Pianos are some of the most expensive things you can own, costing from a few grands to tens of thousands of dollars. Considering the sheer value of this item, learning how to move a piano should be your top priority, especially if you have never done it before. Thankfully, this guide will help you prepare this instrument like you were a true professional.
If you thought that packing electronics was complex, you haven't seen anything yet. Moving a piano yourself is probably the most challenging task you'll have to do before the move. It's so complicated to prepare it for relocation that you will wish you hired a professional mover right away. The instrument is probably one of the heaviest items you own, as some grand pianos are known to weigh as much as 1,400 pounds. While this alone will give anyone a pause, you won't have to worry about securing this valuable instrument, as this blog will show you precisely what needs to be done.
What's the best way to move a piano on your own? Well, like with everything else relocation-related, you'll want to start by organizing the entire process. Aside from a few details, the whole thing is very similar to relocating furniture and other large items, so you might already be familiar with some of the things we're going to cover in the few following sections. If not, organize your move by adding all the required tasks to your to-do list.
Before we move on to everything else, you must measure all the doorways and the instrument itself. Considering how massive these things can be, this relocation tip will help you avoid most of the issues right from the start. You want to be certain that the instrument can be freely moved around without hitting the walls or anything else in the process. If it can't pass through the door and the narrow corners without hitting a few spots, it's crucial to protect the exposed edges and dismantle the legs and pedals.
If you're relocating from a house to an apartment, be confident that the instrument can fit in the new home. Otherwise, you'll just be wasting both time and money trying to move it, especially when relocating to another city. If you have to downsize for a move, the instrument will have to be one of the first things to get rid of. However, if you want to keep the thing at all costs, it's better to move it to storage than have it clutter up your home.
Once you establish that the instrument can fit at your new place, it's time to get all the essential supplies and equipment. Once again, a lot of the materials and tools you require are also used for packing furniture. Unless you're relocating for the first time, you probably already have most of the things from this packing list:
● Dolly - This four-wheeled piece of equipment is excellent for transporting all sorts of heavy furniture. Just make sure it can support the piano's weight.
● Skid board - Made from a large piece of plywood covered with padding, this tool is another good way to transport the instrument, particularly grand pianos.
● Strappings - Straps, belts, and ropes are all solid options for keeping the item secured in place during transport.
● Blankets - If you want to avoid stretching or damaging the instrument when loading it on the truck, these are the best and only padding materials you'll require. Get at least a couple of them.
● Packing tape or plastic shrink wrap - Blankets won't stay in the same place on their own, so you'll have to get one of these to keep them from unraveling.
● Common tools - While you won't require an entire toolbox, a screwdriver will be necessary.
Considering you've never moved an instrument this large on your own before, try to get at least a few people to assist you with the heavy lifting. Pianos are incredibly hard to move, so you'll want all the help you can get. According to top professional relocation companies, at least three people are needed to move the instrument safely from one place to another. Still, even a single person is better than nothing, so see if any of your close friends and family members can assist you.
Now that we got all the basics out of the way, moving an upright piano will be relatively easy. More often than not, you won't have to dismantle the legs and pedals, as wrapping the entire instrument in blankets is enough to keep everything safe. Before you do it, though, make sure that the keyboard and top lids are both closed. If the piano's casters are still intact, lock them or ensure they can't move.
We already mentioned several times how heavy these things could be, meaning it's crucial to use proper lifting techniques when placing the instrument onto a dolly. It's best to start the lift from the squatting position, meaning your knees and hips should be bent while the back stays as straight as possible. When attempting to lift the instrument, try to do it with your entire body, not just the back.
Think of it as standing up while keeping the proper posture. This will undoubtedly prevent a painful back injury, so try practicing it with a partner to see if you're doing everything correctly. If you're relocating in a hurry and have to move the instrument yourself, try to tilt it on one side until it becomes almost weightless, and then place the dolly underneath it. This can also be done with more people, ensuring it doesn't accidentally tip over to the side.
