How to move a piano yourself smoothly and safely

how to move a piano yourself without movers

Moving a piano is not an easy task. Pianos are heavy and awkward items to lift and manoeuvre and they require some serious manpower to move them. Due to the complexity of moving a piano, it has become its own niche within the moving industry as you can find companies who specialise in moving just pianos. So if you’re going about it alone, you will need to know the right method for how to move a piano yourself to avoid breakage and injury.

Fortunately for you, we have put together this step-by-step guide to help you get your beautiful instrument from A to B with the utmost care.

First things first, some quick pointers

Pianos usually weigh anything between 135kg and 450kg, but can sometimes weigh more. It’s highly recommended that you hire a professional to complete a piano move as moving experience is crucial to minimise the risk of damage and injury. Pianos are also expensive instruments and hiring a fully insured company to move them means that your piano will be insured for any damage throughout the move.

Moving a piano yourself vs hiring professionals

If you are unable to hire professionals to move your piano as they are too expensive, then it is possible to move the majority of pianos without hiring professionals. You will definitely need some help from friends and family though.

The only time we would say that you absolutely need to hire professionals is if you own a grand piano that is too heavy to lift without specialist equipment or if you have steep and narrow hallways. Professionals will be able to manoeuvre the piano without causing damage and it will save you risking your own health.

Moving the piano from the room into the van and visa-versa

If you decide to move the piano yourself, you will need to use the correct methodology to ensure you don’t injure yourself or damage the piano or property.

You also need to ensure you have the right-sized van for the job. A short wheelbase will be suitable for some pianos; however, larger pianos will require a medium wheelbase van. The other thing to consider is how you will actually get the piano into the van as pianos can be too heavy to lift up and into the van. You may need to get a ramp or get a van with a tail lift.

Equipment you will need

  • Blankets
  • Dolly
  • Tape
  • Screwdriver
  • Ramp
  • Ratchet Straps
  • Bubble Wrap

Preparing to move your piano

Before we get into the details of how to move a piano by yourself, there are a few things you should do to prepare. And this starts with your tape measure.

First, measure the piano’s dimensions. Knowing the precise size of your upright or grand piano will make it much easier to move the instrument later down the line as you can plan your route in advance and account for tight corners, stairs and narrow doorways, avoiding them if you need to.

Next, you should remove any decorations or furniture that may pose an obstacle during the move. Don’t forget to leave doors ajar with doorstops and remove carpets that may act as a trip hazard.

How to move an upright piano

Now, let’s get on to how to transport an upright piano. Due to the size and shape distinctions between them and grand pianos, there are slight differences in the method you’ll be using.

If you’re moving a grand piano, skip to our instructions below.

Step 1

Transporting an upright piano will require a fair amount of preparation, so make sure you’ve followed our advice above. You will also want to assemble your equipment as well as anyone part of your moving team for the day.

Step 2

Use bubble wrap to cover the piano keys and pedals to avoid them getting damaged.

Step 3

Shut the piano lid and wrap a foam packing sheet or old towel over it. Use tape to secure the foam or put a towel in place, also secured with tape.

Step 4

Cover the piano in moving blankets and secure the blankets with tape. Make sure the blankets cover all exposed areas of the piano.

Step 5

Use straps or rope to further secure the blankets.

Step 6

Position one person on either side for the lift and ensure there is a third person to slide a dolly underneath.

Step 7

Using the dolly, carefully manoeuvre the piano through the house. Make sure to bend your knees and keep your back straight whilst lifting to avoid injury. Take extra care when going through hallways, doorways and any other tight sections or corners.

Step 8

To load the piano into the van either use a ramp and wheel it up into the van or if you have a tail lift wheel it onto the tail lift and then into the van.

Step 9

Use ratchet straps to secure the piano in the van.

Step 10

When you get to unloading the piano from the van have someone at either end of the piano to ensure better control.

someone moving a piano by themself

How to move a grand piano by yourself

Step 1

Collect all of your equipment and gather the members of your moving team. Use a moving blanket to wrap the step and then secure the blanket with tape. Wrap the blankets around the corners of the legs to reduce the risk of scratches and damage.

Step 2

Remove the music rack and wrap this up separately in a blanket.

Step 3

Remove the lid and wrap this up separately in a blanket. Tape the blankets up and ensure it is fully covered.

Step 4

Remove the legs of the piano using a screwdriver and make sure you have people ready to tilt it to the side to avoid it tipping over.

Step 5

Wrap the main body of the piano in moving blankets. Loop tape around its width in multiple places to secure the blankets in place.

Step 6

To ensure the blankets stay in tape you can use plastic moving wrap and wrap the piano in that.

Step 7

Carefully tilt the piano back and put the piano board underneath it. Make sure to have at least 4 people to do this to ensure it does not get damaged.

Step 8

With someone on each corner of the piano, carefully manoeuvre it through the house to the van. Once at the van use a ramp or tail lift to load it onto the van.

Step 9

Use ratchet straps to secure the piano inside the van, ensuring it won’t slide about during the journey.

Step 10

Go back and get the legs, wrap these up individually in blankets and put all the screws in a bag and tape this to one of the legs.

Step 11

Carry the legs, music rack and bench to the van and secure them with straps. Once it is secured to satisfaction, the piano can be transported to its new home.

Step 12

When unloading the piano from the van again ensure there are 4 people to help, one person on each corner. You may need an extra person if you are rolling it down a ramp and out of the van if the piano is particularly large and heavy.

Hiring professionals to help you

Now you know how to move a piano yourself, you can decide whether or not you’re up to doing the job alone. We would always recommend using professionals when moving a piano. Only because they are expensive and difficult to move. Particularly with heavy pianos, you won’t have the right equipment to do the job, and this can lead to injuries and damage.

You can have the peace of mind that when using a professional the job is going to be done safely and that your piano will reach its new destination damage free.