a grandfather clock sitting in a living room next to a couch and a window with a picture on it and a potted plant in front of it on the floor next to the clock. . overlay
Posted in How-to on December 27, 2023
Hannah Michaelson

Hannah is a freelance relocation writer from NYC that has become an expert on packing and unpacking.

Time-Honored Techniques – How to Move a Grandfather Clock Safely

Transporting a grandfather clock requires special care and attention to detail. In this guide, we delve into time-honored techniques on how to move a grandfather clock safely. We’ll explore the necessary steps to protect its intricate mechanisms and preserve its timeless elegance during relocation. From proper preparation to expert handling, learn how to ensure your treasured timepiece arrives at its new home in perfect condition.

How to Move a Grandfather Clock?

How to transport a grandfather clock to your new home? To move this precious item safely, start by removing the pendulum and weights and wrapping them individually in padding. Secure any moving parts, like chimes, using soft packing materials. Lock or stabilize the clock’s door to prevent it from opening during transport.

Wrap the entire item in a thick blanket or moving pad, ensuring all sides are protected. For transport, keep it upright and secure it in place in the relocation truck. If you’re unsure about handling delicate components, hire movers, as they possess the expertise to transport such intricate items without causing damage.

Find your best moving solution in 2 clicks Get A Quote

Know Your Timepiece – Anatomy of a Grandfather Clock

When moving a grandfather clock, it’s vital to understand the anatomy of the item in question – this is not just a timekeeping device but a piece of history and artistry. The pendulum, a swinging weight, is central to its timekeeping function, providing the necessary rhythm.

Accompanying the pendulum are weights, often housed in long, slender cases – these weights drive the clock’s mechanisms. The face, typically adorned with intricate designs, displays the time and often features additional complications like moon phases.

Encasing these components is the body, usually crafted from high-quality wood, with glass panels allowing a view of the inner workings. This casing is not just protective but also contributes to the clock’s aesthetic value. Grandfather clocks are known for their fragility, especially the glass elements and delicate internal mechanisms.

Many are antiques or carry historical significance, making them not just functional objects but cherished heirlooms. Handling them requires a deep understanding of their intricacies and a gentle touch, ensuring their preservation for future generations.

 A closeup of a grandfather clock
How to pack a grandfather clock to move it? Start by understanding its anatomy

Preparing Your Clock for the Move – Tips on Documenting the Current State for Reassembly

Before disassembling your precious heirloom for the upcoming relocation to a new state, take detailed notes and photographs of its setup, just like you would do when making a relocation inventory. This documentation will be invaluable during reassembly, ensuring each piece is returned to its correct position.

Photograph from various angles, focusing on how the weights and pendulum are attached, the position of any chime hammers, and the overall setup of the interior mechanisms. Label or mark parts if necessary, especially if they look similar but have different functions or positions. Keeping a detailed record of the pre-move state will help you or your grandfather clock movers reassemble it accurately, ensuring it continues to function correctly and maintains its integrity.

A person writing an inventory list for long-distance moving
Take detailed notes of the condition your heirloom was in so it can be reassembled

Careful Disassembly – Taking Apart Your Grandfather Clock

Preparing grandfather clocks for relocations requires careful attention to detail. Start by winding down the item, allowing the weights to drop to the bottom. This step is crucial as it prevents any tension in the mechanisms during shipping. Next, focus on the pendulum, a delicate and vital component. Carefully remove the pendulum from its hook and wrap it in soft padding to prevent damage. It’s also essential to secure the clock’s weights.

Remove them, label each weight (if they are not already marked), and wrap them securely. If your clock has glass panels, protect them with bubble wrap or similar material to prevent breakage. Finally, lock or secure the door and any other moving parts to prevent them from swinging open or moving during transport.

Our Services

Storage Services

Our spacious climate-controlled units will protect your things until the drop-off. No need to worry about them because all items are labeled and secure, and each customer gets a dedicated unit mixup isn’t possible.

Learn more Learn more

Auto Transport

Move your car across the country in an open or enclosed trailer – for an affordable fee. We offer car transport as a standalone service, but you can bundle it with your household move and get a hefty discount.

Learn more Learn more

Emphasizing the Importance of Labeling and Organizing Parts

Labeling and organizing the parts of a grandfather clock during disassembly is crucial for a smooth reassembly process. As you remove each component, label it clearly with a piece of tape and a marker, indicating its position and orientation. This is especially important for weights.

Organize the parts in a way that will make reassembly intuitive. Use separate boxes or bags for different types of components (for example, weights in one box and decorative elements in another) and label each container. Keeping small parts like screws or fasteners in labeled zip-lock bags can prevent loss and confusion.

Taking the time to label and organize as you disassemble not only makes the process of putting the clock back together easier when you unpack after relocation but also helps ensure that no parts are misplaced or incorrectly installed, which could affect the clock’s functionality. This approach safeguards the integrity and continued performance of your treasured timepiece.

A large grandfather clock mechanism
Carefully disassemble your timepiece to ensure the mechanism remains intact

Packing With Precision – Safeguarding Each Component

Packing efficiently for a relocation requires specific packaging materials to ensure each component is fully protected. Gather sturdy boxes, bubble wrap, soft padding or blankets, packing tape, and marker pens for labeling. Having these materials at hand will make the packing process more efficient and ensure you can safely move such a valuable belonging. Here’s what the packing process should look like – we’ve included all the packing tips you’ll need.

