Moving Antiques: How to Pack and Move Delicate Items and Furniture

Are you worried about your antiques while moving home?

Moving home can pose a challenge if you’ve got a lot of delicate items and antiques. Especially if a lot of those items are unique and one of a kind. But if you know how to pack them, it’s easier than you think to keep your precious cargo safe.

Keep reading for our guide on how to pack when moving antiques for the peace of mind they’ll make it to your new home.

Your Supplies

Here are the items that you’ll need:

  • packing paper or peanuts
  • microfiber cloth
  • air-filled plastic wraps
  • glassine
  • corner protectors (for mirrors and art frames)
  • packing tape
  • furniture pads
  • boxes (inc. specialty boxes)
  • moving blankets

Make sure you get your supplies early when it comes to packing up your antiques. You’ll want to make sure you get enough too, so you don’t run out halfway through.

Before Starting

Before you dive right into wrapping your antique items, there are a few extra steps to take.

Take Inventory

If you’re packing and moving antiques, and have more than a few valuable pieces you need an inventory. In fact for any move, taking a full inventory of your items will be of great help.

You want to note down all your current items and their condition. This helps you keep track and make sure all your items arrive. It’s also easier to work out if any items sustained damage on their journey.

Have an Appraisal

If you’re using professional antique movers you want to know the precise value of your items. You can give this value to the company during your inventory calls. Later on, if disaster strikes, it’ll be vital if you need to make a claim.

Review Your Home Insurance Policy

Some insurance policies will cover your antiques when moving. If you’re not sure, check over your policy. It won’t be able to replace the items or the memories, but you will get some financial compensation.

Clean the Items

Before packing up, clean each of your antiques to make sure they get to the new home in the best condition. A clean microfiber cloth will do wonders for clearing away dust and debris.

Avoid chemical-based cleaning products, especially on antique wood, to avoid damage. Some warm water, in most cases, will be enough or ask an expert on the right way to preserve each of your valuable items.


If you want to move your antiques the right way, they need proper packing. These steps will make sure your valuables are as well packed as they can be.

Mirrors, Artwork & Small Antiques

Step 1: Pick the Boxes

Work out what type and size the boxes need to be for each item. The general rule is to go as small as you can get away with. This reduces the space that an item has to shift around in.

Mirrors and paintings should go in specialty boxes though. Other items could make do with dividers (like for glassware) to keep them from knocking each other.

Step 2: Glassware

Use a layer of glassine to wrap around any glass items. Glassine is a barrier paper that has a waxy finish. It prevents smudges and stains from getting onto an item.

It’s also vital for any items that have print or paint on them. Wrap the glassine as tight as you can around each glass, ceramic, or porcelain item. Use packing tape to secure it.

Step 3: Corner Protectors

Use corner protectors. Framed artwork and mirrors will have corners that are easy to damage. Due to the shape, they’re likely to get scratches or dents during a move. Corner protectors help prevent that from happening.

Step 4: Cushioning

Add cushioning with bubble wrap or air-filled plastic pockets around each item. If you’re using bubble wrap, wrap each up with it twice – one around the sides, once around the top and bottom.

Step 5: Box It Up

Depending on the size and shape of the item, it may need its own box. Other antiques might pack better in a box of other items so long as you protect each item.

Whether it’s in with other items or on its own, use plenty of packing paper or peanuts to fill any gaps. This will keep the item stable and prevent it from shifting around.

Antique Furniture

Step 1: Disassemble

If you can, disassemble any large antique furniture items as it’ll be safer to pack and move them. But don’t disassemble anything that isn’t suitable for it, or is too old and won’t go back together again. At least try to remove drawers and casters to pack separately if you can.

Step 2: Wrap With Blankets & Pads

Don’t use plastic wrap on old furniture, especially wood. It can trap moisture which could damage the items. This includes using tape to keep drawers shut, you should use twine there. Moving blankets and furniture pads should make your first layer of protection.

Step 3: Bubble Wrap

With the first layer of blankets and pads, you can use your plastic packing materials. Be especially careful with corners and make sure you pad them out well. This will likely use up a lot of bubble wrap, but it’s better than your antiques arriving broken.

Moving Antiques the Safe Way

Once you’ve done the packing right, the next job is transporting them as safely as you can. Label each box and give a master list to your movers. They need to know what antiques are in each box and what room they need to go in at the new home.

All mirrors and artwork should stand upright. Your antique furniture shouldn’t have anything stored on top of it either. If you have something heavy to move, use dollies to get it to the truck. Once in the truck, some extra packing blankets would add some extra protection.

If you’re worried about moving antiques, it’s best to go with a professional company. Contact us today at Muscleman Moving & Piano Experts for your moving quote. We’ve got the knowledge and experience to suit all your art and antique moving needs.

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