Moving is always a chore, but most of the household goods that you’re going to need to pack up and deliver to the new place are at least easy to manage. Packing clothes, dishes, and tchotchkes into boxes is tedious, but not difficult. The problem comes when it’s time to move larger items, like furniture.
Figuring out how to get heavy and awkwardly shaped items from an old residence to a new one is difficult. And the piano has always been one of the most difficult items to move. They’re heavy, awkwardly shaped, and prone to scratches and other damage. If you’re stumped by trying to figure out how you’re going to move your piano, here are some tips that can help.
Understand Your Piano
If the piano is an heirloom or decoration piece, you may not know exactly what kind of piano it is. Pianos come in all kinds of sizes and shapes, and different pianos require different moving techniques, so it’s important to know what you’re dealing with before you begin the moving process.
Most pianos that are found in homes can be divided into one of two different categories: vertical pianos or grand pianos. Within the vertical category, you can find spinet pianos and console, studio, or full size pianos. The spinet pianos are the smallest of the bunch, at a height of only 35 to 37 inches. These are the easiest pianos to move. The other vertical pianos range from 40 inches to 60 inches and are more complicated to move.
Grand pianos include the petite grand, baby grand, medium grand, semi-concert grand, and concert grand. These pianos are all shaped similarly, with a horizontal soundboard instead of the upright soundboard that vertical pianos have. This horizontal soundboard makes the grand piano much wider and more awkwardly shaped than a vertical piano, and it takes even more special care to move a grand piano.
Prepare Your Piano
No matter what kind of piano you have, you’re going to want to wrap it up before you try to do any moving. It’s very easy to scratch the finish on a piano, and wrapping it up in protective material will help keep it from getting damaged in the doorways. You’ll need blankets and packing tape for this step. Start by closing and locking the keyboard cover and the lid to the piano’s soundboard. Cover the entire piano with several layers of blankets, using packing tape to keep them in place.
A spinet piano can most likely be lifted by two or more people and carried carefully. However, if your piano is any other kind of vertical piano, you are going to need a dolly. Moving companies often have specially designed piano dollies with straps that you can rent. For a grand piano, you’ll probably need a skid board, and it may be necessary to unscrew and remove the bass leg of the piano in order to fit it through the doorway. Be sure to carefully wrap the removed leg in blankets for the move.
Once you have the piano wrapped and the equipment at the ready, you’re still not quite ready to move the piano. You’ll need to plan your pianos path from its spot in the house out the front door to the truck. Be sure to move any objects that are in the way, and measure your doorways and the wrapped piano to ensure that it will fit. Your piano should be one of the first things that you put on the moving truck so that you’ll have plenty of room to get it into position.
Know When to Get Help
For the safety of your piano and your own back, it’s sometimes a good idea to consider finding additional info on hiring professional movers to help you when you’re moving a piano. Hiring professional help is the smartest move under any of these circumstances:
You don’t have friends, family, or neighbors that can help. There’s no way that you can move even a spinet piano solo.
You have a weak back or medical condition that affects your physical strength. It’s not worth hurting yourself just to save the money on hiring movers.
Your doorways are too narrow for the piano to get out. Chances are pretty good that your piano can get out the door, since it obviously got in the door, but if you can’t see how it got in in the first place, chances are that you had professional help. Save time and energy by calling for help again.
You have to move the piano up or down a flight of stairs. Moving a piano isn’t just difficult, it can be dangerous, especially on a flight of stairs. Don’t risk it; call someone who is trained to move pianos instead.
If you have plenty of help and muscle, if your piano is likely to fit easily through all of the doorways, and if you don’t need to tackle any stairs, then it’s OK to try moving it yourself, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to. Professional movers can make moving day easier in many ways.
A piano makes a great decoration piece and can produce beautiful music as well, so it’s important to keep it in great shape. Knowing how to move a piano without damaging it in the process is an essential part of owning and maintaining a piano.