Three Major Ways Artists Can Be Sure Their Life’s Work Is Safe on Moving Day

Moving day for an artist is typically an unusually stressful day, as the thought of ripped canvases, broken sculptures, and torn paintings remain a constant fear throughout. If you want to minimize this, you’ll need to know how to safeguard your life’s work as best you can. Here are some tips for getting started.

Choose your movers wisely

Of course you can try to move everything yourself. But for the majority of people making a big move, you’re probably going to resort to hiring moving help. First off, there are speciality “fine art” movers available in some cities, but if you pack your possessions carefully (take heed: artwork is among the top 10 items most likely to be damaged during a move) and do your due diligence in selecting movers, chances are you won’t have to pay the premium for these specialists (but do know that it’s an option).

The first thing you should ask any moving company that you contact is what is your experience with moving artwork and supplies and how do your movers go about making sure they stay unharmed? If a moving company does not have a defined policy on moving fragile artwork that all movers abide by, look elsewhere. You’re looking for movers with experience with artwork that know how it should be packed and moved. For instance, large artwork should rest on its edge, not flat, and should be secured to the truck in some way (as not to shift). Boxes with sculptures should never be stacked and art supplies should be treated as “fragile” as the artwork itself.

Remember: nothing beats experience. Even well-meaning companies can make errors if their movers lack experience. They may mean well, but good intentions don’t help protect your life’s work.

At, we care about keeping your belongings safe during your move. That’s why we work with companies that are accredited, certified, licensed, and insured. Whether you’re looking for full moving services or just need assistance with loading or unloading, we can ensure that moving day is a smooth experience.

Do all the packing yourself and take your time

What’s the best way to know your prized work is safe and secure? Pack it yourself.

For wood-framed canvases or frames with glass, a combination of bubble wrap and masking tape is your best bet. Tape an “X” on the glass to reduce shatters and pack in bubble wrap in a box that’s only slightly larger than the piece of art itself (check here for tips on finding cheap or free boxes for moving). For loose art, rolling it up is actually the best way to keep it safe.

“If your artwork is canvas that’s ‘loose’ inside a frame (or just loose period), the safest way to transport it is actually to roll it up loosely and place it inside a cardboard tube. Your neighborhood hobby shop or art supply store will almost certainly have leftover cardboard tubes that you can have if you’re any good at sweet-talking,” notes

If you can help it, you should avoid packing materials that can damage artwork or be a nuisance when unpacking. Newspaper, for instance, can transfer ink and should be avoided (use plain packing paper instead). Packing peanuts may be OK in some circumstances (when packing sculptures), but tend to break apart and get lodged inside crevices in framed artwork. They can also melt and get glue-like in extreme heat.

Ensure that your artwork stays safe after you’ve moved in

Now that you’re aware of how to keep your artwork safe during the move, what about post-moving day? To help protect your prized work from potential theft, it’s a good idea to change your locks. Looking for a trusted professional for this job can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re still settling in your new home, but a quick online search for “locksmiths in my area” can make it easier to find the right company. In order to ensure you’re getting a reasonable price, make sure the locksmith is licensed in your state. You’ll also want to keep in mind that it can cost between $50 and $150 to re-key a door, so budget accordingly.

It’s never going to be a totally stress-free experience, but as an artist you can make moving day much more tolerable if you make sure your artwork is packed securely (by you) and you hire completely experienced and competent movers to help you out. For all your moving needs, contact at 877-963-SAVE(7283).

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