Moving is stressful enough, but worrying about packing your valuable pieces for their journey to your new home can bring a whole new level of anxiety. Whether you have antique items that are worth a lot of money or unique keepsakes that hold personal meaning to you, making sure that your delicate items are safe and secure for the move is of the utmost importance.
To help you relieve that stress, we’ve put together a list of useful tips for packing your artwork to make sure that it reaches its destination without incident!
General Packing Tips
Before we look at the specifics around preparing your artwork for moving, let’s review some general tips to keep in mind when planning your move.
When preparing your packing materials, make sure that you’re getting the right stuff to keep your artwork safe. You should avoid using packing peanuts at all costs. They tend to break into little pieces during transit, which can become lodged into the crevices of your frame.
Also, you should be aware that some packing peanuts are made of corn and wheat starch. If they get even remotely wet, they can turn into glue and adhere themselves to your precious cargo!
Label Your Boxes
Be sure to mark all your boxes and items FRAGILE. Inform your moving crew or manager to take these labels seriously!
One of the biggest problems you may run into is keeping moisture out of the storage of your artwork when you’re moving. If you’re moving during the summer months when it’s hot and humid, your things may melt or sweat. Prepare accordingly.
Packing Unframed Paper, Canvas or Prints
Ideally, the best way to transport your precious artwork is to remove it from the frame. You should roll it up and place it in a hard cardboard tube to protect it from bending and damage.
Cardboard tubes can be found at your local hobby shop, art supply store, or you can order them easily online.
Framed artwork takes a bit more time and patience to ensure that it stays intact during transit. First, you should make an X with masking tape on the glass. Not only will this prevent the glass from shifting in the frame, but if it happens to break while you’re moving, it will keep the remnants from marking up the art underneath. While we hope that doesn’t happen, it’s always best to make sure that you’re prepared for the unexpected!
You should cut pieces of cardboard to fit the size of the frame, and then use bubble wrap to wrap each cardboard layer. Sandwich your artwork between it, and tape it together.
You can then place it in a moving box, preferably with dunnage that will keep it in position. We suggest packing paper, bubble wrap, or even blankets. This ensures that it won’t be tossed around in the box and that it’s tight and secure.
Fragile items that are heavy, awkwardly shaped, and/or a few feet tall pose a different type of challenge when packing for moving. A wooden crate or cardboard box may be a suitable option, depending on the weight and size of your piece.
If your sculpture is under 40lbs, a cardboard box will work.
Still, anything more substantial should go into a wooden crate to prevent it from collapsing. Either way, make sure you include sufficient padding to protect it and secure it tightly.
If you’re unsure of the weight and want to be extra careful, definitely go with the wooden crate because you’d rather be safe than sorry. You can find these at shipping supply stores and online, or even at your local art gallery!
Delicate and Antique Pieces
If your collection includes priceless antiques and fragile items, you may want to consider having them crated and packed by a professional. A professional will use wooden crates as they are the most heavy-duty and safest option.
While it may seem like a bit of a splurge to hire this service, it’s worth it to ensure the safe transport of your most delicate possessions. We’d rather you be safe than sorry!
Valuable artwork, regardless of whether it’s the price tag or personal significance, can cause real concern when your moving. Moving insurance is always a good idea to provide you with peace of mind. Most reputable moving companies will come with insurance coverage as part of their pricing.
You should have the option to tack on extra coverage for valuables.
Be sure to talk to your moving company about their insurance coverage and options available, and protect your priceless art!
Other Moving Options for Your Artwork
If the idea of entrusting the security of your most delicate and prized artwork to potentially rough movers makes you too nervous, you can move it yourself. Self-moving is easier if you’re staying local, of course.
Lightly pack your pieces and store them in a temperature-controlled storage unit. Then, once the rest of your belongings have made it to your new home, you can retrieve your art yourself.
While it’s a little more work on you, self-moving your art will give you peace of mind and may save you a bit of money.
No matter where or when you’re moving, be sure to take the appropriate precautions and follow these steps when preparing your art for transport. Protecting your most prized and priceless possessions can be stressful when you’re thinking about moving, and it’s essential to do your due diligence.
Hire a competent and professional moving company that will take the extra care necessary to deliver your items to your new home safely!