Unlike items you buy at a local furniture store, antiques cannot simply be replaced, if damage is done during a move. Whether you have an entire collection of these finely dated pieces throughout your home, or if you have one single piece handed down through generations it will require a little extra care during the moving process to make sure it arrives to your destination in the same condition.
Before you even start comparing movers, you should have an appraisal done on all of your antiques. You cannot purchase the proper level of insurance, if you do not know how much you actually need. American Society of Appraisers is a good resource to use. This non-profit organization will help you find an accredited appraisal in your area.
The most important piece of moving advice to pay attention to is to hire movers with a proven reputation handling these sensitive pieces. Antiques are typically fragile and expensive, so you need professionals who are fully aware how easy damage can be done, and you need a company capable of offering the level of insurance coverage you need.
Keep in mind that you want a quote, not an estimate. A person should not be able to provide you with a price without seeing everything. A reputable company that takes antiques seriously will want to see the items firsthand and may also request to see the appraisal information. Ask for references and read reviews. These people will be handling timeless treasures, so you really cannot be too thorough.
Preparing the Antiques
If you are paying professionals to move your antiques then you might as well have them pack them, too. They will be able to provide crates and supplies to offer the highest level of protection. However, you will want to clean them prior to packing. In many cases, a good dusting will be all that is needed. You want to make sure you do not use any polish or wax on these items. These products can leave them slippery and more susceptible to becoming permanently marked by packing materials. Wait until you have arrived at your new destination to do your polishing.
Self-move Tips for Antiques
It is always recommended to have professionals handle antiques, but if you must do a self-move there are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Provide equal support on all sides when lifting heavy items.
- Disassemble glass doors, drawers, or anything else that can be removed.
- Never allow tape to touch the surface of an antique.
- Wrap in blankets or bubble wrap, but do not go overboard or wrap tightly, as they cannot handle the weight or pressure.
- Do not stack any boxes or other items on top of antique tables, chests, desks, benches, etc.
- Provide protection from moisture.
- Use a dolly when possible.
- Never push or pull a heavy item; always lift carefully, especially with tables that may have fragile legs.
Whether you are looking for moving advice for a self-move or one done by movers one thing to keep in mind is that your smaller items should stay with you rather than the truck. Jewelry, statues, and other small items can be packaged and transported in your car.