How to Pack Up Your Garage For a Big Move

March 17, 2022 by: Tony Gilbert

If you're packing up for a big move, it's essential to organize and pack everything correctly. Amid all the things to do before a move, it's easy to overlook the garage. Leaving it to the last minute can cause unwanted stress.

The task of packing up your garage can seem overwhelming at first. Fortunately, you can break it up into smaller tasks to make moving easier. Keep reading to learn a few simple tips that will make packing up the garage for a move easy and stress-free.

Organize Before You Pack

If you've been delaying organizing your garage because you're planning on moving soon, the bad news is that a well-organized garage is essential for a stress-free packing experience.

But there's no near to fear; the most challenging part is deciding where to start. By breaking the task of organizing your garage into smaller steps, you can get it done quickly and painlessly.

The easiest way is to start with three big piles. 

A "keep pile," a "storage pile," and a "donate pile." If you’re focused on Marie Kondo-ing your life, the “donate pile” should be the biggest of the three.  

Once all the clutter has been placed in a category pile, you can get even more detailed by grouping items into small groups based on their packing needs.

Ideas for garage packing categories include:

  • Small Tools & Hardware

  • Sports & Toys

  • Decorations

  • Furniture

  • Yard Care Appliances

If you're having trouble organizing your old garage, you may want to start thinking about how to avoid running into the same organizational setbacks in your new home.

Evaluate the problems you're running into as you pack up your garage and think about the storage tools that will solve those problems in your new home.

Are you finding bundles of loose Christmas lights and random piles of holiday decorations? Invest in some storage tubs now, so you have a place to put them in your new garage.

If there are tools all over the garage, and you can't make an accurate inventory of everything you do and don't have, consider buying a pegboard or toolbox to bring garage organization to your new home. 

Pack the Easy Garage Items First

With your subcategories all ironed out, you're free to start packing the easy stuff. Starting with items that are easy to pack and move is a good strategy because it frees up space to work on the big or heavier items.

Bundle all rakes, brooms, gardening hoes, and other long-handled tools together. These items are more efficiently packed in a tightly-wrapped blanket. Trying to stuff them all in a box will take more time and effort than they require to travel safely.

Next, pull the cushions off of any lawn furniture that you have and set them aside. Cushions can be packed with more fragile items, saving you money on other packing insulators.

Pieces of furniture that can be folded up can be hidden out of the way in cracks or assembled into a neat pile. Just like rakes and brooms, furniture doesn't require its own box.

If you own an outdoor dining table with an umbrella, you can pack it with your bundle of long-handled tools. Just make sure the arms are tied down securely, so they don't open up during the move and damage something.

Tackle Heavy-Duty Garage Items Last

Tools, appliances, and other large items that can't be easily moved need to be packed securely for the move.

Assess the unique needs for each item and plan accordingly. For example, large toys, like swing set, would require several hours of disassembly, and it should be done several days before the move.

Here are a few more tips on packing large items in your garage.


Lawnmowers come in all shapes and sizes so the packing needs will depend on your model. A manual push mower should have something soft wrapped around the blades before it goes in the moving truck. Gas-powered push mowers will need the fuel drained from them before being stored. Ride-on mowers can be towed to the new house using a hitch and trailer. Or, you can arrange to have them placed in a long-term storage unit for vehicles.

Sharp Tools

"Heavy-duty items" doesn't just refer to size. Sharp objects and tools that require special attention are considered heavy-duty, too.

Any smaller tool with a blade should be stored in its own container, away from other items. Box cutters, utility knives, and other sharp tools can do a lot of damage if they're not packed properly.

The best way to store them is in a designated box with the blades pointing down. You can use an old shoebox or something similar. Just make sure to clearly label it as "sharp tools" so the movers will know to be careful with it.

Larger sharp tools like saws and axes require extra safety prevention. Wrapping them in plenty of layers can help ensure that the sharp edges don't harm anyone during the move. Old sleeping bags and heavy blanks will do the trick. Be sure to use plenty of rope and tape to keep the protective layers from coming off.

Garage Items That Can't Be Moved

Ensuring the safety of all parties is a top priority during any move. For this reason, several items need to be left behind when packing your garage.

The list primarily refers to hazardous materials such as:

  • Gasoline

  • Fertilizer

  • Flammable liquids

  • Fireworks and other explosives

As a good rule of thumb, if it's one of the items that can't go in a storage unit, it probably should go in a moving truck. At your new house, be sure to properly dispose of home renovation waste instead of storing it in the garage. 

Pack Your Garage Properly For a Stress-Free Move

By following these simple steps and sticking to a timeline for moving, you can pack your garage with ease and have it looking neat and tidy in no time. Remember to discard any hazardous items before packing, and be sure to finish with the more challenging items to avoid getting overwhelmed. With a bit of organization and some effort, you can have your garage packed up and ready for storage in no time at all!