Five Tips for Moving Valuable Antiques

Moving furniture from Ikea is one thing, but if you’ve invested in truly valuable and unique furniture and fixtures, like hand-crafted antiques, you’re going to want to take a different approach to moving.

First off, the more valuable the furniture, the more important it is to make sure you use only qualified and experienced movers and packers—you can give the College Muscle Movers a call and we’ll help you get the right people on the job.

But there are also a lot of things you can do yourself. Here are some tips for moving your valuable antiques and delicate fixtures.

1. Extra Packing Material

You’re going to want to use extra packing material for these valuable items. If anything is going to go into a box, leave plenty of space for bubble wrap or packing peanuts.

For furniture, you’ll want to first pull out any removable parts like drawers and pack them separately. Then, you can begin wrapping padding around the top and adding more layers as you move to the bottom—that’s where they’re most likely to come into contact with other heavy objects.

For glassware or porcelain, check out our article on safely packing glass for moving. In addition, for truly valuable and delicate objects, you may even want to consider using wooden crates to ensure the safety of the items inside—wood won’t collapse under pressure.

2. Get Insurance and Take Photos

You’ll want to make sure you have the right kind of insurance for moving antiques; standard packing insurance typically has a flat value per pound policy, and your antiques are probably something a little more special than that.

Once you’ve sorted out the insurance, be sure to take photos of your antiques to prove their condition.

It's lasted almost a century. With a little care, it'll make it through this move, too. Image Credit: Flickr
It’s lasted almost a century. With a little care, it’ll make it through this move, too.
Image Credit: Flickr

3. Clean Carefully Before Moving

This is especially important if your antiques will be spending any time in storage. Minor stains can become permanent marks if left to settle in. Speaking of storage…

4. Moving Safely, Storing Safely

If you expect some of your antiques will be spending time in storage, make sure the storage facility has the appropriate climate control for your possessions. Antiques do not enjoy being exposed to the elements.

And even if you’re making only a short move, bulkier and more delicate items require special treatment. You may wish to ask about renting a van with an advanced suspension and powered lift gates to give your valuables the smoothest transition to and from the truck.

5. Check the Truck and Check Again

The most dangerous part of the moving process for your antiques will be the time in the truck, so make sure they’re settled in as safely as possible. That means looking for any objects that might come into contact with them as the truck shifts during transport. Creating barriers with mattresses can help with this.

 

We hope that helps you. And if you’ve got any questions, give us a call and we’ll do our best to get you the answers you need and help you get ahold of all the supplies necessary to give your antiques a safe move to their new home.

Five Mistakes to Avoid When Moving

Here at the College Muscle Movers blog, we usually talk about the RIGHT way to pack and move. But not everybody is a perfectionist. We understand that.

So go ahead, pack the way you want—but whatever you do, you’re going to have a better time if you avoid these mistakes.

Mistake #1: Another Day, Another Property

It’s common for people to aim to save money by ensuring they only pay rent on one property at a time—move all your stuff out of the old place on Friday, move it all in to the new place on Saturday.

Sure, you’ll save a little cash, but it’s usually worth the extra expense to have more time and less pressure to get your move finished. This is especially true for large moves or moves during cold weather (plenty of that in Minnesota) that might bump your schedule around—you’ll be glad to have two bases to work from.

Mistake #2: Too Much Stuff

This is a classic mistake: Just because you’re moving, doesn’t mean every single item in your home or office should come with you.

Be merciless in getting rid of stuff that you haven’t used in ages. Donate what you can, trash what you can’t. Are you ever going to read that shelf of old paperbacks again? Is it really worth complicating your move by packing up perishable food items? (By the way, you can plan ahead to make sure you run out of food just as you move—no waste, no hassle.)

book-hoard-300x177
You probably don’t need to bring all of them with you, right? Image Credit: Flickr

 

Mistake #3: Last-Minute Packing

The sooner you start packing, the less stress you’ll have and the better job you’ll do of organizing those boxes.

Weeks ahead of time, you should choose a part of your home or office to start packing and stacking boxes. You won’t be in a rush, and you’ll be able to intelligently choose which items should go in which boxes. Speaking of boxes…

Mistake #4: Heavy, Heavy Boxes

The College Muscle Movers can handle heavy boxes, no problem. But if you’re going to be hauling any yourself, even just from one room to another, you want to distribute the weight evenly.

It’s convenient to put all your books in one box, but that’s going to be one seriously heavy box. Try splitting your library and mixing it in with lighter contents in other boxes.

