How to Pack Pictures for Moving

Moving to a new home can be an exciting adventure, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges, especially when it comes to packing up your precious belongings. Among the most delicate items you’ll need to transport are your pictures and artworks. These pieces aren’t just decorative; they carry memories and personal value, making it crucial to pack them with care.

You might be wondering where to start or how to ensure your pictures arrive at your new home safe and sound. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many homeowners find this task daunting, but with the right tips and techniques, it can be a breeze. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of packing your pictures for a move, ensuring they’re protected every step of the way. Let’s immerse and make this task as stress-free as possible.

Key Takeaways

  • Utilize the Correct Packing Materials: Employ acid-free paper, bubble wrap, sturdy cardboard boxes, and packing tape to safeguard your pictures against physical damage during the move.
  • Individually Wrap and Protect: Wrap each picture or artwork individually with proper materials and secure glass frames with painter’s tape in an X pattern to prevent shattering and scratches.
  • Optimal Boxing and Labeling: Pack your pictures in a box slightly larger than the artwork for extra padding, filling gaps with crumpled paper, and label each box with “Fragile” and “This Side Up” to ensure careful handling.
  • Preserve Art’s Value: For high-value artwork, consider getting an appraisal before the move, use climate-controlled transport options when necessary, and verify that your moving insurance adequately covers your valuable pieces.
  • Special Handling for Unique Artworks: Pay extra attention to glass and antique frames, as well as large-scale pieces, using specific materials like glassine and custom crates for the best protection.
  • Prepare for Moving Day: Confirm all artworks are securely packed, clearly label each box, prepare an essentials box for immediate needs upon arrival, document the condition of packed items, and communicate clearly with movers about the importance of these items.

Importance of Properly Packing Pictures

When you’re embarking on the task of moving to a new home, ensuring the safety of your cherished pictures and artwork during transit is paramount. The process might seem daunting, but with a thoughtful approach, you can mitigate risks and maintain the integrity of your prized possessions. Below, you’ll find detailed insights on how to achieve this, focusing on preventing damage and preserving the sentimental and monetary value of your items.

Preventing Damage During Transit

The journey to your new home can be fraught with bumps and jostles that pose a risk to the well-being of your pictures. Here’s how to keep them safe:

  1. Use the Right Materials: Start by gathering acid-free paper, bubble wrap, sturdy cardboard boxes, and packing tape. These materials provide a strong defense against physical damage.
  2. Secure Glass Frames: For pictures with glass frames, apply a piece of painter’s tape in an X pattern across the glass. This not only keeps the glass from shattering but also prevents scratches.
  3. Wrap Each Picture Individually: Employ bubble wrap or padded blankets around each picture, securing the protection with tape. It’s crucial to wrap each piece separately to avoid friction-induced damage.
  4. Edge Protectors are Key: Place cardboard edge protectors around the wrapped pieces. These not only defend against impacts but also help maintain the frame’s structure.
  5. Boxing Strategies: Choose a box slightly larger than your wrapped picture for additional padding room. Fill any gaps with crumpled paper to prevent shifting.
  6. Label Boxes: Clearly mark boxes with “Fragile” and “This Side Up” to inform handlers of the care needed during transportation.

By following these steps, you significantly reduce the risk of damage, ensuring your pictures arrive in the same condition they left.

Preserving Sentimental and Monetary Value

Beyond the physical preservation of pictures, it’s important to address their intangible worth. These tips help safeguard the sentimental and monetary value of your artwork:

  1. Document and Inventory: Take photographs and make a detailed inventory of your pictures and artwork. It’s helpful for insurance purposes and personal record-keeping.
  2. Appraisal for High-Value Items: If you have artwork of substantial monetary value, consider getting it appraised before the move. This documentation is vital for insurance coverage and peace of mind.
  3. Climate Considerations: For high-value or extremely sentimental pieces, think about climate-controlled transport options, especially if moving across great distances. Extreme temperatures and humidity can irreparably harm artwork.
  4. Insurance Coverage: Verify your moving insurance covers high-value artwork. If not, it may be wise to secure additional art insurance for the move, offering financial protection against potential loss or damage.

Choosing the Right Packing Materials

When it comes to moving, ensuring the safety of your pictures and artwork during transit is paramount. Selecting the right packing materials is a crucial step towards this goal. Let’s investigate into the options available for optimal protection.

