They say moving is one of life’s most stressful experiences. It’s kind of like juggling, having all these balls in the air that require equal attention and focus. Not only do you have to pack up your home, but you have to manage transferring services, changing addresses, and directing the people helping you. Earlier this year was a big reminder of all that for me, as I kept finding more and more things I had to handle, each just as important as everything else. One of those things was finding ways of storing artwork that I wouldn’t be immediately hanging on the walls.
Over the past handful of years, I’ve come into ownership of all my grandpa’s paintings. It’s a beautiful collection of two dozen or so landscapes and still life scenes that represent the viewpoints and interests of a very private man. I knew I wouldn’t be displaying them, as I was going to hang some of my own work (something I haven’t done before), but the pieces deserved to be properly protected once stored away.
So, while they waited for me to move into a bigger place in the future, how would I keep them safe? I couldn’t ask my dad to hold onto them, as his home was pretty full (and there was no way storing artwork in his house’s crawlspace would be good for the paintings). So, they had to stay with me, and by that point in my packing I’d used up all my packing supplies. I wasn’t sure how I’d protect them, until I remembered who I worked for. And a light went off.
Bubble bags. I’ve always thought they were an interesting packaging option, and now with some extra packaging supplies, they were going to be the packaging solution I needed.
What’d I use?
How’d I pack it up?
I secured some open-ended 24×24” bubble bags (but self-seal would be a great choice, too), and started with my grandpa’s framed pieces. Most were landscapes, and while their height fit the width of the bags nearly perfectly, they were too long for the bag length. So, I used a second bubble bag, placing it over the other end of the painting and overlapping the first bag. I sealed the overlap using packing tape, all the way around the painting, then folded down the excess bubble bag at the top using more tape. Now the paintings were snug and wouldn’t move around inside their new cushiony homes. In the case of the sole portrait my grandpa created, one bag was more than enough to contain it.
From there I moved onto the paintings that had never been framed. Since bubble bags accommodate a few inches of depth, I decided to store half of the unframed pieces together in one bag. This way they wouldn’t shift around, and I’d save a little bit of storage space. To keep them from rubbing together and damaging any of the paint, I placed clean newsprint between each one. Thinking about it now, I think foam sheets would be an even better choice. Then I placed them in a bubble bag and overlapped a second bag like I did for the framed artwork. I made a second stack using the remaining unframed paintings, and covered them as well.
How’d I store it away?
One of the best parts of moving was buying new furniture. I upgraded to a queen bed and bought a seriously good-looking black metal and dark wood bed frame. It thankfully sits high enough that it allows for storage space underneath, and guess what I’ve got under there right now?
Hopefully, the next time I move I’ll have more than enough walls to display the beautiful work my grandpa created. For now, it’ll live stacked and safe under my bed.
We talk a lot about the versatility of packaging supplies here at The Packaging Company, and my recent moving experience has certainly proved the truth of that. Storing artwork was an interesting puzzle to figure out, and I’m glad the colourful record of my grandpa’s life will stay intact and protected.