Tools, Tins & General Storage: Top Tips for Packing up Your Garage
Unsurprisingly, moving house can be a highly stressful process. While it’s perhaps impossible to totally eliminate upheaval, you can minimise the impact of moving on your mental and physical wellbeing by ensuring that everything is well organised, and that you have a clear strategy in place.
Packing up the contents room by room is a key aspect of the process, and although it might be tempting to leave the garage until last, it requires as much attention as your bedroom or kitchen — whether or not you keep your car in there. The garage contains such a variety of items, and each has its own handling and packaging requirements, so where do you start?
First things first: cut the clutter
The garage is where tools, tins of paint, car care products, and garden equipment are likely to be stored. It may also provide storage for items that would otherwise take up too much room in the house, or which are at the end of their useful life (e.g. children’s toys), especially if you have little or no loft space. You may also keep your washing machine or tumble dryer in here, as well as a chest freezer. And this is not mentioning all the other bits and bobs you’ll have lying around.
Before you think about packing anything up for removal, have a clear out. This will massively help you out. Put items to be kept on one side of the garage, and on the other side, the items to be discarded. A new lawnmower would definitely go on the ‘keep’ side, but that collection of dusty, half-empty paint tins from when you redecorated in 1995? Discard! Be brutally honest with yourself, are you really going to use all those rusted pieces of equipment again?
How do I get rid of the clutter?
Once you have identified what can be disposed of, there are several options, depending on the size, type, and condition of the items, as to how you discard them.
Old newspapers and magazines can be recycled, for example, so put them in your recycling bin for the usual refuse collection. Or, a handy tip would be to reserve them for use as cushioning for items in boxes. However, if you have hoarded large amounts of old papers, which are now dusty and damp, load up your car boot and head to the local tip.
Pass on unwanted toys, furniture and household appliances to relatives, friends, neighbours, or take them to a charity shop. Many charity shops arrange collections of bulky items, but if this isn’t possible, check whether your local council could take away that old armchair or disused washing machine.
If you have the time and the energy, make some extra cash by selling things on eBay, or organising a garage sale — but if there’s far too much clutter and you’re really pushed for time, hire a skip. It just makes things easier for you.
Tackling the essentials
Now you’re down to the essentials, continue the systematic approach. Deal with the large items first. Drain water from washing machines and defrost freezers. Tape bubble wrap to these appliances, to prevent scratches. These items may be too heavy even for two people to lift and carry, so use a dolly (a small, two-wheeled trolley).
Disassemble furniture, such as patio tables and chairs, where possible. Detach table and chair legs, wrap them in bubble wrap, and bundle them together with tape. This will prevent them separating during transit.
Moulded plastic furniture is easily scratched, so placing foam sheets on top of chairs when stacking them can help to guard against this. It essentially prevents rubbing and scratching occurring while they are being loaded into the van, transported and unloaded. Foam sheeting will also protect plastic or glass-topped garden tables.
The blades and tines of garden tools, such as shears and forks, can easily cause damage to other items in transit. It is therefore vital to wrap these sharp parts in bubble wrap. You can keep tools together by bundling up the handles with tape, as well.
Large petrol-powered devices, such as lawnmowers and hedge-trimmers, must be drained of fuel before they are loaded into the van. Any exposed blades and protruding parts, such as handles, also need to be bubble-wrapped.
When all the large items have been made ready for moving, it’s time to deal with the smaller things that can go in boxes. If you’re using a moving kit, which consists of a range of sturdy boxes of different sizes, reserve some of these boxes for the garage.
Place bubble wrap or packing peanuts inside socket sets and tool boxes to fill any gaps, and make sure they are secured properly. If there are any unboxed hammers, screwdrivers, or axes, bring out the bubble wrap again to wrap the sharp ends. Do the same with power tools, such as drills. All these items will need to be put in sturdy boxes, and any gaps should be filled with packing peanuts or scrunched-up newspaper to avoid potential damage during transit.
Car care items, such as shampoo, polish, and interior cleaning products, are likely to be in plastic bottles, so there’s no need to wrap these up before they are boxed. However, to prevent leakage, make sure that all screw caps are tight, and any nozzles are turned to the ‘off’ position. These can be boxed along with laundry powders/liquids, as well as plant food and hosepipe attachments.
Finally, all boxes need to be taped up securely and labelled clearly, in block capitals (e.g. “GARAGE – CAR CARE”) with a black permanent marker. It’s sounds simple, but it just helps you get organised. This way, you won’t end up carrying a box full of car valeting products to your new master bedroom.
Davpack are always on hand to help you when you’re moving home. To help you along the way, our range of moving kits is designed to make the transition as easy as possible for you.