Tips for Storing Musical Equipment/Gear

While some musical equipment is more durable than others, all instruments and their accompanying gear must be stored with certain measures in mind, or else you will find yourself having to deal with expensive repairs or even replacing your instruments. So, before you lock away your gear, keep these tips in mind.

Invest for the long term.

While tempting, discount storage solutions may seem like a deal at first, but the cost-to-savings ratio can quickly reverse. As mentioned above, improperly stored equipment can bleed your wallet dry. All it takes is one day of extreme weather to cause expensive damages.

Your best bet is to invest in a climate-controlled storage unit which can guarantee certain storage conditions. Climate controlled units also tend to be insulated from the weather, making water and mold damage less likely. Not all units offer humidity control, and temperature guarantees can vary, so make sure you know what you’re getting. Also, keep in mind that while friends or family have the best intentions in mind, they are not professionals, and accidental damage can occur, likely to leave you with no recourse for compensation.

Storing electronic musical equipment.

Because they are generally made up of a combination of plastic, adhesives, and fine metals, electronics are especially fragile. Heat, cold, moisture, or even arid conditions can damage components in a device. Make sure your storage space meets the following specifications to avoid damage.

  • Temperature must remain between 50 and 80 degrees to prevent the cracking, melting, or warping of components and adhesives.
  • Keep humidity levels between 15 and 80 percent to prevent dry, cracked softer plastics, or damaged current conductivity from overly humid conditions.

Storing brass, woodwind, and acoustic instruments.

Store the instrument in a hard bodied water-proof case, designed for that instrument, if possible. Add a polyethylene bag as extra protection against humidity damage for instruments with key pads, and a Dampit, or other instrument humidifier, for wooden instruments. Larger instruments, like a piano, should be draped in a tarp to guard against dust and water damage.

Most brass and woodwind instruments are relatively durable, and can deal with temperatures that a person can. Humidity should be watched with woodwinds, as leather pads can dry out and crack, and cloth pads can mold, so keep them out of either extreme. Any instruments with a wooden body should be stored with the following specifications in mind:

  • Wooden instruments are especially susceptible to heat and water damage and should be kept in the same temperature and humidity conditions as outlined for electronic equipment.
  • Instrument bows must be stored separately from the instrument as Dermestid beetles often infect cases, and will eat the bow hair and glue.

Sasha Smith is a representative of EZ Storage, a facility with a wide range of self storage units near Boston. EZ Storage has locations in Framingham, Newton and Natick, and specializes in student storage in Massachusetts.

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13 comments… add one
  1. Corky Swanson

    Sasha, it’s funny how people will spend big bucks on instruments and equipment and then not take care of them. Guitars improve with age, but they have to be stored properly.

    1. Very good points, Corky. Thank you for sharing. Love your profile pic, btw. -Deborah E
      Deborah E recently posted..RealTVFilms “Only Temporary” Interview @ Andy and Chaz Bugger PremierMy Profile

      1. Joe Dallas

        Hi Deborah! great article ! I agree with Corky . He made very good points!

  2. Insulation Machine Blowers

    I have to agree with Corky. It’s just so ironic that most people would spend huge bucks with the instrument and just leave them alone somewhere in their house. We need to keep them properly because they’re our investments. So we might as well give extra effort in storing them.

  3. andy

    Do you happen to have any tips on how to store harmonica? It’s pretty hard to store that thing and have it smelling fresh each time.

  4. aisha

    nice tips I really enjoy it .so thanks for tips, I like every music, actually music is my soul.

  5. patrick

    great article on guitar storage!!!! Im going to see if you have any articles on water damage leads next =)

  6. Andre Beluchi

    What a great advice that was given on keeping the temperature of 50 to 80 degrees of a storage unit when storing electronic instruments. This type of advice had me thinking about my daughter and how she’s wanting to find a storage unit that is temperature controlled. Well, since she does have several electric guitars and with the weather being freezing at around 15 to 20 degrees it seems like she would need to find a warm storage unit.

  7. pro

    i love to collect the music and data that you put in it

  8. Quang Tran

    Thanks for your tips. I used to have a violin once, I thought the outside box is enough then it got mouldy… Have to be careful next time.

  9. Jason

    Thank you for these great tips!!

  10. Insulation Machines Online

    I am really having a hard time storing my kid’s musical equipment because I don’t have the right storage for it at home. Now, you really give me an idea on what to do with it. Thanks a lot.

  11. Otto Tintenfisch

    I have a lot of electronic equipment and esd bags and dessicants are worth the trouble of tracking down. Modern electronics are so much more sensitive to abuse so you’ve got to take care of them like they’re your grandmother.

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