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How to Properly Store Musical Instruments

Storing musical instruments in your home safe or vault can be an excellent way to insure its security but also poses additional challenges in maintaining value. Whether you are storing antique instruments, family heirlooms, or electronic audio gear, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure the safety and well-being of your musical instruments and equipment.   Humidity Control Humidity control is imperative for proper storage of most musical instruments. Especially wood based instruments, changes in temperature and humidity can cause the wood to swell and contract which will likely result in unwanted damage and cracking. We’ve briefly looked at various options for humidity control, but just to reiterate your easiest options are to store your musical instruments with desiccant packs or an electronic dehumidifier. Preparation Before you store your musical instrument it is important to prepare it properly for storage. Your instrument should be disassembled if possible, cleaned, and conditioned with a specialty paste-wax. Be sure to avoid oil-based polish or alcohol when preparing your instrument for storage. Reeds should be removed if applicable and strings should be loosened before storage to reduce tension. It is best to store your instrument in a case that is specially designed for the purpose of long term storage before you put it in your safe. Audio Gear Storing electronics and audio equipment has many of the same guidelines listed above that include properly preparing it and ensuring some degree of humidity and temperature control. One very important aspect of storing electronics that is often overlooked is to remove alkaline batteries. Over time alkaline batteries can break down and leak potassium hydroxide which could permanently damage your audio equipment. Storing your electronic equipment on a small wooden pallet can also be a good idea to avoid stray electrical currents. Storing musical instruments requires some basic preparation but should be manageable for anybody that desires to keep their equipment in good condition. In addition to the above guidelines, musical instruments can also present some difficult spacial problems. Some musical instruments have odd dimensions that may require specialty safes or even a home vault for the adamant collector. And, lastly, it is always recommended if possible that you open up your safe periodically to check the condition of its contents. It’s always best to catch a problem before it becomes too late and irreparable.