Moving home is stressful at the best of times, but when you have lots of valuable antiques to relocate too, that stress can ramp up to another level. However, there are some things you can do when packing your antique pieces to help ensure that they arrive at their end destination undamaged. Read on to find out more.
The right materials for the job
You can obtain everything you need for packing from good DIY stores, or directly from your chosen removalists.
First of all, it's vital that you use the strongest packing boxes that you can find for your antiques. You can make your boxes even more robust by reinforcing the bottom of each one with an extra layer of cardboard, and using packing tape to beef-up the box seams.
Other useful packing items include:
- bubble wrap
- Styrofoam peanuts
- old newspapers
- large, white sticky labels
- marker pens
Bear in mind that it's not just glass and ceramics that can be easily damaged whilst in transit. Items made from wood, plastic and metals such as tin cans also be crushed or broken if you don't pack them properly.
Breakable items should always be swathed in bubble wrap to protect them whilst in transit. Pad boxes containing fragile pieces with more bubble wrap or balls of scrunched-up newspaper, and place items towards the centre of the box, never up against the sides where they could be knocked if a box is accidentally dropped.
Never try to cram too many pieces into one box; use a fresh one to avoid items knocking or vibrating against each other in transit.
Hollow items, such as vases or pots, need special consideration when packing. Keep hollow pieces well away from solid ones, and stuff them on the inside with bubble wrap, scrunched-up newspaper, or Styrofoam peanuts. This should help to prevent the item from being crushed.
Pad out a box with plenty of bubble wrap and crumpled newspaper so that the pieces are well-segregated and are kept away from the box sides. Place that box inside a slightly larger one, ensuring that you pad out the sides with more bubble wrap.
Mirrors and paintings
If you have large mirrors or paintings to transport, you will need special, flat boxes that your removalist will be able to supply. These boxes are adjustable and come with corner protectors. It's important that paintings and mirrors are not allowed to slide around inside their boxes, so make sure that you adjust the boxes correctly. If you're unsure how to do this, your removalist will be pleased to help you.
Large, bulky pieces are best packed by your removalists. They will have the right materials for the job, including special furniture blankets that will be used to protect your pieces from knocks and scratches.
Pad out any draws with bubble wrap, and remove delicate fittings and finials that could be easily damaged, and pack them separately, remembering to label their box clearly so that you can reassemble the piece easily.
Labelling and last-minute instructions
As you pack, label every box clearly, so that fragile and breakable items are clearly signed, and draw large, obvious arrows onto each box to show which way up it should be placed.
When your removalists arrive on moving day, take time to brief them on which boxes contain your antiques and valuables.
Professional removalists are well-used to safely moving items of age and value, so you can place your trust in your chosen company to look after your treasures. Pack everything carefully as per the guidelines given above, and look forward to enjoying your treasures in their new home.