Moving Specialty Items: Tips & Tricks for Popular Possessions

moving a piano

It’s the special things that make a house a home. But it’s those same special things – like your grandmother’s piano or a prized painting – that can be tricky to package and even trickier to move. Professional movers know a thing or two about moving what matters. However, if you’re inclined to complete your move yourself, use these simple tips to help you safely package and move the things you love.  

  • Pianos: Ask your strongest, most agile friends for help. Rent or purchase heavy-duty straps and a furniture dolly. Place wooden planks in your moving truck to level out the floor. Lock the keyboard lid (or wrap it closed with bubble wrap), then wrap the entire piano in blankets and bubble wrap, ensuring the corners and legs are well protected. Lift the piano onto the dolly by grasping the body of the piano – not its fragile legs. Wheel the piano (in its proper upright position) into the moving truck, and then secure it so that the piano won’t move in transport.
  • Paintings: Buy packing tape, bubble wrap, palette wrap, flat cardboard pads that are slightly larger than your painting, and a box that gives you approximately a 2-inch clearance on all sides. Start by wrapping the painting in palette wrap, then cut a few thin slices in the back to allow the painting to breathe. Next, place the cardboard pads on the front and back of the painting, fold the overhanging ends to create a secondary box that will fit inside the main box; tape it shut. Wrap the painting in bubble wrap, and then place the entire piece into the main box. Tape it shut and label it as “fragile.”
  • Large-Screen TVs: If you kept the TV’s original packaging, simply reuse it. If not, you can follow the instructions for packaging your paintings or wrap the TV in a large moving blanket and secure it with tape. If possible, place it in a box and indicate which side is up – and which side is the screen. Always store your TV base-side to the floor – just as if it’s sitting on your TV/ entertainment console.

Other items that may require special handling include grandfather clocks, delicate antiques and collectibles, woodworking and automotive tools, wine collections, fine china or stemware, and art supplies, such as kilns and potters’ wheels.

If possible, it’s always best to leave packing and moving these items to the professionals. Not only will it help reduce the amount of work you have to undertake during your move, but it will also help mitigate your liability – so if anything should happen to the items, they will be covered by your moving insurance.


David Shapiro, a marketing specialist for moving companies such as North American Van Lines, spends his free time doing outdoor activities like hiking and swimming in the American Southwest. Digg

One Response to “Moving Specialty Items: Tips & Tricks for Popular Possessions”

  1. JillNo Gravatar 30. May, 2014 at 1:03 pm #

    A bunch of my students always ask me how to transport fragile and finicky items like paintings and wall art… thanks for the tips, David!