We all have something in our homes that is very delicate. Whether it’s your great-grandmother’s antique fine china, an original work of art by a famous painter, a prized photo book with crumbly pages, or another similarly sensitive object, each item has one thing in common: it must be treated and handled with great care.
If you’re conducting a personal property appraisal in Maryland, you most likely know that your delicate items can be valuable when sold at an auction or to a private collector, but can also be easily damaged, which steeply depreciates their value. It is imperative, therefore, that you handle and store each item correctly in order to preserve its worth and keep it in excellent shape for generations to come.
Here are five tips on how to treat your valuable items well, so they last a lifetime and beyond.
- Wear gloves
Sometimes washing your hands is not enough—especially when it comes to antiques and delicate objects. This is because our fingers are naturally oily, and this oil can inadvertently be transferred to items such as paintings, photo books or other historic documents, which breaks down the already vulnerable fibers and stains the surface. Wearing a soft pair of gloves designed for handling delicate items will ensure that your antiques remain unsullied.
- Store appropriately
Many items can be adversely affected by sunlight and exposure to the elements, such as dust and humidity. Always make sure to store your valuables in a gentle, secure space, away from the sun. Seal documents and photos in a bag and use high quality storage boxes for china, antique hats, and other delicate objects. Ask a qualified property appraisal specialist if you’re unsure of the best way to preserve your items.
- Handle with care
This almost goes without saying, but you should always exercise great caution when handling a delicate item. For example, turn old photo book pages on the bottom corner (while wearing gloves!), not the middle of the page, and make sure that the handles and lids of china sets are secured before you pick them up, so nothing falls and breaks.
- Handle minimally
It’s wonderful to have sentimental and valuable heirlooms in our homes, and of course we all want them to last as long as possible. You can help extend their longevity by not disturbing them more than necessary through handling and moving. Wear and tear on any object can be greatly reduced simply by letting it be.
- Clean with caution
Do not clean valuable items the way you would any household possession, as this could cause great damage. Use a soft dust cloth for antique furniture and picture frames, and a microfiber cloth for china. When in doubt, ask your appraisal specialist how to clean and maintain each item appropriately.
When it’s time to get a personal property appraisal in Maryland, make sure you select a qualified company that can give you all the information and assistance you need to preserve and sell your valuables.