Family photographs and artwork add personal touches that transform houses into homes. Each unique snapshot captures a single, unrepeatable moment in time about a family’s history and their shared roots.

Mesa Moving and Storage understands how precious these family memories are to you and your family. If you’re relocating to a new home, we know you want to protect your family photographs, artwork, and other unique treasures from damage. Today, we’ll walk you through the process to keep your priceless memories safe during the moving process.

Step One: Purchase Packing Supplies

You’ll need to buy the proper packing materials from a local department store or hardware store to protect your artwork. You can also purchase any boxes or moving supplies you need from Mesa Moving and Storage. Here are several items you should have on hand when you begin the packing process.


  • Packing paper and tape
  • Artist tape
  • Permanent markers
  • Bubble wrap
  • Picture and mirror boxes
  • Small moving boxes
  • Cardboard tubes (for rolled canvases)
  • Float Foam or cardboard sheets
  • Glassine, acid-free, or archival paper
  • Photo boxes or picture albums

Step Two: Protect Your Framed Pictures and Mirrors

After you’ve gathered the appropriate supplies, you should follow these steps to protect your framed pictures and mirrors during a move.

  1. Use two strips of artist’s tape, then make an X across the glass portion. It will keep its prevent its surface from shattering during the move.
  2. Next, cut a cardboard or form board that’s slightly larger than the picture’s frame. Fit it over the glass, then use packing tape to secure it.
  3. Wrap the entire piece in two or more sheets of packing paper and tape together the loose ends.
  4. Place the glass frame into bubble wrap for extra padding and secure it with tape.
  5. Cushion the bottom of the picture with foam edges or packing paper. Large pictures must be placed individually in their specialty boxes.  Small mirrors and framed pictures can be wrapped and boxed together. You should stack these items vertically. Do not lay them flat, or you risk damaging them.
  6. Any extra space with more paper or foam to prevent the pictures or mirrors from jostling during the move.
  7. Tape your boxes and label each one FRAGILE on all sides.

You shouldn’t pack more than 40 lbs. per box.  Don’t use packing peanuts to pad your box, since they may be difficult to remove from glass.

Step Three: Protect Your Framed Artwork

The best way to protect your canvas will depend on how it’s made. Most canvases are either rolled or stretched across wooden frames. Here are a few strategies you can use to protect each type of canvas.

Stretched Canvases

  1. Cover your stretched canvas using Glassine, archival paper, or other acid-free coverings.
  2. Use a cardboard or foam sheet to protect its back.
  3. Place the item inside a plastic gallery wrap bag to ensure it doesn’t come into contact with moisture.
  4. Wrap the covered canvases with bubble wrapping. Tape the sides to secure it.
  5. Put the canvas between two sheets of foam or cardboard. Use packing tape to bind the pieces together.
  6. Grab a box made for pictures or mirrors. Pad the bottom with paper or foam. Slide the canvas into the box. Fill any space with packing paper.
  7. Close the box, then use a marker to label it as fragile.

Rolled Canvases

  1. Place the canvas between two sheets of acid-free paper. The painted side should lay down.
  2. Roll the item inside canvas and paper. Be careful not to roll these too tightly, or they can damage the item.
  3. Secure the package using Bubble Wrap.
  4. Slide your canvas into a cardboard tube, then place the end caps on and seal them with packing tape.
  5. Label the tube as fragile.

Step Four: Take Care of your Loose Photographs

If you have hundreds of loose pictures, you should consider organizing them before you move. Here are a few tips that can help you organize them.

  • Albums – One of the best ways to protect your loose photos is to place them inside an album. When selecting an album, avoid the magnetic peel and stick ones, since they are not acid-free and can damage your photos. After storing your pictures, you should wrap them in layers of wrapping paper, then vertically store them.
  • Photo boxes – These are durable storage units that can hold printed photographs, negatives, greeting cards, and other memorabilia. They come in a range of different sizes. You can use acid-free cardboard or metal boxes. Many have dividers like index cards that can help you organize better. If not, you can use sheets of acid-free paper. You can also lay them flat inside the box. Before you move, wrap them in packing paper and put them inside the moving box.
  • Digital photos – You can digitally back up your images to ensure that they are stored properly. Scan these images onto your computer and store them on a removable drive. Additionally, you can also back them using a cloud service or online photo storage agency. You can also upload them directly from your phone, camera, and tablet.

Get Professional Help If You Need it

You can contact Mesa Moving and Storage if packing your fragile art or photographs is too much for you to handle. Our company has trained professionals who can pack your items and streamline the process for you. You can contact us today to schedule a consultation with our trained advisors to find out how we can help today.

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