Mary's Blog

What to do with the Piano when downsizing

If often get asked, “We are downsizing and don’t have room for the piano, but no one seems to want it!”    I received another email in the last few days from a downsizer asking “what do I do with the piano”.

Piano’s, organs and pianolas can be the most challenging items to find new homes for – charities don’t want them, nor do auction houses. Piano shops/dealers are rarely interested unless they are a grand piano, rare or a fairly modern piano in beautiful condition. 

A few weeks ago I was meeting a potential client at his mother’s home where there was an upright piano dating from around the 1900’s, maybe a few decades earlier.  He mentioned he was going to list it online for $1200.  I nearly choked, because I see these old pianos all the time, they usually need tuning and repairing, so if you can get $200-$400 for them you are doing well.  (People often incorrectly think that because a piano is old it is valuable!)

So if you are downsizing, it is really important that you start looking for a new home for your piano asap as it can take time to find someone who wants it.   People do look for pianos, but the issue is finding them  …  it’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack!

  • You have probably already asked around family and friends!
  • I usually start with checking if a local piano dealer is interested
    • You can find piano shops/dealers in your area via a google search
    • You can also ask if they move pianos
    • Also if they take them away & what it costs (just in case you can’t find a new owner for it)
  • Next, I list on an online site like gumtree –
    • Take some good photos, indicate a realistic price.
    • If you get no interest, then drop the price every few days until you do.
    • Depending on the time you have available, if time is running out then your only option maybe to try to give it away for free
  • If there is a piano stool, sometimes it is worth more than the piano!
  • You can also contact local schools/churches and see whether you can put a sign on their noticeboard. You could even do a letterbox drop in your neighbourhood.
  • If you are selling your house, when you have “open for inspections” put a “for sale” sign on the piano with your contact details –
    • I have suggested this to 2 clients in recent years and both sold their pianos this way
  • If you find a new home for it –
    • It is best for the piano to be moved by professionals
    • Have the name of a piano mover you can suggest but make the moving of the piano the new owner’s responsibility (& cost)
  • If you don’t find a new home for it and you have little time left –
    • Acknowledge that you tried really hard to find it a new home
    • Call someone to remove it
    • Wave it goodbye and get on with the next stage in your life ….

Hope that helps

Have fun downsizing …


Mary J Harnan BBus, 3a home sorting specialist | Aging Specialist, ICD  |  CD Specialist, ICD  |  Hoarding Specialist, ICD  | Expert Member AAPO 

Based in Balwyn North, Vic, I have sorted 100’s of homes & helped 100’s of senior adults & their families.   I regularly speak about 3a decluttering and smart downsizing.


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