Shipping Antique Furniture Cross Country
Feb 11, 2024
Let’s face it: relocating to a new location is taxing.
And when it involves expensive furniture and thousands of miles in distance? That’s intimidating.
Shipping antique furniture cross country requires meticulous planning and care to ensure that these valuable and often delicate items arrive at their destination in pristine condition.
As a reputed moving company specializing in this delicate task, we understand the importance of preserving the beauty and historical significance of antique pieces.
If you are moving cross-country with antique furniture, this guide is for you. Here, we will list the planning process, best practices, and regulatory considerations related to shipping antique furniture cross-country.
Before you move furniture, there are a few assessments you need to get done. While they may seem mundane at first, but when the stakes are high, you can’t leave things hanging in the middle.
The pre-move assessment we recommend to everyone includes:
In case you have multiple antique pieces to move, start with an inventory check. This will quantify the scope of the project and aid with accountability.
Conduct a thorough inventory of all antique furniture pieces. Document the condition of each item, including existing scratches, dents, or other imperfections.
This documentation will serve as a reference point for assessing any potential damage during the move.
Consider getting a professional appraisal for high-value antique pieces. This documentation can be crucial for insurance purposes and will provide an accurate valuation of the items being transported.
Just in case there’s some damage to the furniture, you can claim reimbursement, which can then be used to fix the damage potentially. This will prevent annoying out-of-pocket expenses.
Photographs are really important in accountability and getting cases on your side.
Take detailed photographs of each antique piece from various angles. This visual record can be helpful in case of damage claims and will assist in reassembling items accurately at the destination.
Packing the Furniture
Once you’re done with the assessment, let’s move to the next stage: packing the furniture.
This is arguably the most crucial step. Therefore, spend some time getting it perfect. Here are the steps we recommend to pack high-end furniture for transportation:
Gather necessary supplies
First, you need to gather all the supplies necessary to protect the furniture.
We recommend using multiple layers of protection. Therefore, use high-quality packing materials such as bubble wrap, furniture blankets, packing paper, packing tape, corrugated cardboard, corner protectors, plastic stretch wrap, and furniture covers.
If possible, disassemble the furniture into manageable pieces. It’s better than moving the furniture as a whole.
Remove any detachable parts, such as legs, knobs, and drawers. Then, keep all hardware and small components in labeled plastic bags.
Clean and protect surfaces
Clean the furniture surfaces thoroughly before packing. This takes away dust, debris, and oily items from the surface. Once cleaned, apply a protective wax or polish to prevent scratches during transit.
Wrap fragile parts
Delicate items need extra protection. Therefore, you need to take further measures.
For delicate or protruding parts like handles, knobs, and decorative elements, wrap them with bubble wrap or packing paper. Secure the wrapping with tape to prevent any damage.
Likewise, you need to protect the corners, which are prone to damage in transit. So, attach corner protectors to the vulnerable corners of the furniture. This helps prevent damage to sharp edges during transportation and handling.
Use furniture blankets
Cover the entire furniture piece with furniture blankets. Ensure that the blankets are thick and provide adequate padding. Secure the blankets with packing tape, making sure they are snug but not too tight.
Bubble wrap for fragile areas
Apply an additional layer of bubble wrap to areas prone to impact or damage, such as corners, legs, or any decorative elements. Secure the bubble wrap in place with tape.
Cut pieces of corrugated cardboard to fit over flat surfaces like tabletops, shelves, and dresser tops. Secure the cardboard in place with packing tape to provide an extra layer of protection.
Use plastic stretch wrap
Wrap the entire furniture piece with plastic stretch wrap. This will help keep the furniture blankets, and other protective materials in place while providing an additional barrier against dust and moisture.
Secure drawers and doors
If applicable, secure drawers and doors with packing tape or plastic wrap to prevent them from opening during transit. Use caution to avoid causing damage to the furniture’s finish.
Depending on how intricate your furniture is, you may have to protect it with more layers or package it differently. If so, consider getting professional help or contact the furniture dealership for expert advice.
Get Insurance Coverage
Moving insurance is a must for high-end items. This gives you peace of mind and mitigates financial losses in case of unforeseen events.
Review moving insurance options
Carefully review and understand the insurance coverage offered by your moving company.
Discuss specific coverage for antique items, and consider purchasing additional insurance if needed to ensure full protection against potential damages.
Documentation for insurance claims
Keep all pre-move documentation that you’ve prepared during the pre-assessment step easily accessible, including inventory lists, photographs, and appraisals. In the unfortunate event of damage, these documents will be essential for filing insurance claims.
The insurance broker will guide you more on how to stay compliant. But do get the needed coverage.
Choosing the Right Moving Company
Moving cross-country is an exhausting task in itself. Relocating your valuable items is something best left to the experts. So, you need to find a moving company to work with.
But how do you select the right one to work with? Here are some recommendations:
Look for companies with specialized expertise
Some companies move items within states, and others do it across the country. The latter requires specialized knowledge and experience.
Therefore, select a moving company with a proven track record in handling antique furniture. Inquire about their experience, specialized training, and the precautions they take to ensure the safe transport of valuable and fragile items.
Seek references and reviews
Ask for references from previous clients who have had small moves cross country with the company. They most likely have this on their website.
In the age of the internet, you can turn to Google and Yelp for that. Read online reviews to gauge the experiences of others who entrusted their valuable possessions to the same movers.
Ask for customized transportation
Ensure that the moving company uses climate-controlled and secure transportation options for long-distance moves. Verify that they have appropriate measures in place to prevent shifting, vibrations, and potential damage during transit.
The three steps will narrow down your list of potential movers to work with.
Once your antique furniture arrives at the destination, do a final inspection.
Conduct a thorough inspection of each antique piece. Use the pre-move documentation and photographs as a reference to identify any new damages that may have occurred during transit. The best companies can guarantee no or minimal damage to the furniture. This is your chance to hold them accountable.
Report any damages immediately to the moving company and document them in writing. Timely reporting is essential for initiating the claims process and addressing any issues promptly.
Have a Happy Move!
Follow the tips mentioned above, and we are sure you will be able to ship antique furniture cross-country safely and effortlessly. For any assistance related to international moving and to learn more about our services, contact Atlas Allied today.