The 10 rules of art handling

If we’re being honest – while moving can be an extremely positive change, it is also quite an ordeal. Sure, relocating usual, everyday items isn’t much of a chore. But when it comes to moving heavier, bulky objects; you’ve definitely got a lot on your plate. Or, if we look in the opposite direction – relocating fragile and expensive items can be even more difficult. While large objects are demanding in a physical sense – handling things like art requires a greater deal of thought. Which is why we’ve decided to give you a rundown of the ten basic rules of art handling:

  • Do thorough planning
  • Inspect the piece
  • Observe the surroundings
  • Take as few steps as you can
  • Wear protective equipment
  • Choose the best movers
  • Be patient
  • Carry objects one by one
  • Take your time
a man looking a paint in an art galery

Make a Plan

When it comes to the most basic rules of art handling, we’d point out one crucial thing – this isn’t an ordinary sort of relocation. Unlike the relocation of usual items, this requires a lot more thinking through. And we can’t emphasize this enough. Sure, if you’re about to send your art collection to another country, or even another town; it’ll take planning. But these aren’t the only kind of logistics to think about. Every piece of art is fragile in its own way, and the last thing you want is for something to be damaged because of negligence. So, you’ll need a plan for the practical part of the move as well.

 

Inspect the Art Piece and the Surroundings

With that in mind – thoroughly inspect the space where the piece of art is currently located. If you can, ask around about how the piece was installed there in the first place. But even by just taking a look at the location itself, you should have some idea as to how to proceed. Also, make a detailed inspection of the piece itself. You should see if it has any awkward shapes, or something that will render it difficult to relocate. When you have all of this information, making a plan for art handling should be much easier. But what we can’t emphasize enough is – don’t do this haphazardly. Without a proper plan in place, you’re increasing the chances of something going awry by a lot.

 

As Few Steps as Possible During Art Handling

You’re probably wondering if there’s something in particular you should pay attention to while you’re making your relocation plan. And really, there’s not much that we can say that’s true for any location. After all, rules of art handling dictate that you completely adjust yourself to the space and the piece. But even with that in mind – we should point out another related rule.

When you’re handling something as valuable as art, you should definitely try to move it in as few steps as possible. Sure, this may not seem important to you intuitively; but once you think about it, you’ll realize that it’s actually crucial. Basic logic dictates that, no matter what you’re doing, a higher number of actions will increase the chances of a mistake. And when you’re handling art, any mistake may cause insurmountable damages. That’s why you should plan out your every physical move, and take great care that you or the people around you avoid sudden movements. This may prolong the planning phase of your relocation – but it will definitely make for an easier move, and a safer one as well.

Wear Protective Materials

While a lot of the things on our list will be aspects of art handling you’ve never thought about before; you’d be surprised just how many basic things people forget. For example – even some of the professional moving companies that do art handling, sometimes lack the proper equipment. And this is definitely a red flag while choosing a moving company, which you unfortunately might notice too late. That’s why you also need to be thorough while finding the best movers for the job.

But getting back to the subject at hand; regardless of whether you’re preparing for an international move, or local art relocation – use the right equipment. And this goes both for you and any relocation experts you hire. As funny as it may seem – many people even forget to wear gloves while handling art. This is simply disastrous, as it may irrevocably damage the piece. So, do some research on this beforehand. For example, you’ll see that different kinds of art will require varying types of protective equipment. So, depending on whether you’re taking care of fine art or a bulky sculpture – make sure that you choose the right materials.

Don’t Rush Anything

Finally, there’s one last among the rules of art handling that might even be the most important one: take your time. Yes, you might be thinking – that’s obvious. But in reality, moving can definitely be one of the most tedious things you’ll ever go through. Just ask experienced professional movers. And at one point or another, you might find yourself wishing the whole process is just over and done with. But at that time – it’s important to remain meticulous, and not to rush anything. There are no greater mistakes than those made in haste. And as we’ve mentioned above – the smallest slip may mean lost value that will make your head spin.

So, bearing all of this in mind – you may find yourself relocating more than one art piece at a time. If that is so, never, and we do mean never – carry more than one object at any given time. No matter how certain you are of your grip, that’s just a recipe for disaster.