Pianos are stunning instruments that can indeed produce some beautiful tunes.
But when it comes to picking up the instrument, pianos are one of the most difficult – in more ways than one.
The average upright piano can weigh anywhere from 200 to 1,000 pounds, making it incredibly difficult to move.
So, when your piano is no longer of use to you, it can become quite the feat to figure out what to do with it.
That’s why we’ve compiled a brief outline on how to dispose of a piano.
Whether you’re just not using it or it’s broken beyond repair, there are several good ways to get it out of your home.
We understand how busy life can be. Some of you might just be looking for a quick answer on the subject, and we get that.
Here’s a glance at some of the best ways to dispose of a piano:
- Find a junk collector
- Donate the piano
- Sell it or find a new home
- Dismantle and trash/recycle
All of these options are relatively simple ways of disposing of your unwanted piano. Some are easier than others, but they all do the trick.
Stick around to read more information about each of these options.
We all have junk with which we don’t know what to do.
Many of us would probably agree that it would be super nice if someone could just stop by and take all of our junk away for us.
Guess what – these people exist!
Junk collector businesses work all around the country. Their only job is to come to your house and haul away your junk.
Many of these professional services will also take your unwanted pianos away – no questions asked.
It’s essential to research various junk collector services, as some may not include piano pick up.
Likewise, some of them may only deal with certain types or sizes of pianos. It’s always best to call and double-check.
Another excellent option for disposing of a piano is donating it.
There are many different groups and organizations that would love to have a free piano for their use, such as:
- Retirement Homes
- Recreation Centers
- Music Schools
- Nonprofit Organizations
- After School Programs
Of course, whether or not these groups in your area will take your piano will likely depend on the piano’s type, size, and weight.
It will also matter what kind of condition the piano is in. If it’s in poor condition and needs a lot of repairs, certain places may not want it.
Additionally, make sure to look into how these organizations deal with piano donations. They may be able to provide their own transportation.
If not, you will have to find a way to get the piano to them.
If your piano is in good or decent condition, you might try reselling it to make back some of your money.
There are many sites online that you can list your piano on, such as Craigslist or eBay.
If you plan to sell your piano, be sure to get it checked out by a professional beforehand. You can pay to have some minor repairs done just to fix it up a little bit.
It’s also a good idea to have it professionally cleaned.
Keep in mind that selling a used piano can be difficult. Most people willing to spend a lot of money on a piano would prefer to buy from a music store.
Likewise, people may be hesitant to purchase a piano if they also have to figure out how to transport it.
But if your piano is in good shape, it might be worth it to try.
One of the best ways to avoid paying for expensive movers or transportation for an old piano is to dismantle it and trash or recycle the pieces.
A piano weighs much less when it’s broken down, and many piano components are recyclable.
That being said, be sure to contact your local recycling facility first to see if they offer free pickup. If they do, dismantling it may not be necessary.
Otherwise, it may be your best option to move it on your own.
You can start by unscrewing all of the outermost pieces of the piano. This usually includes the key cover, the piano lid, and the lower board.
Once the outside shell comes off, you can remove the keys and action.
Remove the muffler felt and unscrew the bolts from the action brackets. Once unscrewed, you can pull it forward and lift the whole thing off.
From here, you can simply lift off the keys, which are not secured down by anything.
Before you take apart the rest of the structure, be sure to loosen the tension on all of the strings on the harp.
These strings are tight, and if they snap, they could cause serious injury. Unscrew and remove the key bed, then dismantle the rest of the frame.
Many pieces, such as the action, the keys, and the foot pedals, can be used to restore other pianos, so consider taking these components to local music stores to donate.
When a piano is well-maintained, it can last as long as 100+ years. However, most pianos start to lose life around the 50-year mark.
But with a variance gap of 50 years or more, it can be difficult to tell when it’s time to retire your piano.
And if your instrument is newer than that, you may still have reason to dispose of it.
Here are three main signs that it’s time to dispose of your piano.
Perhaps you bought your piano new for one of your kids when they started to show interest in taking lessons.
Or maybe your piano has been in the family for generations, and someone passed it down to you.
Either way, it now sits in your living room, untouched, serving as more of a coffee table or a display for family photos.
Once you’ve reached this point in your piano’s life, it may be time to consider disposing of it.
Pianos are meant to be played. If no one in your family has the desire to use or hold onto yours, it might be time to let it go.
Consider the last time someone touched your piano and think about whether it’s worth it to keep maintaining it.
Be sure to ask your family members if they have any qualms about letting it go. If the answer is no, then the next step is crystal clear.
Before you dispose of a piano, it’s a good idea to see if anyone else in your life wants it. You may no longer want it.
Your immediate family may no longer want it, either. But someone else might love to take it off of your hands.
This is especially true if the piano has been in your family for a long time. Perhaps your grandmother passed it down.
If that’s the case, a cousin, aunt, or nephew may be interested in taking it from you.
If you’ve exhausted all the family members who could be interested and, still, no one wants it, then that’s your next sign that it’s time to dispose of it.
Anyone who has ever moved knows how much of a hassle the whole process is. Loading everything you own into a giant truck can help even the biggest pack rat toss some things.
Owning a piano becomes an even greater hassle when it comes time to move.
So, if you have a move coming up soon, it could be the perfect excuse to dispose of your piano.
In this case, it’s best to check out quick fixes like junk haulers.
It takes quite a bit of damage for a piano to be beyond repair. One of the top causes of retirement-worthy damage is water damage.
If your piano has taken on some serious water damage, then it’s likely time to call it quits. This piano likely needs to be trashed and recycled.
Other issues include out-of-tune and sticky keys, a worn finish, scratches and knicks, and damaged foot pedals.
You can repair all of these things, but over time, piano maintenance can get expensive. Therefore, damage beyond repair can be subjective based on your budget.
If your piano’s damage is too much for you to justify financially, then it’s probably a good time to consider getting rid of it.
Disposing of a piano can be difficult and inconvenient, but you’re not without options.
Consider some of the choices on our list today and see if you can make the process smooth and simple.
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