Art pieces and antiques require careful handling when they are being transported from one location to another. However, even if these pieces are indeed handled with care, damage can still occur if they are not properly packed. Here are some helpful tips on how to pack and move these valuable pieces yourself before moving them into a self-storage facility.
Proper Packing of Art Pieces
- Wrap every piece of art in soft pack. Dartek, an acid-free interwoven plastic that is available from specialty suppliers is a good material to use as it protects the art and allows it to breathe. This is especially important with oil paintings.
- Avoid wrapping paintings or sculptures directly in bubble wrap. The bubbles may pop, leaving marks on the artwork. Bubble wrap is fine though as a second layer for added protection.
- After your artworks have been properly wrapped, you can pack these into cardboard boxes, one-way shipping crates, or custom crates. You can use foam-lined cardboard boxes if you are moving the items yourself. However, for transporting these items long distance by a general moving company, a one-way crate is ideal as it would provide extra protection. You can have custom crates built to specifications for art pieces that are very fragile and valuable.
- Label all items to indicate the correct orientation with “This End Up”. This reminder is critical when it comes to transporting art, such as framed paintings and sketches in charcoal, pastel, and watercolor. These works are usually hinge-mounted and secured in both top corners of their frames. If these are turned upside-down, the mounting points may be dislodged, wrinkling the artwork and requiring the piece to be reframed.
Packing Antiques and Collectibles
- Prior to moving antiques and other valuable pieces, it would be best to give each item a thorough evaluation. Carefully assess the condition of each piece and try to identify the potential problems with moving them. Check if there are any weak spots and if there are items that may be disassembled.
- Secure any loose parts or removable elements to lessen the chances of damage and ensure an efficient packing process.
- Protect doors and handles with rubber straps or strings.
- Remove any fragile handles and tape them inside drawers.
- Tape glass panels and mirrors, and secure these with padding and stretch wrap.
- Put all hardware, attachments, or components in labeled plastic bags. Keep these labeled bags inside a designated “parts box”.
- After items have been wrapped, put these in wooden crates for added protection. This is applicable for fragile pieces, such as crystal chandelier. If the item is of an unusual size or shape, have a custom crate made to ensure an accurate fit.
- Pack collectible items such as figurines, dolls, and ornaments in their original boxes, if possible. Otherwise, wrap these items individually in tissue paper and then pack them in bubble wrap or foam peanuts. For an extra measure of security, use double-walled corrugated boxes.
- Each piece of China, crystal, and delicate porcelain should be wrapped in tissue paper and placed in specially designed, compartmented containers. The plates should be standing on edge and stemware should be placed within individual corrugated cylinders.
Taking the time to properly pack your valuables and using the right materials during this stage can greatly help ensure your priceless collection remains intact for years to come.