Hiring professional movers is the best way to move art and antiques, but you can as well do-it-yourself if you know the technical-know-how.
Items of high quality, such as fine art and antiques require specialty care. Packing these items the same way you pack other belongings won’t be the best. A particular process is needed for various types of these items.
Continue reading our tips on relocating antiques, fine art, and getting custom crating to figure out how to pack and move your essential belongings.
DIY Packing of Arts and Antiques
If you have the tools, patience confidence, and packing knowledge to pack your highly valuable goods, it can be safely done. Based on the belongings you have, you will need a lot of packing equipment.
Packing Materials You Will Need
Get your moving supplies early so that when it is time to pack your art and antiques, you have all you need on hand.
Below is what you will need:
- Microfiber cloth
- Glassine (just like a standard plastic wrap but air, water, and grease resistant). A lot of craft stores have them on sale by the roll.
- Packing tape
- Packing paper or packing peanuts
- Air-filled plastic wrap
- Corner protectors for art and mirrors
- Boxes, (plus specialty boxes as need)
- Moving blankets
- Furniture pads
Before You Begin
There are certain things you will want to do before you commence wrapping and packing your arts and antiques.
- Take an inventory: If you are transporting antiques and have a lot of valuable belongings, you may want to take inventory of your entire belongings and their existing condition. This will help you in recording the safe arrival of each belonging at your next home and for checking whether any damage occurred during transit.
- Obtain an appraisal: You likely don’t have to be worried over competing tasks before moving if you are handling the job yourself (though a generally good idea is to obtain an appraisal of all valuable items that you own). But if you are hiring a professional mover, you will want to figure out the actual value of your antiques so that you can forward the information during your first inventory call and in the future if there is a need to make any claims.
- Look into your homeowner’s insurance plan: Some will protect your antiques on a move. If you are not certain if yours does, go through your policy or call the insurance agent to determine. While your homeowner’s insurance won’t provide a replacement for the exact item if broken, at least you are sure of getting financial compensation.
- Clean each item: Before you pack up any of your antiques, clean them safely to make sure that they get to the destination in the best possible condition. Make sure a clean and soft microfiber cloth is beside you as you pack to carefully clean out any dust or debris that has piled on each of your items since the last cleaning. Avoid using any chemical-based cleaners, especially on wooden items or items that are to be sent into storage. Chemicals can dampen and cause damage to your antiques when wrapped up with no ventilation.
How to Pack Antiques
Moving antiques properly begins with the right packing. Follow the steps here to ensure everything arrives at the destination unscathed.
Step 1: Check your box situation and determine the size or type of box that you will pack each of your antiques inside: Generally, you want to move with the smallest box possible so that there is lesser room for items to slide around. Specialty boxes should be used to pack some items, like mirrors and paintings. Others may like dividers in the box, like those that water glasses are packed in.
Step 2: Apply a layer of Glassine around all glass items: Glassine is a kind of cushioning paper with a finish that resembles wax and prevents belongings from getting stained or smudged. This Glassine layer is so much essential for any item with paint or print on it. Wrap the Glassine firmly around each porcelain, glass, and ceramic item and hold it with your packing tape.
Step 3: hold corners with protectors: Ensure you pay special focus to the edges of your framed mirrors and artwork. Because of their shape, corners are at risk of nicks and scratches when moving, so you importantly need to add more layers of protection. Corner protectors can help and are available in cardboard, plastic, and Styrofoam. If you have what it takes, you can as well make your own
Step 4: Add some cushioning: Make use of air-filled plastic wrap to make a soft cushion around each antique. For highest protection, do the wrapping around each belonging a minimum of two times, ensuring to cover every one of their sides, including the top and the bottom. Hold with packing tape.
Step 5: Pack everything: Based on the size and shape of the item, you may want to get its original box to pack it. Other belongings may be perfectly fine if packed with other antiques if only they are properly protected using air-filled plastic wrap. No matter whether belonging is separately packed or packed with others, make use of balled-up packing peanuts or paper to fill all leftover spaces in the box to prevent the gods from moving around.
How to Pack Antique Furniture
Step 1: disassemble any parts you can: Disassemble any large antique furniture to safely pack and easily transport them. Yes, be sure not to take apart furniture that doesn’t seem to withstand it or is too old to survive being disassembled and reassembled. On all furniture, try to find out if you can detach small components like drawer pulls and separately pack them up.
Step 2: Securely wrap all your items in moving blankets or furniture pads: It is important to not apply plastic wrap straight on the antique furniture, especially wood type, as it can trap moisture and cause damage. This includes the use of tape to shut drawers (consider twine instead). Use furniture pads or moving blankets as your first layer to build a bridge between the furniture and extra plastic padding.
Step 3: Now apply a layer of air-filled plastic wrap: After you have done the first layer of protection on your furniture, you can apply plastic-based packing supplies. Be focused on corners, and make sure the entire surfaces of your antique furniture are wrapped and secure using packing tape. You will possibly need to apply some air-filled plastic wrap, but it is good to be safe than sorry.
How to Move Antiques Safely
Immediately your antiques are perfectly packed for the move, your next job will be to ensure they are safely transported to your next address. Ensure your movers know that the items you wrapped are antiques. You may also want to transport the boxes with antiques in your private car so that they don’t get damaged when items get stacked upon them. If you are executing a DIY move, do all you can to separate your antiques so they don’t get exposed to a higher risk of getting damaged by other items.
Keep all artwork and mirrors in an upright position and do not stack any item on them no matter how protective they are. Transport all heavy items from your home to the moving truck on dollies, and you may use additional moving blankets immediately they are loaded in the truck to offer more protection.
Hiring Professional Movers
The best way to move mirrors, antiques, fine art, and other valuable pieces are to hire a professional moving company for the business. Luckily for you, there are many moving companies and shipping companies whose specialization is to pack and move these items. To locate them, you don’t have to start from scratch as we are here for you.
We’ve screened all our art and antique movers to make sure that they are reputable, knowledgeable, and reliable – so that you can get the best movers to take care of the business for you. All movers in our list are licensed and insured, which implies that your move will be performed in very good hands.
If you are moving with a relocation company and have packed your arts, antiques, and the rest, it is highly important that they see and take inventory of your antiques themselves. This is referred to as on-site inspection in the moving industry. Seeing goods physically will provide the moving company representative the information required to assess what will be essential to pack and move your goods accurately. Any quote that doesn’t involve an on-site survey when moving antiques is unreliable.
One way to protect your expensive and valuable items when moving is to hire a licensed moving company that has experience in packing and shipping art and antiques. Need assistance locating a mover to handle the task of transporting your antiques? Visit our network of furniture movers to conveniently locate reliable movers near you.