Of all the stresses and strains that can accompany a move, ensuring that your worldly possessions make it safely to your new home can be one of the most nerve wracking, and this is especially true if these possessions include valuable, fragile items. Figures, vases and other ornaments made of out delicate porcelain can be particularly difficult to transport safely, especially if they are antiques—however, with a little care and attention, and a little co-operation with your removalists, you can give your porcelain treasures a safe and uneventful ride to their new home.
Packing your porcelains
It almost goes without saying that your porcelains will need protection from bumps and uneven road conditions during their journey, so you should make sure that they are adequately packaged prior to the move. Following some simple guidelines when packing your porcelains will give them the maximum possible protection:
- Wrap all of your porcelains individually, using a protective wrapping that provides some degree of impact protection. Ideally, you should also transport them in individual containers, but if this is not practical or possible, you should take extra care to pad the spaces between your porcelains.
- Use the right wrapping materials. Bubble wrap, packing foam and packing paper (if used in sufficient quantities) are all fine materials for wrapping, and many removalists can supply these materials to you themselves. Avoid using newspaper, as newsprint can permanently stain pale or unglazed porcelains.
- Protusions on your porcelains, such as limbs and heads on porcelain figurines, should be afforded extra protection. Extra layers of bubble wrap or packing foam can be wrapped around these extremities and taped in place using masking tape (other kinds of tape can leave sticky deposits on your porcelains, and may strip paint or enamel coatings when removed)
- Once your porcelains are wrapped, place them in suitable containers. Traditional cardboard boxes will do in a pinch, but timber or plastic crates will provide better protection against impacts and crushing forces. Double-boxing your porcelains with a layer of protective padding in between the boxes is highly recommended. Many removalist companies will manufacture suitable shipping crates to order—a particularly useful service if your porcelains are oddly shaped or sized.
Moving your porcelains
Once your prized porcelains are safely wrapped and packed,they can be loaded and transported to your new home. Check that your chosen removals company has suitable equipment for transporting fragile items—at the very least, your boxed porcelains should be secured in place with braces or straps to prevent shifting during transit. Some removalists will keep porcelains and other small, fragile items in the driver's cab for added protection, so don't be afraid to ask if this option is available.
You should also give at least a cursory inspection to the vehicle your porcelains will be transported in. The vehicle should have soft suspension to iron out any potentially damaging bumps in the road, and the cargo bay of the vehicle should be leak-free. Arranging the vehicle's exact route to your new home in advance can also be helpful, as you may be able to choose a route that avoids excessive curves or bumpy, poorly-paved roads.