How to Safely Move Your Most Valuable Art

When you fill your home with fine art, antiques and similar valuable and delicate items, you don’t want to ruin them in a rash and hectic move. Even if they have little financial value, art tends to have significant sentimentality attached to it, and you probably don’t want to lose your favorite décor due to clumsy moving. Relocating from one home to another can be chaotic, but you should take the time to protect your art pieces from damage. Here are the best ways to pack art of any kind to keep it safe from moving hazards.

Larger Framed Art and Mirrors

Large and especially valuable pieces of art require extra-special care. If you have a large collection of fine art in your home, it is likely worth your time and money to hire professional Los Angeles moving companies, or movers local to your city of residence. Not only do professionals have well-honed techniques for packing and strapping valuables of any shape or size, but moving companies come with insurance that will help you recover the financial value of your art should it be damaged in any way during the move. If you take the risk of moving your art yourself, you will have no recourse for damage done to your art.

However, if you only have one or two large items of this type, you might consider at least wrapping up your artwork yourself before professional movers transport the pieces to your new abode. While you can pack other belongings in freebie cardboard boxes acquired behind stores or from friends and neighbors, you should invest in high-quality, heavy-duty boxes for your art. There are picture boxes of various sizes to accommodate wall art, but for three-dimensional pieces, a typical box of an appropriate size will work.

For mirrors and art with a glass panel, use thick masking tape to create a large X across the glass; this will prevent shards of glass from doing extra harm should the glass crack or shatter during the move. Then, wrap the artwork in Glassine (an air-, water- and grease-resistant plastic) or plain craft paper, attach corner protectors, wrap in bubble wrap or foam, and tuck the art into its box. For three-dimensional works, you should tuck extra pieces of foam padding into crevices and around appendages, and add void filler to the box, like packing peanuts or crinkle paper.

Smaller Art Pieces Smaller art can be just as valuable as large pieces — consider the Mona Lisa, which is valued around $830 million but which is a diminutive 2.5 by 1.75 feet long. Fortunately, smaller works of art are much easier to transport because they are easier to keep safe from typical moving-related hazards. For less-valuable works, like small mirrors and family pictures, a generous wrapping of bubble wrap or foam should be enough to keep the item safe. Then, you can tuck a few into a sturdy cardboard box vertically and transport them without much worry. If you have acquired an exceedingly valuable yet miniature work, you can take the same steps as with larger art.

Antique Furniture

Furniture, especially valuable or one-of-a-kind furniture, is another reason why it’s a good idea for you to hire professional movers. It’s rare that you can protect a larger piece of furniture by tucking it into a box or wrapping every inch in padding. Plus, you are more likely to lack the strength and tools necessary to move heavy furniture without doing harm; scuffs on the floor, walls and doorways will leave lasting marks that might devalue the piece or else ruin the furniture’s look.

If your antique furniture is smaller or capable of surviving disassembly, you might be able to manage moving it yourself successfully. To do so, you should carefully take off any pieces that easily detach and wrap them in bubble wrap or foam. Next, layer moving blankets over the larger elements of the piece, securing them with low-tack tape that won’t mar the antique. At this point, you should load the furniture into a wooden crate, which is custom-made for your purpose, or else an exceedingly sturdy cardboard box. By adding an outer layer like this, even for short, intracity moves, you lessen the likelihood of bumps and scrapes incurred along the way.

Moving is hard, and moving valuable, delicate items is even harder. If you are patient and careful, you can ensure your art emerges in your new home unscathed