Moving a valuable collection? 6 tips to help

SINCE 1959

Get Your Free Estimate

    When it comes to relocating precious possessions, the challenges are as unique as the items themselves. Whether it’s fine art, rare books, or any other valuable collection, the process of moving these items can be nerve-wracking. Unlike regular household belongings, the valuables demand special handling, packing, and often, climate-controlled environments to ensure their safety. In this context, it’s essential to consider all aspects of the move. Everything matters, from selecting the right materials for packing to choosing a trustworthy moving service. Given the complexities involved, it would be wise to seek moving and storage solutions Northern Virginia companies offer. To make moving a valuable collection incident-free, here are some tips that can be very helpful.

    1. Create an inventory

    Before packing up your collection, you should create a thorough inventory. This process helps you and your chosen local movers VA residents trust, to have a clear understanding of what your collection contains. Start by taking a picture of each item to accompany the inventory. These photographs serve as a visual record and are invaluable if something is lost or damaged during the move.

    Additionally, maintain your inventory in an organized manner. You can either use a spreadsheet on your computer or a handwritten list on paper. Also, bear in mind that it’s very important to keep this inventory separate from your collection. Avoid packing it with the items themselves to ensure it remains easily accessible throughout the moving process.

    In your inventory, include detailed information about each item. Here are the key details to list for each piece in your collection:

    • The name of the item. Give each piece in your collection a descriptive name you can use to easily identify it.
    • Describe the current condition of the item, noting any damage or peculiarities.
    • Record the size and weight of each item, which is essential for planning the packing and moving process.
    • Material composition. Note the materials each item is made from, as this can influence packing decisions.
    • Value. Estimate or note down the appraised value, especially for insurance purposes.
    • Special handling instructions. Include any specific handling requirements, such as ‘fragile’ or ‘keep upright’.

    The purpose of creating this inventory isn’t only to assist in keeping track of your collection. It also provides critical information for movers, insurance companies, and your peace of mind.

    a woman standing in front of a van and making and completing her inventory list
    Creating an inventory list before moving a valuable collection can be very useful for many reasons.

    2. Get an appraisal before moving a valuable collection

    Getting an appraisal is an excellent way to ensure that the collection is as valuable as you think it is. The more valuable the collection, the more care you’ll want to take to prevent damage during the relocation. Appraisals are also helpful when you get an insurance policy for your collection.

    You can get an appraisal by contacting an expert in the field. If you’re not sure who to turn to for an appraisal, talk to someone at a store where you can buy items for your collection. Alternatively, if you intend to hire the pros to help you relocate, such as one of the moving companies Fairfax VA is a base of, you can ask them to assist you with having your valuables appraised. But, before choosing those that will carry out the appraisal, get their references, and make sure they intend to produce a report.

    3. Do research on what can be harmful to your valuables

    Before packing and moving a valuable collection, conducting thorough research is essential to understand the potential challenges you may encounter. Different collections have varying sensitivities. For example, some items are particularly vulnerable to heat, while others can be adversely affected by exposure to light. Investigate the specific vulnerabilities of your collection to anticipate any risks. Pay special attention to factors such as humidity sensitivity, fragility, or susceptibility to temperature fluctuations. This knowledge will help you choose the right packing materials and methods. By being aware of what could cause damage to your collection during the move, you can take proactive steps to mitigate these risks. This foresight is key to avoiding any situation that could potentially harm your collection.

    4. Get insurance

    Your moving company, such as the residential movers in Northern VA, will likely offer standard insurance for items that are lost or damaged during the move. However, the payout for a claim is unlikely to cover the value of the collection. Also, you should check with your homeowners or renters’ insurance to see if your collection is covered during a relocation. If it is not, get your collection separately insured under its policy.

    To write the policy, your insurance agent will want to know the value of the collection. Have the appraisal document ready. Also, read the insurance policy before paying the premium. Make sure you watch for high deductibles, and read the exclusions list. That is how you’ll ensure that the policy will cover the type of damage that you’re most concerned about.

    a person explaining to a woman the provisions of an insurance policy
    Make sure you check whether your existing insurance policies cover the value of your collection.

    5. Pack it properly

    To pack your prized items properly, stock up on specialized packing materials like packing peanuts, bubble packs, flexible foam, and extra-thick boxes. Make sure you use durable packing tape and tape all sides of each box, including the bottom and top. Also, label each box clearly to indicate that the box contains items from your collection.

    Assign a number to each box, and then make a note of how many boxes your collection contains. This note will come in handy when you’re trying to certify that all of the boxes have made it to your new home.

    Here are some additional packing tips that can come in handy:

    • Use color-coded labels. Differentiate boxes with color-coded labels for easy identification during unpacking.
    • Get protective wrapping for individual items. Wrap each item in acid-free tissue paper or bubble pack for added protection.
    • Utilize custom foam inserts. For especially fragile items, consider using custom foam inserts that fit the shape of the item, providing maximum protection during transit.
    • Plan for unpacking. Arrange the numbered boxes in the order they should be unpacked to streamline the setup at your new home.
    a woman wrapping a delicate item into a bubble pack
    Valuable items usually require special packing materials for some extra protection during the move.

    6. Maintain open communication with your mover

    When you’re arranging the relocation with your movers, discuss your collection and its value in advance of the moving date. Then, when the mover arrives, take a minute to point out the boxes your valuables are packed in. Have all of the boxes together so your mover will be able to see the full collection altogether. If you’re moving soon and you have questions about this whole process, contact the experts. At Fairfax Transfer & Storage, we’re happy to answer your moving-related questions. You can call us today to find out more.

    Follow these tips and get your prized possessions to your new home safely

    Moving a valuable collection is a delicate endeavor that demands attention to detail and thoughtful preparation. With the right packing materials, a comprehensive inventory, and a clear strategy for both packing and unpacking, you can safeguard your treasured items throughout the relocation process. Bear in mind that the key to a successful move lies in careful planning and execution. With these tips, you can ensure not just the physical transfer of your collection, but also the preservation of its condition and value. So, embrace this journey with confidence, knowing that your precious collection is well-prepared for its new home.

    Latest Posts

    Get a Quote