Garages and tool sheds are some of the hardest parts of your house to pack for a move, mainly because of all of the odd-size, sharp, heavy, and hazardous materials they hold.
One of the things that we hear most often from our customers is, “I think I might need a whole truck just for the stuff in my garage”. I can tell you from personal experience that the last time I moved, I spent a good half hour just standing in the doorway to my garage, gazing out over the vast wasteland of tools, lawn equipment, and dead leaves that I would shortly have to move. It took me quite a while to convince myself that no, after all, this stuff won’t just pack itself up if I glare at it long enough. My wife has since referred to that forlorn, hopeless malaise as “pulling a Carter”.
Don’t pull a Carter. It just doesn’t have to be that hard. Whether you’re doing a quick local move, or moving cross-country, just follow the plan that our packing experts have outlined below and you’ll be astounded by how simple it can actually be to pack your garage and tool shed for a move.
… Here’s how to do it the simple way.
1 First, get rid of anything hazardous.
No, Tesla, your homemade nuclear fission reactor can’t be transported in the moving truck. While you’re at it, also safely dispose of all oil, gas, pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. None of those are allowed in the moving truck either.
2 Grab a beer, that was hard.
It’s important to take frequent breaks while packing your garage up. It’s dirty work, and some cool crisp valley-filtered freshness is just what you need to move you on to…
3 Box your hand tools and power tools up.
These can all be packed up in small moving boxes. Don’t throw them all into a large moving box – I promise, you’re not getting that sucker off the ground. If you’re a superhero and you DO get it off the ground, the bottom will give way and spill everything. You have been warned.
Small hand tools (like screwdrivers and wrenches) can stay inside their toolbox. Just make sure to pad the inside of the toolbox with “dunnage” (crumpled packing paper, optimally) to keep them from moving around. The excess motion could cause the entire box to topple over.
Power tools should ideally be put inside the case that they came in when you purchased them, and then loaded into a small moving box. If you don’t have the case that they originally came in, wrap all pointy/sharp ends in PLENTY of dunnage and secure with packing tape.
4 Box up your medium-size tools
Hedge trimmers, garden shears, etc. – basically anything with a pointy end – should be wrapped in plenty of dunnage and secured with packing tape, and then loaded into small moving boxes. In hindsight, I probably could have combined this with the previous step… but I’m not going to.
5 Pack your larger/longer tools
Okay, okay, I know. “Long tools”. I get it. Har har.
Assemble all of your rakes/shovels/brooms/scythes (do people still have those?) into a bundle, wrap them in a moving pad (try and make a “burrito” out of it so that the ends are tucked in), and then tape the moving pad securely shut on all ends with packing tape.
6 Pack your lawnmower and weed-eater
Drain all liquids out of your lawnmower and weed-eater (oil, gas, and any other lubricants), and dispose of properly. Use a small piece of cardboard or lots of packing paper to make a protective “shell” over and around each spark plug (these are seriously easy to break – trust me, I’ve done it). These are generally so large or oddly-shaped that there really isn’t a point in boxing them up. Just make sure that they’re well-secured inside the truck with tie-downs so that they don’t fly all over the place and damage other items.
7 Pack your grill
Get rid of any charcoal or other refuse, and give the whole grill a good spray-down with a garden hose, inside and out. You don’t want any of that grease, ash, or soot to get on any of your belongings! If your grill is a gas grill, keep in mind that propane tanks are also on the “not in the moving truck” list. If you HAVE to take it with you, it’ll need to be done in your own personal vehicle.