Putting off your packing till the last minute, when you are relocating to a new home, may not be the best idea for those looking for a stress-free move. The majority of homeowners, often leave certain rooms in the house to the last task and end up hassling around trying to stuff belongings into other boxes, only to break them or damage the goods.
One of these rooms includes the garage. Depending on the state of your garage, this should be a space that you tackle first or early on in the packing process. But most people deter from the thought of having to pack large items such as tools, golf clubs, rakes and so on.
When packing a garage you need to consider that there may be hazardous materials in it such as paint, pool equipment, pesticides and chemicals. If you can do without them, they need to be disposed of responsibly. Heading to the garage first before any other room will ease the stress of packing the other rooms.
Since it is probably the largest room in the house, it will most likely take up more energy and time to complete. One advantage of doing this first is to create an open space for the boxes from the other rooms to be stored and out of the way. You can add piles of boxes and items that you want to throw out, in the garage so you don’t end up leaving a mess inside the house.
Get Your Supplies Ready First
First and foremost, before you start taking things out of the garage, you should gather all the necessary supplies. A few basic items should do the trick, but make them useful ones. Sometimes if you have large and oddly-shaped items in the garage you should order some specialty boxes for them. Corrugated cardboard boxes are the best for this purpose, read about this here.
You should also look into getting a few sturdy cardboard or plastic moving boxes. Then of course you will need the wrapping materials and strong tapes such as duct tape, masking tape or packaging tape. Make sure you have enough material to pack the fragile items and stuff to make sure it’s protected all around when adding things to the box.
You could also use a bunch of blankets or old towels for the stuffing and to wrap smaller items in. the heavier boxes will need to be double sealed. So, the items you need should include:
- The strong cardboard or plastic boxes, both big and small.
- Specialty boxes if needed
- Bubble wrap
- Packing paper
- Rope or Twine
- Packing tape (duct tape, masking tape or packing tape)
- The blankets and old towels
- A few garbage bags and small plastic bags for smaller items like nails and screws
- Rope to tie the garden equipment together
- Label stickers or thick markers to label all the boxes
Donate, Sell or Throw Away
Once you have everything you need, then the next step should be to decide where you want to put what. In other words, decide which parts of the garage you want the garden equipment to go to, and which space you want to put the chemicals and pool cleaners and so on. If you think about an architectural blueprint, where the bedroom goes in one corner and the kitchen and dining areas in another, you can use the same concept here.
This will also help you to set aside items you want to trash in the bin or recycling and the other things that you want to keep or donate to goodwill. The trash bags will be for the junk items. Another garbage bag can be for the donations or perhaps you can sell them too.
Go with one section at a time and look through all the items while opening boxes and packages to see if there is anything inside that you may have forgotten about. We usually store small items like rubber bands, nails, plastic pieces, pencils and screws in boxes or drawers.
These should all be gathered up to the last one making sure none have fallen on the floor and get stepped on. Sometimes machinery is still in its packaging, and if you’re not going to use it, check if it’s working or not and then decide what to do with it.
Getting rid of items you know you will not need or use in the new house will mean less for you to pack and unpack in your new place. As these piles start to grow, tackle them one by one. For example, the goodwill bags should be sent to the store immediately, so you can get rid of them and have space for other things.
If you want to sell items, going online and posting an advert on an online marketplace such as Facebook, Gumtree or Craigslist can help. You can also inquire at the hardware stores in your local area if they want anything for parts or to use. If you haven’t done it yet, this guide on how to sell an item online can show you: https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-sell-on-craigslist?r=US&IR=T Of course you also have the option of having a garage sale in the neighborhood.
If you do intend on selling anything, make sure you check it properly, wipe it down nicely and place a price tag on it, or make an inventory list with the item, description and price to show your customers. Mark the box clearly as a “FOR SALE” box.
Dealing With Hazardous Materials
As you go along decluttering everything, make sure you put all the hazardous materials to one side, away from anything else. Always wear gloves and an apron when handling these. It is also a good idea to keep in mind that not all moving companies will allow hazardous materials to be transported in their trucks or vans. If this is the case, make sure you ask them about it and set aside those things that you will need to dispose of or to take with you in your car.
Stringent, professional moving companies will not handle materials that include cleaning solvents, paints and paint thinner, aerosol cans, car batteries, propane tanks, gasoline, charcoal, kerosene, herbicides and pesticides.
Organizing and Packing
Now for the fun part! After you have completed the decluttering and placing all the things in different areas of the garage, now you can organize them and start packing. First and foremost, you need to wrap all items inside plastic bags and bubble wrap or if you are using the blankets and old towels, now would be the time to grab them.
Before you place the items inside the boxes, make sure you secure the bottom with the packing tape several times to make sure it doesn’t come to lose or open up. Place all types of heavy tools inside of a heavy cardboard or plastic box. Anything that has sharp edges needs to be wrapped up properly and securely with bubble wrap and towels. This would include spades, shears, garden scissors and similar items.
Don’t overload these boxes with too many things. Any power tools should ideally be left in their original boxes. If you have thrown those away you can use a carrying container. Do remove all the detachable and loose parts before you pack them up. Don’t forget to fill the empty spaces in the box, around the items, with either bubble wrap or packaging paper.
Wrap long items like brooms, shovels and rakes inside of a long towel and secure them with the rope or twine. Do this for all other items. The sports equipment should also be packed into a separate box, and bicycles or anything with wheels like the lawn mower or wheelbarrow can be loaded directly into the truck. Once a box is packed, seal it properly with the tape, and make sure to label it specifically to what inside for example “Garage – Tools” or “Garage – Garden Stuff” and so on.
Be sure to drain the fuels or gas from the lawnmower before transporting it.
Lastly, keep any essentials that you will need immediately once you are in the new house with you. Things such as hammers, screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers, tape measure, trash bags and utility knives must be kept in a small box to take with you in your car so when you get to your new place you can use them to do minor fixes if needed or to build that IKEA coffee bed.
Once everything is done, then you can relax knowing that all that is left is for the movers to put the boxes in their truck and drive off to your new place. Being organizes and tackling the largest items in any home is the best way to start any task, and to help give you more time and energy for the other rooms in the house. Don’t wait for the last minute as what you see may not be what you get once you remove all the items from the garage and place them on the floor space.