If you're getting ready to move for the first time, you may be considering moving…
Garages and storage areas are always packed last because most people are not sure how to pack their garage for moving. One thing is certain: it poses more of a challenge than the rest of your house. Sharp objects, dirt accumulation, and awkwardly-shaped items are all common inhabitants of a garage. However, with a bit of planning, you can work out how to pack up your garage smoothly and make your residential moving chores a tad easier.
Give Yourself Enough Time
Garages are usually overloaded with a surplus of completely random items. Whether you’ve got piles of tools, extra bathroom tissues and vacuum bags, storage for sentimental items, or just bins of useless items, just know that you’ve got your work cut out for you.
So, here’s key number 1: give yourself enough time to sort through your garage. Leave the stuff you won’t use behind. Properly pack the things you will use (or want to save).
You should start packing your garage as soon as you have an official move date, with at least 3 or 4 weeks in advance. This will prevent any overwhelming situations and will allow you to take breaks while packing. Think we’re taking this too seriously? We promise we’re not.
Get the Right Supplies
Because garages often contain uniquely-shaped objects of varying sizes, your best option is to move them in their original packing. If you’re like most, however, you will have thrown that packaging out pretty quickly. So, you will need to have the right supplies lined up to make packing these difficult items a smooth process. These include:
– Sturdy boxes: You will need strong, sturdy boxes for your move. You can purchase moving boxes at specialized shops, or you can recycle boxes you already have and strengthen them with moving tape. These boxes will be heavy with lots of sharp objects, so we stress again — sturdy boxes!
– Bubble wrap: Your garage is packed with sharp edges and awkwardly-shaped items. Bubble wrap will help you safeguard the movers, yourself, and your belongings, so it’s worth purchasing some specifically for packing your garage.
– Packing tape: Use 2.5-inch gummed tape and run multiple strips along on the top and bottom of all boxes to strengthen them. Once a box is loaded, use the same tape to seal it shut. This will prevent breaking or opening during the move. Remember to label the boxes with the name of the items inside and area of your house they belong in.
– Packing paper or newspaper: Certain items, like ceramic pottery, will need to be separated with paper, so having packing paper or newspaper at hand will pay off.
– Moving blankets: Although you can get specialized moving blankets at certain stores, you can also recycle old blankets and sheets. These can be laid down on the floor and used to wrap long tools like rakes and pool cleaning equipment.
– Special packing containers: Certain big items, like bicycles, have special moving boxes you can purchase to move them safely.
Filtering the Items You Can’t Move
Health and safety regulations prohibit movers from transporting any flammable chemicals, or containers, even if they are empty. Our garage is usually crammed with many of these items, so make sure you leave them out and dispose of them properly before moving. These items include, but are not limited to:
- Cleaning Supplies
- Assorted Chemicals
- Propane Tanks
- Aerosol Cans
- Paint Thinners
Leaving Out the Tools You May Need
Going through your garage before moving will also allow you to pick out the tools you will use in your new home. Keep them to one side because you will be using these tools in the first few days after you move. These include:
- Paint Supplies
- Common Screwdrivers
- Tape Measures
- Electric and Air Tools – Leaf blower, snow blower, etc.
Getting Rid of Your Old Stuff
Once you have weeded out the things you won’t use in your new house, it’s time to dispose of them. You can always organize and host a garage sale to sell the items that are still in decent shape. Anything you have left over you can donate to a friend or your local charity shop.
Start Small and Work Your Way Up
Garages are huge, so it’s hard to know where to start. Go for the smaller items first: hand-held tools and anything of the same approximate size. This includes car tools, small cleaning utensils, wrenches, rulers, and any other small item. Grouping your packing into sizes will help you pack easily, and use up all the space you have efficiently.
Categorize Your Items
Categorize each item based on its general purpose: cleaning, car tools, electrical, and so on. Label the boxes to reflect the category of items you are using it for. Group all items that have the same purpose and similar size together. Remember to wrap the sharp things in a layer of wrapping paper and bubble wrap.
Rakes, Brooms, and Long Tools
You can use moving blankets to pack all brooms, rakes, mops, and other long tools. Fold the blanket and use pieces of string to secure it and prevent it from unraveling. For cleaning tools that have odd shapes, like a Swiffer, use a layer of wrapping paper, a layer or bubble wrap, and some packing tape to secure it.
If your garbage cans are filthy, and you would prefer not to clean them up, you can simply purchase new cans at your new house. However, if you would like to keep your trash cans and containers, give them a good wash before you pack them. If they are sealable or rollable, you can use them to pack items without making them too heavy.
Pottery and Garden Planters
Small, ceramic pottery should be wrapped with plenty of cushioning, either with wrapping paper or bubble wrap. Heavy, unusual planters may need specialized packing so you should consult with your moving professional. Old, damaged boxes will have to be replaced with new, stronger boxes.
Patio and Outdoor Furniture
For outdoor and patio furniture, pack all the cushions and fabric-based accessories in boxes and containers. Clean up the frames and put them all together to easily move them later on. If possible, deconstruct the furniture. Save all the bolts and screws in small baggies and staple or tape them to a part of the furniture.
Outdoor Equipment and Heavy Tools
Fuel-powered outdoor equipment, such as lawnmowers, need to be drained from the fuel before transport. Small hardware, screws, and nails should be put in a plastic container. Outdoor swing sets and other mobile features should be taken down, taken apart, and placed in containers, bags, or bubble wrapped.
Grills and BBQ Equipment
You will not be able to take your gas tank with you, and your movers will not transport any coal either, so you’re better off donating them to a friend or getting rid of it in your garage sale.
Awkwardly-shaped items are best moved in their original packaging, however, most people don’t have the original packaging available. Use moving blankets, wrapping paper, and bubble wrap to secure any awkwardly shaped items. If you’re not sure what to do you can always phone up your local moving experts for some advice, or to hire professional packing for certain items in your garage.
Preventing Dirt From Going All Over the Moving Truck
One of the biggest issues with moving your garage is getting dust and dirt over the rest of your belongings. In order to prevent any garage-sourced contamination, you have a few options. First of all, change all old boxes with new boxes and containers. Dispose of the old box properly (most likely recycling). If the boxes are dirty, wrap them in moving blankets.
Packing the Moving Truck
Each moving job is different, so there is no step-by-step guide that fits all. However, your professional movers will be in charge of packing and will make sure you take full advantage of the space you have available.
Bicycles, Cars, and Other Vehicles
If you are not driving your motor vehicles to your new home, you will have to hire reliable transportation services for cars, trucks, and motorbikes. Bicycles, on the other hand, have special moving containers available. You can run down to your local bike shop and purchase one for each bike you own.