Posted in How-to, Moving Tips&Tricks on March 12, 2021

How to Move a Piano the Right Way, and Without Professional Movers

Transporting large instruments can be quite tricky when you’re changing houses, and you should know precisely how to execute this task to avoid any damage or getting hurt yourself. Our how to move a piano guide has all you need to jazz the process up and keep it safe and efficient.

These classical instruments adorn many a home, and regardless of whether you play or it’s just a loving memory, you’ll do well to heed expert advice for transportation. All of these instruments are different, and applying some risky methods can lead to damage to certain components or – even worse – to the whole mechanism. If you don’t want to face the music and invest in repairs, read on and find out how to be in for a penny in for a pound.

Moving a Piano – How To Prepare?

Regardless of your reasons to move, this kind of activity requires thorough preparation. This instrument is not like a book that, with some luck, will survive the transition whatever you do, but it’s a heavy load that you must know how to handle. Take your time to complete all the necessary steps, and you’ll be enjoying the fruits of your effort later on. So, where do you begin?

If You’re Moving a Piano Yourself, You’ll Need These Supplies and Equipment

You absolutely cannot succeed barehanded, and you shouldn’t try it at all for reasons we’ve already mentioned. Investing in proper supplies is paramount here as they’ll protect both you and the instrument and give you peace of mind to see the undertaking through. So, ensure you’ve got the following on your moving to another state checklist to finish with bells on:

  • Dollies – A dolly is crucial for navigating your load through the home, and the great thing about them is that their wheels are designed to keep your floors intact. Just make sure you know how to put your item on this one, and you’ll pass with flying colors.
  • Boards – These are quite similar to dollies, and they serve the same purpose. Yet they don’t come with handles, so make sure you buy appropriate straps too and choose the ones that go with a wheel attached to them to avoid further complication.
  • Blankets – They present a way to keep your instrument intact and protect the surface and, most importantly, the edge.
  • Straps – Ratchet, locking, and shoulder ones constitute the Holy Trinity of superb strapping because they can extend the use of your arms and facilitate heavy lifting or crossing the stairs. Just remember to choose straps that are flexible and can be adjusted to the weight of your load.
  • Stair ramps – If you’re to face any stairs, this one can work wonders as it is created with a view to saving your time and energy. And it can really rescue you if there are some hazardous passages around your place.

Call for Help and Don’t Try to Do Everything on Your Own

Other tasks such as learning how to pack shoes can be done with no assistance. But, learning how to move a piano yourself is completely different, and you must have realized it by now. So, the worst thing you can do is man up and put on a hero cape. Real heroes know when they’ll be needing friends, so you should too. It will save you from being stressed out and getting stuck in terrible scenarios.

You should decide on the number of helpers and let them know in advance what your intentions are. Discussing the strategy and tossing ideas around can be great, but ultimately you have to agree on the plan because that will lead to the satisfaction of all parties involved. An extra tip to show your gratitude is to think of something your friends would truly appreciate, be it a small gift, meal, or favor, such as picking their kids up from school. Not many people would go the extra mile to do this for you, so make sure they know their effort was well worth.

Make Plans for the Best Route

Unlike other bits such as how to pack fragile items, where routes are entirely irrelevant most of the time, in this case, they can make a world of difference. It’s not the same whether you’re crossing one or more pairs of stairs, and your instrument must be able to go through every door. So do the measuring and plan this ahead for both the old and the new house.

It’s crucial because if you play by ear, chaos may ensue. Nobody likes taking steps back or scratching their head, and this endeavor can cost you loads of money and nerves if you don’t take it seriously.

Supplies for relocation stacked in a room
Blankets and other supplies are a must

The Type of Instrument Determines the Best Way to Move a Piano

These instruments possess different features, and their characteristics, such as size, will be key to deciding where to place them in the division.It’s not the same if it is a grand piano, the bulkiest version used for operas and concerts, or the upright one, which is the variant found in most homes. Depending on that, you can proceed to learning what works best for your type and come closer to solving the question what is the easiest way to move a piano you’ve got.

How to Move an Upright Piano?

Moving an upright piano is slightly less complicated than dealing with the concert one due to the fact that it’s lighter. Yet, you must know exactly how to approach this.

What you want to do first is protect and secure the instrument from any damage. This can be achieved if you wrap the lid and pedals with wrap vinyl or other protective cover that will be safe and fairly easy to be removed later on. Once you do it, you should put blankets over the body or surface of the instrument so that no shift or an odd object in the truck can scratch your prized possession. When all is done, ensure you tape all wrapping to the object to minimize any risk.

