Packing Up Your Garage: A Full Guide To Getting Done

Read on to understand how to best pack up your garage without extra stress. Together we will learn how to pack up those hidden items in a safe and efficient fashion.

Packing Up Your Garage: A Full Guide To Getting Done

The garage is that dark place we all throw our junk for years that we can’t find a better place for. It’s the spot that we never think to clean or organize and we tend to let junk accumulate for years. Now’s the time to get er’ done and get that garage packed up!

When planning your move and packing schedule, don’t forget to leave ample time for the garage packing job. Make sure it’s a shared issue to tackle for the whole family as this is not a one man’s job.

Don’t stress about taking on the garage, this project has a beginning and an end. With proper planning and confidence, you will get it packed up.

The garage is usually the hardest “room” of the house to take on, but once done, you’ll be a pro packer and ready to take on the rest of the home with ease! Getting the garage packing over and done with at the beginning of your moving process will quickly make you realize how simple the rest of the move will be since you’ll already be a pro packer. 

Roll up your sleeves and let's get to it- its garage packing time!

Packing Your Garage Step by Step Guide

1. Plan It Out

  • Choose a time and date to do this task as a family and ensure to stick to it.
  • Prepare your cardboard boxes, duct tape, moving blankets and towels, markers and labels, garbage bags, bubble wrap and scissors ahead of time to save the hassle. 
  • Take stock of the items in your garage so you can gauge how many boxes and how much supplies and man power you will need for the task.
  • Have lots of coffee on hand and chocolate to keep morale high.

Pro tip- To keep yourselves motivated take fun breaks for coffee, fun lunches, and whatever else can keep this experience in positive vibes.

2. Clear out the junk you no longer need

  • Maybe take a separate day where the first step is just looking around and seeing what items you’ve collected over the years have become irrelevant for you and your family and placing them in the give away box. This will clear the way for the rest of the task and will ease the workload. Keep it very clear which boxes should be donated, which recycled, which are total trash, and which are important. Things can get messy at this stage. 
  • Decluttering your garage is the best thing you can do to actually declutter your life. The garage is a metaphor for our overly packed lives and each item we take out eases the load.
  • While clearing out the items no longer needed, you will start to find the long lost great items you have. Instead of putting them all in cardboard boxes, it might make sense for you to buy plastic storage crates and already pack similar items into these storage units for future garage storage that is organized.

3. Packing the boxes

  • Safety comes first when packing unknown items. Make sure there is nothing sharp or dangerous sticking out of any box.
  • Label every single box. You don’t want to find yourself tearing open all the boxes to find the one thing you need in the new home. Labeling may be the most critical step to the entire garage decluttering project. Don’t just label each one as “garage,” which won’t tell you anything. Be specific so you can understand later on.
  • Start from the top down where possible to understand and safely remove the objects that are not easily seen to the eye from the bottom of the garage.
  • Go by the rule: Recycle, Repurpose, Reduce. If you can reduce is the best idea to get rid of the extra clutter. 
  • Pack similar objects together for ease of use later on. You are likely to actually throw these boxes directly into your new garage so at least use an organized technique when packing them up!
  • Be careful when packing up the powertools in the garage. Make sure to wrap any sharp blade and cover up sharp objects. Only someone that understands the tools should handle them and all tools should be disconnected from the electricity. 
  • Dust off each item before putting it in the box as it’s been sitting for god knows how many years on these shelves and has likely accumulated a spider or 8.

4. Know what you can’t just throw in a box to the movers: 

  • Bleach
  • Peroxide
  • Dangerous chemicals 
  • Ammunition
  • Fireworks
  • Pool chemicals
  • Batteries
  • Lighter fluid
  • Propane
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Paint thinner
  • Anything considered flammable they will not take responsibility for on their trucks

Safety comes first. Always handle these items with care. It is best to safely rid your home and garage of any of the above items not needed as they can endanger you and your family.

5. Essential items should be kept aside

  • Whether it be a garden hose you’ll need soon at the new place, your extra towel collection, or the tools you need to put back together your sofa bed, keep these items handy and in a clearly labeled box. You are likely to need them in the first days of the move so planning ahead will help.
  • Power tools are considered essential items and should be kept handy as you are likely to need them to assemble new items in your new home.

6. Clean the floors

  • After such a long time, your garage floors and dusty corners are not the healthiest spot. Hose them down together with some floor cleaner to feel refreshed after the task. 
  • Depending on your move, if you have the chance to get into the new home’s garage and give it a nice wash down, you will be happier in the long run.

7. Wall storage is your friend

  • Anything that can be hung in an organized fashion against the wall, should be. Think about brooms, rakes, gardening equipment, tools and more. 
  • You can also create a shelving unit to hold the smaller extra bottle such as touch up paint, cleaning supplies and more.
  • Shelves and cabinets will be your best friend in your garage. 
  • Places where you can throw balls, games, extra supplies, arts and crafts and whatever else it is you are deciding to keep around doesn’t need to be in plain eyesight. 
  • Keep all your car supplies in one area to easily find them in the garage.
  • Keep things as organized and hidden as possible

Pro tip: If you are short on storage space, you can add a railway to the top of your new garage ceiling that works as a storage track for bigger items. This overhead garage storage system will help to keep clutter on shelves to a minimum.

Wrapping Things Up: (Literally)

Packing up a garage can be a bit of a bummer. You are likely to not know what to do with half of the items you find, but nonetheless is a critical task and part of your move. This is the perfect opportunity to minimalize your life and get rid of some old garage junk.

A fair rule of thumb is if you haven't touched or needed any item in over a year, its safe to let go of. We believe in you and know you’ll get er’ done! If you don’t have the time for this hassle, iMoving packing experts are happy to help and can be booked online in our marketplace. 

Written by Rachel Kaplan, a seasoned mover that hates garages but loves herself a great garage sale. She has moved over 4 times in the last three years, and has way too much experience packing up those boxes and moving on out. She loves DIY style moves and believes in Marie Kondo’s decluttering principals.

Rachel Kaplan

Rachel has spent the last few years writing for moving companies while actually moving across the globe. After many years of moving between many states in the US, she moved abroad to try the remote work life. She’s a pro at moving all her things with her dog and hundreds of plants. Thankfully she’s a minimalist so moves aren’t too much of an issue.

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