How to Move Your Aquarium, Piano, and Fine Art

Get Your Free Moving Quote Now

MM slash DD slash YYYY

You can move your possessions quickly with minimal headaches, especially if you hire a professional mover like Royal Moving & Storage Company, which understands the art of packing and moving difficult and valuable items.

Professional moving companies have experienced and trained experts, and are fully licensed and insured to move your easy items and your difficult possessions like large aquariums, pianos, art, antiques, and heirlooms.

However, if you are determined to move your belongings on your own, we have the solutions to keeping your most difficult items safe and secure from the packing phase to transporting them to your new home.

Moving Your Aquarium to Your New Residence

In general, moving pets is a traumatic experience for them, and there are certain precautions that you have to take to ensure their emotional security. Furthermore, moving fish requires technical aspects and special steps to make sure they physically survive the journey to your new residence.

“The biggest concern when moving a tank is preserving the established bacteria colony that lives in the filtration system,” says moving expert Rigel Celeste from “Since tanks must be completely drained and emptied before moving, holding back a gallon or two of the old tank’s water will preserve a section of healthy bacteria. This water can make it easier to help establish a balanced environment in your new location.”

Bacteria that are crucial for fish survival will start to die within a couple hours of moving it into a stagnant, anaerobic environment. Most pet fish cannot tolerate even minor changes in water quality, temperature, or light, and have difficulty handling the physical trauma of sloshing water, noise, and vibrations.

Therefore, you should only move fish by hand over short distances within a limited timeframe. When transporting them, use individual, insulated containers that you seal with oxygen or use a portable aerating equipment to pump in oxygen. If you are moving the fish over a long distance, you need to carefully pack and ship them by air.

Moving Your Piano to Your New Residence

Hiring a pro like Royal to move your piano is your best bet, but even if you are going to do it yourself, you need a lot of help from family, friends, or hired labor. Pianos are heavy, awkward, and expensive, and you could suffer an injury to your piano or your back if you are not careful.

Steps to prepare the piano for transporting:

  • You will need heavy-duty straps and a furniture dolly that can support the weight of your piano. The straps keep your piano secure on the dolly and on the transport vehicle. In addition, you will need padding and blankets to protect your piano from scratches and bumps. You can rent all of these items from a moving rental company.
  • Close and lock the keyboard lid to protect the keys, so that the lid does not open during transportation. If the keyboard lid does not lock, wrap the piano in a way to secure it. Do not use tape to keep the lid closed because it will damage the wood surface.
  • Use thick blankets or padding when wrapping the piano, especially the corners, and secure the padding with packing tape, ensuring the tape does not touch the surface of the piano.
  • Do not lift the pianos by the legs because they are fragile, and always keep the entire piano in the upright position. Never lay it on the side because it could damage the outside and wreck the inner mechanics.  

Steps for transporting the piano:

  • Place the moving straps under the bottom of the piano, using a strap on each end. One person holds one end of each strap to support each corner, which requires at least four people. Then, using the straps, lift the piano onto the furniture dolly.
  • Secure the piano to the dolly, making sure that the piano legs are sitting flat on the dolly. Lock the piano’s casters in place.
  • Place the piano at the back of the moving truck, against the back wall. If possible, use wood planks to ensure the piano sits level, which helps to relieve pressure on the casters and piano legs, so they do not strain to stabilize during the move.
  • Lift the piano, and never drag it. Use the moving straps to secure the piano to the truck wall and make sure that there is no way it will roll or move.

Steps for placing the piano in your new home:

  • Move the piano out of the moving truck in the same way that you put it on the truck. Place the piano in a place where you can keep it protected from cold and damp conditions.
  • Your piano will require a professional tuner once it is in its permanent place.

Moving Your Fine Art, Antiques, and Heirlooms to Your New Residence

Art, antiques, and old family heirlooms require special care when moving them to a new residence or into storage. Besides their monetary worth, they hold a lot of sentimental value as well, and damaging any of these items could be devastating. Packing with caution is a necessity for their safe arrival to your new home.

