How Do You Protect Your Most Valuable Possessions When Moving?

Your upcoming move is both an exciting and stressful experience. While packing all your clothes and kid’s toys, and everyday household items may seem easy, things will start to get daunting when dealing with your most valuable possessions. Your fresh start can quickly turn into a rueful horror story should any of your jewelry, antiques, artwork, family heirlooms, or electronics get damaged, broken, lost, or stolen during transport.

Fortunately, taking some precautions can help avoid any mishap and ensure they will safely arrive in your new living space. So, to ease your worries and help you avoid unnecessary headaches, here are some helpful tips on protecting your prized belongings during a move.

1. Create an Inventory

A woman writing down notes while packing

Though it may not seem to be worth your time, creating an inventory is definitely an excellent idea. Doing so allows you to determine which items you consider are valuable and could entice sticky fingers and what items are sentimental and hold huge value.

List all your meaningful possessions, make brief descriptions, and take detailed photographs of each. Keep also relevant documents like receipts, authenticity certificates, and warranties. That provides you with proof of ownership and documentation for insurance purposes. No one can dispute the original condition of your prized possessions if you have proper evidence.

Meanwhile, having an inventory also helps you to see if any of them has been misplaced. Once you get to your new abode, you can quickly check your inventory and compare their condition prior to and after arrival. Thus, allowing you to act immediately if necessary.

Apart from writing a notebook, you can also use a simple spreadsheet on your laptop or smartphone to input the name of the items, item details, their conditions, their box number, the date they will be transported and arrive, and more. Alternatively, you can also find many apps that can help you keep track of your belongings in a quicker and faster manner.

2. Use High-Quality Packing Materials and Boxes

A person packing ceramic tableware

After creating an inventory, it’s now time to check what type of packing materials and boxes are required to protect your valuable possessions from damages, scratches, dents, breakage, moisture, and pests. While newspapers can do wonders in protecting some items, others will need special materials and layers of protection to ensure their safety, especially during long-distance moves. 

To give you a better insight, here are the ways to pack your prized assets:

Fragile, Breakable Items

Fragile, breakable items like ceramics, fine china, pottery, and other glassware must be wrapped individually in packing paper or bubble wrap. Use thick, small, double-walled cardboard boxes and make sure that there’s no empty space in the box.

Meanwhile, you can use newspapers as inserts to fill out any room that can cause the items to shift and break during transit. Blankets, towels, and lines can also serve as extra padding for added protection. As you’d be packing these items anyway, it will be great to make full use of them.

Silverware and Other Fine Metals

Sterling silverware and other fine metals are at a high risk of scratching should you only wrap them in plastic or paper. Instead, you must wrap these luxurious items with a silver cloth to protect their brilliant shine.

A silver cloth is made of 100% cotton flannel and is designed to absorb moisture and prevent tarnishing. You may have most likely seen this material lining silver dishes, knives, cups, forks, and other utensils.

You may also add an inch of chalk to the box. It’s an easy and inexpensive tool that also draws in moisture and slows down tarnishing, helping keep your silver in good condition during travel.


For electronics, such as your flat-screen smart TV or desktop computer, you may use the original boxes if you’ve kept them. After all, they were specifically designed to protect your electronics.

If not, you can use sturdy double-walled boxes. While boxes may seem costly, spending $15 to $20 is still cheaper than replacing a broken television.

In addition, you must also ensure that there’s plenty of padding and that you protect the screen with a microfiber towel. As static electricity can also result in damage to sensitive electronic circuitries, wrapping them with an anti-static cover or anti-bubble wrap is also a good choice.

Paintings and Artwork

One of the worst things you don’t like to see when setting up your items in your new home is a scratch or hole in your valuable art pieces. To avoid such a scenario, wrap them in packing paper and bubble wrap, then use appropriately sized moving boxes. Fill the gaps inside the box with paper inserts to prevent shifting during the move. If you own a highly expensive artwork, you may consider hiring a special art removal company to do the job for you.


Your heirloom mirror is among the most fragile items you possess. It’s easy for the mirror to get scratched, chipped, or totally shattered if not taken care of properly. The best solution to avoid seven years of bad luck is to wrap the mirror in packing paper and bubble wrap or an old blanket. Make that the wrap doesn’t slide out of the mirror. Then, get a box made to fit the size of the mirror and seal it tightly. Once wrapped and sealed, place it in a box made to fit its size and fill the gaps inside with paper. Lastly, secure the box further with string or tape.


Furniture pieces usually receive the bulk of the damage when moving, as they are prone to hit doorways, staircase railings, hallways, and tight corners. You can add a layer of protection by covering them with plastic wrap and old or packing blankets. Use two to three layers for more delicate pieces. If your furniture uses glass, it’s also ideal to cover them with bubble wrap as well. Meanwhile, you can cover doorways, stairs, and other parts of your home for added protection.