Mistake #5: What’s in the Mystery Box?

Labelling all your boxes can be a hassle. But trust us, the bigger hassle is not bothering to label them and spending hours digging around for the things you need once you arrive at your new property.

We’ve suggested a few schemes that can help you make the most out of labelling boxes, but you don’t have to get fancy with a floor plan and coding scheme. Just a couple of clear words in black marker will save you big headaches later on.

 

If you avoid these mistakes—and remember to lift with your knees!—you may not have the perfect move, but you won’t have a disaster on your hands either.

And if you DO want the perfect move, just give the College Muscle Movers a call!

5 Tips for Moving in Cold Weather

Welcome to the Polar Vortex—that’s what we’re calling this year’s winter storm, but it’s really nothing new to any of our readers living in and around Minneapolis. We get tough weather every year, and here at College Muscle Movers, we’ve got plenty of experience in getting out and working in those below-freezing temperatures.

It’s never ideal to move during winter weather, and if you’ve got a choice, it’s definitely worth waiting it out—but odds are you don’t have a choice. Here are some tips to help you deal with a cold weather move.

1. Clear Walkways Ahead of Time

If you’re moving between locations in and around Minneapolis, you’ll want to take some time the day before the move to visit your new home and clear any walkways and parking areas. Shovel that snow and throw down some salt to clear out the ice.

You’ll be moving a lot of boxes in tough weather, and you don’t want anything getting in your way or making you slip, so make sure to do the same for your old home before you start loading up boxes.

2. Get Your Utilities Turned On

If you’re moving to a home that has been unoccupied for some time, you may want to make sure that your utilities are turned on and ready to start pumping out the heat by the time you arrive.

You can combine this tip with clearing walkways: when you leave the new house, go ahead and get the heat started so you’ll have a warm shelter when you do the serious work the next day.

3. Prepare Hot Drinks

Whether it’s coffee, cocoa, or soup, you’ll be glad you filled up a thermos ahead of time. Of course, the College Muscle Movers always come prepared, but if you’ve got friends or family helping out, they’ll really appreciate if you make enough to share.

4. Pack Sensitive Items With Extra Care

Some items are especially sensitive to cold, and you should plan ahead to make sure they’re as safe as possible by giving them additional insulation. Almost any kind of electronics should be carefully protected, and many solid wood objects can warp in extreme cold.

5. Be Prepared for Emergencies

It's going to be tough out there. Be ready for anything.   Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
It’s going to be tough out there. Be ready for anything. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

We know you wouldn’t be moving in winter if you didn’t have to, but at least you can prepare for the worst. Be ready for anything that might go wrong: Get your car serviced and bring along the usual winter gear like a small shovel and a bag of sand for getting unstock.

Plan your route ahead of time. Especially if you’re driving a large moving truck, you’ll want to make sure you know which roads are most likely to be clear and safe.

Finally, make sure you have a list of emergency contacts you can call for roadside assistance and to let folks know if winter conditions will delay your arrival.

 

Good luck. Moving in winter may not be fun, but we hope this helps you make it as safe and simple as possible.

Pro Tips to Make Your Move Easier

So far in the College Muscle Movers blog, we’ve covered a lot of common moving issues in-depth.

Today, we’d like to share some of our favorite quick tips that will help with any move—you can get the job done faster and better if you follow these tips. So here we go: A collection of best practices for packing and moving.

Choose What You Move

Moving is a great opportunity to get rid of extra stuff you don’t need anymore. You’ll be putting your eyes on everything you own as you sort it into boxes, so take the time to ask yourself: When was the last time I used this? And will I ever use it again?

Old clothes are easy candidates for this, and it’s a nice feeling to pass them on to your local Goodwill. But you may discover all kinds of items you forgot you even owned. Don’t bother packing up and moving all that extra baggage! It’ll just take more time and money and all you’ll get in return is a cluttered new home.

Spread Out Your Packing Time

Start packing early—we’re talking two or three months ahead of time—and you’ll find that packing is a lot less stressful.

That's a lot of boxes--but you don't need to fill them up all at once. Image Credit: Flickr
That’s a lot of boxes–but you don’t need to fill them up all at once.
Image Credit: Flickr

Moving an entire household is a real chore, but it’s not so bad if you set a goal of packing just a few boxes a week. You can start with the obvious items you know you won’t need any time soon, like decorative items, seasonal clothing, and holiday gear.

Not only does this make moving easier, you’ll also find that the extra time makes you more likely to be careful about how you organize as you pack—so let’s talk about how you can organize better when the pressure’s off.

