moving musical instruments

Let’s face it: your days of shredding that git-fiddle are over. Your kids can sleep when you play, your wife’s had enough of your amp taking up her space in the garage, and your buddies have all thrown in the towel long ago. Your nineties grunge band was pretty cool, but now that you’ve moved on, how do you put your instruments on ice?

Musical instruments aren’t just expensive purchases—they’re also delicate ones, susceptible to temperature, humidity, and dust. Here’s how to keep them safe in a storage unit:

Stringed Instruments

If your stringed instrument is made of wood, make sure to clean it well and then cover with a wax made for wooden instruments (these should be easy to find at your local music store). Relax or remove the strings. Place the instrument inside its original case. Since wooden instruments are particularly vulnerable to humidity—as high levels of it can cause mold and mildew problems—you might also want to put them inside a tightly-sealed polyurethane bag.

Because wooden instruments are so susceptible to humidity, you’ll probably want to go with a climate-controlled storage unit. While electrical instruments aren’t as delicate as their wooden counterparts, you’ll want to make sure to cover amps and speakers to prevent dust from getting inside.

Brass Instruments

Take apart your brass instrument and thoroughly clean and oil each and every piece. Use a special cloth (usually included when you purchase your instrument) to wax the instrument to prevent it from tarnishing—just make sure you use brass wax. Place the instrument inside of its original case. Brass instruments expand or contract as temperatures change, meaning extreme temperatures or quickly-changing temperatures can cause permanent damage. Because of this, you should store your brass instrument in a climate-controlled unit.

Brass instruments expand or contract as temperatures change, meaning extreme temperatures or quickly-changing temperatures can cause permanent damage. Because of this, you should store your brass instrument in a climate-controlled unit.

Drums

Take drum kits apart and wipe all dust from their surfaces using a dry cloth. Leather surfaces should be well-oiled. Wipe cymbals with a shammy and then store them in a padded cymbal bag—if you don’t have one of these, use a cardboard box and make sure to use ample padding. If you don’t have dedicated drum bags, store each drum in its own box and pad well. All hardware should be thoroughly polished. Both drums and brass cymbals are susceptible to damage from extreme heat and humidity, so you’ll want to go with climate control for these as well.

If you don’t have dedicated drum bags, store each drum in its own box and pad well. All hardware should be thoroughly polished. Both drums and brass cymbals are susceptible to damage from extreme heat and humidity, so you’ll want to go with climate control for these as well.

Final Tips

No matter what instrument you’re storing, it’s important that you go with climate control—temperature, humidity, and dust are just too great a risk for you to take without it. That being said, you should take further precautions even inside a climate controlled unit.

Prop instruments up off the ground, perhaps using wooden pallets. Leave wide spaces between them and other boxes—you’ll want to allow as much air follow as possible. Keeping things high and spaced out makes humidity less of a threat. With these tips, you should have nothing to worry about when storing your instruments.

Brian Shreckengast is a writer at SelfStorageDeals.com, a leading price-focused search engine for finding cheap storage units. For more wisdom on the worlds of storage and moving, check out the SSD blog.

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