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How to Pack a Home Bar and Transport Liquor

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Are you moving to a new place but don't want to leave your bar behind? Read on to find out how to pack a home bar and transport liquor.

Preparing for a move with your precious liquor collection could be quite complicated. Not only will you have to pack fragile items and handle them safely, but you'll also need to take care of transporting them, keeping in mind all the legal restrictions that come with moving alcohol.

How to Pack a Home Bar and Transport Liquor

Here's how you can ensure proper packing and transportation of your home bar items during a move.

Packing wine

  • If you have a few bottles of wine as part of your wet bar, you can bring them with you by following some easy steps as explained below:

    First and foremost, get the following supplies for packing your wine for the move:
    • Wine bottles
    • Newspapers
    • Sturdy boxes
    • Wine carriers
    • Tape
  • While you can move your bottles of wine without a wine carrier, it's easiest to do so with one. You can either ask your local liquor store for a cardboard wine carrier, which is like a cardboard six-pack box for beer, or you can order one online.
  • If you have a wine carrier, simply slide a bottle of wine into each slot and place the carrier in a sturdy box, cork side up. Once you have filled the box, stuff the empty space with newspaper to prevent shifting during transit.
  • Tape up the box and label it "fragile" so that the movers, your friends and even you are extra careful with those precious bottles.
  • If you can't find a wine carrier, you can prepare your own cell box with a few pieces of extra cardboard. This way, you'll be able to make a custom wine box for your move within a few minutes.

Packing liquor bottles

To pack liquor bottles, you can either get an extra bottle carrier from your liquor store or make your own cell box. Another option is to wrap the bottles in newspaper and/or bubble wrap. Here's how you can pack the liquor bottles:

  • Firstly, make sure that all the open bottles are sealed tightly and are not leaking. If a bottle is open, cover its opening with a small piece of saran wrap before screwing on the cap. This will help prevent a mess if the cap isn't screwed on tightly and will just ensure an overall tighter fit on the cap.
  • Once the bottle is sealed, place it near the corner of a newspaper and begin rolling it up from corner to corner. Tuck in the sides of the newspaper.
  • Next, tape the edges to make sure the newspaper stays in place.

For additional protection you can wrap the entire bottle and newsprint in bubble wrap and tape it again. But that's up to you.

Packing glassware and barware items

Glassware and barware are important components to wet bars. Make sure that you pack them properly for your move.

You'll need the following supplies for packing them:

  • Dish carton
  • Cell dividers
  • Packing paper/newspaper
  • Tape
  • For starters, assemble the dish carton by putting some crumpled paper at the bottom of the box. Next, place a layer of cell dividers on top of the paper.
  • Take the first glass and place it on a stack of newspaper and begin rolling just as you did with the bottles -- corner to corner. Tuck in the edges of the paper as you go. Any excess newspaper can be tucked into the opening of the glass for support.
  • Place the glass rim side down into the first cell and repeat the process until the cells are filled. If you need to pack another layer of glasses, crumple some paper on top of the first layer then place a piece of cardboard on top and repeat the process.
  • Before you tape up and seal the box, fill any gaps on top with more paper. Don't forget to label the box!
  • For your bar tools, accessories and other barware pieces, wrap each item in newspapers and pack them in a separate box or container. Since most bar accessories are made out of metal or plastic, they might seem like sturdy items that don't need to be wrapped. However, wrapping would keep them safe and clean during your move.

How to move the bar counter

After you have emptied your bar and packed up all the wine, liquor and glassware, it's time to move the bar counter. If your bar isn't attached to the floor, you'll need some moving blankets, heavy duty dollies, and some friends to help you out with the move.

Follow the steps listed below to move your bar:

  • Cover the bar counter in moving blankets to protect it from scratches, dents or any other kind of damage that may occur during the move.
  • Then, with the help of your friends, lift one side of the bar high enough to slide one of the dollies underneath. Once that dolly is in place, repeat the same for the other side.
  • When the bar is securely balanced on the dollies, you can begin to roll it out to the moving truck and load it safely.
  • If you need help with any kind of specialty items like a home bar or an entire wine cellar, you can fill out a free quote form on our Special Movers Page and you'll be connected to moving companies in your area.

Transporting liquor

If you wish to transport liquor for your move, there are a few important factors to keep in mind. Some of these include legal permission to move liquor across the state line, the policy of your movers and the Customs regulations in the destination country (if it's an international relocation).

Here's how you can transport your liquor collection without running into any problems:

Find out if your movers will transport your liquor

The policy on transporting alcohol varies by company and by state law. Some states have imposed restrictions on the amount of alcohol that you can bring in for personal use. So, to avoid any trouble, you will need to contact the Alcohol Beverage Control authorities of the state in which you're planning to move. Secondly, if the moving company's policy prohibits the transport of your liquor, you may have to pack the bottles in your own vehicle.

It's important to note that you should neither pack nor transport opened bottles of liquor in your vehicle or in the moving van. If your movers' policy prevents them from transporting liquor, loading liquor bottles without the knowledge of movers can be very risky. This is because alcohol is flammable and if it ignites or combusts, you'll be liable for all the damage. Furthermore, if the alcohol is discovered and you are found in violation of any state laws, the company will report you.

Consider climate-controlled vans for expensive liquor

If you have an expensive collection of wine that you are moving cross-country, factors like extreme temperatures, humidity, and light exposure could damage its quality and flavor. So, once your movers agree to transport your wine collection, inquire about a climate-controlled moving van. Although the recommended temperature for wine storage is 55 degrees, more research may be required for the specific type of wine you are transporting. Climate-controlled moving trucks will certainly cost you a bit more, but they will also preserve your valuable and irreplaceable collection.

If you are transporting the alcohol all by yourself, you should pack it inside your vehicle rather than the trunk, as it can get very hot or cold inside the trunk, depending on the weather. Ideally, the best season for transporting wine is during the spring and fall, which is when the temperatures are the mildest.

Note: If your collection is extremely valuable, consider having it appraised so that you can take out an appropriate insurance policy in case of any mishaps during transit.

Moving liquor internationally

If you are relocating overseas, then you will have to identify the customs regulations in your destination country for importing alcohol to ensure that it is permitted. You may also have to pay a duty tax on alcohol. Unless you have a particularly valuable collection of vintage wines or aged liquor, it may not be worth the cost to ship it to another country.

Make sure you understand all laws governing the import of alcohol and that you speak with your movers about transporting it safely and legally. Confirm that your moving company has experience in international relocation, as well as, the transportation of expensive collectibles and liquor. Besides, it's imperative to obtain adequate insurance and to be available to receive your shipment when it arrives so that it isn't placed in storage with insufficient temperature and inadequate conditions.

Nicole La Capria  Posted by Nicole La Capria on August 15, 2013

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