Whether you’ve moved multiple times in your life, or you’re leaving your first home, there’s one thing that we can all agree on: packing up the garage is never any fun. This area is where we often toss things that we hardly ever use or need, which means it’s full of things that you have to deal with before you can leave. In our opinion, it’s best to start with the garage first so you’ve got room to put boxes from the rest of the house while you pack.
If you’re wanting to reduce stress and get through the packing portion of moving quickly, you need a plan. Here’s a five‑step packing plan to help you get your garage ready.
Start by sorting your items
If you are like most people, your garage is filled with things you forgot you even had. Create four groups of items while you are sorting through the garage:
- Keep pile: things you want to keep
- Sell pile: things you need to get rid of that can be sold online or at a garage sale
- Donate pile: things you need to get rid of that you can donate to charity
You may have to be harsh with yourself about some things – just keep in mind that the less you have in the keep pile, the less stress you’ll have during and after the move.
Next, gather up packing supplies
The next step is to make sure you have the right supplies for packing. Cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, newspaper, and two‑inch shipping tape will help you get everything in the garage packed up safely. It’s a good idea to reinforce the bottom of boxes with packing tape before you fill them up with heavy items from the garage.
Handle items that can’t be packed
Not all moving companies will allow you to put everything from your garage on their trucks. Flammable things like propane tanks, old cans of paint, and so on, may need to be recycled or properly disposed of instead of packed. Other moving companies will ask that you ensure that machines like lawn mowers are emptied of gas as well. Take care of all these things now to make it easier on moving day.
Label everything for less stress at the new home
One of the biggest hurdles at the new home will be finding all your items in the piles of boxes. To make it easier, label everything carefully as you pack. Use different colour labels according to the room where the items in the box need to go, or make sure to write the name of the room on the box. Be sure to mark anything that is fragile, and be sure to go ahead and put aside things that need to go to charity or a garage sale so they don’t get mixed up into the moving piles.
Carefully pack your belongings
Keep like objects in the same boxes to make them easier to put away when you get to your new home. Anything that is fragile or sharp should be wrapped in bubble wrap, or put back into the original packaging. Be sure you aren’t packing too much in a box – it could break, or it could crush other boxes in the moving truck. If you can, go ahead and disassemble items like bikes or shelving units, so that it’s easier to pack them into the moving truck.
We suggest starting on your garage a couple of months before the moving date to make it as stress-free as possible. When you get the garage all cleaned out this far in advance, you have plenty of space to put other boxes as you pack the rest of the house. One great way to make it easier to let go of things as you pack is to enlist the help of a friend or family member who can give you an objective opinion about the usefulness of items you haven’t touched in months or years.