How to Pack and Move Artwork and Sculptures Safely


Moving house is akin to orchestrating a delicate ballet, where every move needs to be precisely timed and executed. This becomes even more crucial when it comes to moving artworks and sculptures. These items aren’t just belongings; they’re invaluable treasures that encapsulate moments, emotions, and history. At OIS Removals, we understand the importance of ensuring your valuables are transported safely. Through this guide, I’ll share our expertise on navigating the complexities of packing and transporting these precious items, ensuring they reach their new home as pristine as they departed.

Before You Start: Planning and Preparation

Assessing Your Art and Sculptures

Before anything is wrapped, it’s vital to assess what you have. Each piece of art or sculpture in your collection tells its own story, holds its own value, and carries its own vulnerabilities. Recognising these aspects is crucial to determining how to best approach packing and moving each item.

Gathering Necessary Materials

Armed with knowledge about your collection, the next step is to gather the right materials for the job. This will range from bubble wrap and packing peanuts to more specialised items like acid-free paper and custom crates, ensuring the safety and preservation of your pieces during the move.

Choosing the Right Time to Move

Timing is everything, especially when moving sensitive items. It’s important to consider the weather and avoid times of extreme temperatures or humidity, which could potentially harm fine art.

Packing Artwork and Sculptures

General Tips for Packing Artwork

It starts with the basics: always handle your art with clean hands or gloves to avoid oil transfers, and use a clean, flat surface for packing. Wrap artworks in acid-free paper before adding bubble wrap, ensuring tape doesn’t come into direct contact with the art itself.

Special Considerations for Sculptures

Sculptures, with their unique shapes and often fragile parts, require a tailored approach. Begin by wrapping delicate areas individually, then cushion the entire piece in a box filled with soft packing material to absorb any shocks.

Protecting Fragile Elements

For artworks that include glass or delicate features, additional precautions are necessary. A layer of glassine before bubble wrap can offer extra protection, and it’s crucial to ensure that boxes are clearly marked as fragile.

Labelling for Safety

Proper labelling aids in organization and ensures that anyone handling the boxes knows to do so with care. Besides marking the contents as fragile, include handling instructions and orientation indicators.

Choosing the Right Transportation

Selecting a Moving Company

When it comes to transporting art and sculptures, not all movers are equipped for the task. It’s important to choose a company, like OIS Removals, with specific experience in art removals. We offer a detailed plan for transporting your items, including custom crating and climate-controlled vehicles when necessary.

Insurance for Art and Sculptures

Even with meticulous planning, unforeseen events can occur. That’s why securing adequate insurance coverage for your art and sculptures is essential, providing peace of mind throughout the move.

At Your New Home: Unpacking and Placement

Careful Unpacking

The process doesn’t end upon arrival at your new home. Unpacking with care is just as important as packing. Open boxes gently, remove each item slowly, and inspect for any potential damage.

Finding the Perfect Spot

Choosing where to place each piece in your new home is the final step. Environmental factors like sunlight, humidity, and traffic flow in each room should be considered to ensure the longevity and preservation of your artwork and sculptures.

Long-Term Storage Tips

Preparing Artwork and Sculptures for Storage

If immediate display isn’t an option, or if you’re downsizing, proper storage is key. Pack each item with the same level of care as if you were moving, with particular attention to environmental factors.

Choosing a Storage Facility

Ensure your storage facility is suited for artwork and sculptures, prioritising climate control, security, and, if possible, specialisation in art storage. We at OIS Removals can provide recommendations based on our extensive experience.

Final Tips and Tricks

Maintaining the Condition of Your Art

Regular maintenance can keep your art in prime condition. Dust carefully, and for intricate sculptures, consider professional cleaning. Monitor environmental conditions and adjust as needed to protect your pieces.

When to Seek Professional Help

Sometimes, art and sculptures require professional care for cleaning, repair, or restoration. Don’t hesitate to reach out to experts to maintain the value and beauty of your collection.

Moving artworks and sculptures doesn’t have to be a source of stress. With careful planning, the right materials, and a trusted partner like us at OIS Removals, your treasures are guaranteed protection throughout their journey. Whether relocating an extensive collection or a single cherished sculpture, attention to detail is key. By following this guide, you’re well-prepared to pack, move, and enjoy your art for years to come in its new home.