Not much can cast a cloud over the excitement of moving to a new place better than the actual process of packing and moving. The burden is compounded if you are an artist with numerous valuable or cherished finished pieces, not to mention your supplies. At Masters at Art, we understand how stressful it can be to move beautiful pieces of art, and particularly pieces that you made. We ship beautiful pieces to our customers every day, so hopefully, these tips can help you not just handle your art with care, but care for yourself during this process, as well.
Give yourself some breathing space
You can relieve a great deal of moving-related stress if you’re not rushed, so get a head start on packing the things you don’t need to use every day. You may not think you have anything you can’t live without, but rest assured, we all do! Start with clothing that’s out of season, for example, or kitchenware you can do without for a few weeks or longer. This way, you’ll have plenty of time to focus on properly addressing the special needs that your art and related gear require for a safe move.
As you’re going through this process, start a donation bag or box — it’s as good a time as any to downsize all that superfluous stuff. If your new home isn’t far and you have access to it before moving day, you can slowly start to bring boxes there yourself. By doing this, plus donating some items, you’ll reduce the number of boxes and items that you need to pay someone to move.
Getting a head start will also give you plenty of time to ready your home for sale if you have not yet done so. Go through a checklist to see what can be touched up so that potential buyers won’t be turned off. That dripping bathtub faucet or small window crack may not have bothered you, but new homeowners want everything to be reasonably perfect. A coat of neutral paint or hanging a conversation piece in the interior or a small investment in your front yard landscaping can also do wonders without a lot of effort and money.
Get boxed in
You should also give yourself plenty of time to go on a box treasure hunt. Hit up people you know first — co-workers may have retained good moving boxes that they are willing to give, loan, or sell to you. Next, ask your grocery and liquor stores, coffee shops, and home improvement stores. Worst case scenario is you’ll have to buy some — count on this investment for items like framed artwork, for example. If you know you have items that you’ll keep packed for several months of the year, like holiday decorations or winter clothing, think about investing in some plastic storage crates that are suitable for both moving and storage.
You’ll also want to hunt down some packing materials. Today’s digital world doesn’t leave us awash in old newspapers anymore, so if you find yourself falling short, ask your neighbors and co-workers. Nursing homes and libraries may also have some that were headed for the recycling bin. Many storefronts have free community papers and magazines that you can dismantle and use.
Of course, not just any box will work for large and valuable art pieces, nor will newspapers for packing. For those who sculpture or create pottery, the challenge can be even more daunting. If you have heavy equipment like a kiln, for example, find some large worn boxes that you can take apart to use for a frame around protective Styrofoam and stretch wrap. Additional cardboard pieces like this can also be used for your canvases and unframed artwork. And unless you’ve been hoarding packing peanuts from your own home deliveries, you’ll want to invest in a bag or two of those for your valuable art and other fragile household items.
When it comes to dividing your belongings into what you can move yourself and what you should leave to the professionals, take some time to talk to movers and ask them specifically about their art moving experience. Those who are qualified should easily know what types of boxes to use for framed artwork or other valuables that you may not have been able to find yourself. Be sure to clearly mark any fragile items, including which way they must be carried and placed.
Artist in residence
Moving is a pain, but when you get all settled in your new surroundings, with your new studio set up and surrounded by your completed pieces, you can take a deep breath and allow the ambiance of your new home to inspire you to transition from moving mode to that of artist and creator. Masters at Art wishes you all the best in your new home, and if you have empty wall space, come visit the gallery for quality art pieces.
Written by Abby Holt of craftability.org
Abby created Craftability to inspire you to put your own crafting abilities to good use, whether it’s painting, jewelry-making, quilting, or calligraphy.