Moving breakable items is always risky, whether you move a few blocks away or clear across the country. Things get even trickier when the items you need to move include antique furniture. Antique furniture requires a delicate touch and ultimate protection throughout the moving process, otherwise you risk costly – and upsetting – damage that can sharply diminish its value. Since moving antique furniture is such a specialized job, the best choice is to trust in the expertise and special equipment of professional movers. But before you move these precious items, here are some things to do first.
The very first thing you need to do before moving antique furniture is to complete a detailed inventory of all the pieces you own. It is also a good idea to inventory all non-antique furniture that require special packing and handling due to fragility, aesthetic appeal, sentimentality, etc. As you make a list of each furniture piece, be sure to note any existing damage, and also take plenty of clear, high-resolution photos. Photograph each item from all sides and angles, concentrating on pre-existing defects, weakened sections, or extra fragile parts.
Why is it a good idea to take photos prior to your move? Photographs will provide proof of any damage that occurs during the moving process and can be easily provided to both your insurance company and moving company.
To keep or to sell
After inventorying your furniture and having it appraised, you are ready for the next step, which is deciding whether all the antique pieces you own are worth the time, energy, and effort to relocate them to your new home. Antique furniture can be worth a good chunk of change depending on the item and condition it’s in. There is no right or wrong answer when making this decision, so simply opt for the choice that is best for you.
Have antiques appraised
Considering that antiques can be quite valuable, it’s a good idea to have these items insured before your move. This will help cover any potential damage these possessions may encounter during the moving process. However, before you are able to insure your valuables, you will need to have each piece appraised. We can’t stress enough how important it is to know the value of all of your antique furniture prior to moving day. Having these items appraised is the best step towards ensuring their safety. In some instances, you will be required to obtain more than one appraisal as verification of the value of your antiques. This is especially true if you own pieces considered to be priceless.
So how do you find a qualified and trustworthy appraiser? Ask your insurance agent/company or authorized antique dealers about recommendations for locally licensed antique furniture appraisers. You can also try contacting the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) for assistance. Most appraisers charge a flat fee or an hourly rate for their services, so be sure to find out ahead of time how much you’ll be charged.
Purchase insurance coverage
Once you have your antique furniture appraised, you can then purchase proper insurance coverage. This is by far the most important pre-move task to accomplish in order to protect your antiques. If you are someone who prefers to “save” money by not purchasing insurance for your valuable items, be aware that the risk is almost never worth it. With insurance, even if the worst happens to your antiques during your move, you will still be able to recover the value of these prized possessions. After all, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Take a closer look
The final step to take before moving day arrives is to take a closer look at each piece of furniture in order to recognize any potential risks to be battled during the move. This way, you will be able to figure out the appropriate way to protect and care for each piece. Inspect the construction/main frame, top section, legs or feet, and current condition/pre-existing damage like cracks, loose joints, etc. Here are some other things to take into consideration pre-move.
Size: Before the hustle and bustle of moving day begins, it’s vital to ensure all pieces of furniture will easily fit through doors and doorframes in both your old and new home. Measuring the dimensions of all pieces and doorways will make sure moving these items goes smoothly.
Temperature and Humidity: Antique furniture comes in many different types of wood. This makes extreme temperatures and excess moisture very damaging to the delicate finishes found on some of your items. To avoid this, temperature and humidity levels should be the same at both your old and new home.
Problem Spots: Another important thing to consider before your move is to identify any potential problem spots or sections that could prove to be problematic, such as loose shelves, interior parts and non-secured glass. Mark these areas as fragile on your inventory list, and be sure to inform your movers about them before the relocation takes place.
Moving fragile items can be worrisome, but with the right steps, you can turn a risky situation into a success!