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How to Move a Piano With and Without Piano Movers

If you’re wondering how to move a piano, you’ve come to the right place. Oddly shaped, fragile, and heavy, pianos seem nearly impossible to move. But fear not! We’re here to tell you that it is in fact possible, and there are simple ways to do it. Whether you’re wondering how to move a piano to a suburban home or a six-floor walk-up, follow along and let us ease all of your piano moving worries in one simple guide.

How to Move a Piano With Professional Piano Movers

Although it is possible to move a piano on your own, we highly recommend hiring piano movers. For an item as complicated and valuable as this, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. It’s easy to find a moving company that offers piano moving services at affordable rates, and many can even incorporate piano moving into a full household move. Pricing varies depending on the distance of the move with long distance moves being the most expensive. Also note: If your move involves stairs, you can always expect to see the price rise.

Good professional piano movers are well-trained, licensed and insured, and can guarantee an easy and safe piano transport. They may even offer climate controlled moving trucks to further protect your musical instrument.

By not hiring professional piano movers, you may save a few extra bucks in the short-term, but you run the risk of injuring yourself and anyone that’s trying to help you, plus you could damage the piano. Not an inexpensive fix! This is especially true in the case of grand pianos where disassembly and bigger transportation equipment is required. With so many things to worry about during your move, risking a major mishap like this isn’t worth it. We’ll take the piano movers, please!

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How to Move a Piano Without Piano Movers

So, you’ve decided to roll up your sleeves, and learn how to move a piano yourself — more power to ya! We’re here to make sure your DIY move goes as smoothly as possible. Pay close attention to the following steps and you should be well on your way to becoming a capable piano mover.

1. Take measurements

Before anything else, when learning how to move a piano yourself,  it’s crucial that you carefully measure the dimensions of the piano as well as the path you’ll move it along before starting to move anything. Be sure to include hallways, doorways, and stairwells in your “things to measure” list to ensure that the piano will be transported easily come moving day. You don’t want to get stuck on the fourth floor of your walk-up with a wedged baby-grand.

It’s important to note that the logistics will likely vary depending on the size of your piano. For example, an upright piano has different dimensions and moving needs than a grand piano (don’t worry, we’ll get into the details in a moment). Regardless, you should always measure your piano before you move to avoid hitting any roadblocks.

2. Gather supplies to move your piano

Want to know how to move a piano safely? We thought so. You’ll want to protect both yourself and the instrument when moving. Scuffed walls, dented railings, scratched instruments, and pulled muscles can all be avoided with the right equipment. To protect yourself, your fellow piano movers, and the piano itself, run out to the local store for the following items:

  • Work gloves

  • Heavy-duty tape

  • Plastic wrap or dense cloth/blanket

  • Four-wheel dolly

  • Dolly straps

  • Van/truck

  • Ramp

  • Weightlifting straps

  • Moving straps

You can find these items at most home improvement or hardware stores. Once you’ve gathered all of these materials, you’ll be one step closer to becoming a DIY piano mover.

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3. Clear the path to move your piano

Before you get to moving your piano, it’s important to remove any decorations or obstructions from your piano’s path of exit. The last thing you want to worry about as you lift a 700 lb piano is that potted plant in the corner tripping you up. It’s also a good idea to triple check that any children or pets are kept away from the piano as you move it.

While you’re clearing the path, consider how you can protect your home from the piano’s move. Want to know how to move a piano without wrecking your walls? Cover the piano’s corners with baby-proof bumpers or extra towels to prevent scratches and nicks.

4. Recruit heavy lifters to move your piano

How many people does it take to move a piano? It takes at least four people to efficiently move a piano, with two to three people doing the heavy lifting, and the others guiding them to and from the moving truck or van. You may need more, however, depending on the size of the piano and the complexity of the move. Either way, moving a piano is no easy feat, so you’ll want some strong friends on your side as piano movers to make it happen.

5. Wrap the piano

Both upright and grand pianos must be wrapped before they’re moved. That said, the process is different for each one since a grand piano has to be disassembled before moving while an upright piano can be moved as is. Here’s the low down on how to move each type of piano (be sure to have your padding and tape ready).

How to move an upright piano:

It’s time to strap on your work gloves and prep the piano for its journey. First, wrap the lid over the keyboard and secure with tape to ensure it does not open and close along the way. Next, wrap the pedals with plastic wrap or a cloth and secure with tape. Lastly, wrap the front, back, and sides of the piano with heavy cloth and secure with tape. Be sure to secure everything tightly and layer on the padding to ensure optimal protection while moving your upright piano.

How to move a grand piano:

As we mentioned earlier, grand pianos (and concert grands) need to be disassembled before a move, so be prepared for the extra prep. Still on board the DIY train? Here we go!

First, it is critical that you lower and secure the piano’s top lid with tape. Next, take a screwdriver and disassemble the piano’s pedals and legs. Be careful when lifting and lowering the piano, and ensure that members of your moving team support the piano’s side to keep it stable once the legs are removed. Then, protect the piano by wrapping all sides with moving blankets and securing them tightly with tape. Wrap the pedals and legs separately with moving blankets and secure with tape. Make sure your piano movers stick around after the move to help you reassemble your piano.

6. How to move the piano

Once your piano is thoroughly protected, hoist it onto the dolly with weightlifting straps. Once the piano is centered on the dolly, secure it with straps or rope and move it along its cleared path of exit. If you’re moving it down a staircase, set up a ramp beforehand to carefully guide it downwards. Make sure your team of piano movers is going at a comfortable and slow pace in order to stabilize the piano. Finally, push the piano up the van or truck ramp and secure it up against the back wall with moving straps. Follow this same sequence once you arrive at your destination. Be sure to re-tune the piano and give it a good wipe down once you’re settled in, and you should be good to go.

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And there you have it! Now you know how to move a piano. Remember that every piano move is different and the supplies and services you need will depend largely on the kind of piano you have, as well as where you are moving it to and from. Your best bet is to call professional piano movers and let them do the legwork, but if you’re set on doing it yourself, we hope this guide is the next best thing.

Happy (Piano) Moving!


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