Paperwork Problems: Understanding Home Purchase Forms

« Back to Home

Strategies For Safely Storing Your Musical Instruments

Posted on

Storing a musical instrument requires planning and care. The right strategies protect your instrument, from the storage unit you select to how you package it up for storing.

Strategy #1: Go With the Climate-Controlled Option

Temperature fluctuations, especially extreme heat or extreme cold, can cause permanent damage to your instruments or components. Wood can warp or crack, strings can snap, and fitted pieces can swell. In humid or wet climates, a temperature- and humidity-controlled storage unit is your best bet to prevent moisture damage, including mildew and mold.

Strategy #2: Elevate the Floor

Storing your instruments right on the floor is never a good idea. If flooding or moisture issues do arise, the floor will be the first thing compromised. Pallets provide adequate space between your instruments and the ground, and they are readily available for low- to no-cost. For smaller instruments, a shelf may be a better option. Even large instruments, like pianos, need to be elevated off the floor on skids or a pallet.

Strategy #3: Shine It Up

As a musician, you know it's best to clean your instrument before you put it away, even if it's just a cursory cleaning. When storing it for the long term, give it a full cleaning and not just a cursory once-over. Polish the wood and clean out and dry the mouth pieces.

Don't forget to remove the reeds from wind instruments. String instruments need the strings relaxed, otherwise they may contract during storage and warp the neck. When you retrieve the instrument, clean it again to remove any storage dust before tuning it.

Strategy #4: Keep It Covered

If your instrument has a case, keep it secured inside during storage. For instruments with no case, cover them with a blanket, comforter or other fabric padding. Don't use tarps or plastics. These can trap moisture and cause rot, warping or mildew on your instrument. A breathable cover is your best bet.

If you're worried about dye transfer onto the instrument from the case lining or from the cover, cover the instrument with a roll of acid-free paper. The paper won't trap moisture and it will prevent any dye from discoloring your instrument.

Whether you're storing the instrument for years, or just between gigs, take the time to do it right. Don't forget to make sure the unit is well-secured against theft, too. Use your own keyed padlock and select interior units with security-controlled access for optimum peace of mind.