How to Move a Piano

Moving a piano, a large and delicate instrument, is by no means an easy task. The complexity of this job often lies in the piano’s size, weight, and sentimental value. But with the right preparation and a bit of know-how, it’s possible to move a piano without too much trouble. Before you start, there are certain details to think about, such as the importance of planning, choosing the right equipment, and understanding the nuances of safely transporting this beloved instrument. If you organize your approach and learn a few crucial pointers, you can handle the challenges of this activity with confidence.

How to Prepare for Moving a Piano

Before the whole process starts, you must prepare for it properly to avoid mishaps. Here are three steps you should take to move a piano safely and as quickly as possible:

Step 1: Enlist Help

Moving a piano is a big job to do on your own, so the first thing you need to do is get some help. You can’t do it alone because pianos are very heavy. Start by asking friends and family if they can lend a hand. It’s a good idea to have at least four to five people to make the job easier and safer. If you don’t have enough people, or if everyone is busy, think about hiring professional piano movers. They know exactly how to handle such a large instrument. This way, you won’t have to worry about all the heavy lifting and the risks of moving it yourself. Plus, professionals have the right tools and experience, to make sure your piano gets moved without any damage. It’s a great option to consider for peace of mind.

a group of people helping a friend who wants to move a piano
The first step in this process is enlisting help.

Step 2: Take Measurements

Before you start moving, it’s important to take measurements. You need to check if your piano can fit through doors and hallways. Imagine having your friends and family ready to help, only to find out the piano is too big to go through a door! To avoid this, measure your piano first. Then, measure the width and height of all doorways, hallways, and any tight spots along the way. On the other hand, if you’re hiring professionals like residential movers Orange County offers, you can skip this step as they’ll take care of it for you. They’re experts in figuring out the best path for moving large items. But if you’re doing it yourself, these measurements are very important. They help you plan the move and make sure there are no surprises on a moving day.

Step 3: Gather Moving Supplies

The next step is to get all the moving supplies you’ll need. This includes pads, blankets, and a dolly. These items are essential for moving your piano safely. For example, pads and blankets will protect the piano from scratches and damage during the move. They are especially important if you plan to disassemble any parts of the piano. Wrapping the parts in soft blankets keeps them safe and secure. Also, don’t forget to secure the blankets with tape so they stay in place. If you have a dolly, it will make moving the piano much easier. It’s a good idea to check if the dolly can handle the piano’s weight. Remember, having the right supplies makes the whole process smoother and protects your piano every step of the way.

How to Move a Piano Upstairs

Moving a piano upstairs can be quite challenging. This is why it is important to have enough help. You should have at least five people. Again, if you are working with a company such as the furniture movers Orange County residents rely on, you don’t need to know these things at all. Professional movers have years of experience with tasks like this one, so they will know what to do. On the other hand, if you’re sticking to the DIY approach here’s a simple way to organize your team:

  • Position three people behind the piano. They will do most of the pushing.
  • Place two people in front of the piano. They will guide the piano and help with balancing.

In the beginning, you’ll want to move a piano slowly, focusing on one step at a time. Communication is extremely important here, so make sure everyone is tuned in. The people carrying your precious instrument should be talking to each other, ensuring the bulky item is stable and moving smoothly. Take breaks if needed, but always keep a firm grip. Additionally, bear in mind that safety comes first. So, if anyone feels the piano is too heavy or the stairs are too tricky, it’s okay to stop and rethink your strategy. Moving a piano upstairs requires patience and teamwork, but with careful planning, it can be done successfully.

a large concert piano
Pianos are extremely heavy, so it takes about 5 people to move one.

Taking a Piano Downstairs

While moving a piano downstairs requires similar preparation to moving it upstairs, there are distinct differences to consider. The main challenge lies in controlling the weight and momentum of the piano as it descends.

  1. Controlled Descent: The gravity makes it important to control the piano’s descent. The team should focus on slowing down the movement, ensuring the piano doesn’t slip or accelerate unexpectedly.
  2. Weight Distribution: The people at the bottom need to be particularly strong and steady, as they will bear the brunt of the piano’s weight. The top team must coordinate smoothly with those below to manage the balance.
  3. Strategic Pausing: Plan for regular pauses to assess the situation and make sure everyone is ready for the next steps. These breaks are vital for maintaining grip and repositioning if necessary.
  4. Safety First: Use caution on each step. If the piano starts to become unmanageable, stop immediately. It’s better to reassess than risk an accident.

Hiring Professional Movers vs. DIY

Deciding between moving a piano by yourself or hiring professional movers is an important choice. Each option has unique benefits and challenges.

DIY Moving:

  • Cost-Effective: Generally, doing it yourself can save money.
  • Control: You have full oversight of the moving process, ensuring everything goes exactly as you plan.
  • Flexibility: You can choose the best time for you, without needing to align with a company’s schedule.

However, it’s important to remember the difficulties. As mentioned earlier, pianos are not only heavy but also delicate. Moving them requires strength, precision, and special equipment, which can be challenging without professional experience.

a person writing down the details necessary to move a piano
When you opt for a DIY approach, you have full control over the process.

Hiring Professionals:

  • Expertise: Companies that specialize in moving bulky items including musical instruments have skilled movers who understand the delicacies of the process.
  • Equipment: They come equipped with specialized tools and vehicles designed for safe transport.
  • Peace of Mind: Reduces the risk of both injury to yourself and damage to the piano.
  • Additional services: Many companies offer options such as vaulted storage Orange County This can come in very handy if your new home is still being renovated and your instrument is better off in another location before the works are finished.
a professional mover carrying a green, velvet sofa across the street
If you want to move a piano in the least stressful way, hire professional movers.

Cons of Hiring Movers:

  • Cost: This is typically more expensive than a DIY move.
  • Availability: You need to schedule the move according to the company’s timetable, which might not always match your preferred timing.

When making your decision, think about the value of the piano and the complexity of the move. Your own comfort and safety during the move are also important. If the piano holds significant value or if the moving process seems nerve-wracking, professional services like those from Affordable Reliable Moving and Storage offer a more secure and stress-free solution.

Choosing the Best Approach for Your Piano Move

Moving a piano is a task that requires careful planning, physical effort, and attention to detail. Whether you choose to move a piano yourself or contact us or some other professionals, the priority is always the safety of both the piano and the people involved in the move. Essentially, the goal is to find the right balance between cost, convenience, and care. Bear in mind that while DIY methods can save money and offer flexibility, the expertise and equipment that professional movers bring to the table can be invaluable, especially for such a significant task. Ultimately, the decision depends on your specific situation, the piano’s value, and your level of comfort with the moving process. Regardless of the path you choose, preparation and caution are key to ensuring a smooth and successful piano move.

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What Our Clients Say


Thank U for the team that did my move on Feb 28, Anthony, Matt, Spencer,Rick & Luis. They were efficient, professional, & worked well as a team. I do not have access to internet yet so I hope this review reaches u. I especially want to thank the team for taking such care with moving my baby grand piano & antique furniture. I went from 4 bedrooms to 2 & they did a good job stacking my stuff in the garage that didn’t fit in the house. Now I will have to unpack. Thanks again.

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