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Five Ways to Protect Heirlooms When Moving

Posted in Blog on Aug 31, 2015, tagged with antiques, how to, special care

If you’re moving, you’re probably debating on whether or not to hire an antique shipping service or DIY for valuables like a family heirloom. No amount of money can replace these items. Unfortunately, many DIYers make the mistake of not using a professional moving or shipping company, increasing the chances of items getting damaged. By doing it yourself, you will likely not have insurance to cover any damage to your heirlooms leaving you to pay out of pocket to repair them.

If you choose not to hire a professional moving company, then here are a few tips to help keep your heirlooms safe on long and short distance moves.

1. Pack them separately

One of the most important things you can do is pack your heirlooms separate from anything else. Depending on the type of heirloom, it should be packed in its own heavy duty box with plenty of packing materials around it to keep it secured and from sliding. Once boxed up, mark the box on the outside with the words fragile, handle with care and which side to keep facing up so it is very clear what is inside. This will let people or moving company assisting with your move know to be extra cautious when transporting that specific box or package.

2. Consider Temperature Control

Some heirlooms like pictures, family documents or other similar items don’t tolerate high levels of humidity or extreme temperatures. If that is the case, make sure your heirloom is kept in a temperature controlled area at all times. If you’re using a moving service, let the movers know of this requirement. They can typically keep the item in the cab of the truck where the heat or air conditioning will provide a more stable temperature.Or, you may also request a temperature controlled truck.

3. Use Acid-Free Packing

When packing your heirloom up, make sure you’re using boxes and packing materials that are acid-free. These items may be labeled ‘archival quality’ when purchasing them so watch out for that. Having acid-free packing will help ensure no damage comes to your valuable belongings while stored away.

4. Last On – First Off

When loading the truck for your move, it is a good idea to load the boxes with heirlooms on the truck last. This will help you to make sure it is in a secure location and that nothing gets set on top of it. You can also take extra care by strapping it down if necessary. Once the truck arrives at your new home, the boxes with heirlooms are the first off since they were last on. This allows you to remove them while you’re not stressed from an entire day of unloading a moving truck.

5. Custom Packing

The most important thing you can do to protect an heirloom is to have it properly packed. For some items a simple box is sufficient. If you have a larger items or something that is awkwardly shaped, you might want to have a custom box or crate made. This will ensure everything is properly supported and secured, decreasing the chance of it being damaged if something happens during the move. If you have any questions about moving or shipping a special family heirloom, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We can be reached through our online form or by calling 800-626-1257. We specialize in taking special care of your most important belongings and keep them as safe as possible throughout your move.