Tips for packing and moving delicate furniture
Any moving day is filled with excitement, but there’s also stress and anxiety from dealing with the unknowns that are bound to occur. If your move is to, from, or within the Chicago area, you can count on even more unique challenges with traffic, building access, and parking. Now layer on top of that the prospect of packing and moving delicate, fragile furniture and you might find yourself frantically searching for qualified Chicago Movers residents rely on everyday to make the difficult possible.
From pianos to antique settees and armories, finding the right moving company to get your fragile belongings from one home to the next without damage can be a challenge. Even more challenging is going it on your own, bribing your friends with beer to be your movers, and making the move yourself. If this is the route you absolutely have to take, here are crucial tips for packing and moving your delicate furniture and having a successful moving day.
Prepare yourself. You are going to need a lot of supplies. Of course you’ll need the basics like packing tape, packing paper, markers, and bubble wrap. But you’ll also need special supplies like heavy blankets. Moving companies have heavy duty, quilted moving pads specifically for wrapping furniture. If you can’t get these, you will have to use towels, old blankets, and other heavy fabrics or purchase or rent your own pads.
Gather as many large cardboard boxes as possible to break down and use to wrap items. Buy some Styrofoam pellets to fill in intricate spaces as needed. Think about what kind of dolly or hand truck you’ll need to buy or rent for your particular set up. Do you have a lot of stairs? Will you use the elevator? Do you have carpet to look out for? Buy supplies to protect the moving areas as well. Wrap door frames to prevent marks. Be sure to tape down cardboard in hallways. You’ll also need scissors and box cutters for cutting off tape once you arrive at your new location.
Many antique items in particular can be quite large and come in multiple pieces. Think old German and English books shelves and china cabinets. First consider how many people you will require to move each piece. Some pieces could need up to four movers to handle them with care. Also consider whether some pieces are too large to fit through doorways and may have to go through windows. This is a scenario where the use of a professional moving company is highly recommended. Especially with a Chicago move, there are definitely space concerns with stairwells, small doorways, and passageways.
Next, look at all of the fine details. Many antique and delicate pieces have carvings, thin legs, dowel rods, glass, casters, claw feet, and other intricate parts that require extra protection. Consider how you will cover each individual section of the piece to make sure nothing can come loose, get snagged on other furniture, or be knocked off when heading out the door. This is where you might need to get creative with your supplies. The last thing you want is to reduce the value of your antique or fragile furniture due to not taking your time and planning in advance.
When covering items with padding, you will need to then wrap the padding with tape. Then add cardboard over areas that need extra protection and tape that tightly as well. If the padding is not taped securely, you risk getting damage from rubbing or even pieces coming loose inside the padding. One thing that do-it-yourself movers sometimes miss when working with their antiques is remembering to protect the patina. The patina is the natural wear and coloring of aged furniture and art. It’s primarily what gives antiques their value. Using the wrong type of fabric against certain woods or getting the sticky side of tape on even just a portion of a piece can wreck the patina for purist collectors. Then, with a decreased value, you will have to decide between getting a piece re-patinated (more cost) or making do with a less-than-glowing patina. Whether you are going to pack your furniture yourself and either hire movers or rely on the love of friends to help you move it, you definitely want to be able to keep track of what needs extra care. Once you wrap your pieces in heavy duty blankets, cardboard, and tape, it might become difficult to tell the difference between a regular bookshelf and the highboy dresser your great great great grandmother brought over from England. Before you decide to do-it-yourself, you should get a free quote from a reputable mover to see if hiring professionals might be the better option for you. When you consider the amount of planning, supplies, and know-how you need to have a successful, damage-free move in Chicago, working with a pro starts to make sense. Let us help make your move an enjoyable, hassle-free experience. Get in touch today (847) 797-6683!