How to Safely Move Art

How to Safely and Securely Move Art State-to-State 

Moving from one part of town to another is difficult enough, but when it becomes exponentially more difficult when you’re moving from one state to another. Whether you are transporting paintings or sculptures, here is a look at how to move art safely and securely when relocating to another state.

After all, you will want to make sure all of your belongings remain in perfect condition while they are in transit. It is especially important that all of your most valued and treasured possessions remain safe and secure during the move. That includes any artwork you own.

While some art, such as tapestry wall hangings, is easier to move than others, it is important to note that art can be extremely fragile. That is why taking all the necessary precautions when packing and shipping your artwork is important.

Although there is no way (that I know of) to absolutely guarantee a damage-free move (although having a solid moving checklist can help), there are ways to reduce the chances that your beloved artwork gets damaged during the moving process.

Properly Pack Your Art

Many state-to-state moving companies that have experience in transporting art will be able to pack things on your behalf. Indeed, they should have expert knowledge of how to pack different types of artwork to ensure they stay safe and secure in transit.

However, with the right know-how, you could pack your art yourself and save money on paying the moving company for packing. Whether you or a professional mover packs your art, it is important that the right-sized boxes are used for each artwork.

Bot boxes aren’t always enough to protect valuable artwork, so you should consider wrapping the artwork in protective materials such as bubble wrap and packing paper. When possible, place your artwork between two pieces of foam board or cardboard for further protection.

You can group small and medium artworks together and, after carefully wrapping them, place them all in one box; with plenty of paper or bubble wrap to prevent the items from moving around inside the box.

For larger and highly-prized artworks, it is better to pack them separately and use specialty boxes.

Hire a Reputable Moving Company – and Talk to Them About Your Needs

As with any move, it is highly recommended that you hire a professional moving company to help transport your belongings from one state to another. This will ensure that all of your items are handled with care and transported safely and securely.

While you always have the option to move your artwork and other belongings yourself, if you want to be certain that your items stay safe and secure, you should hire professional movers. They will know how to carry, pack, and transport your art to ensure it is not damaged.

However, you need to ensure you hire a reputable moving company that has the precise experience required for moving artwork.

So, when looking at customized state-to-state moving plans, make sure you talk to any company you are considering hiring about your exact needs.

Take Pictures Before Packing Up Your Artwork

Be sure to take pictures of each piece so that if anything does get damaged during the move, you can provide photographic evidence to your insurance company.

Taking pictures of valuable items before a move is incredibly important (which is why it is one of our top moving tips!) for ensuring that all of these possessions stay safe and secure throughout the relocation process. When it comes to artwork, taking photos can also provide visual documentation of the condition of each piece prior to the move. This can be especially beneficial if any damage occurs during transport or when unpacking in your new home.

Consider Moving Insurance

If you are moving expensive artwork, purchasing additional insurance coverage is a good idea to cover any damage or loss during the move.

Moving insurance is a type of insurance that covers the cost of damage or loss to items during relocation. It is especially important for moving items of high value, such as artwork, furniture, and electronics, which can be expensive to replace. Moving insurance will cover the replacement cost of these items in the event that they become damaged or lost during the move.

When selecting moving insurance, read the fine print carefully and ask questions about any coverage you do not understand. Some policies provide more comprehensive coverage than others, so choosing one that meets your specific needs is important.

Mark Glass With an X

If you are moving paintings in glass frames, make sure you mark the glass with masking tape. Placing an X across the glass with tape will stop the glass from completely shattering and moving around should it be unfortunate enough to break during the journey.

Although marking glass with an X using tape doesn’t prevent the glass itself from breaking, it can keep the broken glass from damaging the artwork behind it, or other valuables in the box.

Wear Gloves When Packing

When packing original paintings that are unframed, it is important that you wear cotton or latex gloves. That is because the oils from your hands could potentially stain or damage the paintings if your hands come into contact with them.

Secure Picture Frames with Cardboard Corners

When transporting paintings, it is a good idea to secure the corners of the picture frames with cardboard corners.

That will help to keep the frames from becoming damaged during transit. Cardboard corners provide extra support to the painting and protect it from any shocks or bumps while in transport.

You can find cardboard corners for picture frames at art shops, online and offline. But you could also learn how to make them yourself.

Use Bubble Wrap for Wrapping All of Your Artwork

Whether you are moving paintings, sculptures, or any other kind of art, it is essential that you carefully wrap the items in bubble wrap to protect them from damage while they are being transported to and from the truck and in transit.

You can secure the bubble wrap with a little masking tape. And when you place items in boxes, use more bubble wrap – or paper or some other protective packaging – to ensure nothing moves around. 

Also, you could give paintings an additional protective layer by wrapping them in brown paper before you wrap them in bubble wrap. Just make certain that you do not wrap paintings in newspaper or oily paper, as that could damage paintings with no glass frames.

Label Boxes As Fragile

When packing up your artwork, be sure to clearly label each box with its contents and “Fragile” so that movers know what’s inside and handle them accordingly. This will also help you sort through boxes easier once you arrive at your new home.

Summary and Key Takeaways

Moving artwork can be a tricky task, especially when it involves high-value items or items of sentimental value. It is important to take the necessary steps to ensure that your paintings and other artwork remain safe during the move.

Consider purchasing moving insurance for any expensive pieces and mark glass frames with an X of masking tape to prevent the glass from shattering. Wear gloves when packing up any unframed artwork and secure picture frames with cardboard corners. Wrap all art pieces in bubble wrap before placing them in boxes and label them as fragile so that movers know how to handle them properly.

Taking these precautions ensures that your artwork arrives safely at its new destination, giving you peace of mind throughout the process. Although it doesn’t ever guarantee a damage-free move, it does improve the likelihood!

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