How to Move a Grandfather Clock: Safely and Carefully

Heirlooms like grandfather clocks are precious in many ways. No wonder, such treasured timepieces need the right level of care while shifting to a new home.

It is not easy to find a mover with the right skills to handle a fragile item like a grandfather clock. The good news is, moving a grandfather clock is not so complicated when you have the right tools and helping hands.

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In this article, we will discuss how to move a grandfather clock in the easiest possible way.

Gather the Right Tools and Supplies

The first step in learning how to move a grandfather clock is choosing the right tools and supplies needed for the job. This will help you to complete the job in a short time without damaging any of the parts. 

To start with, you will need a pair of gloves or some clean cloth for removing the parts. The oils and dirt in bare hands can stain the brass and glass pieces.

Blankets, bubble wraps, and packing tape will be essential for packing and cushioning the parts. For transporting and holding the parts, you will need a utility dolly and moving boxes. One large crate or box will be needed for holding the large external frame of the clock.

A grandfather clock’s weight can be between 100 to 220 pounds depending on the size. An average-sized clock will weigh around 150 pounds. So, you will need a helping hand for transporting the heavy frame

Also, make sure that you have the right space in the transportation truck for safely transferring the clock.

Disassemble the Grandfather Clock

The next important step in shipping a grandfather clock is disassembling it. For this, you need to inspect the clock closely. Learn about all the moving parts like the pendulum, and the hanging weights and how they are connected.

A careful examination of the clock will also help you to locate any damages in the moving parts or the glass elements. In case there are any damages, you need to pack these parts with special care.

After an inspection, it is time to disassemble the clock. Do not try to move the clock without disassembling it. This will damage the fragile elements. Also, do not fully wind up the clock before the disassembly. Ideally, let it run for two days before taking off the weights.

Here are the steps you need to follow:

  • The first step is to remove the glass panels from the sides and the front. These panels should be bubble wrapped and stored properly. 
  • Next, the cables or chains holding the weights should be secured with a tie or some tape. This will prevent the cables from tangling and the chains from coming off the sprockets.
  • Now, remove the weights and wrap them in bubble wrap to prevent any damage. Most clocks have three weights- left, center, and right. If they are not marked, mark them. This will help you to put them back in the same spot.
  • The next important step is to remove the pendulum by gently un-hooking it from the pendulum guide. It should be wrapped carefully with protective material and placed inside a moving box.
  • The chime rods are another fragile item that you should remove carefully. Since they are hard to replace, make sure not to damage them. In addition, you can also remove any other decorative parts or wooden ornaments to prevent any damage to them.
  • The last step is to wrap the outside of the clock with a protective cover like a blanket to prevent any damage. This needs to be wrapped tightly with packaging tape. While placing this inside a packing crate, fill up the vacant spaces with packing material. This will prevent the clock body from moving inside the crate.

how to move a grandfather clock

Loading the Clock in a Truck

So how do you move a grandfather clock?

To transfer the heavy clock into the truck, you will need some helpers and a utility dolly. Ideally, two people should support the clock while the third person should slide the dolly as needed. Extra care is needed while moving the clock over the loading ramp.

It is best to keep the clock upright at all times. Lying down the unit or placing it on the sides may cause damage to the internal parts. Once placed inside the truck, secure the clock with tie-backs or harnesses to prevent it from sliding.

Unloading and Reassembling

Unloading of the clock should be done with the same amount of care used during the loading process. Once you have wheeled it to the right location, keep it protected until its location is ready.

Reassembly of the grandfather clock is done in the opposite manner as that of the disassembly. Make sure to rub the glass elements with a soft cloth to remove and smudges or fingerprints.

In case the watch isn’t functioning properly after reassembly, check if the weights have got mixed up.

Using Professional Help for Moving a Grandfather Clock

Once you know how to move a grandfather clock, also remember the arrangement takes time. To keep your favorite heirloom in the best condition, it is best not to rush through the steps. If the process feels cumbersome, finding the right moving company is a good option. 

Note, not all moving companies are aware of the exact process of handling a grandfather clock. Unless you specifically mention it, do not expect the moving team to disassemble and pack a grandfather clock in the right way. 

Specify the item while collecting the quote to avoid additional charges at the last moment. Besides, that will enable the team to come prepared with the right equipment.

That said, you will have to pay extra charges for any special service required for the clock, including disassembly. Long-distance moves for heavy household items like pool tables and hot tubs heavy and fragile items will also attract higher charges.


By following all these steps about how to move a grandfather clock, you can transfer this valuable item safely. In case you are not comfortable with the idea of DIY moving, hire a professional moving company with the right experience in handling grandfather clocks.

Agoyu provides affordable moving quotes online and can help you find the right moving company to move your grandfather clock. Click here to see how Agoyu can make a difference.

Bill Mulholland

Bill Mulholland is the owner of ARC Relocation, a company that relocates thousands of employees annually, to every state in the United States, and more than 90 foreign countries, for organizations like DHL,, GNC, and the U.S. Government. Bill also owns a real estate brokerage and title company in Virginia.