By Ritehly Quimbo. Posted on December 18th, 2023 in Self Storage Article.

Musical instruments are more than just tools for creating beautiful melodies; they are investments, treasured possessions, and extensions of the musician’s soul. 

Whether you’re an aspiring musician or a seasoned virtuoso, knowing how to store your Musical instruments properly is crucial for preserving their quality and longevity. 

In this guide, we will explore the significance of instrument storage and provide valuable insights into caring for various types of musical instruments.

Why Proper Instrument Storage Matters

Proper storage is vital because musical instruments are often delicate and sensitive to environmental factors. If not stored correctly, they can be susceptible to damage, including warping, cracking, and rusting. Additionally, regular maintenance can be costly, making protecting your investment through thoughtful storage practices essential.

Types of Musical Instruments

Before delving into storage techniques, it’s important to understand the different types of musical instruments. They can be broadly categorized into four categories: string instruments, woodwind instruments, brass instruments, and percussion instruments. Each category requires specific care and attention to ensure its longevity.

The Impact of Environment on Musical Instruments

Environmental factors play a significant role in the health of your instruments. Fluctuations in temperature and humidity can cause significant damage. 

High humidity can lead to warping and mold growth, while low humidity can cause instruments to dry out and crack. Extreme temperatures can also affect adhesives and finishes. So, it’s crucial to consider your surroundings when storing instruments.

How to Store String Instruments

String instruments like violins, violas, and cellos are particularly sensitive to humidity and temperature. It’s essential to store them in a climate-controlled room with stable conditions. Using instrument cases with proper padding can further safeguard these delicate instruments.

musical instrument stored in container yard

Wall mounts

When installing wall mounts, it’s essential to consider the weight and size of the instrument. Make sure to use appropriate anchors or screws to securely attach the mount to the wall, and follow any specific instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Always check the compatibility of the wall mount with your instrument type and size to ensure a safe and secure display. Additionally, consider the aesthetics of the wall mounts to enhance the overall visual appeal of your musical instrument display.

Protective instrument bags and boxes

When selecting protective cases and bags, consider the level of protection needed, the frequency of travel, and the specific requirements of the instrument. Always ensure that the case or bag is designed for your instrument’s size and shape to provide optimal protection.

 Use bubble wrap and styrofoam

Bubble wrap and styrofoam create a protective layer that absorbs shocks and vibrations, reducing the risk of damage during transportation. Always tailor the packing method to the specific requirements of the instrument and the type of transport it will undergo.

 Waterproofing

Remember that while waterproofing can provide protection against light rain or splashes, complete submersion or prolonged exposure to heavy rain may still pose a risk. Choose waterproofing methods based on the specific needs of the item and the environmental conditions it will face.

Choosing the right case

Always choose a case that meets the specific needs of your instrument, and when in doubt, consult with the instrument manufacturer for recommendations. A well-chosen case prolongs the life of your instrument and preserves its condition for years to come.

Store instruments vertically

Always consider the weight and balance of the instrument when storing it vertically. Check for any manufacturer recommendations or guidelines for vertical storage to prevent any potential damage. And, of course, ensure the storage area is free from extreme temperatures, humidity, or direct sunlight that could harm the instruments.

Choosing the right storage

Choosing the right storage for your musical instrument is crucial to preserving its quality and lifespan. No matter the instrument, the primary goals are to keep it clean, dry, and protected from physical damage or extreme environmental conditions. 

Keyboard Instruments

Each instrument might have specific care instructions from the manufacturer, so it’s beneficial to refer to the user manual or seek advice from professionals for particular guidance.

Storing Woodwind Instruments

Flutes, clarinets, and saxophones fall into the woodwind category. Cleaning and drying the mouthpieces, storing them in protective cases, and keeping them away from direct sunlight can help maintain their quality.

Caring for Brass Instruments

a man sitting in the container yard wilt full of musical instrument

Brass instruments like trumpets and trombones can tarnish and corrode if not stored correctly. Regularly cleaning and oiling the valves and slides is essential. Store them in cases or gig bags to protect them from dust and humidity.

Safeguarding Percussion Instruments

Drums and xylophones require specific storage considerations. Keeping them in a climate-controlled space and covering them to prevent dust accumulation is crucial. Inspect drumheads regularly for damage.

General Guidelines for All Instruments

No matter the type of instrument, some general rules apply. Always loosen the strings slightly to reduce tension, clean your instruments before storing them, and use covers or cases to protect them from dust and potential accidents.

The Importance of Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance, such as cleaning, tuning, and oiling, is essential to keep your instruments in top condition. Establishing a maintenance routine to address minor issues before they become major problems is a good practice.

Avoiding Common Mistakes

Avoid exposing your instruments to extreme temperatures, leaving them in direct sunlight, or stacking heavy items on top of them. These common mistakes can lead to irreparable damage.

DIY vs. Professional Storage Solutions

Consider whether you want to build your storage solutions or purchase professional ones. While DIY solutions can be cost-effective, professional cases and cabinets often offer superior protection.

Hire a secure self storage unit

a man sitting in container full fo musical instrument items

Find a local storage facility with excellent security options. Choose a unit that fits your instrument, ensure it’s clean and properly packed, and consider insurance. Visit the facility, sign the contract, and store your instrument securely, away from potential damage. Periodically check on it and keep the access details safe.

Event storage solutions

When preparing for an event, consider specialized instrument cases for transportation and storage. Look for secure backstage areas or lockable rooms at the venue to safeguard instruments. 

Utilize climate-controlled spaces if available to protect against temperature and humidity fluctuations. Additionally, having designated instrument handlers or a team responsible for their care during the event can ensure their safety and proper handling.

Why you should consider long-term self storage

Long-term self-storage offers a safe haven for your musical instrument, shielding it from potential damage at home. It protects against environmental factors like humidity and temperature fluctuations, preserving the instrument’s quality. 

This solution also frees up space in your living area while ensuring the instrument remains easily accessible whenever you need it. Plus, specialized storage facilities often provide added security measures, giving you peace of mind about your instrument’s safety over extended periods.

Summary

Properly storing musical instruments is fundamental to preserving their quality and longevity. Whether you’re an aspiring musician or a seasoned pro, taking care of your instruments is an investment in your craft. By following the guidelines and tips in this guide, you can ensure that your instruments continue producing beautiful music for years to come.

Frequently Ask Questions

How often should I clean my musical instruments?

  • Clean your musical instruments regularly, ideally after each use or performance.

Can I store my instruments in a basement or attic?

  • Avoid storing instruments in basements or attics due to temperature and humidity fluctuations.

Are there any environmentally friendly storage options?

  • Consider environmentally friendly storage options like using recycled or sustainable materials.

What should I do if I suspect my instrument has been damaged during storage?

  • If you suspect damage during storage, consult a professional instrument technician for assessment and repairs.

Is it necessary to store instruments in a climate-controlled environment?

  • It’s advisable to store instruments in a climate-controlled environment to prevent damage from temperature and humidity variations.