When it comes to packing before a move, the garage is often the last room most people pack. We put it off due to the sheer number of things piled up and because the items in the garage are the most awkward to pack. Garages are full of tools, landscaping equipment and things you don’t want to look at. Often, garages become the dumping ground for junk we don’t want in the house.
But there are many advantages to packing the garage first. With a little planning, packing up your garage will ease your mind and possibly fill your wallet! So how do you tackle packing a garage?
1. Sort and have a garage sale before moving
The garage finally gets clean when you move. Hurray! It doesn’t make sense to move belongings you won’t use. Now is the time to get rid of anything you don’t need — the stroller for your now 10-year-old, the growing collection of sport team T-shirts, tools you’ve never used, etc. Sell them or donate these items. If you have the time, a garage sale is a great way to de-clutter and make extra cash.
First, sort items by creating two sections in your garage: one section for the things you are taking and one for the stuff you don’t want anymore. Then price and tag the unwanted items for your garage sale.
Donate items that don’t sell. Give clothing and household items to your favorite local charity, such as Goodwill. You can even donate unwanted furniture to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Getting rid of items will cut down on your moving expenses and keep your new garage clutter-free and a great place to get the rest of your house organized!
2. Get the right moving boxes and supplies
Pairing the right boxes and supplies with the right packing methods is crucial to the success of your move. In the garage, most items are heavy and oddly shaped. Be sure to have the following on hand:
• Boxes: Gather sturdy, recyclable cardboard moving boxes of various sizes.
• Eco-bubble wrap: Use biodegradable eco-bubble wrap to protect items.
• Packing Tape: You need to tape every box, top and bottom, with 2- to 2-1/2-inch gummed or masking tape to give it additional strength and prevent opening. You’ll need approximately one roll of tape for every 15 to 20 boxes. Run multiple strips of tape along the bottom of the box in both directions to make sure the box stays secure.
• Packing Paper: While ordinary newspaper works fine for some purposes, be aware the paper’s print will run, giving you an extra cleaning task at your new home.
• Blankets: Your mover can provide you with moving blankets for large items.
3. What not to pack for the move
Most garages have hazardous materials you can’t move due to safety reasons. Common sense and the law forbid moving companies from moving flammable items, such as aerosol cans, paints, gasoline, paint and paint thinners, charcoal, propane tanks, fertilizers, pesticides, chemicals, cleaning supplies, etc. Be sure to properly dispose of these items before moving.
4. How to pack garage items
• Preferably pack power tools in their original container. Remove any detachable parts a tool may have, including the batteries, and pack them in the same box.
• You must empty fuel from gas-operated machinery, such as lawn mowers and chain saws, before moving them.
• You cannot move a grill’s propane tank, even if it is empty, and you cannot move charcoal either. It’s best to give them to neighbors. Remove the propane tank or charcoal entirely before you move the grill.
• Stack outdoor chairs and disassemble other outdoor furniture when possible. Remove cushions and pack them in boxes.
• Wrap fragile flowerpots in eco-bubble. However, keep in mind moving companies cannot move plants across state lines, and your plants won’t survive in storage.
• Clean, defrost and dry refrigerators and freezers. Wrap them with moving blankets for protection.
• Disassemble bikes as much as possible before movers arrive. Remove the handlebars and wheels. If you can, go to a local bike store and look for an original bike box to pack in.
5. Label everything before moving
Remember that memory card game? It’s hard to find those two matching elephants in rows and rows of cards. After boxes get shuffled during a move, it’s equally difficult to find what you need.
Label each box with what contents are on the inside and write the location where this box is going, whether it’s “Habitat for Humanity ReStore” or “GARAGE,” and remember to write “FRAGILE” when needed.