Hey, rock star. Is it time to lay down the axe?
If you’re putting your jamming days on hiatus and don’t have space for your instruments at home, a self-storage unit is the perfect solution.
In this storage guide, we share our tips on how to store musical instruments so they play the right tune when you pick them up again.
How to Prepare String Instruments for Storage
Think you can just place your guitar in its case, put it in a storage unit, and it’ll be hunky-dory when you return? Think again, silly! From guitars to violins, stringed instruments need a little TLC to prepare for long-term storage.
Remove dust and skin oils using a slightly damp microfibre cloth. Don’t use household cleaners on your instruments as they can cause damage to the finish. To be on the safe side, grab yourself a special instrument-cleaning cloth from a music store.
Loosen the strings by a whole step to release tension. If you don’t, they could end up snapping or, even worse, warping the neck of your instrument.
Place your instrument in a hard case to avoid dust, knocks, and scratches. If you’re storing your instrument for a long period of time, add some acid-free tissue paper between it and its case – the lining of your case can damage the finish on your instrument if in contact for too long.
Stay Cool and Dry
Extreme temperatures and humidity are a no-no. Add some bags of silica gel inside the case to absorb any excess moisture, and opt for a storage unit with climate control to avoid damage caused by heat.
How to Prepare Brass Instruments for Storage
No time to practise your saxophone or French horn? If your neighbour’s dog is howling along to your mediocre chops, it might be time to give it a rest. But before you put your beloved brass instrument into storage, prepare it properly with these steps.
Take It Apart
Disassemble your instrument and remove any valves and caps. If you can’t take your instrument apart yourself, don’t go reaching for those pliers. Take it to a professional to disassemble it safely, as using tools incorrectly can cause scratches.
Give It a Bath
Clean your instrument in warm water with a bit of regular dishwashing detergent. This helps remove grease and any odours caused by your saliva (you filthy animal). Use an internal cleaning kit from a music store to get into those smaller spaces. Rinse thoroughly and leave to dry.
Polishing your brass instrument will help prevent water stains and protect the lacquer coating. You can find a polish at any music store.
Seal It Up
Exposure to air and moisture can cause damage, so be sure to keep your instrument’s parts wrapped in a non-abrasive fabric and sealed in a protective case. Long-term storage of a brass instrument calls for a climate-controlled unit to avoid humidity.
When you’re ready to use your instrument again, simply lubricate and reassemble.
How to Prepare Drums for Storage
Are you giving your skins a break? Before you go stacking your drum kit inside a storage unit, take note of these handy tips. Drumroll, please…
Loose skin on a puppy? Adorable. Loose skins on a drum kit? Perfect for long-term storage. This helps prevent them from stretching while packed away.
Clean and Dry
Use a damp cloth to wipe away any dust or chemicals. Prevent moisture damage by coating the rims in a wax from a music store.
Use towels or blankets to wrap your drums and keep them protected from dust or dirt.
Extreme heat can cause the wood of your drums to dry out and crack. Keep your kit in optimum temperature by going for a climate-controlled storage unit.
How to Prepare a Piano for Storage
Whether you’re up there with Elton John or you’re more of a Chopsticks guy or gal, you’ll want to take the right steps to keep your piano in top shape during storage. While they’re pretty low-maintenance and don’t need to be pulled apart or have their strings loosened, there are a couple things you can do to prepare your piano.
Use bubble wrap or poly foam (we have heaps in the Box Shop) to protect your piano’s legs and pedals.
Cover the keys with a cloth and close the lid to keep dust out of those nooks and crannies. Place a sheet over your piano to avoid dust and dirt settling on top.
How to Prepare Records for Storage
Want to keep your collection of vinyl records safe and sound during long-term storage? These tips will keep them spinning smoothly.
Clean your records using a microfibre cloth or special anti-static record-cleaning brush. This should remove any dust and fuzz sitting on the surface.
Sleeve It Up
Keep your records protected in separate polyethylene sleeves. The chemicals in paper sleeves that come with the record can cause damage over time, so ditch these for high-density polyethylene sleeves.
Upright and on edge is the only way to go. Stacking your records horizontally or flat can cause warping and scratching.
Stay Dark and Dry
Light exposure, heat, and humidity are not your friends when it comes to storing your records. Keep your collection in a climate-controlled storage unit to prevent warping and damage.
Check out these vinyl record storage ideas for making your vinyl become part of the house.
Not ready to let the sun set on your jam sessions? Did we mention your storage unit can be used as a rehearsal space? Rock on!