Moving is stressful enough, but extra care must be paid to the safe packing and transport of special items such as pianos, large mirrors, fine art and sculptures. Here’s how to safely move precious cargo to your new home.
Pianos. Moving a piano is in a class by itself. Small upright pianos weigh more than 300 pounds and grand pianos can weigh more than 1,000 pounds. A piano must be wrapped in heavy moving blankets, kept upright, then moved slowly and carefully to avoid damaging the internal works. If the piano is on small caster wheels, those wheels are not meant for moving more than a few inches when positioning in a room. Several people must help with the move. Moving up or down a few steps is difficult, but possible. If a staircase is involved, it’s time to call a professional.
These same guidelines apply to moving large furniture pieces such as armoires and buffets, absent the risk of damaging the internal musical parts. If these pieces can be separated into sections without damage, take that step.
Artwork. Fine art should be wrapped in plain brown paper using heavy corner protectors. Next, cover in bubble wrap. For final protection, place the piece in a heavy box designed for moving large pictures, surrounded with Styrofoam peanuts.
Sculptures, lamps and vases. With delicate pieces, especially those with appendages like the arms of a statue, wrap them in brown paper, followed by bubble wrap. Place the piece in a box filled with Styrofoam peanuts.
Mirrors. Wrap mirrors in similar fashion to art work. In addition, apply masking tape crisscrossed on the glass. In the event of breakage, the pieces won’t scatter.
Aquariums. Drain water from the aquarium into clean five-gallon pails that have never contained chemicals or been washed with soap. Net catch the fish and put them in the pails of water. Drain the rest of the tank. Keep the filtration system in one of those pails to preserve the native bacteria that is an important part of the aquarium’s ecosystem.
Transport the tank in your own vehicle, if possible, separated from the rest of your belongings. Reassemble at the new location, partially filling with new, dechlorinated water. Before returning the fish to the tank, allow the new water and the fish in their pails to sit in the same room, at the same temperature for a few hours. Return the fish to the tank and add the water from their pails.
Should you entrust these sorts of goods to professional movers or try it yourself? Some goods are best left to the pros, such as pianos and oversized furniture pieces. Although professionals have experience moving delicate items such as statuary, you may have more peace of mind moving them in your own vehicle.