Not sure how to pack your skis, hoses, brooms, and other garage items? Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you effectively tackle this important space before moving day.

What You’ll Need

  • Tape gun (a.k.a. adhesive transfer gun)
  • Permanent marker
  • 2 or 4 cubic foot cartons
  • Plastic bins (for storing liquids)
  • Wardrobe box (as needed)

Preparing

  • Read the tips and warnings at the bottom of this page before you proceed. Many of these will redirect you to other articles that can be helpful throughout the process of packing up your garage or storage unit (like packing liquids, explosives and flammables, etc.)
  • Set up a workspace: use a blanket to protect the surface you will be working on and gather the items listed above
  • Select the right type of carton (heavy or light, fragile or sturdy) and determine the best size for the amount of items you need to pack
  • Using your tape gun, seal the bottom of your boxes so that they don’t give way unexpectedly (especially if handling heavy objects)

Step 1: Packing Skis, Brooms, Rakes, Hoses, Shovels, etc.

  • Use a wardrobe box to store these tall items. The sturdiness of this type of box is also a benefit when it comes to heavier objects (like a shovel)
  • Leave the metal bar attached to the inside of the wardrobe box. This will help strengthen it
  • Fill the box as needed, but be aware of its weight, and don’t overpack!
  • In a pinch, these items can also be stored in a large container similar to an outdoor garbage bin, then secured into place with heavy-duty tape or bungee cord. However, do make sure these won’t shift during transportation
  • If you don’t have the appropriate cartons, bundle some items of similar size together and tape them for easier handling

Step 2: Packing Lawn Mowers, Grills, and Other Gas-Operated Machinery

You should never move a lawn mower or other piece of machinery that still has gas in the tank. Here is a short guide to help you safely empty your fuel tank before packing up your machine.

  • Locate and remove the fuel cap from the tank. Take a look inside to see how much fuel is left to drain
  • Screw fuel cap back into place
  • If there is very little gas in the tank, start your mower, letting run enough time to drain all the remaining fuel in your tank

Or…

  • Siphon the remaining gas out of the tank with a hand pump attached to a fuel hose
  • Position the tip of the hose toward the bottom of the tank and begin pumping the fuel
  • After a few pumps, the gas will continue pumping itself out of the tank until no fuel remains

Next, it’s time to pack the machine itself. Be it a grill, lawn mower, or a chainsaw, be sure to follow these steps to ensure they are moved safely.

  • Buy a protective cover specifically made for the items you have to move. Many of these can be found at Canadian Tire or a similar retailer
  • Dismantle any attachable pieces and pack these into a separate carton, as you would any other item. Clearly label the carton to avoid mishandling
  • If you have a barbecue or grill, be sure to remove the propane tank and either give the tank to a neighbor or transport it yourself as the mover is not permitted to transport full or empty tanks. This goes for empty portable gas tanks also as they can contain fumes which could explode uncontrollably

Step 3: Packing Tools

  • If you are packing smaller tools such as screwdrivers, boxes of nails, or small pliers, leave these in your toolbox and fasten the snaps securely before the move
  • Any sharp edged instruments or blades should never go unprotected. Bundle them in newsprint and label the container you pack them into so that whoever handles the box will know to be careful
  • If you are packing power tools, all batteries should be removed and packed separately from the tools. After this is done, wrap the cord tightly around the tool or wind it in a circular manner so that it doesn’t get tangled with other wires during transportation (these can be fastened with twist ties)

Step 4: Packing Patio Furniture

  • Clean all patio furniture before moving. Use a hose to make sure it is free of dirt or spider webs
  • Collapse your furniture as much as possible. Fold up lounge chairs, dismantle parasols/umbrellas, and remove glass from table surfaces

Step 5: Packing Bicycles and Backyard Accessories

  • To pack a bicycle, you can easily ask a bike retailer to give you one of their shipment boxes. Sometimes, this will come with a small fee, but seeing as these boxes are often discarded, they should be easy to come across. Otherwise, try to find large enough cardboard boxes that might have stored a flat screen television, for example, but that could also be used to pack a smaller bike. This is an ideal solution if you need to transport your bicycle via train or airplane. However, if you are moving within a driving distance from your old location, a bicycle can often be placed directly into the moving van
  • For removing an antenna or satellite dish, contact the company that did the installation and ask for packing guidelines and recommendations
  • If you need to dismantle a swing set, slide, or other children’s play set, remove all screws and small parts, keeping them in small resealable plastic bags. Clearly label each bag or box as you pack away each part of the set. This is mostly unnecessary if, of course, you still have the installation instructions and original box. If not, take a few pictures of the item before you disassemble it so you can reassemble the item properly at destination
  • If you have any motorized vehicle such as a jet-ski or motorcycle, you should contact your mover for information regarding the protocol for transporting or shipping these

Tips & Warnings

  • Remember to wrap all sharp edges and blades in thick material or newsprint for safety
  • If you are storing a bicycle inside a cardboard box, be sure to seal it with heavy-duty tape to avoid the box opening
  • Save twist ties and bread clips to keep wires from power tools wound tightly into place
  • Need help packing something that was not mentioned here? Check
    out our other articles that could help you finish the job: How to Pack
    Liquids, Packing Bleach, Flammables, and Explosives
    and
    Top 7 Ways to Find Moving Boxes for Free or ask us here!