A chandelier can be a beautiful, radiant and expensive centerpiece in any home, and the last thing you’d want is to see it damaged during a house move. The chandelier you own may even be infused with an overdose of sentimental value, therefore it’s essential that you pay extra attention when you’re packing a chandelier for moving.
The most challenging part when packing and moving a chandelier is that your elegant light fixture is extremely fragile, so it needs to be really well protected during transit. On one hand, you’ll need the right packing material, and on the other hand, you’ll be expected to know exactly what steps to take to keep your valuable possession from being damaged.
Follow the packing steps below to learn the best way to pack a chandelier for moving.
What you’ll need to pack up a chandelier
The steps below will teach you how to pack and move a chandelier, but before that, let’s take a look at what you should prepare before the start of the operation:
- One strong box of corrugated cardboard for the chandelier;
- Two extra cardboard boxes – a medium-sized one for any detached elements, and a much smaller one for the light bulbs;
- Packing paper + newspaper
- Bubble wrap
- A few furniture blankets
- Foam padding
- Packing peanuts
- Packing tape
- Twist ties (cable ties)
- A few plastic zip lock bags
- A set of screwdrivers and a pair of pliers
- A ladder
- Another person to help you out.
How to remove a chandelier from the ceiling
- Step 1. Go to the main fuse box and cut off the electricity to the room where the chandelier is located. Whatever you do, DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! The danger of electric shock when disconnecting the chandelier is very real.
- Step 2. Use the ladder to reach the base of the chandelier and then disconnect the light fixture from the electric network. If you’re unsure how to do it, consult somebody who does, contact the store you bought it from, or even call a certified electrician to do it for you.
- Step 3. Have your helper support the chandelier at all times so that its sheer weight won’t snap the wires in the ceiling.
- Step 4. Unhook the chandelier and remove the wires that go into the ceiling with a screwdriver.
- Step 5. Take down the freed chandelier and place it gently on the floor with the assistance of your friend.
How to disassemble a chandelier
- Step 6. Keep all the wires and cables well organized – bundle them together and use twist ties or rubber bands to keep them in place. Keep in mind that dangling cables can easily compromise safety.
- Step 7. Remove the light bulbs, one by one, and place them into their original light bulb boxes, if you still keep them. If you don’t have those boxes, then wrap each one in bubble wrap and arrange them neatly into a separate small-sized cardboard box.
- Step 8. Use a screwdriver to take off any pieces that are detachable – arms, chains, lampshades, prisms, candle cups, or ornaments.
- Step 9. Such removable pieces may be attached by wires, hooks, and screws – remember how they connected so that you can reattach them upon arrival in your new home. Remove all detachable parts carefully and then wrap them individually in packing paper (for the less fragile elements) or in bubble wrap (for the more delicate components).
- Step 10. Place each detached chandelier component into the accessories box. The smaller fastening elements (screws, nuts, hooks, etc.) should go into plastic zip long bags for safe keeping.
How to pack a chandelier for moving
- Step 11. This step is all about preparing the chandelier moving box for its delicate content. Get a strong corrugated box that is large enough to fit the light fixture. Reinforce its bottom with high-quality tape to make it even stronger and to prevent possible breakage during the haul. The sturdy moving container should be a few inches bigger on each side so that you can place a large sheet of bubble wrap or foam cushioning to protect the super delicate light fixture. Alternatively, you can place one or two furniture blankets (depending on their thickness) on the bottom and sides of the cardboard box to serve as the ultimate cushioning material.
- Step 12. How to pack a crystal chandelier for moving? The truth is that packing a crystal chandelier will require a bit more efforts from you so that your prized possession survives the house move intact. If you own a crystal chandelier, you must protect each crystal piece separately – otherwise, they will surely collide with each other during transport, and will most likely get scratches all over them or even break. Use pieces of soft packing paper and wrap each crystal individually, then use a tiny amount of packing tape to keep the paper in place.
- Step 13. With your helper’s assistance, place the highly-breakable chandelier upright in your packing box – do it very slowly and cautiously. Once it’s inside, use packing peanuts or pieces of crumpled paper (newspaper is also ok) to fill in any empty spaces inside that chandelier moving box. Make sure the chandelier won’t move inside the box – otherwise damage to your precious possession is highly probable.
- Step 14. It’s time to test if you’ve managed to immobilize your lovely lighting fixture inside the box. Lift the box carefully and shake it gently – do you feel or hear anything shifting inside the container? If you don’t, that’s great. But if you do, then you’ll have to use more padding materials to ensure that no part of the chandelier moves, be it slightly. This is an important step you’re not advised to skip in your efforts to save time.
- Step 15. Place one furniture blanket (a regular household blanket can also be used) on the top of the packed chandelier to serve as a top cushion during transport. Using a couple of large sheets of bubble wrap as a final layer of protection is another way you can finish the task of packing a chandelier for shipping.
- Step 16. Close the lids of the box and seal it with packing tape. Do the same with the other cardboard boxes – the small box where you packed the light bulbs, if necessary, and the larger box where you packed the rest of the detached chandelier elements. For safety reasons, nothing should be shifting freely inside any of the packed boxes.
- Step 17. Write CHANDELIER, EXTREMELY FRAGILE and THIS SIDE UP on the chandelier moving box and the box(es) with its accessories. Do the box labeling with a black or red permanent marker on at least two of their sides.
See also: How to pack fragile items for moving
If you’re not confident that you can pack your chandelier by yourself, then it’s best to leave this delicate job to experts who just know what to do. If your chandelier is really expensive, then professional packers and movers will use a chandelier moving crate that will keep your valuable centerpiece perfectly safe.