How to Protect Artwork and Delicate Furniture When Moving House?

Mike Johnston
Mike Johnston 6 Min Read

To be frank, even though moving house is both stressful and exciting, it always holds a surprise or two. However, one of the surprises you want to avoid is to discover that a delicate piece of furniture or artwork got damaged or broken in transit. While bulky and sturdy items like wooden patio furniture or sofas can be loaded directly onto a moving truck, antiques, art, and delicate items, as well as appliances need additional planning and precaution in order to arrive at your new home unscathed. Here’s a sure-fire list of packing supplies, techniques and considerations for moving delicate items.

Wrap right

Using high-grade bubble wrap, protective pads, and packing peanuts, wrap each piece of furniture accordingly to prevent cracks or scratches. If it’s an antique piece with doors or drawers, make sure they’re secured to prevent them from opening or swinging out. If moving in the rain, use a plastic tarp over the pieces for added protection while being loaded and unloaded off the truck. If possible, remove any moveable pieces and pack them separately. In this case, mark both boxes clearly so they don’t get lost. Packing peanuts are ideal for protective fragile pieces of art, as they prevent both moving and act as a buffer in case of rough handling.

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Choose adequate boxes

Depending on the piece of furniture, as well as the fragility of the item, you may need to box it. In those case, professional movers often use wooden crates designed especially for moving furniture. However, whether you choose to box it or not, each piece needs to be wrapped adequately for the best protection. Specialty boxes are also used for packing stemware, China, and chandeliers. When packing mirrors and large paintings, place masking tape in a starburst pattern, so if an accident occurs, the glass is prevented from shattering and causing even more damage. Also, never try to move heavy objects alone, which is especially risky with delicate furnishings. The cost of enlisted help is nothing when compared to seeing your prized heirloom shattered within the reach of your new home.

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Plan carrying routes

Professional movers often apply ‘gripping high and low’ technique, which allows them to balance heavier items with greater security, reducing the risk of dropping or damaging the contents. This is an exceptionally useful technique when going down a flight of stairs. In addition, before moving any furniture piece or appliance, you should measure both the item and the doorways, so you can determine the optimal exit and entry points. This also gives you an idea of whether you need to disassemble something or keep it in one piece. In many cases, a narrow doorway can be widened by removing the door and hinges just enough for the piece to squeeze through.

Consider hiring a truck

If you consider that professional moving companies charge you a several hundred dollars just to get your stuff from one end of the town to the other, not to mention the cost of favors you’ll owe to your friends for letting you borrow their vehicles for the move, you should take the best of both worlds and hire a truck yourself. Operating a diverse fleet of trucks of all sizes, app-supported Budget truck rental is a great solution for self-reliant movers, who want to save both money and time. This way you can get the move started the moment you’re ready, but more importantly, you can take time to pack, load, and unload your fragile items yourself. Keep in mind that delicate items should always be top loaded inside the truck, while mirrors and larger paintings should fit between mattresses.

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Pack electronics separately

Expensive electronics might be some of the most delicate items in a modern home, so the best way to protect them during transport is to place them into their original containers, all the way with polystyrene packaging. However, if you’d decided to recycle the containers a long time ago, wrap each piece in cling film to protect it from scratches and to secure any moving parts, and then wrap them once again in bubble wrap. For heavier items, you can use packing pads before placing them in a box. When packing appliances like washers, dryers, refrigerators, and dishwashers, make sure they’re flushed completely to prevent any seepage while in transit.

They say that three moves are as good as one fire, implying that frequent moves take a heavy toll on your belongings. However, this saying needn’t be true if you take time and prepare your valuable items before you get on with the move. While hiring professional movers will take a lot of headaches out of the equation, even they can’t guarantee that everything will arrive in one piece. Probably the safest way of moving delicate furnishings is to hire a truck only, and do the loading and unloading with a group of trusted helpers.

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I’m Mike Johnston – an experienced blogger and editor, coming from a diverse background in creative writing and digital media. I hold a deep passion for writing, as I believe it’s an art form that enables self-expression. When I'm not typing away at my keyboard, I love spending quality time with my loved ones, getting lost in a great book, and exploring the great outdoors. And if you happen to swing by my local gym, you might just catch me working up a sweat – I find it's the perfect way to keep myself fit and energized!