Moving a Piano

Pianos Bring the Sound of Music Into Your New Home But Moving Them Is a Big Job.

Pianos are typically valuable, and when it comes to moving, they fall into a category all their own. It is best to hire professional movers to do the job to avoid damage or injury. This is particularly true if the piano must be moved down a flight of stairs, into an elevator or maneuvered through other tight spaces.

Here’s a sense of what’s involved if you do hire movers—or what you must do if you brave moving a piano on your own.

Safety in Numbers

Pianos are not only heavy, but they’re also awkward. Uprights carry all their weight in the top half, and their legs and feet can be fragile, so you’re going to need at least three extra pairs of hands to properly and safely move an upright piano.

Get the Proper Equipment

You’ll need a furniture dolly that can support the weight of the piano. Heavy-duty straps are a must to provide a better hold on the piano itself and to secure the piano in the moving truck

You’ll also need padding or moving blankets to protect the piano from bumps. This will help protect walls from cracks and scrapes, too.

Protect the Keyboard

The first step in moving a piano is to close and lock the keyboard lid, because the keys are fragile and need protection. This will also prevent the lid from opening during the move.

If the keyboard lid does not lock, make sure the lid is closed when you wrap the piano. Don’t use tape to keep the lid closed as this will damage the wood surface.

Wrap the Piano

Wrap the piano with the blankets or padding. Make sure the corners are protected and secure the blanket with packing tape. Keep the tape from contact with the piano’s surface.

Make sure that the blanket or padding is thick enough to protect the piano from bumps that might occur when moving.

Hoist It

There are 2 key precautions when lifting a piano – whether onto the furniture dolly, the truck, or to another location within your house:

  • Don’t lift the piano by its legs because they are extremely vulnerable.
  • Keep the piano in an upright position. Laying it on its side is not good for the inner mechanics.

Ideally, you will need 4 people to move the piano:

  • Position 1 person on each end of the piano and place the moving straps under the piano’s bottom, with a strap on each end.
  • Position 2 more people around the piano ensuring that all four corners are supported. Lift the piano onto the furniture dolly.
  • Secure the piano so that the legs are sitting flat on the dolly. If the piano has casters, you must either lock the casters in place (if possible) or ensure that the piano is well secured.

Load it Securely for Transit

The piano should be put at the back of the moving truck next to the back wall—the wall that separates the truck’s interior cab from the cargo space. If you are moving other items, the piano will be one of the first pieces to be packed and one of the last to be unloaded at the new location.

Many piano movers suggest using wood planks to ensure a level of flooring for the piano since most truck spaces are not level. This helps relieve pressure on the casters and piano legs which will strain to stabilize during the move. If you use planks, lay them along the back wall.

  • Lift the piano from the dolly onto the planks. Using the moving straps, secure the piano to the truck wall.
  • Check to make sure that the piano is unable to roll around or tip while the truck is moving.

Move It In

Before you move into your new home, makes sure you know exactly where the piano will go. It should be against a wall; preferably an inside wall where it will be protected from the cold and damp. Reverse the steps outlined above.

Ready It

A piano must be tuned each time it is moved. While pianos are heavy objects and pretty solid, their inner workings are sensitive to movements and bumps.

A professional tuner will have it sounding perfect again and ready for the wonderful sounds of music that will fill your new home.

Moving a Piano