Just like material possessions, musical instruments are also important, the means by which many of us express our deepest feelings, find an outlet for our creative energies, and develop our natural talents. It only makes sense to follow some basic storage advice to ensure that they fare well while being stored.
- If you have wood and resin instruments, ypu should condition with paste wax specially meant for this purpose. Oil-based polishes should never be used on them, neither should anything with an alcohol base. Parts should be disassembled, reeds, mouthpieces, mutes, and straps removed, and strings relaxed.
- You can store an instrument in a case designed to fit it. The case should be in good shape; it must be clean, without powdering or fraying. If you must use a case that has some wear, line it with buffered, acid-free paper, which can be bought at music stores. Strings should be covered with a clean, dry cloth. For added protection, place the case in a polyethylene bag to guard against moisture.
- If you’ll be storing a piano, hire professional movers to place it in the storage unit, unless you’re absolutely sure you can do the job with the help of friends or family. Be certain to wrap it in several layers of blankets for the move, and secure them with twine or rope, not tape or anything sticky. The piano should be dusted and polished prior to being placed in the unit. Then, cover it with a sheet, tarp, or other large cloth to prevent dust from settling on it. Don’t ever set a piano on its side, and certainly do not do this while it is being stored.
Placing a few mothballs inside of it (away from the finish) will help prevent moisture-related damage. Cold generally will not hurt a piano, especially in milder areas where it rarely drops below freezing. However, storing one during the hot summer months should be avoided, unless you can keep it in a climate-controlled area.
- Musical instruments should not be left to rest on the floor of the storage unit, even if they’re in cases. Place them on shelving or pallets instead