How to Transport Your Art to the Storage Unit
20 Dec 2019

How to Transport Your Art to the Storage Unit

Art is meant to bring us joy, make us think, and brighten our lives. Sometimes art lovers choose to swap out pieces to refresh their homes and create a new vibe in the living space. Art, which isn’t being displayed, should be appropriately stored in a suitable storage unit for safekeeping.

At Jiffy Self Storage, we’re lucky enough to live in one of the most artistic cities on the planet. Toronto is as creative as it gets, and many of our clients contact us looking for information on storing visual pieces until they’re ready to be used again.

Getting artwork from point A to point B isn’t as simple as just throwing it in the back of a moving truck and hoping for the best. These pieces are delicate and require a specific method of packing and storage. To get your artwork into a storage unit safely, we’ve created a guide to help you transport art.

Protect Your Art from Bumpy Roads

When the time comes to transport art, it’s essential to consider the conditions of roads and what bumps and turns will do to your artwork during transit. This is especially true for anything which has been framed and coated in glass. Shattering glass on route to storage will not only make a mess but could damage the artwork underneath. Before you move art, carefully seal, wrap, and store paintings to ensure their safe arrival at the storage facility.

Glass coated paintings should be taped in case of shattering. An x-shape created with packing tape will keep pieces from splintering apart should the glass break. After this, bubble wrap should be wrapped and secured around the piece for extra protection. If you have one available, slipping the wrapped painting into a fitted box will add a layer of stiffness to the exterior to protect from bends and bumps.

As you work to secure your painting, remember to handle with care. Try not to use your bare hands if the artwork isn’t framed in glass. The natural oils from your fingers can seep into paintings and cause discoloration and damage over time. If your painting isn’t encased in glass, wrapping it in plastic wrap first will keep it safe from friction during travel.

Art is like a living thing, and because of this, it requires air to breathe. Once your artwork is wrapped and packaged, poke a few holes or slide a few slits in the cardboard so the painting can breathe.

Let People Know it’s Fragile

This is especially important if you’re working with a moving company who may not realize what they’re transporting. By letting everyone in on the artwork inventory, your movers will understand just how fragile these boxes are. Even the most reputable moving companies are known to get slack if a box isn’t labelled as fragile. Giving explicit instructions on handling your artwork puts everybody on the same page and provides the best chance for a successful move.

For DIY movers, the same instructions should be made. Remember, friends and family may work cheap, but they don’t have the same training as professional movers. Remind everyone that nothing should be stacked on top of any box marked, “Art”, and that all paintings should be placed vertically when possible.

Never Stack Paintings

One of the worst things you can do while trying to transport art is to stack it. It comes so naturally to pile similarly shaped objects one on top of the other, but this could seriously damage your art. When corners meet soft, pliable canvas or a load of many canvases on one becomes too much; it could tear, crack, or bend your artwork.

If possible, standing each painting vertically is the best way to transport them in a moving truck. If you are moving artwork one at a time in a van or car, laying it on the backseat is acceptable, so long as nothing is piled on top.

Don’t Let Art Slip and Slide

Being prepared with moving materials is just as crucial as using packing materials. To transport art without issue, put moving pads on the floor of the truck to protect the edges of your artwork and keep them from sliding around. If you can strip art into place or put larger objects in positions that block art into place, this is best.

When your art slips and slides, you run the risk of it banging into other belongings in the moving truck. For glass encased art, this is especially problematic as it could cause a dangerous mess.

Transport Art With a Professional Service

While relying on your moving skills will save a lot of money, it may not be worth it in the end. Professional movers not only have the right packing and moving equipment to get your artwork where it needs to go safely. They often also insure the belongings they move. Nobody wants their valuables to get damaged, but if it was going to be damaged during a move, wouldn’t it be nice to know that there was compensation to be had?

Professional moving teams deal with fine art moves all the time. They know what should and shouldn’t be done during the transportation process. Many storage facilities in Toronto offer to move fine art as part of their services. Speak to different moving teams to determine which is best for your art transportation project and be sure to inquire about their packing materials.

If you want to learn more about storing and transporting your artwork, call Jiffy Self Storage at 1-416-745-4339 or contact us here.

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