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How to protect your musical instruments in storage

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When deciding to store your musical instruments, there are a few things that you need to take into consideration. You need to choose carefully the type of storage unit you want to go for. While the size and shape of your storage unit are important, keeping your items safe from harsh climate conditions is maybe the most crucial thing. Different instruments are made from different materials and that’s why it’s important to know how to protect your musical instruments in storage. Brass endures time differently than wood, and the electronic parts inside instruments require special care and protection. Keep in mind that different parts of the country have different climates, so when moving to New York you’ll need to take into account the temperature changes during seasons and the actual location of the unit itself. Don’t worry, we’re here to help.

First steps to protect your musical instruments in storage

Before you store your instruments in a storage unit make sure you clean them properly. Dust and stains can easily turn into corrosion or mold over time. You don’t want to end up with discolored or even ruined instruments when you decide to use them again after months of storage.

Piano
Make sure to clean your instruments before storing them.
  • With brass instruments it’s important to disassemble them, clean all of the leftover water particles inside and oil your instruments properly. That will ensure that they remain in top condition over time and that when you decide to use them again it’s as simple as cleaning the oil. Brass instruments can easily discolor and dull in appearance after a few months of storage so make sure you polish them properly before putting them away. This way, you’ll be able to easily protect your musical instruments in storage.
  • Wooden instruments are a whole different story. They can warp and splinter. If you are storing string instruments make sure you relax the string at least a little bit so that changes in temperature won’t cause them to break or stretch too much. Cover the strings with a soft fabric before you place your instrument in its case. You should also clean and condition the wood with wax. Don’t use oil and alcohol as it will just speed up the process of drying the wood.
  • Before storing a piano make sure you clean it. Clean the keys with a cloth, and close the lid. Also, make sure you have a big enough sheet that can cover the whole instrument. That will help protect it from damage and dust. Pianos are also quite heavy and require professional care when moving. There are so many experienced companies in NYC so it’s shouldn’t be a problem to hire reliable piano movers Brooklyn.
  • When storing drums you should oil the leather drum skin to prevent stretching and cracking

Use the original case when possible

Even if you pick the best storage unit in NYC, the way you store your instruments inside the storage unit is also very important. The best thing you can do when storing instruments is to use the original case that came with the instruments. In most cases, especially with more expensive ones, original cases are built in a way that ensures the long-term protection of the instruments. If you don’t have the original case, or if it’s damaged, try and find a replacement for it. You can buy it in a second-hand store. You can buy new ones in shops that sell accessories for musical instruments.

protect a musical instruments for storage
To protect your musical instruments in storage, make sure to use the original case.

But there are also some cases when using only the original case is not enough. In places with a high concentration of salt in the air, you need to take extra steps to protect your musical instruments in storage. Wrapping your instruments with polyurethane foil or putting them in a zipped polyurethane bag before putting them inside the case is a good idea. Covering a piano with a sheet will protect it from gathering dust and covering the string of a guitar will ensure its longevity.

Covering big musical instruments

If instruments are a part of your profession, it’s even more important to take care of them and keep them in top-notch condition. When moving big instruments such as pianos or drum sets with the help of Brooklyn office movers, it’s best to store them in a storage unit that’s dust-free by securing them using a protective covering. To protect the piano’s pedals, legs, and benches from getting damaged, make sure to cover them with padding. Cover larger items with a tarp. This way you’ll keep them safe from pests, mildew, and dust.

You can wrap your instruments with a cloth or plastic bags to protect them. Cover the whole thing with a cotton sheet first to prevent damage, and then cover it with plastic foil to further protect it from dust. Keep the instruments away from the storage doors. That’s the place where they will most probably experience the biggest and most sudden changes in temperature.

Protect your musical instruments in storage by cleaning them

As we mentioned earlier, you have to clean your instruments before placing them in a storage unit. So make sure to pick the proper cleaning materials and chemicals. Clean every part of your instrument individually. When you clean them thoroughly, grime and moisture won’t accumulate and damage the instrument while it’s inside of a storage unit.

Disassemble the instruments if you can before storing them

If your instrument is designed to come apart, make sure to do it instead of storing it while it’s put together. Detach straps, remove reeds, and take out mouthpieces. When it comes to stringed instruments, loosen the strings slightly, however, don’t remove them as there’s no need for that. Tight strings can cause pressure to warp your instrument. Do this for bowstrings as well. Pianos are an exception so don’t loosen their strings because they are made to withstand lots of pressure. Also, if you have drumheads, loosen them for the best results.

Brass drums
If you can, disassemble the instruments before putting them in a storage unit.

Placing the instruments inside the storage unit

When storing instruments there are a few things you need to do so the instruments remain in peak condition over time. Instruments should be raised from the ground to protect from moisture or rodents. Put your smaller instruments on shelves or use hooks to hang them on the wall. Pallets are also a good way to raise your mid-sized instruments off the ground. When storing a piano make sure you place it on its feet. Keeping a piano on its side for a long time can cause damage. It’s also not a bad idea to put a rug underneath it.

Pack them carefully

Before you hire affordable movers Brooklyn to help you move your instruments to storage, you’ll need to pack them. Put every part carefully in the sections of the. If there is wiggle room, put soft material like cotton batting. This is going to keep the instrument’s parts in place. Then place some sheet of acid-free paper or cloth on the instrument while it’s in the case.

Choosing the right storage unit for your instruments

The location of the storage unit is very important. You don’t want it to be near the coast as the salt concentration in the air can easily penetrate even the best of cases. Humidity is a huge factor in the long-term storage of instruments. It can cause damage to almost every kind of instrument out there. Brass will stain and wood will warp and crack.

Even though cheap storage Brooklyn can be a good option for musical instruments, not all storage units are made equal. For delicate items such as musical instruments, make sure to get a storage unit with climate control. As mentioned earlier, humidity and temperature can destroy your instruments. Wood is very vulnerable to the environment, and this can cause warping. Find a unit with a temperature between 68 and 77 degrees and humidity between 40-60% to make sure your instruments stay in pristine condition. Finally, as with all valuable items, do regular visits to the storage to ensure there’re no signs of damage. See if there is any cracking, deformation, or discoloration. If you see any of these, take your instrument for repair immediately. The quicker you notice the damage, the easier it’ll be to fix it.

Storage units with instruments
Make sure to pick a storage unit with climate control to help protect your musical instruments

You can find cheap storage in New York that is also equipped with the right tools to keep your instruments safe. As mentioned before, climate control is a great way of ensuring that your instruments don’t experience big temperature variations.

Final words

So, choosing a good storage unit for your musical instruments is not easy. But is one of the most important things to do. But all the tips will definitely help you protect your musical instruments in storage much easier no matter the type or location of the unit.

These guys are TRUE PROFESSIONALS! We've now moved with them twice (once in 2017 and then again this week) and we really can't say enough good things about them. Simi is incredibly easy to work with for scheduling and quotes, and the crews - John, Super Mario, and everyone - are just awesome. They're quick, incredibly careful and conscientious, and super friendly. If we ever move again (and god I hope we don't have to) we're absolutely calling them.

Allison "Elnoods" N.

From Brooklyn, NY

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