Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Saturday, January 17, 2009

How Do You Get Rid of a Piano?

by Sariah S. Wilson

So, I have this piano. I have no idea whether or not it works well or if it is in tune. I know it makes lots of sounds, as evidenced by the cat crawling across the keys and the kids beating on it every chance they get.

It is, however, an old piano. I don't know how many owners it had before me. I have no idea what the make and model are (long since rubbed off). It is not a pretty beast either - it is in desperate need of being refinished.

I offered it for free in Relief Society to anyone who would come and cart it off. We had a bite, and someone came over to measure the piano and assured us they had made the arrangements to pick it up the next day at 9:00.

You will no doubt be surprised that the person never came over to pick up the piano. When I finally called to ask what was going on, they said they weren't able to make the arrangements/get the truck they needed and would do so in the future.

I would have felt a lot better if they'd just said the piano was ugly and they didn't want it after all. Instead we waited a couple of weeks for them to get their transportation, and it never happened.

The only options I can think of at this point are these:

1. Try and make some sort of stake-wide announcement about the piano. First, I have no idea how to do this (contact the stake RS president, maybe)? Second, I worry about finding myself in the same position of someone who will forget to show up again in the future to take this behemoth out of my house.

2. List it on craigslist and/or put an ad in the paper. The craigslist listing would be free, but I am a little worried about what sort of contact we might receive. I am in the process of joining my local Freecycle group to see if I can offer it to anyone there (another free listing option). But that's taking a while and I don't really have the patience to wait (another liability).

3. I've considered maybe trying to contact local piano teachers and seeing if anyone has a student that would like a secondhand (or fifthhand or twentiethhand, I honestly don't know how many hands) piano. But right now that feels like a lot of work that might have very little chance of success.

4. Light that sucker on fire and push it down the street. Hope no one sees me.

5. Call a junking service and pay the fees just to get it out of my house.

It has sat in my computer room for the last eight years. I don't know how to play. Neither does my husband. Our oldest will probably never play (with the current behavior/attention issues) and our second simply isn't interested. The baby enjoys banging on the keys, but I've gotten to the point where if we ever do spring for piano lessons, I'd rather them learn on a keyboard that could be set up and taken down. I don't know how, but the piano has seemed to actually increase in size since we got it. I like the idea of something that can be put away before it eats the house from the inside out.

My husband has moved the piano into our formal living room (it's the one room in the house that is typically clean and nice and where we sit with our visiting teachers/home teachers when they come over. Well, it's where we imaginably *would* have our home teachers come if they ever came over to visit). He's as tired of it as I am and as the computer room is one of his favorite places to spend time, he wanted to set up something nicer. I'd like more storage space (and he put up this large desk that we had downstairs in the basement that looks so much better and the room suddenly feels so much bigger and I'm planning on going to IKEA or something in the future to find some sort of organizer I can put on top to keep my papers because for some reason I have a lot of paperwork due to the whole writing thing and now I need somewhere other than the top of the piano to keep it).

So Option 5 is currently feeling like the best option to me, particularly since the service I looked at is very into being green and will do their best to either donate the piano in whole or strip the parts and donate those as needed. It just seems like nobody wants my ugly old piano and I don't want to keep it for another three to six months in my living room in hopes that someone will come and take it.

It made me curious as to whether anyone else had a piano to move out of their house and how you went about it. All advice/tips are currently welcome.


At 1/17/2009 11:13 PM, Anonymous Wm Morris said...


At 1/18/2009 12:39 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

I have no helpful advice, I'm sorry to say. We had a horrible old piano for years too. We bought it off some friends when they were moving, and regretted it. We finally got rid of it when we bought a new piano and they hauled away the old one for us.

I hope you can get rid of yours soon!

At 1/18/2009 8:35 AM, Blogger Lorrie said...

We went thru this with an old organ we inherited. Tried posting it in the paper, got calls from people who then realized they would have to arrange hauling, and then disappear. We finally dismantled it and put a few pounds out in the garbage each week until it was gone.

