The dos and don’ts of storing a piano in a storage unit

Storage preparationJune 11, 2022

Are you planning on putting your piano in storage? Then you might have some hesitations about doing so. You might be worried about the safety of the piano, or you might be concerned with it getting damaged in storage. There are some precautions we can take when placing large and valuable items in storage to keep them safe, pianos included. To help you with executing this successfully, we at Zippy Shell Moving and Storage DMV have prepared this useful guide on the dos and don’ts of storing a piano in a storage unit.

What should you do before storing a piano in a storage unit?

There are some things you should do before storing a piano in a storage unit. First of all, you should clean the piano thoroughly. Any dirt that is left could cause damage to the piano while it is in storage. So, make sure you use a soft cloth and dust the whole piano. Be very careful and avoid scratching the instrument. Then, use a slightly damp cloth and wipe the keys to remove any dirt. You should use an up and down motion to clean the keys. This will prevent any water to get between them. After, wipe the keys again with a dry cloth to remove any moisture that could remain. If you do not feel confident in cleaning the piano by yourself, you can always hire a professional piano cleaning service to assist you.

Cleaning products
Use a soft duster and gentle cleaning agents when cleaning your piano

And remember what you should do and not do when storing your piano:

  • Do remember to test any cleaning products on a small area before applying them to the whole surface.
  • Don’t use abrasive cleaning products or rough cloths when you clean the piano. You could damage it.

How can I protect the piano for storage?

After you finished cleaning the piano, it is time to prepare it for storage. If you wish to properly protect your piano while it is in storage, then you should secure quality packing materials. They will prevent any damage to the instrument and secure all the parts in place. Remember to get breathable packing materials to prevent moisture buildup and mold. Secure heavy-duty wrapping materials to prevent any scratches while you are moving the piano. Before closing the keys, you can place a dust cover or cloth over them. This will help keep them safe. Use plastic wrap on top of the padding materials, but avoid making it air-tight. When storing a piano in a storage unit, remember that air needs to circulate to prevent mold. When placing your piano in storage Frederick MD has to offer, remember to:

  • Do store the piano in an upright position.
  • Don’t put it on the floor or on its side. This can cause the piano to change shape.

Do I need to get insurance for my piano while it is in storage?

After you have taken all the necessary precautions and placed your piano in storage successfully, you may think that it is now perfectly safe there. This is probably true, but life can be unpredictable. There could be a fire or flood, and you could lose your cherished instrument. Or, the unit could suffer from mold, and the piano could get destroyed. When looking for the best storage units Northern Virginia has to offer, make sure the storage provider offers insurance. Or, you can have the piano insured via third-party private insurance. Whatever you may choose, do get the insurance. It might cost a little more, but it will help you keep your peace of mind.

view on a hallway when storing a piano in a storage unit
Always get insurance when storing valuable things in storage units, especially if you are storing a piano in a storage unit


  • Do check what the insurance entails. Remember to ask whether it covers the full cost of the piano in case of damage.
  • Don’t put your piano in storage before getting it insured.

Should I get a climate-controlled storage unit?

Absolutely. A climate-controlled unit is a must when storing temperature and moisture-sensitive items. Even though it may cost more than a regular storage unit, it is definitely worth it. Regular storage units have very little or no protection against environmental factors, so the piano could suffer great damage. In addition, a piano needs a stable temperature because frequent fluctuations could cause it to crack or warp. What is more, the humidity has a great effect on the instrument since it is made from natural materials. So, a climate controlled storage unit is a smart and safe investment. There is plenty of climate controlled storage Northern Virginia has to offer, so make sure to do your research. In addition:

  • Do make sure there is an auxiliary power supply for the unit in case of a power outage.
  • Don’t get a unit with exterior walls as they are more susceptible to temperature fluctuations.

Is there anything else I should know about storing my piano in a storage unit?

Above, we have covered the most important points to keep in mind when storing your piano. Still, there are some more dos and don’ts to keep in mind.

Dos – When moving a piano, it is best to hire professional movers. They can move your piano safely to the storage unit. Also, keep the piano covered once it is in storage to prevent dust and other things from falling on it.

Don’ts – Do not place anything on top of the piano in storage. Also, never take the piano apart. Something could damage the sensitive parts inside. What is more, do not tune your piano as soon as you get it out of storage, Leave it for a few weeks so it can settle.

Inner parts of a piano
Let all the parts settle for a few weeks before tuning the piano

There are many reasons why you could be storing a piano in a storage unit. You could be moving or you could be redecorating your home. Or, you just might need some extra space temporarily. No matter why or how long you plan on storing your piano, keep to the tips we have listed to make sure your piano comes out of storage in the same condition it went in.

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