A man lifting his instrument
Mind the keys

How to Move a Grand Piano?

Knowing how to move upright piano is one thing, but learning the nuts and bolts of transporting its predecessor is quite another. Since they are bulky, you must use a screwdriver to take the legs off and examine whether another component can be disassembled. If not, use the remainder of your time to protect the lid, keys, and the body and prepare them for transport. You’ll need high-quality materials when moving a grand piano, and due to its weight, you must be absolutely confident in the straps and dollies you chose.

Notes on an instrument
The legs should be taken off first

Does Moving a Piano Damage It?

Though many people hope it’s merely a myth, transporting these large instruments can actually result in substantial damage if you don’t take all the necessary precautions. Apart from what we’ve already mentioned, you must also be wary of the following:

  • Putting too much pressure on one section as it can permanently warp the frame,
  • Packing the instrument last in the truck because that is rarely a good way to ship. It’s the same as with learning how to pack glasses; ultimately, you must know where they go,
  • Storing the instrument in a humid place is the no of all packing tips for moving,
  • Wearing the wrong clothes as even the tiniest slip can cause problems,
  • Not agreeing with helpers on even the tiniest of details – sounds easy, but you must know exactly who’s going to take the furniture out of the way in advance, who’s going to take the front part, the midsection, and the end of the instrument and what your tactic on the stairs is,
  • Not choosing the tools right for your type – knowing the measurements and specifications can sometimes get tricky, but this step can’t be skipped,
  • Relying on casters and rollers on the instrument – These seem fine, but more often than not, they’re actually ineffective. But by all means, test first if you’re eager to try it,
  • Transporting a piano on its side or back, especially for longer time periods – Try to keep it straight as much as you can.

You Should Have It Tuned Once Everything’s Done

Many players wonder whether their instrument will need tuning when it reaches the new place. And the answer is that in most cases, that’ll be necessary even if the process was smooth and without a hitch. The difference in humidity in the two places will cause your instrument to go out of tune, and experts recommend tuning it at least three times in the first year. When it adapts to the new environment, you can reduce the number and do it once or twice a year.

A woman and a kid playing an instrument
Accept that tuning is almost always needed

Pay Special Attention to How You Lift

Lifting will be the make it or break it of your attempt, so ensure you know the basics. First, you should check if your straps can absolutely support the weight of the object. Then, remember to tilt the instrument backwards and lift on both sides with the help of at least one more person. Finally, don’t forget that, if you’re dealing with stairs, the push and pull strategy should be applied. This means that the person up is in charge of pulling while the person on the lower end needs to push. Still, take into consideration whether you’re going up or down the stairs. Take a look at the following video for an alternative take on this.

Getting Help From Professional Cross Country Movers Is a Sure Way to Learn How to Move a Piano

If you have any dilemmas still lingering in your head or all the info is overwhelming you, or you’re apprehensive about the outcome of this process, consider contacting long distance movers with a license. Preparing such instruments for transport is their everyday experience, and they know all about using a dolly or board, straps, and blankets. With this kind of backup, you can rest assured that your instrument will arrive in better condition than it left and that you can let your hair down and commit to other things.

How Much Does It Typically Cost to Move a Piano?

If the answer to the question can you move a piano by yourself is no for you, you must look up the prices and see what portion of your relocation budget you should allocate for this. And you should know that a reputable cross country moving company will take more than one factor into consideration when forming the final quote.

First off, check the weight. Grand ones can weigh up to 1,200 pounds and more, while their upright counterpart is usually significantly smaller, but it can also reach up to 500 pounds. Another factor that will be assessed is the difficulty of the route, such as how many stairs are there, how many floors to go, and similar conditions. Once all is added up,  the company’s customer support will be able to give you a reliable quote for your specific situation.

A man lifting a white instrument
Professionals have more than one ace up their sleeve

Superb Long Distance Movers Can Give You a Hand In Other Aspects of Your Relocation Too

Experts can offer you a plethora of solutions for your dilemmas ranging from small to big ones. Pianos are what most people worry about, but if you’re struggling with other issues, you’ll be covered too. Long distance moving services encompass a top-rated packing service that can help you with anything, from how to pack bathroom items to packing up your shed. And all boxes and packing supplies are included in this.

Besides, if you’re in search of other assistance, such as immaculate auto transport or state-of-the-art storage facilities, you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise as well. There’s hardly something you’ll have to ponder over, and all you should do is contact the best movers out there to take the weight off your shoulders.

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