Stating the obvious, antiques are prized and valuable possessions. Naturally, you want to protect them from any possible damage and take extra care to ensure their safe transport. Below are some of the steps you can take to guard fragile items against harm and properly prepare them for packing and loading on a moving van.
Before the Move
Any item you own that is of extraordinary value should be appraised by a qualified person; you might want to get more than one appraisal. Obtaining an appraisal also may be necessary to verify the value of your personal property for the transferal of your homeowner’s insurance policy.
The best way to locate an appraiser is through a recommendation by an insurance agent, attorney or bank official. Membership in the American Society of Appraisers can be a sign of an appraiser’s competence. Look in the Yellow Pages under “appraisers." Most appraisers either charge a flat fee or an hourly rate for services performed. Ask in advance.
In addition to obtaining an appraisal, make sure you have clear photographs of your antiques. You might also want to use a video camera to inventory the contents of each room.
At the time of the moving cost estimate, be sure to point out to the salesperson all high-value or fragile items such as grandfather clocks, silver or china sets so advance arrangement for crating and special packing can be made. Crates can be specially built to protect items with ornate trimming or a high risk of breakage.
When meeting with a moving company representative, you’ll want to discuss the amount and type of valuation need to protect your antiques. Most major moving companies offer several protection plans in the event loss or damage occurs.
Before your belongings are packed, you may want to check antique items for any special cleaning that might be required. Check your local hardware, furniture store or antiques dealer for cleaning products for fine furniture.
Avoid the use of any type of oil or wax product on wood furniture immediately before you move especially if these items will be going into storage. Some products might soften the finish, making it vulnerable to imprinting from furniture pads.
If you are uncertain about the care of a particular antique piece, a local historical society or library might have books on the subject. An antiques dealer may have helpful hints as well.
It is very important that you or an appointed representative be present on packing and moving days to identify items needing special handling and to answer any questions the packers and van operator might have.
Most large, heavy pieces of furniture will be wrapped in thick pads and firmly secured inside the van to avoid shifting while in transit.
When you reach your destination, carefully check the inventory of your household goods and antiques before signing for receipt. If any servicing or reassembly is required after you reach your new home, advise your destination agent who can make any necessary arrangements. Should there be any damage, contact the destination agent for assistance in filing a claim.