First, the Conservation Register, which is the recognized source for finding art conservators and restorers in the United Kingdom says that the biggest risk to a painting or other works of art are humans.

The Conservation Register has put together a list of the many ways we destroy artwork, which are things you must avoid when moving your valuable paintings and sculptures:

  • Breaking, tearing, smudging, and losing loose elements because of impacts and improper packing.
  • Fingerprints that etch into polished surfaces.
  • Stains and markings caused by skin contact, food, smoking, cosmetics, or domestic chemicals.
  • Materials and conditions that encourage pests or environmental damage due to packing with food or infested objects, the use of poor storage materials, or exposure to heat, damp conditions, or strong light.

Therefore, the process to pack and move your artwork seems very clear, and begins with YOU making limited contact with IT. By simply moving art and antiques around the house, you may be subjecting your precious objects to damaging temperatures and humidity, vibration, microclimates, or pests. In addition, you must consider that some could steal or vandalize your valuable possessions during the moving process.

Certain art and antiques are particularly vulnerable to damage through handling and moving, and they include:

  • Pastels
  • Watercolors
  • Paintings
  • Ivory
  • Parchment and vellum
  • Musical instruments
  • Barometers
  • Clocks
  • Large complex objects made from different elements
  • Ceramics
  • Glass
  • Textiles

When handling vulnerable art and antiques as you prepare them for a move, you must start with common sense, which include the following:

  • Wear clean, cotton gloves when handling photographs, and pieces with surfaces that are vellum, polished, gilded, and especially silver because skin salts can leave permanent marks.
  • Give yourself a lot space and time, so that objects are not banging together and there is no need to rush or deal with distractions.
  • Do not eat, drink, or smoke while handling items, and if you must inventory while packing do not use ink pens.
  • Wear clothing that will not snag, tear, or scratch your valuable items, and this might include jewelry, buttons, or hair ornaments.

Oil Painters of America provides detailed steps for packing artwork during shipping.

  • Step 1: wrap the painting in plastic in order to keep it clean from particles and to protect its finish.
  • Step 2: seal the painting and frame in a sturdy Styrofoam encasing. Do not use packing peanuts in the place of rigid Styrofoam. Peanuts can cause damage because the art or antique piece moves through the peanuts and settles to the bottom of the packing box as the container moves about during transit. If this happens, it leaves the bottom of the box clear of peanuts and the artwork exposed to vibrations and hard landings while it rides in a vehicle, and when movers place it in its new location.
  • Step 3: place the Styrofoam-packed painting into a snug cardboard box. There should be no room for the item to move around. Find or build a box to suit the size of the artwork. If there is any space in the box, fill it with bubble wrap, so that the artwork does not bounce or bang inside the box, and then seal the container with packing tape.

Now that you have safely encased your artwork, you have to get it to your new dwelling in one piece, and that requires additional special treatment. If you are transporting it yourself, the experts at Carter Avenue Frame Shop in St. Paul, Minnesota, caution against hard stops and suggest that you use a pillow or blanket to cushion your artwork container, and seat the container against something solid.

It is always best to transport the artwork on the edge of the container rather than lay it flat because something could fall over on it.

Once your art or antique arrives at its new home, if you are storing it instead of hanging it right away, you must take more precautions, so that you do not damage it. The following guidelines are critical to its safe storage:

  • Do not store your artwork in a dry or damp place. Attics and basements do not have consistent temperatures and moderate humidity, which are things that are imperative to proper storage. A climate-controlled environment is necessary.
  • Place your artwork on a rack, and do not stack your artwork and antiques on top of one another or place them on the ground. Frames and canvases absorb dampness from concrete and other surfaces.
  • Keep your artwork and antiques, packaged and unpackaged, away from the sun. Sunlight fades colors. If you are not displaying the artwork, keep it packaged or cover it with acid-free cloth.

Moving services 

Useful Articles

Contact Us

Contact Form


Your opportunity to hire highly skilled and professional