The process of moving can be both exciting and tiresome, especially when it comes to transporting fragile valuables that can be easily damaged. While it’s easy to get caught up in the fuss of moving, your specialty items should be a priority before the packing begins. Whether you want to put them in a storage unit for a while or simply relocate them from one place to another, you certainly want to protect them from any possible damage.
Some household items will always be more difficult to pack and move than others, which is why we compiled a list with five of the most challenging items to transport, along with tips on how to guard them against any harm.
1. How to Safely Move a Grandfather Clock
These decorative pendulum clocks are often cherished family heirlooms, which is why special care is required in order to move them in a safe way. Typically, it is recommended to hire a professional moving company to help with this fragile item, but if you don’t have the resources to do that, you can tackle the project yourself with the utmost attention and the help of the right tools.
The first thing you should do when getting a grandfather clock ready for transport is secure the cables or chains with packing tape or a twist tie to prevent them from tangling. Once they’re held together, put on a pair of gloves or get a clean cloth and gently disassemble the parts inside. After you remove the weights and the pendulum one by one, wrap them separately in bubble wrap or in moving blankets to protect them from damage. Make sure to label each weight with its corresponding location inside the clock, since they will have to be placed back exactly in their original locations.
Next up, you should place moving blankets inside the clock to stabilize the glass and keep it from breaking during transit. Take extra care to insert the blankets carefully and not too tightly, because the glass can easily shatter from the inside.
Now that the inside and the components are secured, you can tightly wrap the outside of the clock in a big moving blanket, some padding or bubble wrap, around the whole frame. If you’re sure it’s all secured, you can smoothly slide a dolly underneath it and tilt it back. Transport the grandfather clock to the car or truck, up the ramp, and place it inside secured with tie backs.
It’s not an easy task, but if you follow all the instructions above you can properly disassemble and move a standard Grandfather clock, on your own or with the help of a friend, without too much trouble.
2. How to Move Mirrors
Among the most breakable items, mirrors are at the highest risk of being damaged during a move, which is why they create a special challenge when you want to move them from one place to another. Not only are they fragile, but quite often they are big and heavy, so to make sure your mirror arrives at the new location intact, you’ll need to follow some simple steps.
Before you start, don’t assume you can easily handle the task alone – one wrong move can be the downfall of your cherished mirror, so it’s best to ask a friend to help you.
If you’re ready to get started, put on some heavy work gloves that have a rubber coating to provide extra grip when you handle the mirror. Once it’s off the wall, lean it against a sturdy surface and place masking tape diagonally, from corner to corner, so that you form a large X on the mirror. This technique will keep the surface safe and, if the worst happens and the glass is damaged, the X will prevent any deterioration to the frame, and will keep the broken pieces together.
The next step is to cover the surface with a layer of cardboard and carefully envelop the entire mirror in bubble wrap. If you feel it needs more padding, add another layer with a thick blanket. Afterwards, place it in a fitted box and tape it shut. Load it carefully in the vehicle prepared for transporting, in a secure place where it will not slide or be hit by other objects. Try to keep it upright and don’t stack anything on it during the transit.
Mirrors can be tricky, but if you follow the advice above, yours will arrive at its new address in perfect condition.
3. How to Move Persian Rugs
These stunning hand-made rugs usually cost a fortune, but we all know they have no equivalent when it comes to craftmanship, quality and beauty. Since they are significantly more valuable than a machine-loomed rug, it’s imperative to follow the right protocol for moving one to a new home.
First and foremost, clean the rug thoroughly prior to packing. If necessary, consider professional carpet cleaning to make sure you eliminate all the allergens, dirt, shedding, dust and pests within the rug.
Once it’s clean, turn the rug upside down so that the fibers face the floor, to avoid the extra strain on the backing, which could later cause cracking. Make sure the rug is on a flat surface, with any creases smoothed out, and roll it lengthwise into thirds so that you have a long triple fold. Figure out the direction of the nap on the fibered surface and fold the rug over itself against the rug fiber, leaving about three feet of the carpet uncovered.
Next, roll your rug in a tight bundle, starting from the end that was folded against the grain, and take the remaining three feet and fold it once back until it touches the already rolled part. According to experts, this special folding technique does not place any pressure on the foundation and uses the built-in inclination of the carpet to ensure it can be rolled up naturally, thus eliminating any possibility of your precious rug getting damaged by any improper packing.
Last, but not least, secure the rug by using two pieces of string and tie the bundle near its ends, without tightening it too much.
All in all, it’s the little things that make the most difference, so as long as you pay attention to the details and make sure to follow the proper steps, you can safely move your cherished Persian rug from one place to another without any damage.
4. How to Move Pianos
Many times, a piano happens to be the most expensive and cherished item in your home. Given its value, it’s especially important to handle the instrument with the utmost care when it’s prepared for a move as well as during transit. It is highly recommended to hire professional movers to help you with this task, but if that can’t be accommodated by your budget or timetable, it is possible to move most pianos with the help of some friends.
Before starting the process, make sure you have all the appropriate supplies and equipment to safely move the piano. For both grand and upright pianos, the most important materials you need are moving blankets or thick towels, to make sure there will be no scratches on the surface.
Due to their odd shape and heavy weight, pianos are difficult to move and can require appropriately sized dollies or piano skid boards to transport them.
To move an upright piano, first make sure the keys and pedals are protected with a blanket and secured with tape. Next, cover the front, back and sides of the piano with moving blankets, gently lift it onto the dolly and then carry it to the moving truck. Be sure to have someone on each side of the instrument so that it doesn’t accidentally fall due to its weight.
In the case of grand pianos, it’s especially important to lower and secure the top lid. If you can, disassemble the pedals and legs and pack them separately in moving blankets or bubble wrap. Once it is as compact as possible, carefully tilt the piano onto the piano board and secure it with straps. Once again, make sure you have a team of people to help you with the move to prevent any accidents.
When the move is complete and your beloved piano is in its new home, re-assemble the pieces and give it a good clean with a damp washcloth.
5. How to Move Glassware and Porcelain
These delicate and oh-so-fragile items deserve the ultimate care when moving to a new home. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing and monetarily valuable, but most of the time they are sentimentally significant as well. Whether we’re talking about vintage china or crystal champagne flutes, the last thing you want is to cause any damage to these treasures during the moving process, so make sure to take some extra steps to keep them safe and intact.
Before you start packing, be sure to invest in the right moving supplies, such as quality moving boxes, bubble wrap, cellular dividers and blankets or pillows for padding.
When you’re packing glassware, wrap and secure each individual item with a protective layer, such as bubbled cushioning, and stuff packing paper inside the openings for extra protection. Insert each piece of glassware inside a partition and fill the surrounding space with more cushioning to prevent the items from shifting during transit.
When it comes to fine china such as porcelain, follow the same protocol by wrapping each item individually with packing paper or several layers or bubble wrap, but also line the bottom of each box with a thick layer of protective cushioning. Place the larger and heavier items on the bottom and stack medium-weight and lightweight pieces on top. Surround any void with extra padding and secure the boxes with packing tape.
It might seem like a daunting affair, but moving fragile items is not an impossible task as long as you’re armed with the right knowledge, patience and equipment. Follow all the steps above and get ready for a smooth, safe move.