When it comes to moving there are many things one needs to consider. Starting with the organization and the planning of the move,  through the timing and weather during the move, there are a lot of concerns to think about. One of them certainly is how to move your valuable items. Some are easier for relocation than others. Things like cash or jewelry are the kind of item you can bring along on your person. However, there are other valuable items, like art pieces, that you will have to pay extra care to while moving. That is precisely what we’re here to talk about- how is moving artwork done right?

Moving artwork yourself vs. hiring professional moving services

Don’t get us wrong here. There are ways you can pack and organize moving your artwork yourself. We are going to talk about these later on in this article. However, when it comes to items as valuable as artwork, it might be easier to leave it to the professionals. After all, letting reliable movers pack and ship your artwork will save you both time and stress. We’re talking about professionals that are moving artwork and similar items on a daily basis. With all that experience, they will be aware of the many precautions and pitfalls relocating such valuables carry with them. They might even know a few industry tricks to make moving artwork easier. However, if you are willing to go on the adventure that is packing your artwork yourself, we won’t “leave you hanging”. Therefore, let’s jump right into it!

Moving artwork with frames

First of all, let’s talk about framed artwork. This category encompasses anything from framed paintings to mirrors. However, these are also some of the trickiest kinds of artwork to move. Why? Well, first of all, they are fragile. Sure, the frame offers some protection, but it could be a double-edged sword. With the frame comes the glass and if you’re not careful it can crack or shatter during the moving process. Obviously, this can be very bad for the artwork itself. The loose glass could damage the art piece behind it. Needless to say, this is something that you want to avoid. Therefore, it’s smart to use masking tape or duct tape to reinforce the glass. Make an X shape over the glass, or tape it with several intercrossing lines. Doing this you will ensure that even if the glass cracks during the move, it stays in place.

Framed paintings on a wall
Moving artwork that is framed can be dangerous unless the glass is reinforced.

The other part of a framed art piece that needs protection is the corners. To protect these during the move, you can get corner protection made out of cardboard or styrofoam from an art store. On the other hand, if you’re looking to save some money on your move, you could make it yourself. Next up, place a piece of cardboard up against the glass of the art piece and wrap it all up in bubble wrap. A good trick is to pack framed art pieces together in the same box or crate. Place them so that they are facing each other. Then fill the extra room in the box with soft packing material. You can also pad the walls of the box with a blanket, on the inside for added protection.

Moving artwork without a frame

In this category, we will be talking about artwork that doesn’t have a frame. Things like oil paintings and prints on canvas. What makes them extra difficult for packing is their lack of frame. First of all, you want to avoid touching these pieces with your bare hands. Human skin has certain oils on it that can damage or smudge the artwork. Instead, you should get Nitrile or cloth gloves. Then, you will need Glassine paper. This, special, kind of paper is used in the art industry for moving oil paintings as it doesn’t produce any smudges. Place the paper over the artwork so it covers the whole piece, as well as goes over a bit so you can protect the edges. Fold the paper so that you can tape it to the back of the art piece.

A woman painting an oil painting. Moving artwork such as this is a bit more complicated.
Unframed art, like oil paintings, requires extra care when moving

To make moving unframed artwork less stressful, here too you will want to use bubble wrap. Just make sure you place the flat side of it towards the artwork. This way it will not leave an imprint on the piece during relocation. One consideration this kind of artwork shares with framed art pieces is leaving a little leeway in the box as you can. Just like with your framed art, you don’t want these pieces shuffling around in their box during the move.

Figurines, statues and other fragile artwork

These items will require special attention when packing. After all, we’re talking about packing some really fragile items here.  There are also a lot of variables here, from size to material and weight. For heavier and larger fragile items, you really want to get a moving crate. For smaller items, you can go with a sturdy box. One thing that applies to all these, however, is the amount of inside protection you want to give them. First of all, wrap them up in bubble wrap. Industry professionals recommend wrapping them twice over. Next up, make sure you fill the box or crate with soft packing material such as packing peanuts or crumpled newspapers. These will absorb the shock, if it occurs, and keep your piece from shuffling around in the box

Additional considerations

Now that we’ve covered the packing techniques, there are a few more things we need to talk about to make sure moving artwork goes smoothly. First of all, if you’re moving your art pieces abroad, you need to become acquainted with the legislation. Some countries have limitations on the import of certain art pieces, that can lead to your artwork being impounded at the border. There may be even some restriction to moving artwork within the USA too. Therefore it might be smart to find interstate moving experts in the Boston area to advise you with your move.

A man signing a contract
Moving artwork out of the country comes with certain legal precautions

Another thing you could consider is getting moving insurance. This will come in handy in case anything happens to your precious art pieces during the move. Even if things go smoothly it will save you from a lot of stress, thinking about if your artwork is safe on the move., You really can’t put a price on that.

Moving artwork like a pro

Now that you’ve read through our article we feel you are ready for moving artwork like a pro. Just keep your cool, plan it well ahead and make sure your art pieces are protected. In no time you will be enjoying your favorite artwork in your new home!

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