Storage for Special Items: Artwork and Antiques

The stress of moving affects not only you but your possessions as well. Moving your things to storage can be harder than anticipated, especially if we’re talking about high-quality items like artwork and antiques. Because these items are so fragile, expensive and/or old, they require special care during packing and transport.

Needless to say, it’s not enough to just pack these items like you would pack your clothes. Check out our tips on how to safely move and store specialty items like artwork and antiques:

Tips for Moving Artwork

Moving artwork can be tricky, especially with bulky, old and sensitive paintings and/or sculptures. Artwork pieces are usually sensitive to pressure, and even the slightest bump in the road can make a dent or a crack that is beyond repair. But with the right tools and tricks up your sleeve, your artwork will arrive safely to its destination.

The first and the most important thing you should do is pack your fine art well so that it doesn’t get damaged during transport. What you’ll need is a glossy and smooth paper wrap that is water and grease resistant. Glassine will do the trick. Now, for the second layer, you’ll need good old bubble wrap to prevent any indentations or scratches.

Next, what you’ll need is some kind of a box. Ideally, you should use the box that came with the artwork itself. But chances are that box is long gone or damaged, so instead of that you should either find the flat screen TV boxes (if you have a large piece of art), or another one which fits the dimensions. If the box is weak or broken, make sure to reinforce it with duct tape.

Bulkier or more sensitive pieces of art, however, will most likely require a special box of a suitable size, shape as well as material. A moving specialist will provide you with wooden or cardboard crates for valuable items like fine art or you may be able to find them sold online.

Tips for Moving Antiques  

With antiques, much like with fine art, extra care is well worth the effort, because if it gets damaged it significantly loses in value. Make sure you wrap your antiques in bubble wrap to prevent dings and scratches while moving. In addition, you can buy or rent furniture pads and moving blankets that will protect your antiques even further. Should you decide to hire a moving company, they will provide you with those and wrap them for you, but you will need your own materials for moving an item into storage.

For expensive pieces of furniture you should also consider using wooden crates. Reputable moving companies will provide you with custom made crates for high-end pieces to make sure that your antiques all arrive in one piece to its destination. Custom crating is usually done by professional movers and you should let them know in advance the item is going into storage, not into a home. Although it seems like an easy task, creating the perfect custom box for antique pieces of furniture and putting them in there and then loading everything into the vehicle is easier said than done.

Whatever method you opt for, make sure you take all the necessary steps to ensure that your valuable possessions are properly packed before moving. Better safe than sorry!

2 comments on “Storage for Special Items: Artwork and Antiques

  1. Becca Holton on

    Luckily, I’ve got a flat screen box that my husband never tossed out. I was worried about what to do with some of the art pieces in my home. I’ve heard that if you put it into storage, you should avoid laying any pieces flat. I think the risk of it getting damaged goes up if you do that.

  2. Deb Pearl on

    Thank you for all the storage tips for artwork and antiques. My husband and I are moving to a smaller apartment and we really need to store some of our old things. I like how you mentioned that we should wrap the artwork in a smooth paper wrap and then wrap it in bubble wrap as well. We will have to do that before we move them into our storage unit.


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