Packing Your Garage for the Move

A woman who just moved into a new home in NYC.
A woman who just moved into a new home in NYC.

Whether you have a one-car, two-car,, or a detached garage, it’s likely home to more than just your vehicles. If you’re like most people, your garage has become the home to boxes of things you rarely use, overstock of household items, tools, paint cans, and miscellaneous odds and ends. As you prepare to relocate, there are things to keep in mind as you begin planning your move. Here’s our list of four things you should do to pack and move items in your garage correctly.

1. Service Your Vehicle

If you’re lucky enough to be able to have a moving company pack your car into a semi-truck, that’s great. If you’re planning on moving your vehicle (or vehicles) yourself, make sure they’re in good shape. Now is the time to catch up on your car or truck’s required maintenance schedule. Have the engine tuned, the oil changed, and the vehicle checked by a professional for safety.

Whether you’re moving across town or the country, the last thing you want to have to deal with in your new home is a broken-down vehicle.

2. Dispose of Chemicals

Not only is moving household chemicals dangerous, but it’s also illegal in many jurisdictions.

Paint cans, paint thinner, spray paint, and every other household chemical can be a health and safety hazard in a move. Not only are these items dangerous, but the dangers of a move also make it far more likely that they will be exposed to extremes of heat and possible damage, leading to safety and fire hazards. Even if you have dry chemicals (like lawn fertilizer), bags and tubs can be easily damaged, releasing dangerous and possibly toxic chemicals on to your household goods.

Be sure to dispose of the items correctly, and if in doubt call your garbage disposal service to find out how to get rid of these items safely.

3. Take a Garage Inventory

‘Out of sight, out of mind’ is an adage for a reason. Items stored in your garage are often forgotten. Unless you have a meticulous labeling system, the simple fact that you don’t use things stored in your garage often can lead to a great deal of confusion.

Before you begin loading boxes onto a moving truck, make sure you’ve opened boxes you’ve stored in your garage and verify the contents.

4. Dispose of Items You No Longer Need or Want

The garage is often the last resting place for things before you finally get rid of them.  A move is a perfect time to dispose of items that are just taking up space.

Your move can be a fresh start, and there’s no better way to start over then to lighten your load. Salvation Army, Goodwill, and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul are great places to donate items you no longer need. Your gently-used items can make a real difference in the lives of the less fortunate, and you can get a tax write-off to boot, so set aside your unwanted items and you might help someone in need.

Follow these four tips, and packing your garage will be a snap!


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