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. We offer piano moving services at affordable rates. 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!

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! 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.

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.

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!

How to easily pack dishes and stop breaking plates

If you’ve ever lost a wine glass in transit, you’re probably wondering how to pack dishes without losing any. We’ve all been there – you arrive at your new place and unpack a couple of glasses to go with some celebratory drinks, only to find that they cracked on the way. Here’s what you need to know about packing dishes safely, to end moving day with your feet up and your dishes intact.

Packing Materials You Need to Pack Dishes

When packing dishes, the name of the game is “wiggle room.” While extra space is usually a good thing, you want as little of it as possible when packing dishes. That’s where your key packing ingredient comes in – packing paper. It’ll protect most of your highly breakable dishes from glassware to fine China, so you’ll want plenty of it. As for the other packing materials, the list is simple.

This what you need to pack dishes safely:

  • Packing paper
  • Dish boxes
  • Medium sized boxes
  • Packing tape
  • Labels and markers

And that’s it. Forget the bubble wrap and if you can forgo the printed newspaper, please do. While it can usually be washed off, newspaper ink comes off on dishes and there’s always a chance that it stains for good.

Why use a dish box?
When figuring out how many moving boxes you need, be sure to tack on a few dish boxes. They’re designed to hold dishes and other fragile items, so they’re stronger and thicker than most boxes. This extra padding helps to absorb shock and makes for sturdier transport. If an accident happens, your dishes will be better off in a dish box.

How to Pack Dishes: General Steps

Want to know how to pack dishes without breaking them? The steps are similar for most dishes, but you’ll want to read on for tips to keep the stems on your wine glasses and the chips off your plates.

Generally, there are five primary steps to follow when you learn how to pack dishes for a move.

Step 1: Assemble each box and tape them very well. The boxes may get heavy so be sure to use enough tape that the box won’t cave under the weight of your dishes.

Step 2: Line each box with crumpled up paper to create a six-inch cushion at the bottom. Be sure to crumple up the paper rather than fold it to get the most protection out of each piece.

Step 3: Lay out your packing paper on a flat surface and place the dish you’re packing in the middle. Wrap the dish according to its specific needs, secure the paper with tape, and place the dish in the box.

Step 4: Keep packing dishes in the box until it’s full and use extra balls of paper or soft fabrics to fill in any spaces. The key to packing dishes in the right order? Always start with the heaviest items and pack light pieces such as glasses at the top of the moving boxes.

Step 5: Once your dishes are wrapped and packed, top the box with balled up paper for added protection, just as you did with the bottom of the box. Close it up, tape it, and label the box. Be sure to write the room it belongs to, which way up the box should go, and that its contents are fragile.

Top Tip: Don’t pack the dish boxes too heavy. It’s easy to do, so be conscious of how much you’re loading into each box and try to keep each one under 45 pounds.

How to Pack Bowls and Plates

Though they’re different shapes, you can pack bowls and plates using the same method. They don’t have any protruding parts or handles, making them the best dishes to start with when first learning how to pack dishes. They’re also the heaviest dishes, so you’ll want to put them in the boxes first.

There are two methods for packing bowls and plates – individually or in bundles. We don’t recommend stacking multiple dishes in one go, so it’s best to go for the individual method. It could save you a plate or two.

Wrapping any fine China or valuable dishes takes time. Be sure to put in the extra effort when deciding how to pack your dishes.

First, lay your packing paper out on a table or flat surface and then place the dish in the middle. Bring one corner of the paper to the center of the dish at a time until all four corners meet in the middle. Then tuck or tape the paper to secure it and put each dish in the box vertically, as though you’re loading a dishwasher.

Repeat this for each dish until the bottom of your box is full. Lighter dishes only go on top of heavier ones, so start another box once the first layer is complete.

How to Pack Cups, Mugs, and Glasses

When packing dishes such as cups and mugs, you can treat them much like small bowls. They’ll take plenty of packing paper, but are generally more durable than stemmed glasses.

To pack your cups, mugs, and glasses safely, start by filling them with crumpled packing paper. You can then use one or two sheets to actually wrap the vessels. Start at one corner of the packing paper, with your dish on an angle.

Roll the dish across the paper to the opposite corner. At the same time, fold in the excess paper for added protection. If you think your dishes are strong enough, you can wrap two of them in one sheet of paper.

Once you get halfway across the paper, place the next dish beside the first one and keep rolling to the end of the paper. This works best if they’re the same shape and material, so it’s best not to pair your favorite mug with that beer stein.

How to Pack Stemware

These will likely be your most delicate dishes. They’re glass or crystal and fragile from top to bottom, so it’s crucial that you know how to pack these dishes before you start.

Before wrapping, gently stuff some balls of packing paper into the bowl of the glass to support it. Then lay the glass on an angle in one corner of your packing paper. Roll the glass to the opposite corner of the paper, tucking and crumpling the paper around the glass as you go.

