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Pianos aren’t considered typical household items, like televisions or dressers. Still, many people have them, and take pride and joy in these beloved musical instruments. Since pianos are expensive and often a treasured family heirloom, it’s important to take extra care when moving these instruments.

Here are some tips for moving a piano from to your new digs:

• Inform movers in advance. Let your moving company know that you have a piano, so they can plan for the extra labor involved. By telling the movers in advance, it gives them more time to prepare which save everyone time and helps ensure the safety of your valuables.

• Assemble the troops! Pianos are not only heavy, but they can be incredibly awkward to move. Smaller pianos may only require two muscular individuals, but baby grands and beyond will require at least three to four people. This is another reason why it’s important to inform your moving company in advance, so they send enough people.

• Protect the piano. Before the move, secure the piano’s lid, and close and lock the keyboard. Wrap the piano with moving blankets and secure the padding with tape. Make sure the corners and legs are well wrapped, as these features are more vulnerable to nicks and damage.

• Handle with care. This tip almost goes without saying: Be careful! When moving a piano, never put the instrument on its side, as this is bad for the inner mechanics. Never lift by its legs, as this can damage the unit. Instead, lift the piano onto a dolly with moving straps and then secure it carefully on the dolly. Make sure that the piano is placed in the back of the truck and well secured on wooden planks, so the piano rests on a level surface. Double check that the piano is well secured before hitting the road—it’s better to be safe than sorry!

• Think twice about a DIY move. We know that times are hard, and many people opt to move themselves to save money. We wholeheartedly support that, but consider the added time, hard labor and potential disasters that can arise when moving heavy objects (like pianos) as a non-professional. Professional movers have ample experience and knowledge in moving delicate and precious heirlooms. The cost of hiring movers (who are bonded and insured) is often comparable, and sometimes less than, the cost to replace the piano if things went astray.

• One last step. Once you’ve made it to your new destination safely and soundly and the piano is its final resting spot, call your local piano tuner, as some of the inner mechanics may have moved in transit.

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