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Garage and Storage Sheds - Packing and Organizing Storage Areas

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Packing the garage and storage shed for moving can be a little more time consuming than you first think. These areas are usually filled with an odd mix of stuff, from lawn mowers to weed whackers to racks and hoes and your Aunt Georgina's collection of garden gnomes. These areas also hold items that can be harmful if they spill or leak such as fertilizer, gas, antifreeze and oils.

Decide What to Move

As with all your packing endeavors, you need to sort through the items to decide what to move and what to sell or give away. If you're moving a short distance, then moving most items will save you from repurchasing them later; however, if you're downsizing to a home that has a smaller yard or a condo where pruning sheers just won't be needed, try to sell your unwanted items before you move.

Also, many garage items run on gasoline, need oil or have recently been used to paint the house. Before you move these items, find out what you can and cannot pack to ensure your things are safe by checking out the article What Not to Pack.

Packing Tips

1. Gas-powered Items

  • These items are usually an odd shape, heavy and awkward - not easily packable. To prepare these items for moving, drain them of all harmful liquids. This includes oil and gas from lawn mowers, weed whackers and chain saws.
  • Purchase protective covers for chain saws, lawn mower blades and grills.
  • Remove all attachments and pack these separately in well-protected boxes. Label them accordingly.
  • Remove and empty propane tanks from barbecue grills and purge the hose thoroughly. Make sure lids and all parts are secured.

2. Tools

  • Collect all tools that are the same length and secure them together using strong plastic tabs or cord.
  • Keep small tools in the toolbox. For tools that do not fit or if you do not have a toolbox, use a strong box and pack the items well to ensure they don't shift during the move.
  • Use bubble wrap, old rags or linens to protect any sharp edges or blades before you pack them. If you're packing sharp-edged tools in a box, make sure you properly label it to make sure whoever is unpacking the items is aware of the contents.

3. Lawn and Deck Furniture

  • Clean furniture and dismantle it as much as possible, including umbrella from the table, table legs, and any glass table tops. Place chair padding in a separate box or clear garbage bags that can be used to cushion other items on the moving truck.
  • Wash down the umbrella, let it dry then collapse it and use a mattress bag to wrap it. Secure the plastic bag by winding packing tape around it. If you prefer, bundle the umbrella with other same-sized tools.

4. Cars and other Motorized Vehicles

  • Check with your mover to see what the best way is to move your vehicle. Most people opt to drive it or use a trailer behind the moving truck. If you have more than one vehicle, you may opt for towing a trailer.
  • Moving overseas or across another country's border? Then there are special steps you need to take to prepare your car for shipping.
  • For all other motorized items, check with your mover for moving options. This includes a boat, jet ski , skidoo, motorcycle, etc.

5. Children's Stuff and Outdoor Equipment

  • Dismantle all swing sets, slides and climbing apparatus. Keep bolts, screws and other small parts in a strong, clear plastic bag. Secure this to one of the larger pieces of equipment or store it in a box that is properly labeled. If the equipment seems complicated, write down the steps you're taking to dismantle it so when you go to set it back up again, you can read your instructions backwards to reassemble it.
  • For long distance moves, it's best to box bicycles to ensure they aren't bent during the move. Contact your local bus or train service and ask for bicycle boxes. If you're using a moving company, they can also provide you with information on where to obtain these specialized boxes.
  • For satellite disconnection or TV antennas, contact the dealer or company who did the initial installation. Ask for packing instructions and reassembling information

6. Planters, Pots and Bedding

  • If you're moving out of state, check to see if plants can move with you. If you're moving locally, ask your moving company how they prefer to move potted outdoor plants. There are several way of transferring bedding plants, check out How to Move Your Plants
  • If you cannot move potted plants, give them to a neighbor or friend. If you want to keep the pot, transfer the plant, then pack the pot as you would any fragile item. Wrap it well then place it in a box. Planters can be stacked one inside another, just as you would with plates and bowls. Just make sure the box does not get too heavy.
  • For large planters or planter boxes, clean them thoroughly and if appropriate, mark them as heavy items.

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