How To Move Art & Antiques Without Damage


Whether you’re making a local or a long-distance move, properly packing all of your belongings can be challenging. There are more than enough things to consider throughout the moving process like logistics, how many boxes you’ll need, and determining the types of packing supplies you’ll need.

If you have antiques and other valuable vintage items the packing process may feel even more daunting. Here are a few things to think about when transporting your precious antiques.

5 Tips for Packing & Moving Your Valuables

1. Determine what is valuable before you start to pack. 

Once you’ve decided to move, you may want to initiate the packing process all at once, but stepping into it with a strategy is the best course of action. Take stock of your most valuable items. Make a list of the things you’d like to pay special attention to when you’re packing. Antiques and art pieces aren’t the only things to consider. Other items that are important to prioritize include mirrors, family heirlooms, family photos, collectibles, special keepsakes, antique furniture, porcelain and glass items, crystal barware, and china dinnerware.

2. Take stock of your items before you wrap them. 

Just as you would take photos of your home for insurance purposes before a storm, taking a look at your antique and collectible items prior to your big move could save you time and money in the long run. There are even apps you can use!

Take photos of everything of significant value, and note any significant scuffs or damage before you hand the items off to your moving company. Doing this will save you the anxiety of wondering if that small scuff on your antique dresser has always been there, or if it was damaged during the move. It will also allow you to file a claim with an insurance company if something does happen, assuming your collectibles are properly insured.

3. Always use professional-grade packing materials.

The easiest solution to transporting your antique valuables is to hire a full-service moving company, who can take care of the packing and handling for you, but if you’ve decided to pre-wrap some things yourself, always use the best packing supplies available. You may not feel like your kids’ toys deserve the bubble wrap treatment, but your great-grandmother’s mirror definitely does.

Invest in all of the critical materials up front, including packaging peanuts, bubble wrap, furniture pads, paper, and moving blankets. Take your time when packing your most valuable items, and don’t be afraid to add an extra layer of bubble wrap or packing paper. For larger items like framed art pieces or heavy mirrors, use bubble wrap, a layer of packing paper, and finish it off with a couple of moving blankets. This will ensure that your items stay secure even if you hit a few bumps in the road on the way to your new pad.

4. Don’t unpack alone.

We get it. It’s 10pm and your family has officially called it quits for the night, but you’re so close to being done. It might be tempting to try to finish unpacking by yourself. However, with larger antiques and vintage art pieces, the unloading and unpacking process is best done in groups. Particularly for furniture and art canvases, the best approach is to get as many hands as possible to transfer and unwrap your vintage items with care.

There’s nothing more infuriating than transporting the flat-screen TV all the way to your new home, only to have it slip from your hands on the way inside. If you can’t find anyone to help in the moment, move onto smaller, more manageable items, or call in the pros at a full-service moving company. We’re Portland and Seattle’s experts in local and long-distance residential moves.

5. Consider keeping a few items with you during the move.

Along with your important documents and insurance information, it’s a good idea to keep highly  valuable antique items with you in your car on moving day. Whether or not you’ve hired a moving company, there are likely a handful of items that hold significant value and are small enough to be packed directly in the car without fear of breakage or loss.

Vintage jewelry, antique mirrors or handheld items, and coins or sentimental papers are all examples of items that might be better off neatly packed in your passenger seat than placed in a box in the back of a moving van.

Bonus: Hire a local moving company to take care of everything. 

If you’re really worried about your antiques and art, hire a full-service moving company, and watch as your most prized possessions are transported with ease!

All Service Moving offers both packing and unpacking services in addition to expert local and long distance residential and commercial moving services. Our skilled team will wrap, pad, and protect your fragile goods throughout the moving process, so you don’t have to do the heavy lifting.


Licensed & Insured: USDOT# 1863079, ODOT# 119893, WA# HG064752