Moving home with your whisky collection – an action plan

let’s begin

I have been meaning to write about moving home with your whisky collection for a few weeks now, having gone through a big move from London to Cheshire just before Christmas. Hopefully I don't have to go through the whole move process ever again, but with some simple planning, it should be easy enough to moving home with your whisky collection. 

It actually took months of planning, and a couple of years of not throwing away any boxes or packaging from bottles of whisky that have arrived at the house, to be in a position to be able to move the collection successfully, and without incident or bottle loss.

I was surprised that the only bottle that broke was actually one my wife bought me when we were first dating. It was in a box that I had stacked way too high upon arrival to our new house and the box simply fell off the stack later that night. Gutted, but could have been much worse.

To ensure moving home with your whisky collection goes smoothly, make sure your bottles are:

  • Packed upright
  • Wrapped in at least two layers of bubblewrap, or each bottle in the ‘bottle defenders’ retailers such as Master of Malt use to post bottles out in
  • Packed tightly in each box, a good test is to shake the box – if you can hear the bottles moving, you are risking them breaking as the closer and more tightly packed they are, the safer they are
  • In a box with the top clearly marked and arrows draw on the side so movers have no excuse for getting it wrong and leaving your boxes, and precious bottles on their side as, whilst it won’t matter too much if they are on their side for a few days or weeks, longer than that will start to cause damage through whisky and cork contact
  • Box contents are logged and numbered – you don’t want anything going missing in transit, your insurance company will need this to authorise any claim you make for damage or loss
  • Try to take a photo of each bottle too that is geotagged to where you are moving from, that way you can prove to your insurance that they were in the house ahead of the move, then do the same again when they arrive at the final destination to prove they are in the new house

When thinking about moving home with your whisky collection, it is important to think about the value, the bottle count and where it is going at the other end. As a strategist by trade, I probably over-thought it a bit, but here’s how I planned it:

  • I segmented the collection by value
  • I ensured that the valuable whiskies were placed in boxes marked ‘HNWW x’, with the x being the box number
  • Then each box’s content was logged on Post-Its as I packed it
  • Each Post-It was then photographed so I had a record
  • The whiskies in the photograph were then logged as ‘in transit’ on my WhiskyBase (LINK) collection page, changing to ‘in storage’ or ‘in office’ or ‘to be sorted at home’ once they had reached their desired destination
  • Check, that your chosen moving company are prepared to transport liquid, and especially alcohol… I had to coerce mine by pointing out how militantly I had planned and packed everything before they would take it, even then they were not happy!

I then did the same for the the ‘less valuable’ bottles in the collection as these went off to both the house, and to a secure storage facility in Manchester. Not that there too many to manage, but due to how we organised the move, the less valuable bottles went up about six months ahead of the final move as I was offered the opportunity to have a load of boxes moved up north whilst our old house was being used for an ITV film production.

One unexpected bonus of this process was finding bottles I’ve not seen for years and some I did not even know I had!

It was a bit of a burden, but worth taking the time to do it properly as you, like me, have probably built up your collection over years and don’t want the initial joyous time in your new house to be overshadowed or impacted by any issues of the enjoyment of your collection for many more years when moving home with your whisky collection.

With the appropriate planning you will have no losses, no damages and no issues when moving with the collection, and now I want to hear your stories of moving home with your whisky collection; how did it go? Any issues? Any surprises? 

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My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.

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