For some, planning a long distance move includes more consideration than furniture and appliances. If you have a fine art collection of any kind, special care needs to be taken in order to ensure no damage happens during transport.

Wrapping your favorite wine glasses in newspaper or bubble wrap might be sufficient, but art and collectibles require more custom solutions. 

Trusting Movers with Your Art

You’ve carefully selected each piece in your collection. Some may be tied to a special event in your life or may bring back memories of the time period in which they were purchased. All have earned a place in your collection and, in some cases, represent a significant investment. 

That’s why handing over your art collection to a moving company isn’t easy—and it’s not something to be taken lightly. At a minimum, you need to choose professional movers with a solid reputation for providing exceptional service. If your collection is especially rare or valuable, you may want to consider asking a local art gallery or a curator at a museum for moving company recommendations. 

Ideally, you’ll choose a long distance moving company that has specific experience and training in the moving of various types of art. 

The good news is that professional movers know their reputation is only as good as their last job, and quality movers do whatever it takes to provide superior service and to deliver your artwork on time and in the same condition as when they loaded in on to the truck. 

Preparing Art for the MoveProperly preparing art for a move is a vital step in protecting it, and you have two options: Prepare the pieces yourself or have the moving company do it. Depending on the type of art, you may want to take care some of the prep yourself. 

Here are some tips for getting different types of art and collectibles ready for a long-distance move:

  • Framed Paintings: Framed paintings should be wrapped in acid-free paper and then wrapped in bubble wrap. Take special care to fully cover the corners in order to prevent damage to the frame. Next, place a piece of cardboard on either side and wrap securely with tape. From there, the piece can be placed in a crate and any excess space filled in with more acid-free paper. 

  • Unframed Paintings: As with framed paintings, your unframed works should wrapped with acid-free paper. Be sure that any tape used to secure the paper is also acid-free. You’ll then mount the piece onto durable cardboard and then place in an appropriately sized mirror box and fill with more acid-free paper to prevent shifting. 

  • Sculptures: Wrap the sculpture in bubble wrap. If it’s large or complex, don’t try to wrap it as a single unit; instead wrap, for example, the head, and then arms, etc…separately. Once wrapped, the sculpture should be placed in a box (for small sculptures) or a crate (for large or heavy sculptures). Any space in the box or crate should be filled with a mix of packing peanuts and shredded paper to the point that the sculpture cannot shift. Note: If the piece is made from wood, it’s a good idea to wrap it in fabric before wrapping in plastic to prevent any damage should the plastic sweat in transit.

  • Valuable Pieces: Any pieces that represent a large investment should have an up-to-date appraisal and be properly covered by your insurance company. While implementing the proper techniques described above will minimize the chance of damage, there is always the possibility of something happening, so it’s wise to be protected.

Whether you do some or all of the preparations yourself depends on the value of the art and your comfort with the moving company you select. Typically, it’s advised that you take care of all the prep for very valuable pieces. This may even be a requirement of your insurance company. 

495 Movers is a highly rated moving and storage company, and we’ve moved thousands of pieces of art across countless miles. Along the way, we’ve maintained an A+ rating with the BBB, earned ProMover status, and received many positive reviews from our satisfied customers.  Contact us today to learn more about our art moving services and to schedule a free, in-home consultation.