Antiques are irreplaceable and whether they are part of your personal collection or family heirlooms, you want to make sure they stay in their best condition. Moving antiques and fragile, important items requires even more care than is given to your average box of kitchen glasses.
Know their value – Get an Appraisal
If the unspeakable happens and your antiques are lost or damaged, having an accurate appraisal and insurance is the only way to recover the loss in value. Some antiques and collectibles can dramatically decrease in value from any damage and insurance claims will require photographic or video proof.
It is also very important to let the movers be aware of your most treasured possessions. Point out explicitly during the cost estimate process what should be packed and moved with extra care. You may know the history and value of your antiques, but don’t expect the moving company to have the same insight. Moving companies do their absolute best to provide safe and reliable services, but making a point before the move will never offend a professional.
If you have special items such as grandfather clocks, silver or china sets, there may be a need for special equipment and packing materials to make it explicit during your initial estimate session with the moving company.
Have your Moving Protection Plan in Writing
As part of the inventory process, check with your moving company and insist on High-Value inventory documentation for special, exceptionally valuable possessions. Items worth more than $100 per pound should be listed, with appropriate serials, signatures or manufacturer marks. Documentation for verification can also be created during the appraisal process and should be part of your moving paperwork that you keep track of.
High-quality video of the condition of objects before moving is valuable in the case a claim is required.
Bright Tissue, Fragile Labels, Bubble Packing
If you are packing your antiques in boxes, make sure they are secured in bubble pack and the excess space taken up with packing paper. Wrap small items in brightly colored tissue so they are not lost in the box, and if you pack fragile items together make sure you cushion the spaces between them.
Close the box securely with packing tape, and at the minimum label it as Fragile. You can use special stickers to bring attention to the fragile nature of the box as well.
Unloading and Delivery
Be sure you are on site during unloading and delivery to give directions and bring attention to how to handle your antiques. Check and confirm the condition of your valuables once they have been moved and contact your moving company or insurance agent if you discover any new damage. Properly preparing your heirlooms and collectibles before moving and keeping in good communication with the moving company should allow you to maintain their value and keep stress to a minimum.