Better Strategies for Labeling Boxes

You probably already know how important it is to label your boxes when you move. Here are a few specific strategies to try that should get you better results than just scrawling “Kitchen” on the top.

First, you should always set aside a few boxes for stuff you’ll need right away—enough kitchen gear to make a few simple meals, a few days’ worth of clothes, your bathroom necessities, and any paperwork you’ll need to refer to.

For all the rest of those boxes, here’s an idea that will help you and any movers you hire get all the boxes where they should be: Draw up a simple floor plan of your new home, and label each room with a letter—for example, “L” for living room, “K” for kitchen, and so on.

Now you’ve got a simple code you can use to quickly label and identify your boxes. It’s a good idea to add a few other notes to the box too, like “K – Utensils” or “L – DVDs”, but the important thing is that this will really streamline that initial process of getting everything out of the truck and into the right room.

With big, easy-to-read symbols quickly written on your boxes (it’s so easy you might as well label every side for quick identification), and a simple map to guide your family and your movers, you’ll save time on both packing and unpacking.

 Need More Help? Call in the Muscle

We hope these tips help you make your move smoothly and get started off on the right foot in your new home. If you’re in the greater Minneapolis and St. Paul area, we’d love to take care of all the details: Just give the College Muscle Movers a call at 1-800-818-8449 and we’ll tell you more about what we can do for you.

Moving Framed Paintings or Photographs? Here’s How To Pack Safely

When one of our College Muscle Movers has to move their own artwork, it’s easy: They just roll up the posters they bought for $5 each at the campus store and put a rubber band around the tube and they’re ready to go.

If you’re at the stage of your life where you’ve invested a little more in your décor, you’re going to want to take the process more seriously. No problem, our movers know how to treat precious art with the care and respect it deserves. But if you’re planning to take care of the packing on your own, you’ve got a few challenges to consider.

Every part of a painting or photograph is a potential packing disaster: fragile glass that can shatter, ornate frames that can flake and crack, and delicate paper or canvas that can rip and tear.

Here’s how to make sure your art makes it to your new location looking picture-perfect.

What’s It Worth?

First, if you’re using any kind of moving or shipping service, you should consider whether your art warrants additional insurance. By default, most services provide a basic level of insurance per pound. That might be okay for furniture, but a valuable painting doesn’t weigh much.

If your art is likely to have a high value, consider having an appraiser  review their value and provide you with an estimate, and take pictures of all the pieces before insuring them separately from your other possessions and packing them up. The American Society of Appraisers can help you find a qualified professional.

Self-Moving

Do whatever it takes to keep this priceless treasure safe. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Do whatever it takes to keep this priceless treasure safe.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Because artwork tends to be more valuable and delicate while taking up less space than most items, consider transporting it in your car instead of the moving truck. This will require less careful packing and will reduce the risk of damage caused by shifting truck contents.

Packing Your Framed Artwork

Here are some simple steps that will help you keep your art safe if it’s in a frame and under glass.

1. Secure the glass with painter’s tape. Damage to glass is the most likely mishap that could happen to your art, but it’s also the easiest to repair—as long as it doesn’t damage the canvas. To ensure this, use painter’s tape (because it will be easy to remove later) to create a loose square grid pattern with additional diagonal strips on the glass. This way, even if the glass cracks, it will be held in place instead of scraping against the art.

2. Cover the frame in a layer of bubble wrap. You may wish to place a sheet of cardboard or a layer of acid-free paper on the glass front of the painting first to provide stability and reduce static cling. Then, wrap the entire piece in a thick layer of bubble wrap, securing it with tape at the back—not at the sides.

3. Slide the painting into a box only slightly larger than the frame. You may have a hard time finding a box with the perfect fit, but College Muscle Movers has a good selection of specialty sizes and you can find suppliers with a full range. If your painting is valuable, financially or sentimentally, it’s worth tracking down a box that will offer a snug fit to your wrapped painting. You can even buy special Styrofoam wedges designed to fit over the corners of your frame to provide additional padding and stability. Seal it up tightly and you’re all set. If you’re loading the box into a moving truck, carefully select a stable area at an edge of the truck or between two large objects unlikely to crash into it, like upright mattresses.

 

That’s it! Of course, if you’re talking about exceptionally valuable paintings, you’ll want to look into having the pieces professionally crated and shipped by specialists. For almost anything else, these steps will offer the best protection with the least expense.

Any questions? We’re always happy to help. Give the College Muscle Movers a call at 1-800-818-8449 and we’ll get you the answers you need.