Estate Shipping

One of the most painful things about the loss of a loved one is often the disposition of the estate. It can hold memories at every turn. Thinking in terms of things to keep and things to save can be difficult and upsetting. Depending on the situation, an estate may sit for months or even years before it is sorted out. However, it cannot always remain where it is. Should it be in an apartment, rented home, or even a home that is going to be sold quickly, it has to be relocated. Sometimes moving the estate into storage is the solution, other times, it may need to travel across the country or around the world to family and heirs.

Family are not always able to drop everything and sort through an estate at once. Decisions about what to keep and where items will ultimately end up are not easy, and can be delayed by legal technicalities as well as grief. Many times, just thinking about such mundane and material things after a recent loss seems wrong and depressing. Shipping a whole estate intact can give you the time you need to mourn, attend to other considerations, sort out legal details, and learn about your options.

In some cases, you may find yourself working with a living estate because the owner is going into a smaller home or assisted care. If you are the person in question, you may be moving to a smaller place, but you may not want to give up your heirlooms and things just yet. They may be going into storage or to a family member. They may be going to be liquidated at auction. Some people decide to move, take what is most precious, and then donate the remainder. In any case, it is important that all the items are packed and shipped safely and carefully.

If you have just made the decision to relocate an entire household estate, you can get a quick, accurate shipping quote right now by calling us at Pack and Ship at 855.322.9684, or you can use our handy form. We have been packing and shipping for many years. You can even email us a picture of any particularly large or unusual items in the estate, to give us a good idea of the exact nature of your packing and crating needs. We will get you an accurate shipping quote within 24 hours.

Estate Items

An estate is a very personal thing, and unlike a collection, it is not planned, but is accumulated over many years. Evaluating all of an estate can be a daunting and seemingly impossible proposition, especially right after a loss. Getting everything packed up and ready to move is something we can assist with, so you can focus on other things. The estate will be moved, and you or the heirs will be able to go through it at its new location when you are ready and able.

  • Linens, towels, clothing items, shoes
  • Dishware, small appliances, kitchen items
  • Fine art, paintings, sculptures, vinyl records
  • Tables, plant stands, end tables
  • Couches, sofas, divans, loveseats, ottomans
  • Tools and machinery, new and old
  • Personal files and records
  • Jewelry, watches, and precious gems or fossils
  • Display cases, TV cases, Entertainment Centers
  • Dolls, Bears, Figurines, Chess sets, toys
  • Books, CD’s, Vinyl records, family albums
  • Collections of coins, stamps, or delicate epemera
  • Rugs, fine carpets, draperies, tapestry, quilts
  • Gardening equipment, tools, cleaning equipment

Large and Bulky Items

These are the items we enjoy: a challenge to the average packing and shipping company. These are things that may be hard to move safely. They can be quite valuable and need special handling and consideration.

  • Pianos, organs, harps
  • Freestanding sculpture and art installations
  • Pool Tables, Full taxidermy pieces
  • Fountains and statuary
  • Classic cars and collectible vehicles
  • Long pews and railroad benches
  • Major appliances and large equipment

Antique and Vintage Items

Some of the most precious items in an estate are also the hardest to pack. They may have survived generations and can be fragile. They also carry memories with them. The careful handling and packing of these items is something we specialize in. During trying times of grief, it can be emotionally difficult to handle and evaluate these reminders of the past. Even if you are just downsizing, these things can be a source of worry and concern. We can help make sure they remain safe and sound until you are ready to see them again and have decided exactly what to do.

  • Barware, Kitchenware, bottles, sets of dishes
  • Fine crystal, glass, porcelain, and pottery
  • Statues and sculptures
  • Textiles and clothing which needs special handling
  • Old scientific and medical equipment
  • Escritoires, étagères, and other fine furniture
  • Wardrobes, armoires, pieces with parquetry and inlays
  • Mirrors and stained glass windows
  • Claw-foot bathtubs and old iron furniture
  • Tiffany, Steuben, Lalique and antique glass
  • Oil paintings, murals, pastels and humidity-sensitive art
  • Old books, maps, postcards, photographs or daguerreotypes


An estate includes everything, including home office equipment, personal computers and electronics. Getting these moved safely from one place to the next is important.

