So, it’s time to move. You’ve done everything you need to. Either you’ve packed efficiently or you’ve hired packing services. You’ve made a moving inventory. So, everything seems to be under control. But is it? Did you forget about your Grandfather clock? Moving a Grandfather clock takes a lot of time and effort. It’s not something you can just throw on the moving truck and hope for the best. You will need to take it apart very carefully and put it back together in your new home. Many Grandfather clocks are antiques and precious heirlooms. They deserve consideration! If you have such an antique in your home, you really should treat it right and move it properly. If moving a Grandfather clock properly isn’t something you can handle right now, it’s far better to sell it and make a quick buck than to break it in the move.

There is a reason professional moving companies offer packing services and moving fragile items like this is one of them. Grandfather clocks are a true treasure, adding luxury and class to any home. These precious heirlooms are a worthy accessory to any home. They are worth the extra money to handle them right. But, if you can’t afford to hire a specialty moving company for moving a Grandfather clock, read on and figure out how to do it yourself.

A closeup on a Grandfather clock. Is moving a Grandfather clock for you?
Moving a Grandfather clock is difficult, but worth it.

Get tools to take your Grandfather clock apart for moving

You can’t possibly just wrap the clock in cloth and shove it on the truck! The clock, what with being a clock, has a lot of moving parts. Those moving parts could be jostled and shattered during the bumpy ride on the moving truck. Moving your Grandfather clock is impossible to do without disassembling it first. This will take anywhere between 40 minutes to an hour, so plan accordingly. There’s no need to sweat like a bomb disposal unit in a movie, taking the clock apart under pressure from time constraints. Make sure to include the clock parts in your moving inventory! Going through all the effort of taking it apart only to forget something is the worst possible scenario.

A pink marker with a checklist. You should be writing down the clock parts when moving a Grandfather clock.
Write down every part you take out of the clock. This will make moving a Grandfather clock easier because everything will be accounted for.

While you’re taking it apart, you might as well clean it. So, get gloves or a cloth to handle the moving parts delicately. Get a lot of padding – like blankets or newspapers or anything else that would work. You will need scissors and packing tape too, to handle everything. Get boxes to fit the disassembled parts. You might as well get a crate for the clock, or just get blankets to wrap it in so it doesn’t get scuffed on the truck. That way, it won’t damage any of your other furniture either.

Moving a Grandfather clock by taking it apart

You need to take off the access panel first, to reach within the clock easily. You can package this panel separately later, or you can put it back on the clock and tape it shut. Use your best judgment! You also need to remove the weights and leave them removed. Left swinging around, they could break the glass! Make sure to check if the weights are marked, and mark them if they’re not – left, right, center, however they fit on the clock. You might want to take a picture of your clock just in case you’re unsure how to put it back together. It is very important not to yank or force a removal of any part. That is the easiest way to break your clock! Hold the pendulum in the middle, and gently lift it up, so it unhooks easily. If it doesn’t budge, don’t apply more force.

Chains or cables?

The exact details of moving your Grandfather clock will vary depending on the clock. Some clocks have chains, and some have cables. No matter what kind of clock you have, you need to make sure the chains or cables don’t lose tension when you remove the weights.  The clocks with chains should be handled by making sure the chains don’t get tangled together or fall off their sprockets. The clocks with cables should be wound tight and fixed in place. Research what kind of clock you have, so you best know how to handle that model. Package the weights and pendulum carefully, by wrapping them in blankets so they don’t get dented.

A simple picture of a Grandfather clock.
Moving a Grandfather clock is impossible without taking it apart.

Secure the inside of the clock

Put blankets into the clock. This way, the glass is secured and won’t rattle, and everything stays put. You don’t need to buy or rent special moving blankets if you don’t want to. Your household blankets will do just fine. Plus, it cuts down on moving space. There is another thing to take care of, however. Does your Grandfather clock come with a detachable head? If that’s the case, make sure to unscrew it. Pack it separately, in a box with plenty of padding. Your clock unscrewing in the middle of the move is a nightmare scenario.

In a hurry to be moving a Grandfather clock?

Sometimes, you need a quick list of instructions to get you by. While it’s important to research moving a Grandfather clock thoroughly, so you don’t damage it, you might want a refresher course. Something you can just glance at while you’re doing the necessary work. While you might want to write it down yourself, to memorize the process thoroughly, here is a list of the most important points.

  • Open the side access window, remove it if necessary
  • Secure the chains or cables
  • Remove the weights and pendulum. Pack them separately, preferably in blankets so the move doesn’t damage them
  • Put moving blankets into the clock to make sure the glass stays intact
  • Lock the lock doors, or tape them shut
  • Wrap the clock in something to protect your other furniture
  • Load the clock onto whatever vehicle you’ve decided to be moving a Grandfather clock with

Leave a Reply