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How to Ship Antique Furniture

Antiques hold a certain sentimental value, so shipping them requires extra care and attention to detail. Professional antique furniture movers can provide this level of care, but there are still some steps you can take to make sure everything goes smoothly.

The following tips can be useful for both standard and antique furniture shipping:

  • First, have the piece appraised. This will allow for proper insurance coverage and be helpful in case you need to make a damage claim.
  • Next, photograph the furniture from all angles. Having ‘before’ images helps when filing claims for damage that may occur in transit.
  • If there are loose shelves or interior pieces, secure them and let the movers know about them. Also, inform them of delicate areas or pieces of the furniture.
  • Empty out the furniture. Additional weight and items may damage the furniture during transport. You might even find some loose change!
  • Avoid taping drawers and doors shut or using tape to secure other parts of the furniture, as this can ruin the finish. Most movers will shrink wrap the furniture, negating the need for tape, but if they don’t, use string or a rubber bungee to secure loose objects or remove the components altogether.
  • On that note, moving blankets and some protective wrap are a must for long transport in the back of a box truck. Smaller carriers may offer more personal attention to the furniture, but for optimal protection without crating, the piece should be properly wrapped.
  • If you’re piece is extremely valuable, ornate or you just want the absolute best protection, crate or box the piece. Unless you know what you are doing, it’s best to leave this to the pros. Many moving companies will provide this service.
  • Also consider the type of wood when shipping, as temperature extremes and moisture might damage certain wood pieces. Ask your antique dealer or shipping company for advice about shipping and storing wood pieces.