Guide to storing musical instruments long-term

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Moving musical instruments shouldn’t be done like other regular items. There are many different instruments, and each should be treated differently. If you plan on storing musical instruments long-term, you should think about hiring a Transparent International NYC company to help you with your needs. However, you should know some things before storing any instruments. They need special care, and we’ll go through what you need to look out for before you do it. Damaging an instrument won’t only make it look bad, but it can also impact its sound and functionality. You should be very careful and equip yourself with the right equipment and information.

When is storing musical instruments long-term a good idea?

If you plan to move internationally, moving musical instruments may be tricky. If you’re moving to the UK from USA, your instrument will have to be shipped overseas. During this time, all cargo will be exposed to temperature fluctuations which can damage musical instruments. They are mostly made of wood and metal, and both materials are very reactive to temperature. With the special care they require, musical instruments may not make it to the list of essentials for some people when moving overseas. If you planned to sell your instrument because of this, you should think about storing them instead. You can have them transported later, or have them waiting for you when you come back. Transporting is probably a better idea if you’re moving with your family. On the other hand, temporary moving overseas for a few semesters, for example, is a good time to store musical instruments long-term.

airplane travelling overseas
Moving overseas is a good time for storing musical instruments long-term.

Why do you need a reliable company for storing musical instruments long-term?

You should only pick reliable companies when storing your musical instruments. Simple warehouses and unreliable companies won’t do. As musical instruments are made of wood and metal in most cases and react to temperature changes, they need a stable environment. You should hire a company that can provide a climate-controlled storage unit to best preserve your musical instrument long-term.

High temperatures can cause strings and other metal parts to become more elastic and to “widen” in a way. While this can’t be tracked by the human eye, it can be noticed by the change in sound. Instruments going out of tune are partly due to temperature exposure.

When exposed to low temperatures, metal will contract and lose elasticity which can potentially create the most damage to metal parts. A combination of exposure to high and low temperatures can damage musical instruments the most, and that’s why a climate-controlled storage unit will provide the best protection.

Finally, wooden parts will also react to temperature, but that’s not everything you should worry about. Air humidity is something that can significantly impact the well-being of wooden instruments. For example, pianos usually have large wooden surfaces. If you plan to store a piano, make sure the climate-controlled storage unit can regulate air humidity as well. On the other hand, if you plan to ship it overseas, make sure you hire international piano movers. It will be exposed to both temperature fluctuations, as well as high humidity while in transport. To prevent any damage, make sure the professionals handle it with proper care.

storage facility for storing items long-term
Only pick storage facilities that provide secure and climate-controlled units.

How to prepare musical instruments for long-term storage?

You should treat every instrument type differently, but you can follow some general guidelines for all of them. When moving internationally, it will be more complicated to store and transport your items, so make sure you don’t miss any steps. If you’re moving to Australia, for example, both storing and transporting will require a special approach. You can look up moving companies to Australia to help with transport, but here’s what you should do to prepare musical instruments for storage.

Firstly, you should try and break down your instrument into as many parts as possible. You won’t be able to do this with every piece, but make sure you do it with any one you can. This will help with packing them for storage, and it will allow you to reach and clean spots you wouldn’t be able to otherwise.

After breaking down your instrument into as many parts as possible, you should clean them thoroughly. Don’t use house cleaners, as they can often damage your instrument. While it may cost you a bit more, instrument-specific cleaners are the way to go when storing musical instruments long-term. Try to reach every spot when cleaning them to make sure they are mite free before storing. Hopefully, you still have an original case for your instrument. If that’s the case, you shouldn’t use any other case to store them. That’s because the original case will always fit every instrument part best and will usually provide the best protection.

guitar pick attached to its strings
Don’t forget to loosen the strings on your guitar before storing it long-term.

What do you need to know about storing percussion instruments?

Drums and other percussion instruments are a little bit different from the rest. You should treat every piece differently and make sure everything fits its specific needs. However, most musical instruments can be broken down into several parts, but that’s not always the case with percussions. You should note that many people will refer to a drum set as an instrument instead of each percussion piece individually. This doesn’t mean you should pack your drum set as a whole. Instead, you should treat each percussion piece specifically, and find a proper case to store each of them.

Make sure you clean every part as you would with any other instrument. However, leather drumheads don’t behave like wood or metal. You should oil drumheads with a special oil you can buy in stores for music instruments. This way, you’ll make sure the leather doesn’t dry out and stays in good condition. You can easily imagine what would happen after hitting a dry piece of thin leather hard once you get back to your drum set. Make sure you follow all guidelines when storing musical instruments long-term, and you will be able to enjoy them whenever you need them back.

 

 

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