Packing for a move can be stressful. You have to worry about packing your belongings, getting them to the new house, and then unloading and organizing everything when you get there. One thing that often gets overlooked in the hustle and bustle of moving is packing your outdoor items. This can include anything from lawn furniture to grills to patio umbrellas. If you want to ensure that your outdoor items are safe and secure during your move, follow these tips.
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Sort and Discard
First, go through your outdoor gear and make a list of everything you’ll need to bring and what you can give away. Will your new house have room for all of your existing possessions? If you’re downsizing, now is the finest moment to pare down. After all, it’s difficult to store furniture outside in a moving van when there’s no room inside. Give anything you don’t want to family, friends, or neighbors or have a garage sale to generate money for your relocation. Get rid of any potentially dangerous goods in your garage or shed that you can’t take with you. You can’t take the charcoal for your barbecue, for example, or the propane for your firepit. Fuel, batteries, pool chemicals, paint thinner, and other combustible, explosive, or corrosive items are also out of the question.
After sorting everything and discarding what you don’t need, the next step is to clean everything. This is especially important if you’re giving away your possessions. You’ll want to ensure that they’re free of all dirt, dust, and bugs. Use a good quality cleaner and get into every nook and cranny. Pay special attention to any spots that are difficult to reach. It’s necessary to clean everything ahead of time to avoid the dirty phase of relocating.
Gather All Packing Materials
Now that you’ve sorted, discarded, and cleaned everything, it’s time to pack it all up. You’ll need packing materials like bubble wrap, packing peanuts, newsprint, tape, and boxes. Start by wrapping the larger pieces of furniture in bubble wrap. If you have any glass or ceramic items, be sure to pack them in boxes with plenty of packing peanuts to keep them from moving around. Wrap smaller items in newsprint and pack them into boxes. Make sure that everything is well-secured before you tape the box shut.
Involve Family Member
Next, it’s time to start packing your outdoor gear. This can be a fun job for the whole family. Get everyone involved in packing up the lawn chairs, grills, and other items. Ensure that everything is packed securely and labeled with what it is and where it goes. This will make it much easier to unpack when you get to your new house.
Different outdoors require different packing. Make sure to read the instructions for your product! Read on to know more about packing outdoor items while moving.
Pack Your Grill
If you have a grill, it’s important to pack them securely for the move. Make sure to wrap them in blankets or tarps to protect them from scratches and dings. You may also want to put them in boxes if you have them or use bubble wrap to protect them further.
Remove any remaining charcoal or residue from your grill and/or smoker. If you have a gas barbecue, place the propane tank in a safe location away from the fire. Remove all utensils, clean them, and pack them away. Grills and smokers will be greasy, blackened, and filthy, with food particles trapped on the grates. A wire brush and some soapy water will take care of the grates, but you may need to use a degreaser for the rest of the grill. Remove all detachable components and store them in the same box as the utensils. Wrap the lid, if possible, in bubble wrap or blankets and pack it separately. If it is connected, use packing tape to secure it. Cover the wheels and handles while they are exposed for easier mobility.
Pack Your Patio Furniture
If you have patio furniture, it’s important to pack it securely for the move. Make sure to wrap it in blankets or tarps to protect it from scratches and dings. Remove all cushions and padding from your sofa, loveseat, and chair. If you’ve washed these, leave them to dry completely before carrying out the following steps. (Allow at least 48 hours in the sun.) Wrap cushions and pads in a garbage bag to keep moisture away while transporting them, then squeeze out all of the air. Tape the bag shut. This will help to keep the cushions in good condition. If you have a parasol or umbrella, take it down and pack it away. You’ll also want to pack away any rugs or mats that you have.
Chairs, sofas, lounge chairs, and tables can all be relocated as is. However, if you can disassemble a component, do it. If you remove the item from the frame and wrap each part in old towels or bubble wrap before packing them together, you will save space on the truck and prevent it from getting scratched or dented. Tape the parts together so that they don’t come apart in transit.
Even if you can’t take apart the furniture, certain components need more care. For example, the glass top on a table should be removed and wrapped in bubble wrap and a thick furniture blanket to minimize the chance of shattering during transportation. You’ll also want to cover any sharp edges on pieces with outdoor furnishings, legs, or arms with bubble wrap, so they don’t cause any injuries.
If you have a patio umbrella, pack it carefully for the move. First, douse and wash down the umbrella and allow it to dry open for several days before packing it. Wrap the umbrella in plastic wrap (or use bubble wrap) when you’re ready to pack it. Or, secure it with strong-duty rope in various places and transport it that way. A weighted base is included with most patio umbrellas. Hence, it should not be packed in a box since it might smash through the bottom. Instead, transport it on the trailer as is.
