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Outside The Box

A Moving And Shipping Blog

6 Things to Consider when Shipping your Curio Cabinet

Posted in Blog on Apr 29, 2016, tagged with antiques, furniture, shipping mistakes, special care

Curio cabinets are bulky and heavy, and they often contain delicate components like mirrors or glass shelves that require special care when relocating. Moving such a fragile and sentimental piece of furniture yourself can save you a few bucks, but without the expertise of a professional shipper, you may be exposing your precious belongings to unnecessary risk. After carefully wrapping and packing each piece in your curio cabinet, why wouldn't you extend the same care to the cabinet itself? 

Here's an example of a DIY move gone wrong:

Dexter was, how shall we put it, thrifty. When it came time to move his curio cabinet to the family's new home, he didn't want to pay movers the upcharge, so he decided to do it himself. His wife, Jeanne, was skeptical. "Honey, this curio belonged to your grandparents. Are you sure this is a good idea?" Dexter replied, "It's only 10 blocks. What could go wrong?" She at least convinced him to remove the contents — his grandmother’s collection of ceramic cats — before he strapped the blanket-wrapped curio cabinet to the roof of his car with a tangled web of bungee cords and sisal rope that he rummaged out of the garage. The first eight blocks were smooth as silk. Then, as he approached his new home at a cautious 20 mph, a little girl on a bicycle appeared right in front of him, out of nowhere. He slammed on the brakes, missing her by inches. That was the good news. The bad news was the curio cabinet flew backward off Dexter’s car, landed on its legs about three feet behind him, flipped and came to rest as a pile of splinters and shattered glass on the hood of an S550 Mercedes (MSRP: $95,650) that a few seconds ago had a flawless, velvet black finish. 

Here's the aftermath of Dexter's experience:

  • Dexter spent two hours at the scene filling out police reports and starting an insurance claim with the owner of the Mercedes. Always looking for a bright side, Dexter took comfort in knowing he had at least removed the ceramic cats from the cabinet.
  • As he was finally leaving the scene, Jeanne called, sobbing. “The ceramic cats all got broken in the box! I told you we should have bought bubble wrapping.”
  • A month later, Dexter’s auto insurance policy was canceled. His new carrier’s premium was $400 higher.
  • Coincidentally, the owner of the Mercedes turned out to be a board member of the company that employed Dexter. Two months later, on the heels of a quarterly board meeting, Dexter was transferred from his fifth-floor office to a cubicle in the basement.
  • About three months after that, Dexter’s brother called, unable to contain his excitement. “Guess what? I met an appraiser, a friend of a friend, and showed him some old pictures of Grandma’s curio cabinet. He thinks the cabinet is worth a few thousand dollars, and the cats could be worth more than that!”

All things considered, the do-it-yourself curio cabinet move was less than a success, although Dexter did save the $75 upcharge it would have cost to have the item shipped professionally.

6 Things to Consider when Shipping your Curio Cabinet

While Dexter’s story is amusing, we don’t find anything funny about moving valuable items like curio cabinets. The fact is, your furniture has sentimental and financial value — sometimes even more value than you realize — and it takes professionals to make sure your items are correctly prepped and packaged for transport, and then shipped and delivered with an equal amount of tender, loving care.

  1. Proper packing: Professional movers who specialize in relocating valuable items and antiques know that that some curio cabinets can be given an extra layer of cushioning by applying corner protectors or edge protectors, securing them with stretch wrapping film. As experienced movers, TSI Shipping knows that stretch wrapping should not be applied directly to the surface of your curio cabinet, as the film contains tackifiers to make it cling — tackifiers that can transfer to the cabinet (especially in heat, like the heat inside a truck trailer) causing stains that may be difficult or impossible to remove. It’s little things like that that make a difference when moving valuable items:
  2. Disassembly: We know how to disassemble your curio cabinet for shipment, and whether it is prudent to disassemble the cabinet at all.
  3. Surface protection: We use a variety of surface protection materials including papers, flexible foams and bubble packaging to protect the surfaces of your curio and provide cushioning protection.
  4. Glass: Glass doors are always tricky to ship. We give them the care they need by protecting surfaces with the proper materials and proper amount of materials, and when disassembled, boxing them to ensure they’re upright and immobile during handling and transport.
  5. Legs: Curio legs are another challenge as no two sets of legs are the same. When they protrude, they create a highly irregular shape in the entire piece, requiring extra customization in packaging, and then in positioning on the truck.
  6. The little details: For any curio pieces and hardware that must be removed, pay attention to detail, placing hardware in protective bubble bags and wrapping shelves in protective foam — labeling everything, so in the chaos of moving into a new home, putting the cabinet back together will proceed as quickly as possible.

Whether you are moving your curio cabinet to a new home or are shipping it to a location for short- or long-term storage, professional shippers have the expertise and experience to take the worry out of the move. TSI uses the finest materials, have the most reliable and conscientious personnel, and treat each piece of your valuable furniture as if it belonged to us.

To learn more, please contact us now.