Updated May 7, 2021.
Summer is a time when many of us move and moving our precious stash can cause us lots of concern. We want to make sure it’s transported correctly and we want to make it easy to unpack. Advance planning and deciding how you’ll pack your needlepoint really helps this process.
Before you move cull your stash. Everything you don’t need to move is one less thing to concern you. This is why stores have moving sales. Give things away to friends or charities, sell items to consigners. But get rid of what you can.
Remember to label every box. Note the room where it will live and what’s in the box. You’ll thank me later. If you are very OCD, keep a paper list with fuller lists of contents. Seal every box you pack yourself. There is nothing worse than having to go through dozens of boxes to find that thread or your stretcher bars.
If you store canvases on hangers, get wardrobe boxes. They have a pole across the top so your canvases can stay on the hangers. The boxes are tall, so use the space on the bottom to pack pillows or blankets which are bulky but light.
If you store canvases, threads, or supplies in chests of drawers, usually movers tell you to leave the stuff in them. The drawers are taped close during the move. If your stuff doesn’t fill the drawer, keep it secure by filling the extra space with blankets, sheets, and towels to keep your stuff from moving around.
If you have needlework books, these will have to be packed. If you intend to put them back on the same shelf, note the shelf. Many shelves will require several boxes.
If you have threads in assorted kinds of storage, take them out, put them into clear plastic bags and mark the bag with a Sharpie. You can pack many of these bags into a moving box. If your storage containers can collapse, collapse them and put them into a different box. To unpack your thread box, open the two boxes, pull out a storage container and a bag of thread. Dump the thread into the container.
If you have lots of small canvases, find a tote, briefcase, or suitcase the right size to hold them. Pack them in straight and flat. If it’s possible, move this yourself. It’s the least sturdy method of storage.
If you have large canvases, there are several sturdy choices for moving. An easy (and free) one is to use Priority Mail tubes from the Post Office. You can roll about 6 canvases tightly and fit them in. If you have more than about 12, you probably want to use an artist’s portfolio. The ones made from file folder paper are large and cheap. Use pieces of cardboard (you have lots of boxes) to create panels to go on either side of the canvases and tape around these to keep things from falling out. This should also be moved yourself. If you have lots of canvases or pictures to move, find picture boxes. These are relatively thin, but flat. You could store canvases in one by themselves or have them share space with pictures.
If you do this note on these boxes there are needlepoint canvases in them. Often picture boxes don’t get unpacked first. By noting this you won’t wonder where your needlepoint went.
Treat finished needlepoint like any other lovely object and protect it in moving paper (not newspaper), old pillowcases, or bubble wrap.
Your stretcher bars should be grouped by length, fastened together, and stored in one box (maybe with other stitchy stuff.
And don’t forget to include a project or two to work on during the move. Put it into your tote bag along with all necessary threads, and some extra needles and scissors. If the move takes several days (we moved 15 miles and it took a week), you’ll be glad to have this.
I know from experience taking these steps to organize your stash for moving, you’ll be able to keep stitching while you have not unpacked, but unpacking will go smoothly, not matter how long it takes.