Knoxville is known to have a humid climate, meaning the summers are hot and humid, and the winters are cool with light snow. Although this is great weather to head down to lounge along the Tennessee River, it’s not the best place to keep your belongings without some type of temperature control. Doing this in your home can be kind of difficult, because you don’t want to rack up an air conditioning bill. Instead, put your things in a climate controlled storage unit. This way you can get stuff out of your house and you don’t have to worry about monitoring the temperature yourself. Things that you want to store like books, bikes, and any objects made with wood or metal won’t deteriorate, mold, or rust.
If you live in Knoxville, you probably know that traffic can be a bit of a pain. Knoxville is actually ranked 70 on the list of America’s 75 Worst Commutes, so you should know what you are up against. Rush hour usually lasts from 7AM to 9AM and 4PM to 6PM, and you might hit a bit of traffic during lunchtime as well. Going east out of the city is better than going west, but you’ll still hit delays. During rush hour, I-40 and I-275 are the worst, especially the 0.65-mile stretch near exit 387. You would think traveling at night might be better so you can avoid traffic, but if you’re on I-40, you’ll still have a hard time because night time truckers are trying to get through. Given the traffic situation, we would recommend that you store in a facility that allows for 24-hour access to your unit. This way, you can avoid rush hour, nighttime truckers, and find the best time for you to get your stuff from your unit.
Just like the rest of Tennessee, Knoxville has a rich history of music. There are a lot of professional musicians in the area and numerous festivals and concerts take place throughout the year. From orchestra and rock and roll, to jazz and the blues, you’ll find a musician that specializes in any type of music that you’re interested in.
Given the surplus of musicians, there is an abundant need for storing a variety of musical instruments. Woodwinds, brass, strings, and percussion instruments need to be stored, along with electronic equipment and other resources such as amps, sheet music, and digital backups.
To store anything in Knoxville, especially things as delicate as instruments, it's absolutely essential that you store them in climate controlled units. Severe temperatures and drastic changes in temperature coupled with a lot of humidity can cause things like drum skins to dry, brass instruments to expand and contract, strings and wood to warp, and mildew to grow. Ideally, the temperature of the unit should be kept between 50 to 80 degrees. You might also want to consider using a dehumidifier to reduce humidity during the really hot months.
When you’re storing instruments, you have a lot more to take care of than just the temperature. For wooden instruments, clean and condition them with wax, and don’t ever use an alcohol or oil-based polish. Thoroughly clean all other instruments before continuing. Next, disassemble parts, remove mouthpieces, mutes and straps, and relax any strings. Store the instruments in their own cases if they are in good condition—if not, line the cases with acid-free paper. Drape a piece of cloth over the instrument once it’s inside the case. When placing your packed instruments in your unit, keep them away from vents and doors, and don’t keep them on the floor. When you take the instruments out of storage, be sure to clean and tune them before playing.
Before storing your instruments, make sure you get insurance. Keep an inventory of stored items by taking pictures, and have an estimate of each item’s value so you have information needed to make insurance claims in case of a disaster or accident.
You may also want to store your music along with your instrument. You can’t really use one without the other, so it’s better to keep everything in one place. First, you should make copies of your music and keep them in a separate location in case the originals get messed up somehow. You don’t want your chances of becoming the next Sinatra to be ruined because you didn’t make copies of your masterpiece. Store the music in well-sealed containers so no insects or pests can get in. This will also help to keep moisture out, and prevent mildew and other water damage. Make sure you keep your boxes elevated on a shelf. Also, do not use newspaper to fill your boxes because the print can transfer. It’s best to pack with the intention that you’re storing for longer than you actually will just in case. Lastly, label your boxes for ease of use.
If you follow these few steps for storing your instruments and music, they’ll be ready for you to use for your next impromptu performance or for a festival you may be a part of. Don’t let Knoxville miss out on your talent because you didn’t store your instruments properly!