Whether you decide to hire movers or do the job yourself you should have a solid understanding of how to pack valuables the right way. There's nothing worse than opening that box of your grandmother’s china to find it broken, or discover your favorite (or valuable) painting has been punctured.
Forgo the stress and learn how to pack valuables by following these expert packing tips. Protect your art and antiques!
Assess meaningful and expensive possessions, making an inventory of your valuables with notes about the condition of each item. Take pictures and note where these items are packed. Documenting these important possessions is key for claims if something should go wrong. Plus this will help you organize your unpacking.
Furniture is most likely to get broken during the actual handling of it rather than in transport, so make sure you have competent strong movers. Make a plan for how to take something downstairs or through thresholds. Be sure you measure doors and ceilings to ensure the piece will fit. Make use of dollies and moving straps.
Remove or secure any moveable parts, such as doors, drawers, or component parts. Door or drawer pulls which stick out are particularly vulnerable. Soft string or furniture bands can be used to secure doors closed. To pack for transport, wrap furniture in padded moving blankets and secure with stretch wrap.
Valuables made out of ceramic or glass are probably the most fragile items you possess. Take extra care when packing these for transport to avoid cracks, breaks, and scratches. The key is to assess the weak spots of each of these items and give those areas extra support or padding. Weak points include protrusions like handles; rims and bases that are easily chipped; joints; and decorations that are easily tangled or pulled off.
Don’t skimp on the packing materials and buy enough to wrap in layers. To safely wrap ceramics and glass:
When filling boxes with these fragile valuables be sure to use dish packs or double walled cardboard boxes, and don’t leave any voids in the box. Fill holes with extra newsprint paper or bubble. Avoid using packing peanuts as they have a tendency to shift and settle during transport.
Metal serving wares and sterling silver antiques are a much more sturdy material, but these possessions are prone to scratching, tarnish, and dents during the moving process. Protect silver by first cleaning and polishing it. Then wrap it in silver cloth, which is a soft flannel like fabric that prevents tarnishing and scratching. Many sterling silver items come with their own cloths or covers be sure to use these.
If you don’t have or cannot buy silver cloth, try wrapping the piece in soft cotton muslin and then enclosing it in a plastic bag. After wrapping the item in cloth, further protect it with bubble wrap. Take extra care with hollow handles to avoid denting.
2-D framed art works should be packed following very specific guidelines. It is important to protect these works from damage caused by excessive vibration, temperature fluctuations, fluids, and impacts. You will need special boxes called mirror packs and blank newsprint paper. To pack the work of art:
NOTE: Very valuable art should be packed and moved by professional art handlers and packers who can build custom wooden crates and ensure climate controlled transport.
Moving and packing is always stressful, but knowing the right way to pack valuables will greatly reduce that stress. With these expert packing tips to protect your art and antiques you can feel confident that your valuable possessions will arrive safe and sound. Happy moving!