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How to Move Your Aquarium and 8 Other Strange Possessions

By December 16, 2015No Comments




Moving day is coming up fast, and—shockingly—you’re all packed. Except for all those weird things you couldn’t cram carefully place in the standard medium-size box. You know, like your giant aquarium, the life-size cardboard cutout of Han Solo, and that exact replica of the Christmas Story leg lamp you just had to have three Christmases ago.

What are you gonna do with all that?

This. This is what you’re going to do. That’s right, folks, we found solutions for all your unusual moving predicaments.


A 200-gallon aquarium might make your house look cooler than any restaurant entryway ever, but it won’t do much wowing at your new place if it’s smashed into 50 bazillion pieces in the moving truck.

To pack it up right, you need the right equipment, says Laura McHolm, co-founder of Los Angeles-based NorthStar Moving Co.

There are mirror boxes specially designed for glass—you can pick them up at hardware stores or directly from moving companies.

“There are special boxes for most household items,” McHolm says. “But be sure to always pack them in something.”

Antique crystal chandeliers

Want to keep your great grandmother’s size-of-a-Buick antique chandelier? Packing the beast up won’t be easy, but it can be done.

“Taking several cartons, cutting them in half and taping the pieces together to form a custom-shaped container is a useful strategy,” says Kevin Kato, professional moving expert and content development editor at

Just make sure you wrap individual glass pieces very carefully in foam packing paper or thin bubble wrap before placing the whole contraption in your custom box.



Life-size cardboard cutouts

Don’t have a Millennium Falcon for safe transporting of that cardboard Han Solo? Don’t let the Imperials win! Try this instead:

“If he can’t use the Force to protect himself, [Han] can be slipped into a mattress carton or simply stuck between your mattress and box spring when you load them vertically onto the truck,” Kato says.

Large indoor trees

Giant indoor trees that brush the ceiling are amazing—until moving day. With those fragile limbs and easily wilted leaves, you’re going to have to take special care.

“Maintain a set of conditions that imitates as closely as possible the environment in the house,” Kato says.

Otherwise, you’ll cause the tree to go into shock. And if it’s extremely delicate, go a step further—some people will even wrap the leaf-bearing branches in dampened newsprint.

Anatomical human skeletons

We’re not going to ask why you have a life-size skeleton in your house. But we do advise caution when moving your medical mini-me—otherwise, when you get to your new place, you might discover the thigh bone is not connected to the hip bone.

“Some large items, if they are not completely geometrically insane, can be padded and sheathed in cardboard,” Kato says.

Just make sure to carefully wrap the more delicate bones or they might break under the pressure, and make sure the cardboard covers from head to toe (pun totally intended!).

Pinball machines and classic arcade games

We don’t want anything to happen to your reconditioned Flash Gordon, either, so you’re going to need padding—a lot of padding.

“Your best bet is to wrap them in blankets or pads—either cloth or the thick brown paper pads the movers use,” Kato says.

Gently tape the ends down so everything stays in place. Then, load it strategically into the truck—by stuffing smaller boxes between the legs and around the sides, you’ll keep the heavier pinball machine from moving around too much in the truck.

bright and colorful interior of european solarium

Salon chairs and tanning beds

Have your own at-home salon? Lucky you! Well, except for that moving part.

Thankfully, these items are more bulky than fragile, but you’re still going need some special care. Your first task will be to find a box large enough to accommodate the item. Pro tip: You can tape multiple boxes together if you’re careful. Once you have the box, use padding to keep the item in place.

Or, if you’re feeling bold, just throw them on the truck, boxless. But don’t be surprised if your home salon needs a makeover of its own when you’re finished.

Giant musical instruments

Whether you have a baby grand piano or a full-size pipe organ in your living room, moving large musical instruments is never something you should leave up to weak packing boxes.

The best advice is to hire a pro.

There are movers who specialize in organs, pianos, and other instruments. Be sure to ask your moving company how long the instrument will be in transit so it doesn’t warp.

The leg lamp

When it comes to a major award such as a life-size leg lamp, the Old Man might have had the right idea.

Whether it’s a giant woman’s leg or another piece of cherished art, it is fra-gee-lay and you’re going to need something special.

Two words: custom crating.

“You want a company that knows how to build a crate out of cardboard or wood, depending on what the item is,” McHolm says.

Most moving companies—and companies that specialize in moving high-end or unique items individually—can craft a crate for you.

After all, it won’t look good in the window if you have to glue it back together.


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