A Guide to Music Storage Solutions

June 17th, 2020

A saxophone all cleaned and sitting properly in its case, ready to go into storage

“Music is powerful. As people listen to it, they can be affected. They respond.”

– Ray Charles

If there’s anything you should know about Austin, TX, it’s that music is deeply embedded in our culture. The entire city participates in the music scene. And with lots of music venues and festivals comes lots of musicians with music gear. Unfortunately, sometimes we have to put our instruments away for a while. When that happens, it’s important to prepare your instrument properly for storage to help prevent damage.

3 Tips on How to Store a Musical Instrument

  1. Each instrument has different needs.

Stringed instruments and woodwinds:

  • If your instrument can be separated into pieces, separate it. This will help take pressure off the connections.
  • Slip tissue paper between pads like on flutes to keep them from getting sticky in storage.
  • Clean them thoroughly. Wipe everything down with a cloth and instrument cleaning solution (avoid household cleaners as they can damage your instrument). If necessary, use a vacuum to pull out any dust.
  • Loosen strings to release tension so they don’t snap or warp the neck.

Piano and percussion instruments:

  • Loosen drumheads to keep them from stretching.
  • If the drum skins are made of leather, oil them to keep them from drying out.
  • Wrap piano pedals, legs and bench in packing material for protection.
  • Cover the instruments with a sheet or tarp to deter dust.
  • Struck percussion instruments such as glockenspiels and xylophones should be stored flat in their cases.
  • If your piano is a baby grand, move it onto its side.
  • Do not loosen the tension of piano strings as they are designed to withstand tension.
  1. Be sure to use climate control.

Climate control is possibly one of the most important factors in music storage. Temperature fluctuations and humidity can be the downfall of any instrument, but those made of wood are particularly susceptible. When storing your instrument, you may consider a closet, basement, attic or storage unit, but those places can be prone to humidity and fluxes. Many storage units that claim to have climate-control only offer temperature control with no influence over humidity. If you have a wooden instrument, this can spell disaster as it absorbs the moisture in the air – when it absorbs too much, the wood will expand and crack.

Even if you’re not putting your instrument into storage, you should still consider investing in a temperature/humidity monitor for your music room. It can help you get a better idea of the levels in the room in case you need to make any adjustments. Depending on the room, you may decide that investment in a humidifier or dehumidifier is necessary as well.

  1. Storage ideas for frequent use.

Even when your instrument isn’t in long-term storage, you want it to stay in the best shape possible. Proper temporary storage while you’re not using it can make all the difference.

  • If you aren’t using the case for storage, keep them off the floor. The greatest temperature fluctuations take place there.
  • Use shelving units and music cabinets for raised, flat surfaces.
  • For guitar storage ideas, consider wall mounts or a guitar rack. Both are specially designed to keep your guitars in good condition. You can also use some guitar storage ideas for other stringed instruments like cellos and violins.
  • Guitar accessory storage can be as simple as a pencil case for picks, cable ties and hooks for cords and a pedal case for pedals.
  • Don’t lean instruments against the wall as they can fall over and sustain damage.
  • Keep musical instruments away from areas with drafts such as windows and external walls.

Choose Crampt for Climate-Controlled Storage

When you need to put your musical instrument into long term storage, you want to choose something with climate control. Unfortunately, many self-storage facilities that claim to offer climate control actually have temperature control only. While temperature control is better than nothing, it still leaves your instruments vulnerable to warping from moisture.

So how do you avoid this? Choose Crampt as your storage experts! Once you choose the storage size you need and schedule a pick-up, we’ll arrive to take your musical instrument back to our storage facility so you don’t have to worry about the heavy lifting. Keep track of your belongings on our handy tenant portal, and when you’re ready to have your gear back, just request a drop off. We can get it to you in 24-48 hours so you can brush up and get ready for your gig or rehearsal!

Find storage availability in Austin, TX with Crampt today!