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Mary's Blog

What to do with the Piano when downsizing

I am often asked, “We are downsizing, 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 or dealers unless they are a grand piano, Steinway, 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 finding them is the challenge, it’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack!

  • You have probably already asked around family and friends!
  • Next, check if a local piano dealer is interested (that will give you an idea if it has any value)
    • Find piano shops/dealers in your area via a google search
    • Also ask if they move pianos or 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 or do a letterbox drop in your neighbourhood.
  • If you are selling your house and having “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

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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