How to Move Art Safely

Packing your home for a move can be a tedious chore. And although it may be tempting to start haphazardly throwing things in boxes after a while to speed up the process, it’s important to take special consideration and precautions when packing up your art for a move. Whether you’re relocating fine art or framed family photos with sentimental value, here are a few of our professional tips for how to move art safely.

Image via Agora Art Gallery
Image via Agora Art Gallery

1. Pack fine art yourself. If you’re hiring a moving company, ask whether or not they have experience handling fine art, and see if they can provide references. If you’re unsure, it’s best to pack the art yourself to ensure proper care and protection are used.

2. Get out the bubble wrap. When packing art, the first step is to wrap it in glassine paper or a cloth (if the art isn’t protected by a layer of glass, ensure whatever cloth you choose won’t snag on the surface of the artwork) and tape it in place. Then, cover it with a few layers of bubble wrap, again taping in place. Last but not least, box it up. Purchase a crate or mirror box, or check with your local art supply or home decor store, which may have artwork-sized boxes they’d be happy to part with for free. If there is excess room in the box, stuff it with packing peanuts to ensure it doesn’t move.

3. Get a move on. Once the art is packed, move it immediately unless you have temperature-controlled storage to house it in the meantime. This reduces the chances of art becoming warped by heat or humidity.

4. Hire a professional art handler. If you have highly valuable art or a large collection, consider hiring an art handler that specializes in handling and relocating fine art. Look for one that’s been in business for awhile, which means they’ll have years (or even decades) or experience moving fine art. If you’re moving far away, look for a company that owns climate-controlled trucks to ensure the pieces aren’t damaged en route.

Moving in New York City? ILevel offers art handling services. Contact us at