3. Label Your Boxes Properly

A woman labeling a box

The plain act of labeling your moving boxes can help you avoid frustrations and save time. However, be cautious, as you don’t want to tempt anyone to grab your boxes and run. Instead of listing the items inside the box (like Xbox, Playstation, etc.), you may simply write the name of the room it’s supposed to go to (like “Family Room, Bedroom, etc.”) to make it less striking to the eyes of thieves. 

Meanwhile, you may also add “this side up” to avoid opening the wrong side and breaking your items. If you think you’ll have a hard time remembering what goes in each box, you can list the items as you pack them to make things organized and easier to unpack once you arrive in your new place.

4. Seek Help for Larger Items

A man from a moving company carrying a sofa

If you have big stuff like dining tables, chandeliers, pianos, wardrobes, sofas, statues, or safes, you’d better ask for adequate help. As they are usually heavy and are difficult to deal with for average movers, they will need all the extra hands and care available. Without proper assistance, it’s easy for them to get scratched, dented, chipped, or broken. 

Larger items also require ample preparation, special equipment (like crates and dollies), and the right expertise to ensure they get transported safely. That’s where a moving company becomes handy, given that these specialists have the right tools and experience to make your move easier. They will pack all your possessions, including your valuables, efficiently using high-quality materials, handle them with the utmost care, and securely transport everything to your new home. 

5. Hire a Trustworthy Moving Company

A close-up shot of a moving van

While you can find many moving companies around you, not all of them are trustworthy. Some are there to scam you and ruin your moving experience. When looking for a moving company to move your valuables safely, see to it that the company has a good website, appropriate experience, established reputation, license, insurance, and other important credentials. Check the reviews to assess what kind of service they offer, or ask friends and relatives with firsthand experience doing business with them.

Though moving everything yourself may seem a cheaper option, you’ll avoid shelling out huge amounts of money for repairs and replacements of valuable possessions should they get damaged, broken, or lost during transit just because you don’t know how to handle these items safely.

6. Purchase Moving Insurance

A businessman giving the contract to a woman to sign

Before you load anything into your car or the moving company’s truck, you must ensure that all your possessions are covered by insurance. Consult your home insurance agent to see if your policy covers your property during a move, especially since it can easily get damaged or lost in transit.

You can also take additional specific moving insurance for your prized belongings to protect them against mishaps. Just shop around different providers to see who can offer the best coverage at the best price.

If you decide to hire a moving company, make sure that they are insured. Federal law requires moving companies to offer release value protection and full value protection at the very least. Yet, some reputable companies provide even higher-level coverage. So, take time to check what they offer and how protected your belongings are should something go awry.

7. Store Valuable Possessions Offsite

Jewelry box

If you don’t need your expensive jewelry, important papers, and other small family heirlooms, it’s a very wise choice to store them in a safety deposit box. Your box can store these items for a fee and safeguard them until you need them. Through that, you avoid these valuables from getting mixed up with other items, especially since the moving process can be chaotic.

Alternatively, you may ask your trustworthy family and friends to keep a few boxes for a while to lessen your worries during the moving day. If there are bigger items, renting a storage unit is also a good option. Just ensure that the storage unit is clean and dry and offers a variety of security features like lockable doors, coded entries, CCTV cameras, and theft alarms. You can simply collect everything once you’ve finally settled into your new home.

8. Keep Super-Precious Belongings With You

Colorful folders and a pen

If you decide not to store your items in a bank’s safety deposit or storage unit or entrust them to family and friends, take responsibility for them yourself. Keep your valuable jewelry, important paperwork, and other super-precious belongings with you in your vehicle.

Put them all in a bag and never allow it to go out of your sight. Though a reputable moving company can handle them with extreme care, you’ll likely feel less stressed if the things you value and love the most are with you.

9. Stay Away From Social Media

A person striking off the Facebook app logo

Publicizing your move on social media is a big no-no. It will only attract thieves and make you their target. Criminals today are very savvy enough to check online. So, posting anything about your moving day will only put you and your valuables in great peril.

Avoid posting selfies and photos of your items and sharing sensitive information, such as addresses, timeframes, and lists of items. After all, not everything that you post on social media stays with your friends and you’ll never know who may be lurking in your profile. Devote extra patience and show off your new home once you’ve safely settled in.

10. Track Your Valuables

A truck is being tracked via phone

Lastly, you may also consider placing small, cheap tracking devices inside the boxes that contain your most prized possessions. Just ensure to do proper research to know the capabilities of the device and if it’s going to help you fully track your items. Some tracking devices only allow you to see the ultimate location, while others use more advanced technology where you can see the real-time location of your belongings while in transit.


Seeing your most valuable possessions getting damaged, lost, or stolen is one of the worst things that can happen during a move. Thankfully, with the right preparations and extra diligence and care, you can ensure that your move goes smoothly and that your belongings remain unharmed. Just follow the steps listed above and you’d be able to happily start at your new place along with all your valuable items.