How to Move a Piano

piano moving

It’s easy to assume that moving one piece of furniture is the same as any other. After all, there’s not much difference between getting a dresser and a couch out the door.

Moving a piano can’t be much different, right? Wrong.

Its large shape increases the challenge of navigating the instrument from your home to the truck. And you must take special precautions to protect the piano during transit.

Keep reading for our breakdown of how to move a piano properly.

What You’ll Need to Move a Piano

The ideal way to transport a piano to your new home is to hire a professional piano mover. They already have the tools, experience, and skills to make the process easy.

However, if a professional moving company is not in your budget, here’s what you’ll need to gather together. 

First, you’ll need general moving items.

Cardboard pads and moving clothes are necessary to protect your piano from any scuffs or bangs. The tape helps keep the pads and blankets in place.

Then, because of the weight of the instrument, you’ll need a heavy-duty dolly and long dolly straps.

If your moving dolly cannot handle the hundreds of pounds of the piano, you could break your expensive musical instrument or hurt yourself. Be sure that your straps reach all the way around.

Finally, you’ll need many strong, capable hands.

You need four people – or more – to make the moving process easy. Work gloves or weightlifting straps help with grip strength.

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The Process to Move a Piano

Though the process of moving a piano seems straightforward, each step requires great care. Assuming that your assembled piano movers can handle the weight or that it will fit through the doorway isn’t enough. It’s vital to be sure your plan will succeed the first time.

Once you know that the piano will make all the necessary turns to the truck, prepare the pathway.

Take all the pictures off your walls and remove any rugs. Push furniture out of the way. Pianos are heavy; you don’t want to have to hold them while someone clears the path.

If your carpet is thick, it may be necessary to line the pathway with cardboard or blankets. The surface must make it easy for the heavy moving dolly to slide.

Prepare the piano for transport with padding and blankets.

First, find a way to keep the lid closed. You don’t want it banging around while you move the piano. Wrap the lid with plastic wrap or shove cardboard in the side cracks.

Then, cover the entire instrument. Pay special attention to protecting the corners and edges. However, also be sure you leave places to hold the piano while moving it.

Put the piano onto the moving dolly and secure it tightly.

Getting the piano up onto the dolly is one of the most intense parts of the moving process. Remember, most upright pianos weigh around 130 kg! Plus, on top of being bulky, they’re also awkward to hold onto and lift efficiently. 

If you’re doing this with a group of friends, you will want at least three or four people to handle the load.

Once you have lifted the piano and placed it onto the dolly, secure it with straps. The moving straps must prevent the keyboard from sliding off, either to the sides or the front. Additionally, the straps should be tight enough to do their job, but not so snug that they damage the instrument.

Carefully move the piano out of the house with your team of people and the dolly.

You’ll want to have someone in front to be sure the path has remained clear. Ensure the safety of the person steering the dolly and the instrument itself. Not to mention, you can prevent damage to the walls and floors of the home.

If you’re moving the piano downstairs, most likely you’ll have to carry it. Caution to prevent crushing and injuries is vital on the stairs. One slip of the hand can disrupt the entire process.

Use a ramp to bring the piano into the moving truck.

At this point, the piano must be both pushed and pulled to get it into the truck with minimal effort. The steep angle of the ramp makes it nearly impossible to achieve entry with only one direction of force. The person behind the piano must take extra precautions to avoid the piano tipping back on top of them.

Once the piano is in the truck, secure it to the back wall.

Some people think that stacking boxes and furniture in front of the piano is sufficient to keep it in place. However, we recommend using straps to firmly affix the instrument to the back wall of the van. This way, it won’t slide or get damaged en route to your new home.