a moving box with a red fragile label on the side and a tape dispenser next to it.

How to Pack Family Heirlooms

Family heirlooms are often treasured items, but they tend to complicate a residential relocation. They might break easily or be challenging to move. Sometimes they’re pretty dusty or dirty.

Although often, moving makes you think about getting rid of things you don’t use, family heirlooms don’t always fit that category. You may want to keep them and have them arrive safely. Here’s how you can do that.

Assess the Value

If you have valuable items, now is a good time to appraise them. Professional appraisers can help you determine how much things are worth if you choose to sell them. Appraisals are ideal for jewelry, paintings, or antique furniture.

You might wonder why you would need an appraisal if you’re not planning on selling the item. It’s a smart move because it determines how you need to pack it and insure it. If you have an item worth tens of thousands of dollars, you may feel better paying more to transport it and get the appropriate protection plan.

Maintain Each Piece

Usually, family heirlooms that sit in the attic for years need a little TLC. Before you do anything, put on a pair of gloves and take a look at them. If you’re not sure how to take care of your family heirlooms, follow these tips to ensure they remain in good condition.

Dust and dirt are common, and they aren’t necessarily a problem. If the box has evidence of pests, you’ll want to use a new container.

Just don’t go wild with cleaning products. That includes anything with bleach or abrasive ingredients. You might do more harm than good and devalue your item.

Use the Right Containers

Boxes are great for moving. They just don’t always work well with old photographs, letters, or papers. The acids in the cardboard can eat away at precious documents.

Consider using archival methods to keep smaller items in an order. Place documents in plastic sleeves and store them flat in archive save containers. Then place the archive container in a moving carton. That way, your protected heirloom will already be in the proper containers when you arrive.

Get Help from an Expert

Valuable antiques could be sturdy or quite delicate. You may not know until you hear an unfortunate crunching or cracking sound.

Antique experts and archivists have experience handling these materials. If you’re worried that something will break, consider hiring someone who will pack it for transport with the least likelihood of damage.

Consider Specialty Moving Services

You might need to decide if you want to transport your valuable precious items yourself or with the rest of the home. Some movers have specialized services for transporting your delicate antiques.

If you need an item to move without anything touching it, you might need something more. When you call moving companies, ask if they have experience handling family heirlooms. 

Moving your precious family heirlooms takes extra time and may cost more too. With the right plan, you can give them the best chance of arriving just as they were. Contact us today to learn more about moving or get an estimate.