musical instrument storage

How to Store Musical Instruments in a Storage Unit

No doubt that there are many benefits to playing a musical instrument. However, there may be a time when you need to put the instruments away. Maybe you can no longer keep that acoustic guitar collection in the living room. Perhaps the space for your marimba needs to make way for a dresser.  Or, heaven forbid you’ve given up on forming that Russian bassoon band, but can’t bear to part with the instruments.  Whatever the reason Fairfax City Self Storage can show you how to store musical instruments safely and securely.

How to Store Musical Instruments

Whether you own a didgeridoo, drum set, or a piccolo any type of musical instrument can be expensive. If well-maintained and stored properly a musical instrument can last beyond your lifetime.

If keeping your instruments in your living space is not an option, you’ll need to move them into a secured storage unit.  Here are tips for preparing musical instruments for long-term storage.

  • Woodwind – Woodwind instruments should be disassembled, cleaned with appropriate cleaning tools. Take care with any cork areas. Flutes can be polished with anti-tarnish polish. Place tissue paper in between pads or keys to prevent them from becoming sticky. Make sure instruments are dry inside and out before returning to their original case.
  • Brass – Drain all water or moisture from the instrument. Clean mouthpieces and oil valves.
  • Percussion – Drums will need to be loosened to avoid stretching of heads. No need to loosen the timpani and basses. Check the cymbal manufacturer for appropriate cleaning instructions. Most require a special cleaning solution. Mallet instruments should be thoroughly cleaned before storage. Remove bars off of each instrument and wipe down rails and cover. Keep mallets in a case. Be sure to store mallets on a sturdy surface but not on the instrument itself.
  • Guitar and Strings – Guitars, violins, and other stringed instruments should have strings and bow hairs loosened a bit. Wipe down all surfaces and only use a cleaner that is recommended for stringed instruments. Regular furniture polishers and cleaners can damage delicate. Large string instruments such as a harp or upright bass should be stored covered and in a protected corner to avoid knocks or scrapes.

Placing Musical Instruments in a Storage Unit

After a good cleaning most instruments can be packed in their original case. If the case is damaged it’s best to replace it. Don’t store instruments in a cardboard box or plastic tub. Store instruments on a pallet, a shelf, or other surfaces not directly on the floor. To store guitars place them flat or on their side in a hard case. Never stack anything on the instrument case. For larger instruments wrap and cover with a tarp to protect from dust. Once placed in a storage unit, check on them periodically.

Use Temperature Controlled Storage Units

When storing musical instruments, a temperature controlled unit is the only way to go. Musical instruments are sensitive to temperature fluctuations, high humidity, and dry conditions. Prolonged exposure to heat and cold can have negative effects on the instrument, its sound, and its structural quality. If stored out of a temperature controlled environment for long periods instruments can warp, crack and attract mold and mildew. Electronic equipment such as amplifiers, speakers, and microphones will also benefit from being stored in a temperature controlled space.

Contact Us Today

Whether you play professionally, occasionally, or are a collector, musical instruments can be a major investment.  Storing them in a temperature controlled storage unit is the best way to ensure your instruments keep a sweet tune for years to come. We have 30 years of experience offering quality storage solutions for musical instruments of every shape and size. Conveniently located in Fairfax, Virginia off the beltway, come tour our facility with 24-hour access, 365 days a year.

If you have questions about choosing the right unit for your situation and budget, contact us today or give us a call at (703) 978-1200.

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