Moving antiques and collectibles

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      Whether it be fine art, a collection of porcelain dolls or piece of large antique furniture, antiques by their definition are old usually fragile or delicate, are made of delicate pieces and usually of high monetary, intrinsic, and sentimental value. Therefore, not the type of belongings that you want to entrust just anybody to pack and move for you, especially when moving home over a long distance.

      To be sure that our priceless antique furniture remains safe while moving from one to another location, hiring a professional company is the best option available. Our moving services have several years of experience in moving, so they can move your valuable furniture without a scratch. How can our professionals move furniture in an efficient manner and safely? How they manage to protect furniture in chaotic moving procedures? It becomes even more difficult to move when moving antique across states. But once you take assistance from our experts, you can meet your goals successfully.

      Pieces of jewelry that are over decades old, furniture from past century, first edition books, crockery and collectibles all need to be packed accordingly, with caution.

      It is important to treat your antiques as your most prized possessions and handle them with extra care. You don’t want to open a box filled with broken china or find your prized furniture scratched and dented, but don’t worry help is on hand. We are here to give you some tips and hacks how to pack antiques items when moving.

      The most critical part of any move is preparation and planning, this is even more crucial if moving highly valuable and cherished antique furniture or collectibles.

      Steps prior to move

      If you have more than one or two antiques in your possession, you may want to take an inventory. List down everything and their current condition and take some photos, so you can check for damage when they reach new place. This is essential whether moving locally across town or further – cross-country. Each item should be listed, including anything that you think is noteworthy.

      If you are hiring a moving company to move your antiques, get your items appraised for their current value in case something unfortunate happens during the move. However, if you are moving your items yourself, you can skip this step. Also, it is important to purchase separate insurance coverage for your antique collection. There are specialized insurance products that protect art collection, antiques, vintage cars, and other valuables.  If your home looks like this, you need a guide how to move antiques and collectibles.

      living room
      Vogue, 1977. Courtesy of Horst/Conde Nast via Getty Images.


      Now that you are all set, it is time to pack up your collection before the big move.

      • Good Quality Boxes: you have got a few options when it comes to finding boxes; you can buy the new, second-hand or borrow from somebody who recently moved
      • Reinforce The Boxes: reinforce the bottoms of the boxes with extra packing tape if they are going to hold heavy or very fragile items.
      • Pad and Protect: always pack fragile items with padded or cushioned materials such as Styrofoam peanuts or bubble wrap. You can also use old shirt, towels, or linens to protect the items. Just make sure that whatever material you use is clean!
      • Special Boxes: use special boxes for packing large flat items, such as mirrors and paintings. These can be ordered online or purchased from your moving company. Ask for some corner protectors to provide an extra layer of protection for larger items.
      • Label Everything: label every box that contains fragile or breakable items with a word FRAGILE in several places. It is often best to write the word on the box with a permanent marker, but you can also use a label. Buy high quality labels so they don’t peel off during a move. Make the letters as large as possible so that even the most exhausted movers will be able to clearly see it.
      • Warn You Movers: even the very best movers do not have psychic abilities. So, make sure you tell them exactly what is breakable and what needs extra care and handling. Do his verbally and make sure that each box is clearly marked with word FRAGILE.
      • Extra Layer of Bubble Wrap: placing an extra layer of bubble wrap on the bottom of reinforced box will add an extra layer of protection for particularly heavy items.
      • Hollow Items: if your antiques have a hollow inside (such as vases, glasses, ceramic objects and so on) it is highly recommended that you fill in their hollow center. Simply stuff the inside with a bubble wrap and place them in the box surrounded by foam peanuts or bubble-wrap.
      • Clean Your Antiques: before you wrap them up and put them in a box, clean your antiques first. You can use a microfiber cloth to clean them of dust. Avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage your items. Make sure that they are free of moisture before you pack them up.
      • Disassemble Furniture: if this will make it easier to pack and move the furniture and it will also be much safer. However, there will be some older items that are not recommended for disassembly.
      • Small Items in Appropriate Boxes: when packing items, pack them in boxes of the smallest size where they can fit to help avoid movement during transport. You can also use corner protection and an air-filled plastic wrap to secure them.
      • Paintings: should be wrapped but the best form of protection is a crate. This way they are more secured and avoid the risk of possibly falling on something, maybe a stone on the floor which could damage it.
      • Antique Silverware: best protected in acid-free paper which can also be used to prevent tarnishing.

      Packing materials

      • Only use acid- free paper for wrapping antiques; this is because it is ph neutral and will not corrode or stain as some wrappings can
      • Use an absolute minimum of two-ply cardboard boxes
      • Only pack one item per box for statues, figurines, and larger crockery pieces
      • Have an abundance of packing materials available: packing peanuts, bubble wrap, acid free packing paper, quality packing tape a minimum of 2 ply cardboard boxes.

      Do NOT do list:

      • don’t use synthetic wrap directly onto wood
      • don’t use newsprint as packing as ink will rub off onto your antiques
      • never allow packing tape to directly touch the surface of any antique
      • do not use plastic directly on wooden furniture: plastic can trap moisture, which can lead to some costly damage. Instead, you can use moving blankets.

      Most website will recommend that you leave the packing to the experts, after all, they have the skills, materials, and expertise to ensure that your antiques and collectibles are properly packed for your home move. When moving antiques, many of us will be having a flashback to Del and Rodney trying to move a crystal chandelier for cleaning, an absolute classic, but this does illustrate how some jobs are best left to the experts, despite ”how difficult can it be” mentality.

      On a final note, if antiques are to be stored or you are unsure in any way about moving home with precious antiques or family heirlooms, always seek professional advice. The above advice is gleaned from the experts with years of experience, but an individual assessment of packing needs for your collection may be the only way to ensure that no damage is caused during your home move.


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