You’re moving wine. “ABC/ It’s easy as 1 2 3,” are famous lyrics to the Jackson 5 song “ABC.” Unfortunately, moving a wine collection or putting wine into storage isn’t exactly “as simple as do re mi.” But for the true wine enthusiast, every careful step you take will be worth it.

Moving wine from one location to another takes a good amount of prep work, but when you’ve invested your time and money into something you are passionate about, you’ll surely want to take great care with it. Follow the guidelines below to simplify and manage your wine move.

Review State Laws for Moving Wine

First, if your plan is to move your wine collection over state lines, review all appropriate state laws and regulations. Some states have restrictions on the transportation of alcohol or may prohibit it altogether. You want to make sure you are doing everything by the book to avoid problems later.

Create an Inventory and Check Your Insurance Policies

After you have confirmed that it is legal to move your wine to the desired location, assess your collection. Start by taking a simple inventory to fully see what you have. If you know that you have valuable bottles or a large volume of wine, you should seek out a professional appraiser for an estimated value.

Check your insurance policies and have them updated to reflect the status of your current collection. When moving wine, you want to make sure that the most recent value of your collection is reflected on all paperwork.

Next, create a detailed inventory. Take pictures of your collection and write down each bottle that you have. It is important to have accurate records throughout the entire move process.

Moving Wine with a Professional Moving Company

If you’re hiring a professional moving company, tell them in advance that you are moving your wine collection. Confirm that they will move it, and get their advice on how to best pack and prepare your wine collection for the move.

Also, confirm with your moving company that the outdoor temperature at the time of your move – or the temperature in their moving trucks – is safe for your wine. Moving wine in extreme temperatures can be damaging to the flavor of the wine and can ruin expensive bottles. White wines and less expensive bottles tend to be less susceptible to temperature damage, but it is best to keep the temperature in mind when moving wine.

Throughout all your discussions with your moving company, take note of what factors go into the price of moving your wine.

If you decide to pack your collection yourself, be sure to take great care. You will want to purchase boxes and inserts that are specially designed for bottles. You can opt for cheaper alternatives, but the cliché of “it’s better to be safe than sorry” comes to mind here. However you decide to pack your boxes, make sure that each bottle is individually wrapped and that boxes are sealed securely and clearly labeled as “fragile.”

Moving Wine into Storage

If you’re putting wine into storage instead of just moving it, note that your corked wine should be kept on its side or upside down during storage to keep the cork wet. Place your packed wine boxes either on their sides or upside down, then write “this end up” in the appropriate place on each box.

Toast Your Success

Lastly, take a few final steps once your wine has reached its destination. Double check your inventory sheets to make sure all bottles got from point A to point B. And be sure to wait several days after your move before opening any of your wine bottles. Your celebratory drink will taste much better once your wine bottles have settled after the commotion of a move.

In summary, when renting wine storage or hiring a professional moving company to move your wine, do your homework, be organized, ask lots of questions, and get clear written estimates. Plan your steps, accomplish them carefully, and you’ll be whistling “ABC” when you raise your next wine glass in celebration.

Laura Gee is the Content and Social Media Manager at Find Laura on Google+ or follow her on Twitter @LGJones523