With all the hustle and bustle surrounding a local move, people often wrongly assume that things such as pianos, appliances, high-end decor, electronics, antiques, artwork, or wine collections can be moved by just anyone and then stored anywhere. This is not the case.
The reality is that many items in your home are susceptible to damage from excessive temperatures or humidity, while others should be moved by people with the proper training to maneuver those kinds of items. That’s why when you’re preparing for a move, it’s essential to have a plan for those of your belongings that will require special handling, packing, or storage and work with a local moving company with the right experience.
Climate-controlled storage involves controlling the temperature of a unit or facility and the humidity or moisture in the air inside. The temperature should be controlled within a range of several degrees, and the humidity should be kept at optimum levels. These climate-control goals are normally accomplished using heaters, air conditioners, humidifiers, or dehumidifiers.
With many local moves, items are quickly transported from point A to point B before unfavorable weather conditions can take their toll. Still, climate control is a consideration when a moving company will be storing items long-term.
Even when climate control isn’t much of an issue, there’s the matter of safely maneuvering heavy furniture and other sensitive items. Bulky furnishings that need special handling include large, awkwardly shaped items such as yard sculptures or cumbersome pieces like pianos. Artwork, wine collections, and pinball machines are examples of unique items that need special packaging to protect them during the move.
Unfortunately, not all professional moving companies have the equipment needed to pack and move your most vulnerable belongings safely. Our moving teams are ready with wheeled transfer carts, motorized hand trucks, pallet trucks, cranes, and transit benches to help move your bulky and heavy furnishings. When hiring a moving company, consider making a list of items you own that are likely to require special handling and ask how they plan to store or transport those heavy, fragile, or unique items.
As a company that routinely moves entire households, the local moving experts at MoveDay know which categories of belongings need expert care and attention. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most common items people entrust us with that require special packing, moving, and storage.
If you’ve ever tried to move a piano even a few feet, you know how heavy they are. Even a small piano can weigh around 500 pounds. The fact that pianos are so heavy isn’t the only reason they are a challenge to move. The toughest thing about moving pianos is that they are bulky and extremely fragile. For many households, the piano is the most expensive piece of furniture they own.
Not only is there a risk of damaging a costly piano when moving it, but there’s also the possibility of damaging the walls or tile in the home when moving such a large item. Once the piano has been safely removed from your home, it needs to be either quickly relocated or stored in a climate-controlled environment. Pianos kept in units without climate control can sustain moisture damage to the strings, keys, cast iron plates, wooden components, and pins.
When a piano is exposed to excessive moisture, its legs can start to buckle due to expansion. This moisture may not even be visible, but the effects can be catastrophic. Moisture from damp winter months or humid summers can corrode the metal and settle onto the pins. Also, if moisture isn’t ventilated out of a storage unit, mold begins to develop. This mold can make the piano smell so bad that you won’t want it in your house.
Other everyday household items that need special handling during a move are major appliances. This is because copper wires, metal pipes, and electrical components can fall apart as a result of prolonged exposure to moisture or freezing temperatures.
Although the above factors do pose a genuine risk to your appliances, the main reason you might want to consider storing them in a climate-controlled facility is mold. The best way to prevent your appliances from becoming moldy is to dry them out before storage. Unfortunately, most people fail to dry out their appliances thoroughly before moving or storing them. The drying step is vital since the items may need to be left on a truck or otherwise stored until it’s time to bring them into your new place of residence.
If you aren’t confident in your ability to correctly prepare your appliances for the move, don’t risk it. Mold can quickly spread from one item to another during shipment, and even a tiny amount of mold can affect your health when you plug in a contaminated appliance at your new home.
Your valuable fine art pieces need to be carefully removed from the wall, wrapped in protective packaging, and positioned for storage or transport. Not only that, but most art is sensitive to extreme temperatures and humidity, which is why a climate-controlled environment is a must if you plan to have the items stored for long during less than optimum weather.
Humidity can be a significant cause of physical stress on a piece and contribute to the growth of dangerous mold and fungi. This fact is why some pieces are not suitable to hang in an enclosed bathroom that gets too steamy. Not only is artwork highly sensitive to humidity, but it also requires moderation as far as temperature.
What constitutes fine art? Even if there aren’t any well-known artists in your collection, the artwork in your home may have special meaning to you. Perhaps a piece speaks to you in some way or was painted by a loved one. After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. A reputable mover that specializes in caring for unique items will always treat each piece of art in your home like a priceless masterpiece.
Although many people are storing photographs digitally these days, most of us still possess printed photos. Photos are priceless to us because of the memories they evoke. They are also something people tend to want to pass down to their children and grandchildren.
Unfortunately, your irreplaceable family photographs are susceptible to just about every unfavorable condition you can imagine. These conditions include high or low temperatures, moisture from humid weather, and damage caused by common pests.
