How to Pack a Garage for Moving

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Photo of some wrenches and other hand tools hanging on a wall in a garage.

Packing a garage for moving can be a somewhat daunting task, considering this part of the home is often used to store all the extra bits and pieces you’ve been meaning to go through for years. Once you finally set out to pack it all up, you might not know where to start!

Luckily, there are easy ways to quickly minimize the clutter and pack your garage in an efficient and logical way. Here is how to pack a garage for moving in six steps.

1. De-clutter and donate before you pack

It pays to purge your garage of anything you no longer need or use frequently enough before you start packing. Time permitting, you could have a yard sale, donate items to a local charity or Goodwill store or simply place any unwanted items on the curb with a sign marked “free” - whatever works best for you and your move.

While you sort through your belongings, keep a large trash receptacle and a pack of 45 Gallon Heavy Duty Bags on hand so you can easily discard anything that you likely can’t donate or sell. The last thing you want to do is pack and unpack something you can’t even use anymore.

2. Gather the right packing supplies

It’s a good bet you’ll need more than a few cardboard boxes to pack your garage the correct way. Try these packing supplies instead.

Recommended garage packing supplies:

3. Find out what items you can’t pack

By law, movers cannot move certain hazardous materials often found in garages and sheds due to safety concerns. If you’re hiring movers, you need to first determine which of these items you have stored in your garage so you can make plans to dispose of them properly before moving day.

Items that cannot be moved:

  • Hazardous and flammable materials (gasoline, paint, aerosol cans, charcoal, etc.)
  • Explosives (fireworks, ammunition, primers, propellants)
  • Corrosives (batteries with acid)
  • Power tools with fuel still in the tank (lawn and garden equipment)
  • Plants, fertilizer and soil

If you’re not sure where to dispose of household hazardous materials, try checking with your local public works department or municipality for instructions. Your town likely has a drop-off location or will even pick up hazardous materials from your home.

4. Pack your power tools, garden tools and hand tools

Although most tools are made of heavy-duty materials built to withstand harsh conditions and treatment, you should work toward packing and moving tools the correct way by using the recommend supplies and trying these packing tips.

How to pack power tools for moving

Drain your power tools of gasoline then properly dispose of the gas. If you still have the boxes that the tools came in, use them for packing. If not, using small and/or medium moving boxes will work fine as well. Disassemble what parts you can (batteries, cords, etc.) so it all fits in the box and you avoid unnecessary damage. Wrap your power tools in Enviro-Bubble® or Mover’s Wrap, place them in the box and use Box Tape to keep your boxes closed tight.

How to pack garden tools for moving

Lawn shears, shovels, metal rakes and other sharp garden tools should be wrapped in a Quilted Pad or Enviro-Bubble® so you and the movers are protected during the process. Long-handled gardening tools can be bundled together using Braided Nylon Twine, then wrapped in a Quilted Pad or Mover’s Wrap for added protection and convenience.

How to pack hand tools for moving

The best way to pack tools that are already organized and stored in a tool box is to leave them there and move the box as is. If possible, lock the tool box drawers and openings so they don’t fall open while on the truck. For drawers that don’t have a locking function, wrap a couple layers of Mover’s Wrap around the box to keep everything closed tight.

If you have loosely stored hand tools and no tool box to pack them in, try using plastic Storage Containers. Entire tool sets are often too heavy to be moved in cardboard boxes, which is why plastic containers are the better option. Be sure to wrap hammers, screw drivers and other common hand tools in Mover’s Wrap before placing them in the container. Anything with a sharp blade should be wrapped in Enviro-Bubble®.

5. Use specialty boxes where possible

Part of what makes packing a garage such a unique task is that the contents of one garage could be entirely different from the garage next door. So, depending on what you have in yours, one or more of these specialty boxes will make packing a bit easier.

  • Dish Barrel® Box: Great for any extra dishware you have stored in the garage, such as fine china, holiday plates, stemware, crystal and more.

  • Sport Utility Box: Standing at forty-eight inches , this box is ideal for packing and moving golf clubs or any other long, oddly-shaped garage equipment.

  • Book Box: If you have a book, magazine or comic book collection in your garage, try using this sturdy, double-walled box to keep your collection pristine.

  • Large and Extra Large Moving Boxes: Both sizes make great moving boxes for tools as well as other odds and ends in the garage, like sports balls, small appliances, seasonal decorations and more.

6. Protect your appliances

If you have a refrigerator or washer and dryer in your garage, keep it shielded from dents, scratches and dings during your move by wrapping it in a Quilted Pad. Then use Mover’s Wrap to keep the blanket in place. If you need to move a freezer, remember to allow it to defrost and dry completely before packing.

No matter what packing supplies or resources you need to move successfully, U-Haul has a solution for you. Check out these additional packing tips then shop for moving and packing supplies to get your move going.