Types of Protective Covering

Selecting the correct type of protective covering is essential for safeguarding your pictures against scratches, dust, and potential moisture damage. Here are some recommended options:

  • Bubble Wrap: Offers excellent cushioning for framed pictures and glass panes, absorbing shocks and impacts during the move. Wrap each picture individually, securing the bubble wrap with tape.
  • Packing Paper: Ideal for protecting the surface of your artwork, especially unframed pictures or those without glass covers. Wrap multiple layers around the item for sufficient coverage.
  • Stretch Wrap: Works well for securing the protective covering in place and adding an extra layer of protection against moisture. It’s particularly useful for oddly shaped or oversized pictures.
  • Glassine: A water-resistant paper, glassine is perfect for protecting sensitive surfaces of artwork from smudging and moisture. It acts as an initial layer, directly against the artwork, before bubble wrap or another protective layer is applied.

Each of these materials serves a specific purpose, and often, using a combination of them ensures the highest level of protection.

Sturdy Boxes for Transport

The outermost layer of protection, sturdy boxes, is critical for safely transporting your pictures. Here are some tips for choosing and using the right boxes:

  • Picture Boxes: Specially designed for artwork and mirrors, these telescoping boxes can adjust to the size of your picture, providing snug and secure transport. For best results, choose double-walled boxes for added durability and strength.
  • Custom Crates: For extremely valuable or oversized pieces, consider investing in custom wooden crates. These offer the most protection but are more costly. Ensure they are padded internally to prevent movement or rubbing.
  • Flat-Pack Boxes: Ideal for unframed prints or canvas artworks. These slimline boxes reduce the risk of bending. Pad them well internally with packing paper or foam inserts.

To ensure a snug fit, fill any voids in the boxes with crumpled packing paper or foam peanuts. This prevents your pictures from shifting inside the box during the move. Also, clearly label each box with “Fragile – Handle with Care” and an indication of the box’s contents. This not only helps in the careful handling of your items but also aids in the unpacking process, as you’ll know exactly where each picture should go in your new home.

By carefully selecting your packing materials and employing these strategic packing methods, your pictures will arrive at your new destination just as they left: intact and unscathed.

Step-by-Step Guide to Packing Pictures

Moving delicate items such as pictures and artworks requires special attention to prevent damage during transit. Following a step-by-step guide ensures your treasured photos and paintings arrive safely at your new home. This section builds on the preliminary advice provided, focusing on dismantling, wrapping, and boxing techniques specifically suited for pictures.

Dismantling Frames and Canvas

Before you start packing, dismantle frames and canvases if possible. Removing the artwork from its frame can reduce the risk of glass breakage and allows for easier wrapping of the pieces. If your pictures are framed under glass, use painter’s tape to make an X across the glass surface. This step doesn’t prevent the glass from breaking but can help hold it together if it does shatter, safeguarding the artwork. After taping, carefully remove the backing of the frame and set the artwork aside. For canvas artworks, detach them from their stretchers if you’re comfortable doing so. This makes them more flexible and easier to roll up for transport.

Wrapping Techniques for Maximum Protection

Wrap each picture or canvas in glassine paper, a smooth, air-, water-, and grease-resistant paper, to protect against moisture and fingerprints. For framed pieces or those with glass, add a layer of bubble wrap over the glassine, ensuring all sides are covered and secure. The bubble wrap provides a cushion against impacts. Use a second layer of wrap if the item is particularly fragile or valuable. For unframed canvases, after the initial glassine wrap, roll them around a sturdy cardboard tube and secure them with artist tape, then wrap this in another layer of bubble wrap. Secure all wrapping with packing tape, but be sure not to let the tape touch the artwork or the frame directly to avoid damage.

Arranging Pictures in Boxes

Selecting the right box is crucial. Use special picture boxes or create a custom-sized box if your artwork is an unusual size. Line the bottom of the box with a soft material, such as a blanket or bubble wrap, for additional cushioning. Place the largest frames or canvases in first, standing them vertically. Smaller items can then be slotted in around them. If placing multiple items in a single box, separate them with foam board or additional layers of bubble wrap to prevent scratching or pressure damage. Fill any remaining spaces with crumpled packing paper to stop movement within the box during transit. Finally, seal the box with heavy-duty packing tape and clearly label it as “Fragile – Artwork” with an indication of which side is up to ensure careful handling.

By systematically dismantling, wrapping, and boxing your pictures, you’ll significantly reduce the risk of damage when moving. Remember, the effort you put into properly packing your pictures is an investment in preserving your memories and valuables. Following these steps will help ensure that your pictures arrive in the same condition in which they left your old home, ready to add personal touches to your new space.

Additional Tips for Special Types of Artwork

Packing artwork for a move requires attention to detail and an understanding of the unique characteristics of each piece. Following the guidelines for safe packing methods is just the beginning. Some artworks, especially those that are large-scale or feature glass and antique frames, need extra consideration. Here are additional tips to ensure these special types of artwork arrive safely at your new home.

