Packing Picture Frames for Moving and Storage

How Do You Pack Picture Frames for Moving

In all the packing advice I’ve seen, there is always some rule about taking down décor first. And it makes sense. Your day-to-day activities won’t be affected if your Thomas Kinkade print isn’t visible, and the worst that happens is your home might look like a bachelor pad while you’re packing the rest of your things.

But that doesn’t mean they should be neglected.

Picture frames hold treasured memories like wedding photos and diplomas – which is why we want to help you protect them. As the resident storage experts, we’re here to help with some advice for safely moving and storing your wall décor.

Picture Frame Storage Containers

The supplies you’ll need to wrap any wall décor in your home varies, but the staples are packing paper, TV or frame boxes, bubble wrap, and tape. The main priority in packing them is to prevent the frame and glass from sustaining new or additional damage, or in the worst case, breaking. Make sure whatever boxes you are using have enough space to write “Fragile” or “Glass side Up.” It’ll come in handy.

Picture Frame Storage Ideas for Canvases and Mirrors

How you pack your picture frame can make or literally break your move, depending on what you’re wrapping. Any painting or photo that’s built with fabric stretched tight on a hidden wooden frame is a canvas. Since these don’t have glass, packing these are the easiest. The biggest concern is punching a hole through the canvas, so use packing paper or even smaller canvases to fill the empty space. Then simply slide them into a frame or TV box to keep them from getting stained or damaged.

Mirrors are tricky. They’ll take on fingerprints and break much easier than any canvas, plus there’s that whole “seven years of bad luck” thing. Start to package it up by cleaning the mirror with either glass cleaner or rubbing alcohol and a microfiber cloth. If you use rubbing alcohol, just be careful not to get any on the frame, as it will quickly remove the finish. After, take some Saran Wrap from your kitchen and stick it to the mirror’s surface and tape it to the frame or the back with painter’s tape. This step will help keep any new fingerprints off. Next, wrap it up in bubble wrap and slide it into a picture frame box.

Small Picture Frame Storage

If you need to store a collection of smaller frames, you want to avoid wasting time wrapping each one individually. Because of their size, small frames can stand vertically in a normal small or medium box. Use some scrap cardboard or bubble wrap to separate the frames as you lean them against each other until the box is filled, leaning glass to glass and backing to backing.

For really small frames, like a 4”x6”, you can reuse shoeboxes for easy carrying. You can often fit multiple shoeboxes full of frames into a larger, easier-to-carry medium box – just be conscious of the weight.

Large Picture Frame Storage

Start by laying down either bubble wrap or a large sheet of wrapping paper on a clean, flat surface. You’ll want the width to be a little larger than your frame, and the length to be twice as long. Next, you’ll put the picture frame on top with the glass facing down, and using some tape, wrap the frame like a Christmas present, making sure all the taped sides are on the back of the frame.

Once your frame is secure, you’ll slide it into your TV or frame Box, labeling the glass side with “Fragile” and “This Side Glass.” Once you tape the top of the box closed, you’re ready to put your frame into storage.

Packing Picture Frames in a Storage Unit

You’ll want to keep your frames vertical and off the ground if possible. You can either use a heavy wooden pallet or other sturdy furniture to keep them off the ground. If they don’t stand up straight on their own, it’s okay to slightly lean them against either your storage unit wall or another piece of sturdy furniture, like a couch or appliance. If you can, try to lean them against each other with glass facing glass to minimize the potential for damage.

Types of Storage Units for Picture Frame Storage

While picture frames are often built for protecting your photos, they can only do so much. Any humidity trapped within the frame will do more damage if kept in inconsistent temperatures, so a climate controlled unit is best for short- or long-term storage. The regulated temperatures will help keep your wooden frames from getting brittle, or the photos and matboard they hold from yellowing severely.

Whether you’re storing a few frames or a whole collection, we’ve got you covered with affordable units at flexible monthly rates. You can find the size you need with our handy Self Storage Calculator, using the TV’s under Electronics as estimates for the size of your frames. Once you’ve added them up, find a nearby storage unit.