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Long Distance Moving Guide for Moving Special Items

As respected cross country movers for the past five decades, we’ve seen all types of moves, in every shape and size. While most items in your home will fit nicely into brown cardboard boxes, there are a few that will need special attention.

Here is a long-distance moving guide to moving special items.

Long Distance Moving Guide for Pianos

Let’s start out with the “Grandest” of all.   When it comes to moving special items, the Piano is probably the most difficult. You may know how to play a moving concerto on a piano, but how much do you actually know about moving pianos? Pianos were made for playing not for moving, but luckily, there is a way to move them that doesn’t require years of practice. If you can’t find a company that has experience moving special items like pianos, here are some tips for getting your piano into your new digs.

1. Prep

Begin by wrapping blankets around the body of the piano and securing them with packing tape. Treat your piano like a baby. There are a whole bunch of intricate things going on inside that you want to keep as protected as possible. The lid of the piano should be closed, locked and stuffed with a blanket for extra protection during the move. This will help with maneuverability.

2. The Lift and Load

When you get ready for the lift, balance is key. Pianos are not only heavy, they are top heavy which makes them prone to tipping over. That can cause serious injuries, not only to the piano but the people moving it. Have each person take one side. Place the piano over the dolly and roll it gently onto the ramp and into the moving truck.

Bonus Tip #1: When rolling the piano up the ramp, load the side with the bass keys first. It’s a bit heavier and will make for better weight distribution.

3. The Ride

Once you’ve got your piano on board, roll it as deeply into the truck as possible. It’s the safest place for it and the most stable. Surround it by boxes and other items to keep it secure. Ideally, the piano shouldn’t move around at all during your ride.

4. The Grand Finale

The grand finale happens when you get the piano to your new home. Then a heavenly choir will come down from the skies and the piano will start playing by itself. Only kidding. Look for a nook next to an inner wall with room enough for a small group of singers for your piano’s new home.  The inner wall will protect the piano from moisture, mold and cold air.

Bonus tip #2: Wait a while before calling the tuner. It will take about a month for the piano to adjust to its new home. Tuning it before then will be ineffective.

Long Distance Moving Guide for Aquariums

They say that no good fish goes anywhere without a porpoise, and what better porpoise could you have that would be than moving to a new home?  

The aquarium gives the piano a run for its money on the list of moving special items in terms of difficulty and tediousness. For instance, aquariums have filtration systems that need special handling and aerobic laden bacteria starts to die after a few hours without oxygen. Here are some tips for moving your aquarium that won’t leave you, or your fish, floundering.

1. Remove the Fish

Remove your fish and store then in a holding container. Then drain the tank. Keep an eye on Nemo.

2. Disassemble the Tank

Take the tank apart conserving as much water as you can. Use five-gallon lidded buckets to transport the water. Transporting the water will save time once you restart the system and decrease the risk of a toxic ammonia spike. Pack equipment such as pumps and heaters separately as if they were fragile items.   

Remove the gravel from the tank and place in 5 -gallon buckets as well. This will help to take the stress of the bumps and bouncing off the aquarium seams during the ride. Throw in your filter equipment and sponges to keep the disruption of bacteria colonies to a minimum. This will also help reduce cycling time.

3. Move the Tank

If you can move the tank yourself in your own vehicle your fish will be very tankful indeed. This will guarantee it survives the move with the least amount of damage. If the tank goes on the truck, be sure the movers treat it with TLC while packing and loading.

4. Home Sweet Home

Once you’ve gotten to your destination, reassemble the tank as if it were a new tank, and take a week before introducing your fish to their new home to make sure the tank is stable. Consider buying a few hardy fish to “test the waters” and get the nitrate levels established. Once your aquarium is ready, release your fish into their new home and things should move along swimmingly.

Long Distance Moving Guide for Artwork

There’s an art to making art and there’s an art to moving art. Some would argue that the most special of all special items that need to be moved is our precious art work. Although we can’t claim to be experts on the first, we can certainly help with the latter. Here are some tips on moving artwork long distance.

1. The Wrap

Lay out brown paper.  Lay the frame against the paper facing down. Wrap the artwork in the paper as you would a present. Secure with packing tape across the length and width of the package to ensure the paper doesn’t move around during your journey.

Bonus Tip: If the artwork is large, the corners of the paper should overlap to form an area in the middle twice the size of the frame. If you’re dealing with smaller pieces,wrap each one individually and pack them together in a moving box.

2. The Box

 Specialty boxes come highly recommended for a less DIY approach. Buy a specialty box, slightly larger than the piece you wish to move, and tape one side closed. Slide the wrapped item in and seal. If a specialty box is not available, take apart a large used box (preferably bigger than the frame) and flatten it.   Bend the box around the frame and secure with tape. Alternatively, secure cardboard to the glass side of the picture. This can work well, as long as you proceed with caution.

3. The Load

The rule for the artwork load is on its side, not flat. A picture will absorb shock more easily on an edge than on its back. There is sort of an art to this, after all. Unpack your artwork when you get to your new place and enjoy!

Long Distance Moving Guide for Plants

It’s not easy being green, especially when your moving long distance with special items.  When we’re discussing moving special items, plants need additional consideration. For one, depending on the distance of the journey, it may not be safe to move your plants. A complete corner-to-corner cross country move may be too long for the plant to survive. Another thing to consider is that some plants are invasive and are not allowed to cross state lines.

Plants are finicky and changes in temperature and light can upset them. Imagine how upset they’ll be on your moving truck! However, there are some tips that can keep your plants grounded, even when they’re on the move. Here are a few tips on long distance moving for plants.

1. Hydrate Before Uprooting

Some people choose to stop during the move to water plants and give them sunlight. If digging up your plant from the moving truck is not an option, giving your plants a good soak before digging them is the best practice. Before uprooting your plants give them a long drink of water that permeates the soil and roots. A well hydrated plant will have a greater chance of surviving the move.

2. Trim Your Plants

The healthier your plants are, the better their resilience will be. Trim off dead leaves and excess so that your plant isn’t wasting energy on parts that don’t need it.

3. Uprooting

Even if you gave your plants a good soak the night before, give them a little extra water before you begin the uproot. Dig a ring around the plant using a trowel, making sure the circle is wide enough to avoid cutting through the root. Keeping as much soil attached as possible, remove the plant from the earth. Immediately place in a pot with soil or wrap roots and soil in a damp burlap sack.

4. Replant

Save for yourself, your passengers and the occasional pet, the plant is one of the only things alive on the moving truck, and you should give it your immediate attention once you get to your new location to make sure it stays that way.

Replanting the plant as quickly as possible is crucial. If you haven’t found a permanent place for your plant in your new home, dig a temporary trench to house it until you decide on a more permanent location. Water the soil and cover the plant with fresh soil, water and fill again. Make sure the dirt isn’t packed too densely, as this will restrict airflow. Watch it grow as your neighbors turn green with envy at the sight of your beautifully thriving plant.

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