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Wolley Movers: 25 Years of Excellence
Call Us Today - (773) 761-8330
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Handling Specialty Items: Art, Antiques, and Musical Instruments During a Move

Moving is a significant life event that can be both exciting and stressful. When it comes to relocating, the safe transport of your belongings is a top priority. While everyday household items are relatively straightforward to move, specialty items such as art, antiques, and musical instruments require extra care and attention. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the unique challenges of moving these precious possessions and provide you with valuable tips and strategies to ensure they arrive at your new home in pristine condition.

Part 1: Artwork

Moving artwork, whether it’s valuable paintings, sculptures, or delicate prints, demands special consideration. Here are the steps to ensure your art arrives safely:

Preparation is Key

Document Your Collection: Before packing, create a detailed inventory of your artwork. This includes photographs, descriptions, and values. This document will be invaluable in case of loss or damage. Some specialty items, like family heirlooms or artworks created by loved ones, hold priceless sentimental value. Make a list of these items and prioritize their safe handling during the move.

Appraisal: Consider having valuable pieces appraised by a professional to establish their worth accurately. This step will help you determine their current value and whether they require special insurance coverage during the move.

Select the Right Packaging: Use acid-free paper, bubble wrap, and specialized art packing materials to protect your art. For larger pieces, custom-built crates may be necessary.

Proper Packing

Glass Protection: For framed artwork, use glass protection like cardboard corner protectors and glassine paper to prevent scratches and breakage.

Cushioning: Use bubble wrap or foam to create a cushion around the artwork. Ensure that no part of the artwork directly touches the packing materials.

Custom Crating: Invest in custom crates designed specifically for your artwork’s dimensions and fragility. These crates should provide shock absorption and insulation against temperature and humidity changes.

Labeling: Clearly label each package as “Fragile” and indicate the orientation (e.g., “This Side Up”). This will help movers handle the items with care.

Temperature and Humidity Control

Climate Control: If possible, transport artwork in a climate-controlled environment to prevent damage from extreme temperatures and humidity fluctuations.

Avoiding Direct Sunlight: Keep artwork out of direct sunlight during transit to prevent fading and heat damage.

Professional Movers

Experienced Movers: Choose a moving company like Wolley Movers with experience handling artwork. They should have specialized equipment and packing materials for this purpose.

Transportation: Ensure the moving company uses air-ride suspension vehicles to minimize vibration during transit.

Part 2: Antiques

Antiques often hold both sentimental and financial value, making their safe transportation a top concern. Here’s how to safeguard your cherished antiques:

Assessment and Documentation

Appraisal: Just like with artwork, consider getting your antiques appraised to establish their value accurately. Have your antiques appraised by a certified appraiser to establish their value and condition.

Photographic Documentation: Take clear photos of each antique from various angles to record their current condition.

Proper Packaging

Padding: Wrap your antiques in clean, soft materials like blankets, towels, or foam to protect them from scratches and impacts.

Fragile Components: Pay extra attention to fragile components like glass or porcelain. Use bubble wrap, foam, or custom padding to prevent damage.

Fragile Labels: Label your packages clearly as “Fragile” to ensure careful handling.

Disassembly and Packing

Dismantling: If your antique furniture can be disassembled, carefully take it apart and pack each component separately.

Hardware and Parts: Keep small parts like screws and knobs in clearly labeled bags or containers.

Climate Control

Temperature and Humidity: As with artwork, protect antiques from extreme temperature and humidity changes during transit.

Choose Experienced Movers

Specialized Expertise: Seek out moving companies like Wolley Movers with experience in handling antiques. They should have the necessary skills and equipment to ensure safe transport.

Part 3: Musical Instruments

Whether you’re moving a prized piano, delicate violins, or other musical instruments, here’s how to ensure their safety:

Instrument Assessment

Tune-Up: Have your instruments professionally tuned before the move to ensure they’re in the best condition possible.

Documentation: Create a detailed inventory with photographs, descriptions, and values.

Packing and Protection

Original Cases: Whenever possible, transport instruments in their original cases. These cases are designed to protect the instrument’s shape and structure.

Padding and Cushioning: Add extra padding inside cases to prevent movement during transit.

Temperature and Humidity Control

Sensitive Instruments: Musical instruments, especially wooden ones, are sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity. Maintain a consistent environment throughout the move.

Specialized Movers

Instrument Expertise: Choose a moving company like Wolley Movers experienced in transporting musical instruments. They should have the knowledge and equipment to handle delicate items like pianos or string instruments.

Unpacking and Installation

Once your specialty items have safely arrived at your new location, the care doesn’t stop there:

Unpacking: Carefully unpack your items using the same level of attention and care as the packing process.

Professional Assistance: Consider enlisting professionals to reinstall or reassemble your specialty items, especially if they require tuning, restringing, or delicate reassembly.

Placement: Place your specialty items in their designated locations, ensuring they are away from direct sunlight, extreme temperatures, and potential hazards.


Moving specialty items such as art, antiques, and musical instruments requires extra care and planning, but it’s well worth the effort to protect these valuable and sentimental possessions. By documenting your items, choosing the right packaging materials, ensuring climate control, and selecting experienced movers, you can minimize the risks associated with moving these cherished items. Remember, investing in their safety during the move will help ensure that they continue to bring joy and beauty to your new home.

If you are planning on relocating to or from the Chicago area and are looking for professionals to handle your move, trust Wolley Movers to handle your specialty items with the best possible care. We have a customer support team working around the clock to ensure that we answer your questions and inquiries about moving your art, antiques, and musical instruments promptly.

Contact Wolley Movers today and let us move your specialty items the professional way.

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