If you’re relocating and have a piano in your home, you’re going to have to know how to move a piano. Having a piano in your home is great. You can invite friends and family over and impress them with your musical skill or just bask in the sophisticated glow of your grandiose piece of furniture that happens to make music. It’s all fun and harmony until it comes to relocating, and then you’ll probably wish you never had it in the first place. Not to worry, though! We have created a brief guide to help you move a piano.

Moving a Piano Yourself

Relocating is a challenging process. It’s tedious and takes lots of patience, and you’re likely to run into a few moving mistakes. One of the worst parts of it is moving furniture, even worse than carrying a piano. If you haven’t already hired a long-distance moving company for moving services, your relocation day just got a lot longer. In this case, it’s typical to think that you can handle carrying your piano all by yourself to speed things up. We strongly urge you to consider the risks involved in getting a piano moved – it’s a big task even for the mightiest of movers.

The Risks of Moving a Piano Yourself

Let’s run a quick scenario for your instrument-moving adventure. You live in a decent-sized house with two floors. In your living room, you have grandpop’s old piano that he gave to you. Though it’s aged, you maintain it reasonably well, but you’re relocating, and you have to get it out of the house. You may have all the confidence of Thor Bjornsson, but you won’t be able to lift a 300 pound (or more) object by yourself, as it is nothing like moving a grandfather clock.

You could push it out, but without a dolly or anything to help it move, all you would do is damage your wooden floors. So you call a friend or a family member to come and help you out, but you have to wait for when they’re free. You two decide to risk your backs and carry it to the narrow garage doorway. You try and find a way to fit it through the door, but you’re risking damage to the door frame and the piano. The frustration of this task alone finally prompts you to contact a reliable cross country moving company.

 A bearded man lifting one side of an appliance
Understand the risks of trying to move a large instrument by yourself

What You Need to Help You Move a Piano

In a perfect world, we would all have Herculean strength and be the sole champion of our relocation. Unfortunately, we don’t have that kind of power, so we have to make do with tools and equipment. You can be just like your everyday long-distance movers and purchase equipment to get your piano moved like a pro – or just stick to hiring movers.

Supplies and Equipment You Need

If you’re hell-bent on how to move a piano yourself and you’re willing to take the risk, then you’ll have to get equipped with the right tools. At first, the idea of having tools to move a large object might seem a bit much but remember, since it isn’t like moving a wooden stove. You’re carrying a massive object with many intricate and delicate pieces inside of it. One wrong move, and you’ll be having to call your insurance agent and report a claim. That’s where lifting equipment comes into play. Here are some items you’ll want to have around when you move:

  • Lifting straps
  • Dollies
  • Hand trucks
  • Moving carts
  • Heavy-duty gloves
  • Steel-toe boots.

These items are excellent for relocation and should be included in everyone’s moving essentials. You never know when you’re going to need them.

Pushing a load of boxes with a cart
Get yourself moving equipment and gear for a much easier relocation experience.

Moving an Upright Piano

Upright pianos are quite common in households and can be a pain to move. If you’re into splinters and back pain, then you can, of course, try carrying one of these large appliances by yourself, but we strongly recommend against it. Upright pianos can easily weigh up to 600 pounds and aren’t typically the most manageable objects to move. If you plan on tickling the ivories in your new home without an ounce of regret from a DIY move, we highly suggest getting some help.

Don’t Move it By Yourself

Whether you call a friend, family, or hire long-distance movers, it’s a much better option than having to wrestle with moving an upright piano. All you need is one reliable person to get the job done, and you’ll be surprised how quickly you get your instrument moved. If you’re doing your best to keep the cost down on your moving expenses checklist and opt for a smaller service like a packing service, unloading a piano after long-distance relocation might be a good time to meet new neighbors and recruit some assistance.

Piano
Avoid carrying any large thing by yourself

Moving a Grand Piano

Indeed an elegant and lavish instrument, the grand piano is easily an object of envy for those who don’t have the luxury of owning one. However, those who don’t own one don’t have to move one – joke’s on the owners. As lovely as they are, grand pianos are very heavy and very delicate and often have to be disassembled and reassembled, making it one of the most challenging parts of relocating. It’s so tricky there are special services meant explicitly for carrying pianos.

Step-by-Step Guide on Moving a Grand Piano

When carrying a grand piano, you have to be very careful not to damage any of the pieces, your home, and, most importantly, yourself. We highly suggest hiring an interstate moving company or at least two or three other people to assist you along with the recommended equipment. More help makes for a stress-free moving and an undamaged instrument. Once you’ve got your task force assembled, here are some of the steps you should follow to get your instrument moved:

  • Lower and secure the top lid
  • Place a large blanket or floor mat under the piano body
  • Carefully loosen and remove each of the legs and have two of your team carefully lower the body onto the floor mat
  • Safely set all pieces aside and wrap them
  • Have a large board and at least one or two dollies underneath
  • Slowly lift the body on the board and strap the body to the board for security.

Assuming you’ve followed the above steps, you should be good to go, but not every move is the same, and you may have to deal with some tight corners, narrow doorways, or even stairs. You’ll have to use two people to lift and a third to provide directions in these specific cases.

A Victorian piano
A grand piano is a bit more complicated to move because it has to be disassembled and re-tuned.

Handling Corners, Small Doorways, and Stairs

At this point, we’re sure that you’re fully aware how difficult it can be to move such a large object. Still, you haven’t seen real struggle until you’ve tried to move it around a tight corner, or a narrow doorway, or carried it up and down a flight of stairs. These obstacles make carrying a piano entirely different, and just a tad bit more confusing. Confusion on top of frustration isn’t a very good mix for relocating, so you’ll have to find some quick and easy methods so you aren’t stuck at the door, or around the corner, or at the stairs.

Methods for Moving Large Objects Through Small Spaces

Thank the almighty for equipment; for you’re going to need them. You’ll be using these various tools to get your great instrument out of the door and onto the truck. Here are the tools you’ll need and how you should use them:

  • Use stair ramps or large pieces of sturdy plywood (four by eight and a half feet) and a large dolly to push or lower the piece up and down vertical spaces
  • Use lifting straps to carry the piece through narrow doorways or use a dolly
  • You can use lifting straps and sidestep in your friend’s opposite direction to maneuver through the corner.

These methods might seem easy at first, but they do take a lot of effort, and you’ll need to be well prepared when performing them.

The Best Way to Move a Piano: Hire Professional Cross Country Movers

There are all kinds of methods and ways to get your instrument moved with much less effort than we’ve described, but there is one method that we’ve mentioned that works every time with almost no effort on your part: hire a long-distance moving company. Professional cross country moving group will already be equipped, trained, and experienced with this kind of work. To save yourself the backache, splinters, and other injuries, hire the pros.

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