How to Store Clocks

My mom has three clocks in her living room—and each displays a different time. Of course I’ve offered to correct this for her but she’s stubborn. “I like it that way,” she says, firmly. It would be one thing if the clocks showed the time in Paris and Tokyo and San Francisco, but they don’t. Each is 10 or 20 minutes off. Mom says that this keeps her on her toes, but I think one of my brothers neglected to pack the clocks properly before our recent move.

Don’t let this happen to you. Your family members will be 20 minutes late to work or 10 minutes early to dinner and not even realize it. It will be chaos. Before your next move, take a few minutes to learn how to pack and store a clock.

If you want to store a clock—for the short term, before a move, or the long term while you travel the world—don’t just wrap it in a storage blanket and hope for the best. If it’s a small, mantel clock, take these steps:

  1. Take out the batteries and wrap them separately;
  2. If there’s a glass dome, remove it and put newsprint paper or tissue inside to absorb any shocks, wrap the outside with bubble wrap, and put the entire thing a sturdy box;
  3. If there are pendulums, wrap these with bubble wrap or tissue paper;
  4. Be sure to use clean, non-inked wrapping materials; and
  5. Set the entire package aside and pack or store it last, with nothing on top of it.

For larger clocks (standing or “grandfather” clocks), I’ve got good information from the experts. Lior Rachnany, owner and founder of Brooklyn-based Dumbo Moving, offers these helpful hints:

  1. After removing the pendulum and securing all components, wrap the clocks with a moving pad;
  2. Add additional protection with layers of cardboard;
  3. In the moving truck, make sure to strap it to the side of the truck, toward the front (to avoid bouncing, since the back of the truck is subject to a lot of bouncing); and
  4. Remember that a large clock needs to stay upright.

Lior adds that, “If you want to place it in a storage unit, keep it accessible and try not to stack items on top of it.”

I also contacted Ken Reindel, CEO of Ken’s Clock Clinic and an expert in antique clocks.

If you are storing your clock, he said, “it would be advisable to keep the temperatures between 50F and 80F, and humidity levels under 65% for long term storage.”

I imagine that, with the advent of “smart homes” and our growing reliance on cell phones, someday soon every clock will be an antique. That’s all the more reason to pack yours with TLC.

Conna Shannon

Conna Shannon

Conna is a writer, editor and aspiring filmmaker. She's into DIY, upcylcing and macrobiotic cooking. She lives in Monterey, California, with a yellow lab named Daisy.
Conna Shannon

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