At 1/18/2009 1:37 PM, Blogger andante said...

My suggestion is to talk with a few piano teachers who may have students needing a piano.
As to the future, one can learn to play 'keyboard' on a keyboard, but one cannot learn to play the piano well unless he has a real acoustic piano, so keep that in mind for the kids. ;-)


At 1/18/2009 4:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had on oldie that was falling apart, no one wanted it - so we did the same thing as Lorrie. You should see the photos we have of my nephew cutting the strings with an axe! Never do that to a piano, it sounds like someone being murdered in a horror movie!! LOL

At 1/18/2009 6:06 PM, Blogger Sandra said...

1.I agree with Andante- you can only learn piano on a true and proper piano.

2.I love the freecycle option, I use it all the time

3. Piano students, piano repairmen, piano teachers- all options

4. The thought of someone dismantaling a piano and throwing it away brings tears to my eyes!
Someone, somewhere will love it and give it a good home

At 1/18/2009 6:09 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

We moved and left the old piano behind. We figured that was how we ended up with it in the first place.

At 1/18/2009 6:09 PM, Blogger Anna said...

Assuming you live in Utah, I'd try KSL ads online. We had some old leather furniture that was falling apart at the seems. We didn't want to haul them off, so we put them up for free on KSL.

I think we had about 5 calls in the first 1/2 hour and within the hour they were gone.

At 1/18/2009 7:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if there are Goodwill Stores in Utah, or Salvation Army Stores, either, but these charities will pick up items if called, and they will give you a receipt for tax purposes, too.

At 1/19/2009 12:07 AM, Blogger Heather said...

I am a piano teacher in Lehi and have a student in desperate need of a free/really cheap piano. Where do you live?

At 1/19/2009 9:15 AM, Blogger Sariah S. Wilson said...

Sorry for the impression that I'm in Utah - I live in Cincinnati, Ohio.

I think I am going to try calling Goodwill and seeing if they do pick up. But I am worried that it's just not in good enough condition for anyone to want it.

At 1/20/2009 7:17 AM, Anonymous Floyd the Wonderdog said...

Our Elder'd Quorum moved a piano in the ward. We got it up in the pickup truck using a ramp. I asked if we shouldn't tie it down. I was assured that the piano was heavy enough that it wouldn't shift. We turned a corner. You could feel the truck begin to tilt abnotmally as the piano lost balance. It flipped out of the truck and made a wonderful musical cord as it smashed to bits.

At 1/20/2009 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was a young child, 34 years ago, my parents heard of such an old piano that a family was trying to rid themselves of. The family actually paid my Dad $50 to take the piano away. He brought it home and used that $50 to pay a piano tuner to tune it and to replace the handful of ivories that were missing off of some of the keys.

On that old, unwanted piano I learned to play. I played for hours and became somewhat proficient. I practiced more when I received the Aaronic Priesthood and they called me to be the pianist in pianist in Priesthood. I learned to play the hymns on that piano. I played for my mother some songs she selected to comfort her when her beloved poodle died in her arms one day. I composed the few songs I've written on that piano. The last song I ever composed - the one I wrote for the woman who is now my wife - was written on that piano.

As an adult, I received that piano when my parents moved to another home and they didn't want to take it with them. It now sits proudly in our front room and is used every Sunday when the ward choir comes to our home to practice. I play accompaniment for my children as they practice singing or playing violin for whatever performance, audition, festival, or solo they have upcoming. It is used, as the family gathers for Family Home Evening, for us to sing whatever primary songs our 6-year-old chooses. My oldest daughter taught herself to play piano on it and has had many hours of enjoyment playing the hymns and such on that piano. That 150-year-old, unwanted piano will pass on to her when I pass on from this earth. One family's trash has become another family's treasured heirloom and has been the basis of more spiritual experiences than any other object, save for the scriptures only, in my home.

Find out if it is in playable condition. If it is, give your piano a good home. Put some thought and effort into where it should go.

At 1/10/2013 10:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am looking for pianos..but live in lafayette, louisiana....for decorating pirposes...which i was close


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