If you collect antiques or have precious family heirlooms you’ve inherited, the thought of moving them is probably more than a little stressful to you. Needless to say, it has to be done with the utmost care. That’s why many antique owners opt to use moving companies that specialize in antiques, rather than traditional moving services. But you can’t just hire a company to do all the work; you have to do your part too. Preparing your items appropriately and being knowledgeable about the moving process can definitely contribute to a good end result.
The following guidelines will help you understand how to prepare for antique, fine art and collectibles moving and work effectively with a moving company:
Before You Move
- When a moving company representative comes to your home to give you a moving quote, have a list that contains the antiques, fine art and collectibles and point out each one. If special crating will be needed for delicate items, such as china or glassware, clocks, vases or items with fragile ornamentation; discuss those individually so you know in advance how the mover proposes to prepare them for transport. Also ask what type of padding and other general precautions will be used to ensure that all your items are transported safely.
- Any item of great value should be appraised by a qualified professional, possibly even more than one. Most appraisers charge an hourly rate or a flat fee and can be found by searching online
- Make sure you have photos of every antique, including up-close details. You might want to supplement the photos with a video that covers every room.
- All items should be cleaned before moving, but don’t use cleaning products with oil or wax in them. These can soften the finishes and make them vulnerable to picking up imprints from furniture pads.
- Make advance arrangements for any professional help needed to reassemble the antiques upon delivery.
- Ask the movers what type of insurance coverage they have available. Moving companies offer various insurance options, two of which are mandated by federal law. The types are: released value coverage (or basic carrier liability), full value protection (or full replacement value protection) and separate liability insurance. If it’s inadequate for your needs, check into adding a rider to your homeowners policy that will protect the items during the move. If your insurance company doesn’t provide this type of coverage, you might want to purchase a separate policy from a company that specializes in moving insurance.
On Moving Day:
- Be on the premises at all times while your antiques, fine art and collectibles are being packed. That will allow the packers to ask you questions and also give you the opportunity to supervise the quality of the packing job.
- When the antiques are delivered, inspect each one before the movers leave. Report any damage immediately. Interstate movers are required to participate in a dispute resolution or arbitration program to address your loss and damage claims.