If you have extra large packing paper, you can try wrapping two glasses in one sheet. Once you’ve wrapped the first glass in half a sheet of paper, lay the second glass next to it. Then keep rolling and wrapping until it’s completely covered in paper.

Check that you can’t feel the edges of your glass through the paper. If you can, go ahead and wrap the glass or glasses with more paper.

How to Pack Pots and Pans

When considering how to pack your dishes you may be tempted to skip on the pots and pans, but don’t. Non-stick pans are particularly susceptible to scratches and all cookware can get dented.

To protect your pots and pans when moving, protect them with plenty of packing paper. Place the cookware on your packing paper and fold one corner of paper at a time to the center. Then reinforce any pots by stuffing packing paper inside the vessel.

While their surfaces do need the extra padding, pots and pans don’t need to travel in dish boxes or barrels. Standard medium-sized packing boxes should do the trick just fine.

More Tips for How to Pack Dishes

Beyond purchasing enough packing paper to wrap a small village, there are a few other packing tips and tricks to make packing dishes easier. Here’s what you need to remember as you become an expert in how to pack dishes:

  • Pack heavier items first
  • Always stack dishes vertically
  • Cut down on packing paper by using towels
  • Cushion everything and plug all spaces in each box
  • Label every box fragile and “this way up”
  • Put dish boxes in the moving truck gently
  • Don’t pack boxes too heavy – 45 pounds max.
  • Fill packing boxes to the top

Now that you have all the info you need to pack dishes without breaking any, it’s time to grab that packing paper and dish box and start packing up your kitchen. Remember these tips as you go and you’ll arrive in your new home with all your dishes in one piece.

6 surprising things to do before the movers arrive

Moving is , so you’d be forgiven if after packing the last box you thought that you were finally done. Now it’s just time to wait for the movers to arrive, right?

Not exactly.

Working with professional movers is a great option for people making big moves, moving with kids, or moving large or fragile items that would be otherwise impossible to transport. But while many moving companies do a great job of providing end-to-end service, there are some things that only you can do to make the whole process run smoothly. Here’s a list of six surprising things you’ll need to do before the movers arrive in order to avoid disaster.

1. Make a clear path

Whether you live in an urban apartment or a two-story house in the country, there are bound to be obstacles for your movers. By anticipating these issues before they happen, you can make everyone’s job easier, and possibly even save some money by taking up less of the movers’ time.

First, you should consider the parking situation outside your home. Where will the movers be able to leave their truck when packing up your stuff? If you do have that house in the country, this might not be an issue. But if you’re living in an apartment or urban area, chances are good that a huge double-parked truck won’t be taken very kindly by the neighbors.

“If you live in an apartment building or if there is limited parking in your area, ask the movers if they will handle the logistics or if you need to do so,” says Ali Wenzke, author of “The Art of Happy Moving.”

Some moving companies might be familiar with your neighborhood and know how to park in a way that doesn’t raise any red flags with the neighbors. But if they tell you they’d like your help with the logistics, then this will be on you to handle before they arrive.

2. Make necessary reservations and get your paperwork together

Some apartment buildings might have service elevators available for use. This would be another time-saving question to ask your building manager in advance.

See if service elevators can be reserved and whether the building needs any paperwork from movers—like a certificate of insurance.

3. Protect your house, including your floors

To prevent damage to your house during the move, you should be aware of what furniture is going out the door, and anything fragile in its path that might be at risk of breaking.

Lightbulbs, fixtures, pictures, mirrors, wall hangings should be removed from the main areas where furniture will be moved, for example.

And don’t forget about the hardwood floors. Nothing will put off a buyer more than seeing skid marks illustrating the path your sofa took out of the place. If you have hardwood floors or tile in any rooms, let your movers know ahead of time so they can prepare the right materials—and make sure your contract includes hardwood floor protection.

4. Measure!

On a related note, you’ll want to measure your furniture and make sure any large items will fit through the front door in the first place. Nothing is more heartbreaking than finding out the gorgeous sectional you spent hours assembling is not going to make it through your front door unless you spend more hours disassembling it.

5. Pack up the kids (and pets)

Not literally, of course. But you should take the time to consider where your family will be when the movers are at work. If paying for a space in the nearby pet hotel isn’t an option, at least consider keeping your pets in a safe space within your home.

Similarly, young kids should also be kept out of the way on moving day. This is important for their safety as well as the safety of your moving team.

6. Make yourself available

Once the family is out of the house, it’s time (drumroll, please) to sit down and relax—sort of. Find a central point in your home (that’s out of the movers’ way) and simply plan on making yourself available to them as they move your stuff.

Do we mean supervising their every move and reminding them the box is marked “fragile”? Probably not. But you should be around to help answer any questions, or alert movers to anything special they should know about your place.