Common Mistakes With Relocating Fine Art

January 27, 2020 by: Lisa Roberts

Moving is quite a stressful process - and that’s something few people will argue about. When you begin to prepare for your relocation, there are all sorts of different tasks to complete; usually, tasks you’re not used to doing on a daily basis. For example, you need to go through your household and decide which of your belongings you will take with you. Then, you need to pack those, and sell, donate, and throw away the rest. All in all, it’s strenuous. And it also entails some more complicated chores - like relocating fine art. If you want to avoid all of the most common mistakes associated with that kind of move - read on!

Relocating Fine Art

So, you’re about to relocate, and you’ve started thinking about all of the different logistics that are involved in such a process. Regardless of how well you prepare, one thing is certain - it’s bound to be harder and take longer than you’ve imagined. And that’s true even without getting into the intricacies that are involved in relocating fine art.

If you have such pieces or other kinds of valuable collectibles; you need to do everything you can to move them perfectly. And by that, we do mean perfectly; in other words, not causing them any kind of damage. Sure, when you need to move books or clothes, that’s pretty easy. But when it comes to fine art moving; that’s an entirely different ordeal. If you want to finish this without any complications, there will be a lot of work involved; it’s definitely a challenging task. Firstly - as you may have already guessed; art pieces and antiques do require more care than your other items.

And that’s just one of the reasons such items require more specialized expertise and knowledge to relocate successfully, as well as the right skill set and the best possible equipment. Yes, there’s a reason why there are that many horror stories that speak of badly damaged art because of improper transportation. So, if you want to make sure that such mistakes don’t happen on your watch and to your artwork: you’ll need to think about a couple of aspects of this relocation.

Nonprofessional Movers

Once you do start planning your relocation, there will be a few important decisions you will have to make. And generally, all of these are important, but to a varying degree. Certainly, the most crucial one is whether you’ll be hiring movers to take care of your relocation for you or do it yourself. Now, usually, this is something that’s largely up for debate; at the end of the day, everyone knows precisely what’s best for them and whether they need any assistance during a move.

But when it comes to relocating fine art, we can’t really stress the need for professional assistance enough. Regardless of how much of an art aficionado you are, you’re simply not prepared to handle a task like this; and no amount of online research will change that. In the end, you simply need to consider hiring professionals to handle your art pieces for you, instead of doing it yourself. This will ensure that you avoid the most common pitfalls of complicated relocations, reducing the risk of damage to your art pieces immensely.

But it’s not just about finding a moving company that does relocations. Instead, you need a trustworthy company and one that specifically specializes in antique and art moving. Believe us, many people make the mistake of hiring ordinary movers who have never dealt with relocating fine art before; more often than not, these people can spoil the relocation just as any non-professional would, so pay attention when choosing a company!

Lack of Planning

For moving, planning is another important detail; that goes double when you decide on relocating fine art, as well as moving any other antiques and valuables. So, before you move something or do any actual packing, we recommend you insure and appraise all of the valuables in your art collection. Plus, if you’re going to do an international relocation, there are additional customs and shipping procedural details to think about.

Relocating Without Special Equipment

You need to keep in mind that relocating fine art, antique furniture, a vintage piano, or really any other type of heavy yet fragile objects isn’t simple. And furthermore, it’s something that you can’t do successfully without specialized vehicles and other equipment. That’s another reason why professional help is required if you don’t want to ruin your valuables or even sustain an injury.

Improper Packing

If you don’t make sure your art pieces are packed properly before the relocation, chances are they’ll get damaged or broken in transit. Plus, this isn’t just about scrapes, scratches, and tearing; depending on where you’re transporting the goods and how you’re going about it, there could also be danger from warping, mold, and mildew. Keeping this in mind, you need to make sure you’re using nothing but the most expensive packing materials out there.

Bad Storage

In many situations, before you can commence with the relocating of fine art, you may need to store your pieces in temporary storage before you can transport them to the new household. If this is the case, we implore you to only use climate-controlled storage facilities with specialized art storage areas. That’s the only way you can safeguard your precious pieces from any damage.


As you may have gathered, relocating fine art isn’t something you can do easily, or on a whim. If you’re absolutely dedicated to your art pieces arriving at their destination without any damage or other alterations; you will need to prepare well beforehand, and find professionals that can help you execute your plans without any issues. If you do all of this and go the extra mile, however; there’s no reason why your art pieces won’t arrive unharmed!