Packing your valuables can be stressful, especially when it comes to irreplaceable antiques. A bumpy moving truck ride could be all it takes to damage an older item that isn't packed properly. It is important to follow the correct steps when moving antiques from one home to another and to plan properly so that you have exactly what you need. If you are concerned about how to safely pack your antiques for transport to your new home, you have come to the right place. Next, we'll cover the basics of moving antiques, including how to package them so they arrive in one piece.
What you will need
Gather your supplies ahead of time so that when it's time to pack your antiques you will have everything on hand. This is what you will need:
• Microfiber clothing
• Packing paper or packing peanuts
• Air-filled plastic wrap
• Glassine (similar to standard plastic wrap but resistant to air, water and grease. You can buy it by the roll at most craft stores)
• Packing tape
• Corner protectors for artwork and mirrors
• Boxes, including speciality boxes as required
• Move blankets
• Furniture pads
Before you start
There are a few things you'll want to do before you start wrapping and packing your antiques.
Take an inventory. If you are moving antiques and have more than a couple of valuable items, it may be helpful to take an inventory of all your items and their current condition. This will be helpful in recording the safe arrival of each item in its new home and in assessing whether any damage occurred during shipping.
You probably don't have to worry about doing this before a move if you're taking on the job yourself (although it's generally a good idea to get an appraisal of any valuable belongings you have). But if you are working with a professional moving company, you will want to know the exact value of your antiques so that you can pass the information on during your initial inventory call and later if you need to make any claims.
Some will cover your antiques during a move. If you're not sure yours does, check your policy or call an agent to find out. While your homeowners insurance will not be able to replace the item itself if it breaks, at least you know that you will receive financial compensation.
Before packing each of your antiques, clean them safely to make sure they arrive in the best possible condition. Carry a clean, soft microfiber cloth with you while packing to gently remove any dust or dirt that has accumulated on each item since it was last cleaned. Do not use any chemical based products, especially on wood and / or items to be stored. When wrapped without room to breathe, chemicals can dampen and damage your antiques.
Moving antiques the right way starts with packing them properly. Follow the steps below to make sure everything arrives in good condition.
Packaging of smaller works of art, mirrors and antiques.
Step One: Assess your box situation and find out what size or type of box each of your antiques will be packed in. In general, you want to choose the smallest box you can so that there is minimal space for items to move. Some items, such as paintings and mirrors, need to be packed in special boxes. Others may benefit from dividers in the box, like the ones you use to pack your water glasses.
Step Two: Wrap all glass items in a layer of Glassine. Glassine is a type of barrier paper with a wax-like finish that prevents items from staining or staining. This layer of Glassine is especially necessary for anything with printing or painting. Wrap Glassine tightly around each glass, porcelain, and ceramic item and secure with packing tape.
Step Three: Secure the corners with corner protectors. Be sure to pay special attention to the corners of your framed artwork and mirrors. Due to their shape, the corners are prone to nicks and scratches during movements, so adding an extra layer of protection is important. Corner protectors are available in plastic, Styrofoam, and cardboard. If you feel like it, you can also make yours.
Step four: add a little cushioning. Use air-filled plastic wrap to create a soft cushion around each item. For maximum protection, wrap the item in the air-filled plastic wrap at least twice, making sure to cover all sides of the item, as well as the top and bottom. Secure with packing tape.
Step Five: Pack Everything. Depending on the size and shape of an item, you may want to pack it in a box only. Other items can go well packaged with other antiques, as long as they are well protected with air-filled plastic wrap. Regardless of whether an item is alone or with others, use rolled wrapping paper or packing peanuts to fill any gaps in the box so the items won't move.
Step one: disassemble what you can. Any large antique furniture should be disassembled if possible for safer packaging and easier transit. Of course, do not disassemble anything that is not suitable for it or is too old to bear being disassembled and reassembled. On all the pieces, try to see if you can at least remove small items like drawer pulls and wheels and pack them separately.
Step Two: Tightly wrap each item in mobile blankets or furniture pads. It is important not to put plastic wrap directly on old furniture, especially wooden furniture, because it can trap moisture and cause damage. This includes using tape to keep drawers closed (use string instead). Instead, use moving blankets or furniture pads as your first layer to create a barrier between the furniture and the extra plastic padding.
Step Three: Now make a layer of air-filled plastic wrap. After you have an initial layer of protection on your furniture, you can use plastic-based packaging materials. Pay special attention to the corners and be sure to wrap all the surfaces of your antique furniture and secure it with packing tape. You may need to use some air-filled plastic wrap, but better safe than sorry.
Once your antiques are properly packaged, your next task will be to make sure they are transported as safely as possible. Make sure movers know exactly which wrapped items are antiques and which boxes contain antiques so they don't end up cluttered or boxes stacked on top.
If you are doing a DIY move, do your best to insulate your antiques so they are less likely to fall or be damaged by other items. Store all artwork and mirrors upright, and never stack anything on top of your well-protected antique furniture. Use dollies to haul anything heavy from your home to the truck, and consider using additional rolling blankets once the items are on the truck for added protection.
If you are concerned about moving your antiques, your best bet is probably to work with the professionals. When you hire our moving company, be sure to mention your antiques on your opening inventory call. We will be very careful when loading and unloading those items from the truck. Download our moving app to book our moving services to move your antiques safely.