All you need to know about preparing your piano for an overseas move

Preparing your piano for an overseas move is very important. The piano is not an easily breakable instrument because of its size, of course, but still, you need to be careful not to harm it in any way. This is a heavy instrument so it’s not easily moveable. Hence, moving the piano can be quite a difficult job and you need to be extra careful unless you want to spend a lot of money and time mending and tuning it later on.

Before you start preparing your piano for an overseas move

Before anything, you need to clean your piano. Not just basic dusting but really thorough cleaning. Every bit of piano should be clean. Start by dampening a cotton pad using hydrogen peroxide and wipe the keys back to the front. Never use any kind of bleach-based disinfectants or any kind of products that contain citrus. After that cleaning polish it with a dry cotton cloth. In case you need the inside of the piano to be cleaned leave that to professionals or at least watch online some “how-to” videos.

Piano keys prior to preparing your piano for an overseas move
You need to keep your piano clean anyways, but for relocation, you need to prepare it carefully. Start with deep cleaning.

Do you need a specialist to move the piano?

Yes. This instrument is way too big for you to handle on your own. You can ask your friends to help you out of course but they are not really experts in this field and they can drop or harm your valuable instrument. Repairing the piano can be very expensive. The smartest thing you can do is find experts that can handle the job. There are overseas movers that can do this easily and your piano will be safe.

Get a moving insurance

Since you are moving your piano and probably other valuable items overseas it might be smart to get moving insurance. This is not real insurance but it’s close enough. You get an estimate from movers and if something happens they pay you the agreed-upon sum. This will make you feel more at ease. Accidents happen, that’s part of life but with movers, it’s quite unlikely to happen anything bad since they are professionals after all. Ask all about this, they will explain it to you more closely.

The weight

People often wonder and ask if they can move the piano by themselves but the weight of the piano is very problematic and they are not built to be moved really. Not all movers accept pianos for relocation, and that tells you a lot about this. Upright pianos usually weigh somewhere between 400-500 lbs (158kg-227kg). So they are heavy and chunky. Grand Concert Pianos are even bigger. They are somewhere between 900-1200lbs (408-544kg). Not many people own Grand Concert Pianos of course, but still – can you imagine?

Have you ever wondered how heavy your piano actually is? They can be quite heavy. On the inside of your instrument may be written how heavy your piano is.

Preparing your piano for an overseas move

First, you need to protect the piano keys and piano pedals. They are the most problematic parts. The piano lid needs to be locked and maybe even taped just in case. Your piano needs to be packed in covering blankets and it will be smart to tape them. Consider wrapping the piano in plastic wrap too just in case it rains or it’s moist. You don’t want the rain to ruin your instrument.

Laying down the piano

This sounds weird but the piano can be moved that way. That won’t damage it, actually, the piano can be moved, tilted, or even rotated without doing any sort of damage. Damage will only occur if it’s dropped, bumped, or in case there are some foreign objects inside while it’s being moved.

Taking piano apart

While preparing your piano you might think this sounds like a good idea, but it’s not. It is possible but it’s quite problematic. Some of the crucial parts for disassembly are very hard to reach and that can be quite problematic. If you think this is your only option call the experts and don’t try to do it on your own. Even something common like breaking a string can harm you. Movers usually transport pianos the way they are and taking them apart is not a very common thing to do.

Tunning the piano

Preparing the piano is important in order to preserve it. When it comes to the final address you will need to tune it. They don’t handle well moving but that’s ok. Tunning piano is not that expansive. It’s somewhere between 60$ and 250$. Of course, if there is some damage and it needs more tunning sessions it will cost more. Tunning needs to be done by professionals. That is the only way to make sure that it will be done right.

A person playing the piano
Tunning must be left for the professionals. This is the only way. Don’t try to do it on your own even if you are an expert pianist.

Overseas move

The overseas move can be very nerve-wracking, add worrying about your valuable household items will only multiply the stress. That’s why people leave all the hard work to professionals even when they are moving somewhere close by. There is no reason to do on your own all the heavy lifting and risk injuries when there are skilled teams that can do it for you. Yes, it might cost more to hire them but how much do you value your own back? Or nerves? Think about it.

Especially if you have kids that need to be handled during this relocation. Leave the hard work to professionals and you take care of your kids. They will cherish those memories of moving away forever especially if you are relaxed and calm during the moving day. Good luck with your upcoming relocation and hopefully your piano will soon be in the intended spot for it in your new home.

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