Moving is consistently considered to be the most stressful task you can undertake; even more so than divorcing or having a child. Depending on what you own, one of the hardest parts of moving can simply be loading your things onto the truck.
Big, bulky items in particular can be a major headache when moving. If you’re a music lover, for you this means a piano. Wide, heavy, and relatively fragile, pianos are one of the hardest items to move, even for local moving professionals with years of experience.
Luckily, it can be done with proper planning and careful execution. Keep reading for some piano moving tips that will ease the strain of your upcoming move.
Take the Time to Plan Ahead
The biggest step you can take to simplify your piano move is to take the time to plan ahead.
When it comes to planning ahead, measuring is critical for success. You’ll not only need to measure the height, width, and depth of the piano but also the doorways, hallways, and stairs you’ll need to pass to get the piano outside.
Then, you’ll need to measure the truck to ensure the piano will have enough space to be transported. Finally, you’ll have to measure these elements again in your new home to decide how you’ll get the piano to its new space.
Taking Stock of Your Piano
Once you’ve measured the space and your piano, you’ll be able to determine how to maneuver it out of your current home. At this point, you should take stock of your piano to pinpoint its limitations.
For example, upright pianos can be turned on to their side if absolutely necessary, but grand pianos are significantly easier to move when the legs are removed beforehand.
Gather the Right Equipment
It’s important to gather the equipment you need before attempting to move a piano, as being left without an essential tool could cause injury to you or damage to your piano.
Heavy-duty straps will allow you to get a better hold on the piano as you are moving it, which is especially helpful when navigating a staircase. A furniture dolly that can support the piano’s weight is also necessary for getting the piano to and from the truck. This can be used in tandem with the straps for added security.
Additionally, you’ll need padding and strong tape to secure the piano before moving.
Assemble Your Team
Aside from equipment, one of the most important tools for piano-moving is a strong team. Pianos are not only extremely heavy but also awkwardly shaped. For this reason, you’ll need to plan on having at least four strong people to help you move the instrument.
Secure the Piano Properly
Before moving, you must properly secure your piano to ensure it doesn’t get damaged during transport.
No matter what kind of piano you have, the first step in securing it is to close and lock the keyboard lid. This will keep it from opening during the move and damaging any of the fragile keys. If the lid doesn’t feature a lock, be sure it is shut securely before wrapping. Avoid using tape to keep it closed as this could damage the wood finish.
Using either blankets, padding, or a protective cover, wrap the piano to protect its surface, taking care to ensure the corners are properly covered. Make sure the padding is thick enough to keep the piano safe from any bumps or scrapes it may incur. Secure the padding with tape (avoiding the piano’s surface!) to keep it from shifting during transport.
Load the Piano the Right Way
Once the piano has reached the moving truck it’s important to ensure it is properly secured. Ideally, the piano should be loaded first, so it can be placed against the truck’s back wall.
Since truck spaces are often not level, many movers also suggest using wood planks to create a level flooring for the piano to sit atop. This works to relieve pressure on the piano’s legs and casters, which will try to stabilize during the move and may cause a strain.
After loading, double-check to ensure the piano is unable to tip over or roll around once the truck is in motion, which could be damaging to both the instrument and your other possessions.
Factors That Complicate a Piano Move
Moving a piano is already a complicated task that can easily give you a massive headache. However, it’s important to be aware of a few factors that could complicate the move even further. Here are a few things to keep in mind when relocating the bulky instrument:
- Narrow hallways, stairways, and doorways
- Low ceilings
- Stairs with curves or ornate banisters
- The instrument’s access point; if the only way out is through a balcony or a higher story, you may need a crane or a lift to move the piano
- The distance between the access point and the truck; too great, and you may have to navigate terrain that could damage the instrument
- Changes in temperature and humidity; too much fluctuation and the piano’s wood could be irreparably damaged
Professional Movers: The Easiest Way to Move a Piano
While it is possible to move a piano on your own (with help from a few friends!), the process is extremely delicate and could cause more stress than it’s worth. On top of the other packing and logistical planning you’re already doing, moving a piano is a daunting task.
By far, the easiest—and safest—way to move a piano is to hire professional help. With endless resources and years of experience, professionals like those at Charleston’s Smooth Move can help you transport the instrument with ease.
Not only will outsourcing save you a major headache, but it will also prevent damage to your extremely large and valuable piano. Move your piano without the stress by calling on Smooth Move for help today!