  • Stereo and sound systems, speakers, amplifiers
  • Computers, servers, printers, and office machinery
  • Audio-visual equipment like television sets or flat-screens and home theaters
  • Medical equipment like monitors, oxygen machines, and power chairs


  • White Glove Service

    This is the same level of detailed and thoughtful care we use for museums.
  • Expedited Service

    In some cases, you may need an estate packed and moved quickly due to legal constraints or property disposition. We will provide overnight and other expedited shipping.
  • Custom containment

    We custom build crates from corrugated cardboard or wood, with double-walls or reinforced padding, to suit any item. If an item needs controlled humidity or temperature, we can allow for that.
  • Any location or method

    Ground, Air, Rail, and Ocean – whether you need domestic or international shipping. Our unique status as a licensed brokerage gives us connections all over the nation and the planet.
  • Always full service!

    We provide full retrieval and delivery from and to any location. We can pack onsite and indoors, and hand-load for you. We don’t just drop things at the curb or a warehouse, but help unpack and remove any debris. If the estate is going into storage, we will make sure it is stored properly.
  • Documentation

    We can provide full documentation and create a clear record for insurance or legal purposes. This is especially important if you are using a shipping method with multiple legs, such as truck to ship to shore to truck. Since estate funds are often held in escrow until everything is settled, a clear record of all the expenses associated with the estate relocation is important. If the estate is being moved internationally, we can assist with customs. International paperwork can be complex when many kinds of items are involved, since the tariffs, rules, and procedures governing a laptop will differ from those about dishware.

Tips for Shipping an Estate

Get Details up Front

Estimating the shipping weight of some pieces can be a challenge, since you can’t step on a scale while holding the dining room table. Using a moving weight estimator can help. Weight Estimator this will allow you to get some idea of the weight of your items, and we can then help you plan the kinds of packing materials and vehicles you may need. If you need assistance, give us a call; also, let us know if the weight you provide is an estimate and how you arrived at it. Knowing the exact dimensions of your items allows us to give you the best packing and shipping quote up front. Sometimes an inch in size can mean a different vehicle or kind of crating will be needed for shipping a piece.

Know Your Options

Consider the different methods for shipping the estate, the time each method takes, and what will be best for you. Different carriers may have different limitations. For example, extremely large trucks may not always gain access to residential locations. Using a storage container may limit where the loading and delivery take place. Be aware of the needs of various items in the estate; some may suffer from changes in temperature or humidity. Some items need special care if they will be making an extreme change in altitude.

Learn the Costs

Understand any fees and charges that may be associated with shipping a particular item, for example, some carriers may charge extra to provide special containment or stabilization features. Each mode of transport has different industry standards. We can help educate you about all the fees and costs, so you understand the full value of your quote.

Insure Adequately

Make sure you have an accurate inventory of the entire household, and know its general fair market and replacement value. This is never easy. Some items, like family photos, won’t have a price. Other items may be vintage or no longer in production, so determining replacement value is complex and confusing. A professional appraiser can help. Independent adjusters called “public adjusters” can also help. Some of them provide extra services such as filming or photographing everything. Writing down the provenance, or history, of any important items will help you in working with any insurer. Some shipping carriers have coverage limits, and in some cases you may want additional insurance for a special item. Some storage facilities have limits to what they will insure, and caps on amounts, so if you are going to store the estate, make sure it is fully covered. Purchasing the minimum required insurance can be regretted if a hurricane wipes out a storage facility and everything inside. Understanding the value of your estate and the items in it is important in making insurance decisions. Having professionals help can be useful, especially if the family is in a stressful state.