  • Wrapping weights and pendulum – Start with the weights and pendulum, as they are the most delicate parts. Wrap each weight individually in bubble wrap, securing the wrap with tape. Do the same for the pendulum, paying extra attention to the delicate bob at the bottom.
  • Securing clock body and glass elements – For the body, wrap the entire frame in a soft blanket or thick padding. This provides cushioning against bumps and vibrations during shipping. If your clock has glass elements, cover these areas with an additional layer of bubble wrap before wrapping the entire body.
  • Packing decorative pieces and other components – Smaller decorative pieces like finials or side panels should be wrapped individually in bubble wrap and placed in a separate box, cushioned with soft packing materials to prevent movement.
  • Filling the boxes – Place each wrapped component in sturdy boxes. Ensure the items don’t shift around inside the box by filling any gaps with additional padding. Label each box clearly, indicating that the contents are fragile items and specifying which part of the clock it contains.
  • Securing the boxes – Seal the boxes with packing tape and write the labeling on multiple sides of the box. This will alert anyone handling the boxes to do so with care.
Different packing supplies and materials
You can't secure anything without getting the appropriate materials first

Seeking Expert Help – Hire Professional Movers for a White Glove Moving Service

Relocating large items such as grandfather clocks can be a daunting task, especially when dealing with high-value or antique pieces. In such scenarios, hiring movers or clock specialists is the best course of action. These experts possess the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary for safely handling delicate timepieces. They know all the relocation hacks in the book.

Professional movers are particularly beneficial when dealing with intricate mechanisms and fragile components that require special care. White glove moving services are ideal for these situations. They offer a comprehensive approach, encompassing meticulous packing, transportation, and expert reassembly. This is particularly important for grandfather clocks, which often have historical significance and sentimental value.

Professional movers understand the nuances of different clocks and the importance of preserving their integrity. They are equipped to handle the delicate mechanics, ensuring that every piece remains intact and functional.

How Much Does It Cost to Move a Grandfather Clock – Factors That Affect the Price

Key factors influencing the relocation cost include the move’s distance, the clock’s size and weight, the level of difficulty involved in moving it (like stairs or narrow doorways), and the need for specialized packing assistance or crating. Professional movers often charge extra for items that require special handling due to their fragility and value. Always get a detailed quote from your chosen relocation company, considering insurance for valuable items like these.

The Benefits of Hiring White Glove Movers for Shipping High-Value or Antique Clocks

The advantages of hiring white glove movers for shipping high-value or antique clocks are numerous. Firstly, these professionals ensure the utmost care during the packing process, using specialized materials and techniques to protect every component. This meticulous approach significantly reduces the risk of damage during transit.

Additionally, white glove movers often provide customized solutions tailored to the specific needs of each timepiece. This includes climate-controlled transportation environments and secure handling procedures, which are crucial for preserving the clock’s condition and functionality.

Moreover, these services typically include insurance coverage, offering peace of mind in the rare event of damage or loss – you won’t have to struggle with anxiety about relocating. The expertise of white glove movers also extends to the reassembly and setup at the destination, ensuring the clock is not only transported safely but also continues to operate correctly in its new location.

A smiling long-distance mover next to a pile of boxes
Having professionals by your side is necessary for relocating your treasured timepiece

Contact Long Distance Movers – The Go-to White Glove Moving Company

Reach out to Long Distance Movers, the go-to white glove movers, for a relocation experience that combines expertise, care, and precision. Renowned for our exceptional handling of delicate and high-value items, we are experts in managing the complexities of relocating, especially when it comes to treasured possessions like grandfather clocks.

Our white-glove moving services ensure that every aspect of your relocation is handled with the utmost attention to detail, from meticulous packing to safe transportation and careful reassembly at your new location. Trust Long Distance Movers to provide personalized solutions tailored to your specific needs, backed by a commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.

Whether you’re relocating a cherished heirloom or an entire household, our professional team guarantees a seamless, stress-free experience. Contact us and get your free, non-obligatory quote for our long-distance moving services.


How Do I Know if My Grandfather Clock Needs Special Attention During Moving?

Your grandfather clock needs special attention if it’s antique, has intricate detailing, or contains delicate mechanisms. Signs like age-related wear, fragile glass components, or a history of maintenance issues are indicators that extra care is needed during relocating. Such clocks often require precise handling to maintain their functionality and appearance.

Can I Lay a Grandfather Clock Down During Transport?

It’s not recommended to lay grandfather clocks down during transport. This position can put undue stress on its internal mechanisms and glass components, potentially causing damage. The item should ideally be transported in an upright position and securely fastened to prevent movement.

What Are the Risks of Moving a Grandfather Clock Without Proper Preparation?

Relocating grandfather clocks without proper preparation can lead to several risks, including physical damage to the exterior and internal components, misalignment of the pendulum or weights, and loss of small, integral parts. This can result in the clock failing to keep time accurately or becoming completely non-functional.

How Long Does It Take to Settle a Grandfather Clock After Moving?

After moving, the item may take a few days to settle. It’s important to allow it some time to acclimate to its new environment and for its internal components to stabilize. During this period, you may need to make minor adjustments to ensure accurate timekeeping.

Should I Insure My Grandfather Clock for the Move?

Yes, insuring grandfather clocks for relocation is a wise decision, especially if they’re valuable or antique. This insurance provides financial protection against potential damage during transit, offering peace of mind.

What Are the Common Mistakes to Avoid When Moving a Grandfather Clock?

Common relocation mistakes to avoid when moving a grandfather clock include failing to remove and secure the pendulum and weights, not wrapping the clock properly, transporting it in a lying-down position, and not using a professional relocation service for high-value or antique clocks. These oversights can lead to damage and affect the clock’s functionality.

Get a Quote

We Cover

© Copyright 2022 Long Distance Movers. All Rights Reserved.
Get a Free Estimate 323-949-2929