While the instrument might be easier to maneuver once it's mounted on wheels, you will still have to ensure nothing is blocking the way before you start to move it. For starters, there shouldn't be any boxes near the home entrance. If you're relocating with pets, it's better to leave them with a friend. Besides making the entire process more complicated, there's always a risk you could run them over by accident.
The same can be said for those relocating with kids who are too young to know not to get in the way while their parents are working. Before you get the instrument on the pavement, check the path you're going to take for any cracks, rubble, or anything that could get stuck between the wheels or cause them to collapse. The same thing goes for grand pianos as well.
Moving a grand piano is somewhat more complicated compared to their upright counterparts. The process should start with lowering the top lid, which will have to be secured with tape. After all, you don't want it to open when you start wrapping the instrument. Once that's out of the way, you want to disassemble the pedals and legs, and to do that, someone will have to keep the entire thing from falling. It's best to tilt the instrument on the side, with one person doing the dismantling while the other keeps it from toppling over. To avoid losing the detached components, they should be wrapped with a blanket and kept in a separate box or a bag.
Wrapping the piano's main body is up next, which is done similarly to what we explained with the upright one. Finally, it's time to place the instrument on the skid board. One person should tilt the thing onto the board and hold it until the other uses straps and ropes to secure it. If you did everything correctly so far, the grand piano's top lid should be on the side. Lastly, place the board with the instrument on a dolly, and you're good to go.
If you're looking for some house hunting tips when relocating with this instrument, try finding a place that doesn't have too many staircases. It's challenging to maneuver the stairs with something this heavy, so you'll want to avoid it as much as possible. However, considering that's often not possible, you'll have to acquire additional equipment to get the instrument upstairs or downstairs.
starters, acquire a metal stair ramp,
which you can rent from any better professional relocation company. The
alternative is to build a ramp yourself out of stronger plywood planks.
However, these have to be nailed or screwed together to keep them from
separating, which might not be worth your time. You can also get the hump strap, which will serve as
an extension of your arms, making the lifting process a lot easier.
Once you place the instrument on a dolly, as we mentioned earlier, it's ready to be taken across the staircase. However, this will require incredible strength and stamina, so make sure that everyone involved can handle the load. If you're carrying it down the stairs, at least two people need to be on the leading end holding the thing from falling while the person on the top assists them.
Once the first pair of wheels are over the bump, the person on the top will lift their end onto the ramp while still keeping a firm grip on the instrument. The two on the bottom will lead the charge by pulling the entire thing slowly and one step at a time. The situation is slightly different when loading the truck or taking the instrument up the stairs, with the person on the top pulling and leading the charge while the two assist them by pushing. Once inside the vehicle, don't forget to secure it with straps or ropes, as any sudden movement during transport could leave your fragile items in pieces.
While everything we mentioned so far should help you move the instrument, the process is still too much for most newcomers. How do you move a piano easily, then? You hire professionals to do it for you. However, be aware that this could significantly impact your relocation budget. The cost of these services depends on several factors. These include the type and weight of the instrument, distance, presence of staircases, and the value of the item.
With the very high cost of shipping, many are wondering if hiring professionals is really worth it. Although this expense is not easy on the budget, hiring a mover is still the best way to move this valuable instrument. Considering how much effort it takes to move it yourself, getting professional services is undoubtedly worth every penny. If you're still up for it, there are more than a few ways to save money to move this incredible instrument.
Given the circumstances, hiring a professional mover to assist you with this challenging task is undoubtedly the best decision you can make. However, do you know where to find the right team for the job? If you're having trouble choosing a relocation company, using an app to compare moving companies will help solve your problem. That's precisely what you'll get by joining Mod24, an online platform that features all the certified service providers in your area.
If you want to have a much more pleasant experience, Mod24 features will give you much better control over the entire relocation process. Besides the option to easily compare prices between movers, our app for moving allows you to track the position of your shipment in real-time. If you're too busy to check the status manually, you can even opt to receive automatic notifications as soon as anything changes. As you can see, our moving app provides a ton of benefits to your move, so join the platform and start looking for a mover right away. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us, and one of our representatives will get in touch with you shortly.