Know the Rules

Be aware of restrictions and regulations that may affect shipping if the estate is going to cross state lines or go to an international location. Each country will have their own specific export, import, and customs regulations. Duties, taxes, and other fees will also vary depending on the locations involved. Some types of items are subject to extra scrutiny in customs, and knowing the import and export regulations will help you give the information they need up front to avoid delays. Being aware of these items also allows the packing to be done in such a way that they can be easily accessed. Some states have strong regulations regarding wildlife and endangered species related items.

Be Organized and Communicate

Have a coordinated plan when it comes to pick-up times and delivery times for all the parties involved. For example, if your estate is being delivered to a storage facility or auction house, the staff will need to be aware of the arrival and ready to receive everything. security may be involved, too. Let both your shipping carrier or broker know about special requirements up front, and be sure to give them ample contact information, such as cell phone numbers, email, and land line options for all the parties that will be involved. Timing can be very important to the success of such a large and important shipment. Any delays or changes in the schedule should be communicated to everyone as soon as possible, so everything will go smoothly.

Consider Estate Assistance

In some cases, you may not want every single thing packed and shipped. Hiring an estate sale agent or cleaning agency to come in after you have moved the things you want can be helpful. This service will allow for cleaning out the items like old groceries, toiletries, trash, and general debris, and selling things which you may not want to keep, pack, ship, or store, like clothing items or potted plants.

Types of Shipping Companies for Shipping an Estate


Most small items are usually categorized under the heading of “household goods” by freight companies and couriers. Large, dense, and palletized items will fall into different classes. Freight may be referred to as LTL, which means less-than-truckload, indicating that your items will share transport with other items, and may stop at different warehouses and locations along the way. You will also hear about truckload freight, which means you have a truck dedicated only to your shipment, and in the case of an estate, this is usually the situation. Truckload freight will go straight from the point of origin to the destination. Air Freight moves more quickly than standard freight, but does not necessarily mean it is flown in an aircraft.

Blanket Wrap

A blanket wrap carrier will wrap each item by hand. Any flaws or damage will be noticed immediately, rather than in the case of a package or crate, where it may not be seen until an item is opened. Blanket wrap generally has lower labor costs, and is environmentally friendly, since blankets and equipment are re-used. In some cases, cling wrap may be used rather than a blanket, to prevent drawers from sliding open, for example. This is a good option when furniture items, delicate art, and large fine art pieces are involved. It the estate is going to rest in storage for an extended time, a blanket wrap company may need to charge you for the wrapping and packing materials if you want to keep items wrapped while in storage.

Van Lines

Van lines usually use actual vans or trucks which are designed for carrying specific kinds of cargo, but may also employ shipping containers. These will offer packing and crating, but sometimes also allow you the option of doing the estate packing, although this may be more risky and also may take more time and energy than you can manage. Vans often have special fixtures for handling tall furniture securely, padded walls, and come with specialized equipment for moving heavy and awkward objects, such as pianos or artwork that is large. Some vans are bigger than others, and you may be able to fit an entire estate into one van, or you may need more than one. You may also need a climate-controlled van if weather is extreme or if the estate items are sensitive to changes in temperature, humidity, or elevation.

Pack and Post is a brokerage, so we look at the big picture and have a complete understanding of all these carrier options and more. Like a travel agent, we can often get the best rates as packing and shipping companies compete for our business. We have the experience to look at your individual estate contents and select the correct carriers for the move. We are skilled in handling estates of all sizes, and coordinating the entire project from start to finish. Dealing with an entire estate is intimidating. Trying to make these kinds of arrangements can be very stressful, but we can help.

Pack and Post has over 28 years of experience and all the tools for every job. We are glad to help organize the relocation of your estate, and pay attention to details so you can spend time with your family or attend to other pressing matters. You can relax, confident that every element of the packing, shipping, and relocation has been addressed. Years of experience do not result in a cookie cutter approach; we will look at your estate carefully and personalize the planning to be the best fit for your specific situation. Call now at 855.322.9684 or use our convenient, fast form for a personalized quote!