Pack Your Lawn Mower
If you have a lawnmower, it’s important to pack it securely for the move. Make sure to wrap it in blankets or tarps to protect it from scratches and dings. You may also want to put them in boxes if you have them or use bubble wrap to protect them further.
Chances are, your lawnmower is full of gasoline. You should never transport gasoline in anything but an approved container. Transport the lawnmower and its fuel canister in separate, sealed containers. If you’re not sure how to do this, consult your moving company for specific instructions on how to pack flammable items.
Pack Your Plants
If you have any plants, it’s important to pack them securely for the move. Make sure to water them well before you pack them and then put them in plastic bags. You can also put them in pots if you have them. If you’re moving during the winter, make sure to pack your plants in a way that will protect them from the cold. However, if you employ a moving company, they will most likely not move your plants. In any case, the majority of plants would perish on the journey. If you want to relocate your pots and planters, you can do so. Wash the containers and let them dry fully before removing any potting soil. Treat them as delicate glass items and pack them in bubble wrap. Tape the bubble wrap securely so that the pots don’t move around during transport.
Pack Your Outdoor Decorations
When packing outdoor decorations, it’s important to be careful with how you pack them. If they’re made of glass, for example, wrap them in bubble wrap and a thick furniture blanket before packing them in a box. You might also want to use newspapers as extra padding. If the decorations are made of metal, make sure to cover them with a layer of tape or plastic to prevent them from rusting. Consult your moving company if you have any questions about packing outdoor items for a move. They will be able to help you create a plan that will keep your belongings safe during transport.
The simplest way to transport a trampoline may be to hire a trailer and move it yourself, regardless of the size or destination of your trip. This allows you to avoid disassembling and reassembling it. Using ratchet straps, make sure it is secure near the trailer. If that isn’t an option, remove the pad from the frame (you’ll find the straps underneath the trampoline) and take it out. Remove all of the hooks from the skin’s attachment points. Place these in a bag with you, fold down both layers of fabric. Unscrew and remove the structure from within. Wrap each pole in a blanket or bubble wrap. Tape each end of the pole so that it doesn’t move around. Place all of the poles in a box and tape it shut. You can also put the fabric in a bag. If you have the frame, put it back together and reattach the skin with the hooks. Wrap it in blankets or bubble wrap. Tape it so that the pieces don’t move. Please place it in a separate box.
If you haven’t kept the assembly instructions for your swing set or playset, moving it may be difficult. Take pictures from various angles before doing anything so that you have a visual reference while reassembling it. Then, using a pencil or a strip of tape with the component’s name written on it, label each section of the set. If there are any large bolts, unscrew them and place them in a labeled bag. Take the swings down by loosening their chains and removing the S-hooks. Placing all of these items in a labeled bag, tape it shut. Remove the screws on the ladder and place them in a labeled bag. Tape it shut. If your set has a slide, unscrew the bolts and remove the slide. Tape it shut and place it in a labeled bag. If you have a roof, take it down by removing the screws on each side. Unscrewing the caps at the top of the posts is another way to take it down. Place all of these pieces in labeled bags.
Reassembling the set is just as important as packing it correctly. Make sure to follow the assembly instructions closely and to use the correct tools. If you’re unsure about something, stop and ask someone for help. It’s better to take your time and do it correctly than to risk damaging the set.
Packing outdoor items for a move can be tricky. The best way to transport them is with the help of a moving company, but if you want to do it yourself, several steps will ensure success. We hope this article has given you some great tips and tricks on packing your patio umbrella or lawnmower securely for relocation.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you pack outdoors for a move?
You can do several things to pack your outdoor items securely for a move. While moving the plants, make sure to water plants well and put them in plastic bags. If your decorations are made of glass, wrap them in bubble wrap and a furniture blanket. Tape each end securely so that they don’t move around. If they’re made of metal, cover them with a layer of tape or plastic. If you have any questions, consult your moving company.
If you’re moving during winter, make sure to pack your plants in a way that will protect them from the cold. Consult your moving company for specific instructions on how to do this. Most likely, the company will not move your plants.
Can I move my trampoline if I’m moving? If you’re moving a trampoline, the simplest way to do it is to hire a trailer and move it yourself. If that’s not an option, take the pad off of the frame and take it out. Remove all of the hooks from the skin’s attachment points. Or you can hire professional movers to move the trampoline.
Alex Sherr is the founder of My Long Distance Movers, a blog that provides moving information and resources for people who are relocating. He has more than two decades of experience in the moving and relocation industry, and he is passionate about helping people relocate smoothly and efficiently. When he's not writing or blogging, Alex enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.