When temperatures get too high, photos often begin to curl. Even worse, they can become permanently stuck together if they were stacked on top of each other. Humidity is even more damaging because it can even creep into photos stored in albums. If you’ve ever looked through old pictures that have been stored in a basement or attic, you’ve likely seen how they can end up warped or discolored by a coating of dark mold.
The other potential hazard to your precious photos is insects. When stored in a facility or unit that lacks climate control and has not been treated for pests, your family albums can become nesting areas for bugs. They’ll either chew at the photos or leave behind harmful excretions that stain or erode your photos.
5. Wine Collections
If you own a wine collection, the chances are good that you have a significant amount of money invested in it. Like high-end artwork or a piano, an extensive wine collection can be a substantial investment.
Because wine is particularly vulnerable to warm temperatures, it simply cannot be stored in a unit that lacks climate control. Temperatures above 75 degrees Fahrenheit can cause the wine to spoil, which is why it’s imperative to keep it cool during transport and storage.
Besides keeping the wine in a climate-controlled environment during a move, movers must also take special care to prevent the glass bottles from breaking. Transporting a wine collection involves padding it as well as positioning it correctly. Also, our movers will load the truck strategically to keep the bottles as stable as possible at all times. Here at MoveDay, we understand that the secret to a well-packed truck is absolutely no movement of fragile items.
6. Fragile Family Heirlooms and Antique Furniture
With any breakable items, it’s essential that you avoid allowing them to get jostled around during drive time. Some particularly vulnerable items you might be concerned about when planning a move include treasured family heirlooms and delicate, antique furniture. Furniture that has been passed down to you by a family member also holds sentimental value, which is why each piece, no matter how seemingly insignificant, should be given a mover’s full attention and treated with the utmost care and respect.
A full-service local moving company such as MoveDay possesses the necessary supplies to properly preserve your heirlooms so that they’ll remain in good condition for the next generation. For heavier pieces such as dining room tables, china cabinets, and wardrobes, our moving team will use protective padding to reduce the likelihood of damage during moving and transport.
It’s not just the moving around that’s hard on vintage or antique items. Humidity and extreme temperatures can also play a role in moving-related damages to these pieces. Chances are, your antiques have already been subjected to unfavorable conditions over the years, and you don’t want to add to those cumulative effects. This reality is why it’s important to protect items while they are being stored until your new home is move-in-ready.
Proper padding and climate control are both critical factors in protecting older items. Common heirlooms susceptible to improper handling and weather extremes include ornate wooden furniture, old wedding dresses, and antique lace.
Antiques and vintage items aren’t always made of wood or fabric. Silver flatware, coin collections, copper artwork, and antique guns (minus the ammo) also need to be listed under special items that require special handling and climate-controlled storage. Whoever packs your items should also protect all metal heirlooms and antiques from humidity and extreme temperatures. These can become oxidized in a very short time when exposed to unfavorable conditions.
7. Game Room Items, Pool Tables, and Home Theater Equipment
Packing and moving game room items can be tricky since the kinds of items people have in their game rooms are often bulky as well as delicate. Items commonly kept in game rooms and home theaters include pool tables, arcade games, and TVs.
For example, a pool table, when mishandled, can sustain irreparable damage to the felt or worse. It may even break in half. Arcade games and pinball machines also need special care to protect the paint or artwork on the outside. Additionally, they need to be kept very stable due to their delicate internal systems. Theater equipment is highly fragile and susceptible to unfavorable conditions such as extreme temperatures and excessive humidity.
Electronics have their own moving and storage challenges. Suppose you don’t have the originally packing materials for your big-screen TV or other large electronic devices. In that case, a reputable moving company will know how to select packing materials that fit correctly and keep everything organized for easy reassembly on the other end.
Some of the keys to moving game room and theater equipment are:
- Advance planning between your MoveDay representative and the moving crew before moving day
- Proper padding and specialized moving equipment
- Careful maneuvering of uniquely fragile items
- Tight placement of each piece on the truck for safe transport
- Temperature and humidity protection throughout the move
- Proper crating when needed
Climate control is crucial for just about all of your game room and theater items. Experienced movers will make sure each vulnerable item in this category is crated and wrapped for temperature protection before being placed on a climate-controlled truck or stored in a climate-optimized warehouse.
Your Solution for Safe and Secure Moving Storage
MoveDay uses techniques developed by expert commercial movers. Wondering what this means for you as a household customer?
Businesses nationwide use commercial companies to relocate sensitive items such as arcade games, food, medicine, electronics, and more. As a household customer, you will benefit from our higher moving and storage standards developed by our affiliated moving companies, who regularly handle commercial items of all shapes and sizes.
Moving your prized possessions shouldn’t be stressful, but don’t trust just anyone with those valuable belongings. Get more information and a free estimate for high-quality local moving services from MoveDay.