Though you may love playing them, often, it’s necessary to store guitars away for some time. Use these tips to help ensure the wood remains vibrant and healthy for years to come.Though you may love playing them, often, it’s necessary to store guitars away for some time. Use these tips to help ensure the wood remains vibrant and healthy for years to come.Storage Tips

How To Properly Store Guitars For Years To Come

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Though you may love playing them, often, it’s necessary to store guitars away for some time. Perhaps you have a passed-down guitar from a family member. You may have your first ever guitar that you don’t want to get rid of but don’t use often. Proper storage helps to maintain and preserve them for years to come.

First Start with the Case Itself

The best place to store guitars is in their case. It should be a properly fitting case that has a hardshell that’s in good condition. If you have more than one, be sure to store them upright, one next to the other, rather than stacking them on top of each other.

The case offers some level of protection, but it’s not going to completely protect the guitar from all types of damage. They are still at risk for water damage in some situations. They may also be exposed to risks from toppling over when they’re moved.

Long-Term Storage Considerations

When considering long-term storage, there are a few essential factors to take into consideration.

Climate control

Wood is an organic material that’s likely to swell up when there are high humidity levels. Any type of damp condition can cause this. Also, if the air is too dry, that can leach out moisture from the wood, making it far more at risk for splintering and cracking. For these reasons, choosing a storage location with proper climate control is best. This way, moisture, and heat don’t impact the condition and playing quality of your guitar.


Many guitars are valuable investments. Those that are older, vintage, or carry sentimental value may benefit from secure storage. That is, placing them in the basement of your home isn’t ideal. Instead, consider placement in an area that you can lock and keep others away from, including a storage unit. When you have a valuable object like this that could easily be damaged by someone rummaging through your items, it helps to have a secure location to place them instead.

Should Guitars Be Stored Flat or Upright?

Whenever possible, store your guitar in an upright position. Because guitar cases are not flat, they tend to move around and fall when stacked on top of each other. Every fall to the ground creates an increased risk of significant damage to the guitar, from snapping strings or small dings to the wood even when it is in its case. Instead, store it in an upright position with the larger portion of the case on the bottom. When possible, use shelving to hold these cases in place, one next to the other.

Is it Okay to Store a Guitar Out of the Case?

It’s always best to keep the guitar in its case when that’s possible to do. There are a few reasons for this. For example, guitars are prone to damage, such as something catching on a string that ends up dislodging it. The case minimizes this risk.

In addition to this, guitars have many intricate components to them. Outside of the case, there’s a high risk of dust getting into each one of those areas, and it tends to be very hard to clean it. Cases also provide some level of protection against spills and flooding situations, but they are not often waterproof.

Also, sunlight can be a concern for your guitar. If you don’t plan to put it into a case, keep it out of direct sunlight as that can cause discoloration of the wood.

All of that aside, if you don’t have a case for your guitar, you may need to store it without one. If possible, use a gig bag as that could offer some help. If you don’t have that available, you may wish to purchase a guitar rack stand, which allows you to position the guitar in an upright position. Remember, though, that this doesn’t do anything for protection from dust.

Should I Loosen My Guitar Strings for Storage?

When storing your guitar, the string tension is a factor to think about before you tuck it away. Your guitar strings do not need regular tension when they are in storage. However, you don’t want to remove the strings or eliminate all tension. Doing so can lead to the guitar neck bowing, especially over the long term.

The better option then is to loosen the strings. To do this, just loosen them by one or two half steps. You do not want to remove all tension from them.

The Best Climate to Store an Acoustic Guitar

The temperature is the most important thing to get right for long-term guitar storage. The key is to eliminate any type of extreme temperatures in either direction. Typically, the best temperature range is between 66 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

The next factor is humidity, which, if not addressed, can easily contribute to concerns with warping your beautiful wood. Aim for the humidity that’s between 40 and 50%. Over this percentage puts your guitar at risk for mold growth.

In dry winter months, you may want to consider a case humidifier, especially if you’re particularly concerned about the overall condition of the wood because it has some damage already or is older.

Using a storage location could be the ideal option if it is climate controlled and secured. Add in a guitar rack, if possible, to keep the guitar, in its case, out of harm’s way. Then, check on it over time, perhaps investing in maintenance to help ensure the wood remains vibrant and healthy for years to come.

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