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Protect Your Musical Instruments in Storage

If you’re a musician, you know that musical instruments are a significant financial investment. In many cases they have great sentimental value as well. With proper care, instruments can last a lifetime. This care includes proper storage. While storing instruments at home in the proper climate is usually ideal, this may not always be possible. Storing your instruments in an attic or cellar is not a good idea as the temperature and humidity can vary too much and be difficult to control. A climate controlled self storage unit from AAA Self Storage of Topeka, however, can be an excellent option for storing instruments, as well as your accompanying electronic equipment, sheet music, and audio backups.

Heat, cold, moisture, and dust are the four biggest threats to your instruments when it comes to storage. Changes in temperature or humidity can be very detrimental to instruments, causing them to expand and contract. This, in turn, causes cracking and warping. It can also cause drum skins to dry out. Damage from temperature and humidity extremes can cause severe damage to instruments that can often result in the need for repairs that are more expensive than replacing the instrument. To protect your instruments, experts recommend you store your instruments in an environment that is between 60 and 80 degrees.

Once you’ve found the right place to store your musical instruments, you’ll want to take some additional precautions to protect your instruments while they’re in storage. To begin, prepare them for storage by cleaning and conditioning them. You should also disassemble them and remove reeds and mouth pieces.

Store them in their original cases if possible. If you don’t have them, invest in a high-quality hard case. This will help protect them from dirt, dust, insects, and physical damage. Also, consider lining the cases with acid-free tissue. Keep instruments and electrical equipment off the concrete floor to protect them from absorbing the changing temperature and moisture of the concrete. Instead, place them on pallets. Store the instruments away from doors, vents, and drafty areas. The center of the room is best. Avoid storing them where they can fall or something can fall onto them. It is a good idea to periodically inspect your instruments for any damage. When removing them from storage, take your time, unpack them carefully, and clean and tune them prior to use.

In addition to these general precautions for all instruments, some instruments have additional measures that should be taken to protect them from damage:

• Pianos – Upright pianos should be stored upright but off the ground on casters or pallets. Wrap the piano, legs, pedals, bench, and lid in high-quality heavy padding. Consider hiring a professional piano mover to move your piano into your storage unit.

• Guitars and string instruments – Loosen the strings to release the tension to prevent them from snapping and prevent the neck from warping. Store them in a hard case lined with acid-free paper.

• Woodwind instruments – Disassemble and remove reeds and mouthpieces. Place tissue paper between the pads to keep dust and insects out.

• Drums – Loosen the skins to prevent them from stretching.

Now that you have your instruments properly prepared for storage in a climate-controlled environment, take one final step to protect your investment by having them insured. Be sure to keep an inventory along with photos and appraisal paperwork in the event you need to file a claim.

Taking the time to properly store your musical instruments will protect your instruments, help you avoid costly repairs, and extend the life of your instruments. If you are looking for musical instrument storage in Topeka, Wamego, Holton, or Carbondale, AAA Self Storage of Topeka has climate control self storage units available that are ideal for storing musical instruments and equipment. Our facility also offers additional security features such as video cameras and unique gate security codes for each tenant to help ensure the safety of your stored items.