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How to Keep Musical Instruments Safe in Storage

Lockaway Storage | January 5, 2022 @ 12:00 AM

Musical instruments are a beautiful thing to own. They can provide us with a good time filled with excellent music and create cherished memories. However, sometimes we need to store them for whatever reason - traveling, relocation, decluttering, etc. When that time comes, you'll have to make sure you're storing your musical instrument properly. Since they can be pretty expensive, you don't want to harm them in any way. And storage units aren't always friendly to musical instruments. There are just so many factors impacting the condition of your instrument. Therefore, if you're in this situation, read this step-by-step guide from Lockaway Storage on how to store musical instruments safely!

Clean musical instruments properly 

If you want your musical instrument to be safe in the storage unit, you'll have to thoroughly clean it. This is a step you'll have to take even before putting it in storage. Why is this so important? Well, cleaning all the dust and debris from your instrument will prevent potential scratching and prolong its life. So, check what cleaning solution or polish is recommended for your instrument and start cleaning to keep it safe in storage.

Clean each component of the instrument separately. This prevents moisture and debris from accumulating and causing damage to the instrument while being stored. Place wrapping paper between the cushioned keys and the body on instruments with padded keys, such as flutes. This will keep the keys from being trapped and harmed.

Take the instruments apart

To keep musical instruments safe in storage, the next step you have to take is to disassemble them. If your instrument is designed to be taken apart, don't store it in one piece. You should remove all mouthpieces, reeds, and straps. If you own a stringed instrument, lose the strings gently. Tight strings might cause your instrument to deform. However, there is no need to remove them altogether.

Additionally, apply the same principle to bowstrings. It's also a good idea to loosen the drumheads. On the other hand, piano strings do not need to be loosened since they are intended to endure high pressure. These preventive measures will help you avoid harmful expansion and contraction during storage.

Store them in their original case

When it comes to the packaging you should use for your instrument, it would be best to have its original case. This casing is designed to keep the instrument and its components safe and secure, protecting them from dust and moisture. If you can't use the original case because it's ruined or gone missing, try replacing it with a new one. You can always find a case in the music store where you bought your instrument in the first place. Also, it's better than relying on a cardboard box, bag, or plastic bin; these storage options are not safe and not at all eco-friendly.

Hard cases are the most secure option, but if your musical instrument came in a softer case, it might be a safe storage alternative. One thing is crucial - make sure your case is waterproof, whether it's hard or soft. You never know what can happen in the storage unit while you're away.

Protect larger instruments with cloths or wrapping material

Keeping your musical instrument in its original case is a great way to protect it. However, if you have a larger instrument, like piano or drums, that advice doesn't apply to you. One thing you probably already know is that you'll have to take extra care when putting larger instruments in storage and keeping them safe there. We suggest hiring professional movers to help you relocate the instrument in the first place. This is a job for experts, and you don't want to cause any damage.

If you have a piano, you'll want to put a thick layer of padding around its legs, benches, and pedals. Additionally, you'll have to cover your instrument with a cloth or a tarp to protect it from pests, mildew, dust, and dirt.

Rent a climate-controlled storage unit 

Extreme heat and cold, abrupt temperature swings, and higher-than-normal humidity levels can cause instruments to lose their tuning, grow mildew, or suffer catastrophic structural damage. The wood of string instruments can shrink, warp, and crack; metal on brass instruments can grow brittle or corrode. This is precisely why we suggest renting a climate-controlled storage unit for your musical instruments.

Climate control keeps the heat in the unit between 55 and 80 degrees and lowers the humidity, helping to preserve your instrument's craftsmanship and condition. This is definitely something you need if you want to keep musical instruments safe in storage. Thankfully, Lockaway Storage offers a variety of climate-controlled storage units in locations in Colorado and Texas, so you always have safe storage options for your musical instrument.

Create a safe environment for your musical instrument 

The last thing you should do to store your musical instrument safely is carefully position it. You may think that it doesn't matter where and how you put it in the unit, but it does. At least if you want to make sure you're keeping it in pristine condition.

You should raise instruments above the ground to avoid dampness and vermin. When it comes to the smaller instruments, place them on shelves, hooks, or a storage rack. You can also use pallets to lift medium-sized instruments off the ground. Additionally, never put anything on the cases in which you hold instruments, no matter how light this item may seem.

Maintain a safe distance between the instruments and the storage door. This is where they will most likely face the most significant and most abrupt temperature swings. Also, make sure the instruments aren't touching the wall directly.


Musical instruments are valuable belongings that you should keep safe in both your home and the storage unit. However, if you need to keep your instrument in storage for whatever reason, you'll have to take extra precautions. With these easy tips, your instrument will be safe and sound. Oh, and it will maintain its playing condition. So, make sure not to skip any of these steps to keep musical instruments safe in storage, and you won't have anything to worry about.

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