Although professional movers are trained to take the utmost care when transporting antique furnishings, household goods, and other valuables from one location to another, accidents still sometimes occur. Therefore, it's important to take certain steps before the move to protect valuable antique pieces and make the movers' job easier.
1. Document the condition of antique furnishings. Whether you've hired movers to transport your antiques to another location across town or across the country, take the time to inspect each piece carefully. Note any existing damage prior to the move. Movers, too, generally prepare an itemized inventory that notes the condition of the items being moved.
Along with writing down a list of antique furniture pieces that you want movers to transport to your new home, take photographs or video footage of each item to show its condition before the move. You should also make a note of any items, such as furnishings with glass doors or removable shelves, that may need special packing and more careful handling during the move.
2. Ask how the movers prepare antique furnishings for transport. Since vibrations inside a moving vehicle can cause furniture to get jostled and damaged, doors on cabinets as well as antique desk and dresser drawers should be secured. Furniture packing should be placed inside glass cabinet doors and curio cabinets to support the glass panels and protect them from vibrations.
Request that padded moving blankets be placed over furniture pieces–particularly large, heavy pieces–for cushioning and then secured with rope or packing tape. If you're moving highly valuable pieces of antique furniture, find out if the moving company can custom make plywood crates to fit the pieces for added protection.
3. Adequately insure antique furniture while in transit. Make certain that you have enough insurance coverage for antiques that may be damaged during the move. It's a good idea to have highly valuable antique furnishings appraised by a qualified appraiser. Knowing how much your possessions are worth can help you determine for how much you should insure them during transport.
4. Plan where you want antique furnishings placed beforehand. Develop a floor plan before your possessions arrive at their destination. Knowing in advance where you want furnishings placed can protect against accidents since the movers can immediately move the pieces to where you want them.
It also helps to measure larger furniture pieces before the move to make certain that they will fit through the doorways of your new home. Navigating steep stairways, narrow hallways, and tight corners are other factors to consider to reduce the risk of damage to valued possessions. The movers will appreciate you giving them a heads up on these issues. Knowing more about the layout of the home before they arrive can help them better prepare to protect your treasured antique furnishings from damage.