Cherished Belongings: The Art of Moving Valuables Safely

Protect your priceless possessions during a move with these expert tips for moving artwork, antiques, and other cherished items.

When it comes to tips for moving, few tasks are more nerve-wracking than transporting valuable items like artwork, antiques, or family heirlooms. 

These cherished belongings hold monetary value, of course, but often priceless sentimental value too. 

I know the feeling well after nearly having a heart attack moving my grandmother’s antique china cabinet during a recent move.

Thankfully, with proper planning and preparation, you can ensure your valuables make it to their new home safely and securely. 

Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to pack and move valuable items to minimize risk and keep your mind at ease.

Inventory and Appraise

Before anything else, make a detailed inventory of all valuable items including photographs. 

For significant pieces like artwork or antiques, hire a professional appraiser to document their condition and value before the move. 

This creates a paper trail in case any damage does occur.

Disassemble What You Can

Many antiques and large furniture pieces can be disassembled into more manageable components. 

Carefully dismantle what you can, wrapping and boxing each component separately and clearly labeling boxes. 

Safeguard small parts like screws in sealed baggies. For any doubt, consult a professional.

Pack with Caution

When packing, treat each valuable as if it’s made of glass. Use new, clean packing materials rather than recycled boxes or newspapers which can transfer dirt and ink. Here are some tips:

  • Wrap items in acid-free paper or blemish-free blanketing material
  • For artwork, create corner edge protectors out of cardboard
  • Use double-boxed boxes with ample cushioning
  • Clearly label boxes as “FRAGILE” and indicate proper upright orientation
Packing Tips
Use new, clean materials
Double box with cushioning
Clearly label “FRAGILE”
tips for moving

Consider Professional Services

The safest option may be to hire professionals for packing, crating, transport, and installation. 

Art shippers and specialty moving companies are trained experts in properly handling high-value items. The cost is often worthwhile compared to replacement values if anything goes awry.

A personal story: My cousin attempted moving a 200-year-old family heirloom sideboard himself. 

What should’ve been a simple task turned into disaster when the piece was badly damaged. Replacement costs were over $25,000! Money certainly better spent hiring experts from the start.

Review Insurance Coverage

Standard moving company liability coverage is minimal – often just $0.60 per pound. This barely covers a paperweight if your valuables are damaged! 

Purchase supplementary insurance through your mover, or even better, obtain a “Personal Articles Policy” from a third-party insurance provider. Be sure valuable items are specifically scheduled with documented appraisals.

Moving valuables is undoubtedly stressful, but meticulous planning and proper precautions go a long way in keeping your irreplaceable belongings secure. With some patience and care, your cherished pieces will safely transition to your new home.

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