Safely Move a Grandfather Clock

Multiple old grandfather clocks lined up next to each other

Grandfather clocks are a cherished item that, in many families, is passed down from one generation to the next. However, passing these large, unwieldy, and heavy objects from one household to another is not always easy. If you’re moving or giving your grandfather clock to another family member, check out the tips, tricks, and hacks below for moving a grandfather clock safely. 

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Challenges of Moving a Grandfather Clock

There are several challenges when moving a grandfather clock, some more serious than others. First, grandfather clocks are big, bulky, and heavy. Because of this, it’s rare to find a grandfather clock that one person can move by oneself. That means you’ll need the help of at least one other person. 

Another challenge is to protect the grandfather clock from scratches, dings, and dents. That means packing your grandfather clock in cardboard. However, since grandfather clocks are extra large, you will need to make a custom box. Also, grandfather clocks are usually very tall and should be kept upright when moving. That means you need a tall truck to stand the clock up inside while moving it. In all, the challenges you’ll face when moving a grandfather clock make it more difficult to move than most pieces of furniture.

Steps for Packing/Moving your Grandfather Clock

1. Prepare

Being prepared when you move a grandfather clock is vital. Here’s a list of everything you’ll likely need when moving yours.

  • Corrugated cardboard to make a box
  • Packing tape
  • Bubble wrap
  • Twist ties
  • Moving blankets
  • Tools to take apart some innards of the clock
  • A mover’s 2-wheel hand-truck

2. Disassemble the Grandfather Clock

Anything you can easily take off your grandfather clock, including the pendulum guide, clock weights, pulleys, chain, etc., should be removed. If you can, also remove the glass panels. (On many clocks, this isn’t possible.) Anything you can’t unhook or remove should be secured as best as possible, including the chimes and chime rods. Use twist ties to keep things secured in place. If there’s a side panel with glass, remove that, too, if possible.

3. Wrap your Grandfather Clock in Bubble Wrap

Packing your clock means wrapping it in bubble wrap first. (One layer should do the trick.) Use packing tape to keep the bubble wrap in place, ensuring that no tape gets stuck to the clock’s wood. (It could damage the finish.) If you don’t have bubble wrap, you can wrap your grandfather clock in moving blankets instead. (Don’t use packing paper, it will be too much of a mess.)

4. Wrap your Grandfather Clock in Cardboard

This step is the most difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. First, you’ll need extra large cardboard boxes. (Wardrobe boxes would work great.) Cut a box open at its main seam so you can lay it flat on the floor. Then, with help, lay the grandfather clock on the box along its long edge. (If you need to use two boxes next to each other, you can.) Then, with another person, “roll” the grandfather clock, one side at a time, onto the cardboard. Each time, make a crease so that the box fits the g-clock perfectly. When all 4 sides are covered, roll onto the first side again. Then, carefully cut off any extra cardboard, and tape the box in place. Lastly, stand your grandfather clock back upright.

In most cases, there’s no need to pack the bottom or the top of the clock. That said, if the base is ornate, set it upright on another piece of cardboard. (It should be about 6 inches bigger on all 4 sides.) Then, cut all four corners so that you can fold the edges of the cardboard over the clock and box. Lastly, use packing tape to secure the new bottom in place.

5. Use a 2-wheeled Hand Truck 

A hand truck, which you can usually rent from a rental truck company, is a godsend. It will save you from having to lift your heavy grandfather clock and possibly hurting yourself or your helper. Use the hand truck to bring the grandfather clock to the truck. At your destination, use it again to bring the clock into its new home. (If you’re storing it, use the hand truck to move the clock into your rented storage unit.) Just FYI, professional movers always use hand trucks to protect valuable items and their backs.

Can you Lay a Grandfather Clock Down to Move It?

It’s not recommended to lay a grandfather clock down when moving it. Lying down, a grandfather clock is much more vulnerable to damage, and the position could damage the clock’s inner mechanisms. That’s why it’s imperative you rent a tall moving truck, so you can stand the clock upright while moving it.

Keep your Valuables Safe with StorAmerica Self Storage

Grandfather clocks are usually a very valuable item, in both sentimental and actual value. To ensure your grandfather clock stays in pristine condition, store it with StorAmerica. StorAmerica has safe, clean storage units across the United States. Our storage units are also secure, with 24/7 video security, electronically-controlled gate entrances, and on-site managers. Your cherished clock, and any other items, will be safe with StorAmerica.

If you have questions or need help, contact StorAmerica Self Storage or visit the location nearest you. The on-site manager can tell you about all our storage features and monthly rentals. They can help you find your storage solution, big or small. 

Not sure what to put in a storage unit? Just about anything, as long as it’s not flammable, edible, or illegal. Need business storage? StorAmerica has that, too; just ask, and we’ll point you in the right direction! Contact StorAmerica Self Storage today, and store your grandfather clock where it will stay safe for future generations.

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