop to avoid further long-term damage.

Musical Instrument Storage with STORExpress

Are you considering using a storage unit to safely store your musical instruments? At STORExpress we have a variety of climate controlled storage units perfect for everything from pianos to piccolo storage. Visit one of our 10 self-storage locations in the Pittsburgh area for help choosing the storage unit for you.