Musical instruments are often quite valuable and can last for years once you take good care of them. If you need to store an instrument, here are some tips to keep it safe while in your storage unit:
Take apart the instrument. If it can take it apart. If it is a stringed instrument, loosen the strings slightly so that they don’t warp the instrument, but you don’t need to remove them totally. Pianos, however, do not have to have their strings loosened, as they can withstand high pressure.
Clean the instrument well. Before you put it into your storage unit, clean the instrument thoroughly, and make sure that you clean each part of the instrument. For instruments that have padded keys, place tissue paper between the pads and the body of the instrument, which will help prevent the keys from sticking.
Pack the instrument carefully. When your instrument is clean and dry, pack it in its case. Place all the parts securely in the sections of the case designated for them. Place a sheet of acid-free paper, or clean cloth over the instrument in the case and close it securely. If you do not have the original case you should look for a replacement. Ideally the case should be hard and waterproof. Do not place any items on top of instrument cases, no matter how light they may seem.
Cover large instruments. If you are storing a large instrument like a piano, it obviously won’t be in a case. Be very careful with this type of instrument, and you may want to consider having it professionally moved. Carefully wrap the piano legs, pedals, and the bench, and make sure the piano is fully covered.
Consider temperature-controlled storage. If it is a really valuable instrument, storing it in a temperature-controlled unit may be the right thing to do, as this will eliminate any negative effects from heat and moisture.