How to Properly Store a Guitar in a Storage Space

Posted on: 28 September 2016

If you are planning on traveling for a long period of time, then it may be wise to place some or all of your most precious belongings in a storage unit. If you own a guitar that must be placed in the storage space, then you will need to make sure that the instrument is properly protected from damage. Keep reading to find out how to do this. 

Purchase a Hard Case

The first thing you should do when storing a guitar is put it in a hard case. This is ideal to protect your guitar from physical dents and dings as well as sun and dust damage. You should look for a case that is labeled as heavy-duty. Many hard guitar cases will be made out of plywood to protect the instrument inside, and heavy-duty varieties have thick wood. These cases will also sometimes have steel hardware instead of the nickel-plated aluminum or plastic that is seen on soft cases or hard cases made for everyday use.

When buying your hard case, make sure the interior is made from a die cut insert that is made specifically for the shape of your guitar. If your guitar is an odd-shaped variety like a Gibson Flying V or an Ibanez X-Series guitar, then speak directly with the manufacturer to purchase a case that fits your instrument.

If your instrument is a rare Gibson Les Paul or another type of valuable guitar, then consider purchasing a case that will offer more advanced protection. ATA cases are the best option for this, but they are a bit more expensive than heavy-duty cases. ATA cases are made for shipping and traveling purposes, and they are meant to withstand a great deal of pressure and stress. They are made with two or more layers of material. Fiberglass and plywood often make up the layers, while the exterior casing is formed from a high-impact plastic or metal material. 

Reduce Wood Stress

The wood that makes up the majority of your guitar allows sound to resonate off the instrument to create an appealing noise. While wood is a durable material, it will succumb to stress when conditions within the storage space are wet. High humidity levels allow the wood to absorb water. This weakens the walls of the cellulose tissues within the wood, and it can then bend easily. This can cause the guitar to change its shape slightly, with significant damage seen around the neck of the guitar. Opting for a climate- and humidity-controlled unit is best to avoid warping and cracking issues. The temperature within the unit should be kept at about 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and the humidity should be around 50%. Consistency is also best for your guitar, so make sure the temperature and humidity are set to remain the same in the space. 

Also, if you want to reduce neck stress, then make sure to loosen the strings a small amount. Strings that are left tight and not used will pull on the neck. This can cause bowing and twisting of the wood over time. You do not need to completely remove the strings; just make sure to twist each tuning key clockwise for three full revolutions to loosen the strings. 

If you want to place your precious guitar in a storage unit, then you need to make sure the guitar is in a proper case and placed in a climate-controlled environment. Make sure to speak to the owner of a local storage business such as I-70 Self Storage to learn about some other tips and tricks that can help you with the storage of your instrument.