Handling Glass and Antique Frames

Glass and antique frames are particularly vulnerable during moves. The fragile nature of glass and the potential historic value of antique frames demand a tailored approach:

  • Use masking tape: Apply an X of masking tape across the glass to add strength and prevent shattering. If the glass does break, this can help contain the pieces.
  • Protect with glassine: Glassine is a smooth and glossy paper that’s resistant to air, water, and grease. It’s ideal for wrapping delicate surfaces like those of glass and antique frames to protect against smudging and moisture.
  • Secure with bubble wrap: After glassine, encase the entire piece in bubble wrap. The bubbles provide a cushion, absorbing shocks and vibrations during transport.
  • Custom crates are king: For especially valuable or fragile items, consider having a custom crate built. These are made to fit your artwork precisely, offering the maximum protection.

Special Considerations for Large-Scale Art

Moving large-scale art, such as oversized paintings or sculptures, poses its own set of challenges:

  • Remove from walls carefully: Large pieces often require more than one person to safely take them off the wall. Make sure you have adequate help to avoid accidentally dropping the artwork.
  • Use moving blankets and pads: Wrap large-scale items in moving blankets or pads. These materials offer protection and can be secured with packing tape for a snug fit.
  • Slip into a picture sleeve: For paintings and prints, a picture sleeve made of durable plastic can offer additional protection against scratches and dust.
  • Consider professional movers: Due to their size and weight, large-scale artworks might be best handled by professionals. Moving companies with experience in art can provide the expertise needed for safe transport.

By understanding the specifics of packing glass, antique frames, and large-scale art, you can ensure these pieces are protected during your move. Taking these extra steps not only preserves the integrity of your artwork but also provides peace of mind that your treasured items will reach your new home safely.

Last-Minute Checklist Before Moving Day

Before moving day arrives, it’s essential to take a moment to ensure everything is in order, especially when it comes to the safe transport of your pictures and artwork. This checklist will guide you through the final steps to ensure no detail is overlooked.

Confirm Packing Completion

First, verify that all your pictures and artworks are securely packed, using the techniques discussed earlier, such as bubble wrap and packing paper for protection. Check that each item is firmly sealed in its box or crate, with no room to move or shift during transport.

Label Each Box Clearly

Ensure every box containing pictures is labeled with “Fragile” and “This Side Up” to caution movers. It’s helpful to also specify the room where each box should go in your new home, facilitating a smoother unpacking process.

Prepare an Essentials Box

Set aside an essentials box containing tools you might need immediately upon arrival at your new home. Include items like scissors, screwdrivers for reassembling frames, and cleaning cloths to wipe down your pictures before rehanging them.

Document Your Items

If you haven’t already, take a moment to photograph or video your packed pictures. This documentation can be invaluable for insurance purposes in case of damage during the move.

Communicate with Your Movers

If you’re using a moving company, provide them with specific instructions about the boxes containing your pictures and artwork. Emphasize the importance of handling these items with extra care to avoid damage.

Do a Final Walk-Through

Before leaving your current home, perform a final walk-through to ensure nothing is left behind. Pay special attention to closets, shelves, and any other places where pictures might have been stored.

Following this last-minute checklist ensures that your carefully packed pictures and artwork will arrive safely at your new home, ready to add personal touches to each room.


Packing your pictures and artwork for a move doesn’t have to be a challenging job. With the right materials and techniques, you can ensure they arrive safely at your new home. Remember the importance of dismantling frames carefully, wrapping your items securely, and labeling everything clearly. For those special pieces, taking extra precautions with glassine paper and bubble wrap will make all the difference. And don’t forget to use the last-minute checklist to verify everything is in order before the big day. Happy moving!

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I pack delicate items like pictures and artworks for moving?

Wrap your pictures and artworks in bubble wrap and packing paper. Dismantle frames if possible, use protective wrapping techniques, and label each item properly to ensure safe transportation.

What materials are recommended for packing pictures?

Use bubble wrap, packing paper, masking tape, and glassine paper for the best protection. For antique frames or glass, consider adding extra padding or custom crates.

How do I handle special types of artwork when moving?

For artworks requiring special attention, such as those with glass components or antique frames, secure them with masking tape in a grid pattern, wrap in glassine paper, and use bubble wrap for added protection.

What tips are there for moving large-scale art pieces?

Employ moving blankets, picture sleeves, and consider hiring professional movers specifically experienced in transporting large-scale artworks to ensure their safety during the move.

Is there a checklist for moving day to ensure all artworks are moved safely?

Yes, verify all delicate items are properly packed and labeled, prepare an essentials box, document all items being moved, communicate effectively with your movers, and perform a final walk-through to ensure everything is accounted for and safely ready to move.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *