The Bekins Blog

How to Pack Tools for Moving: Packing Your Garage & Workshop

If you own a woodworking shop or have a garage full of tools, these items are probably top-of-mind as you begin packing for your move. Tools for the garage are heavy, expensive and can seem complicated to relocate. 

Whether your workshop tools are used for fun or for work, we understand the importance of keeping them safe and damage-free during your move. Luckily, at Bekins, we have experience moving all types of belongings, so we’ve compiled some tips. If you’re looking for the best way to pack tools for moving, you’re in the right place: 

Here’s How to Pack Your Tools For Moving

1. SORT & PURGE: TOOL STORAGE & ORGANIZATION

Moving to a new location is a great time to take inventory of your tool collection, including power tools and garden tools. As you sort through all your workshop and garage items, separate them into five piles to get organized:

  1. Large tools you want to keep
  2. Large tools to give away or toss
  3. Small tools you want to take
  4. Small tools to give away or toss 
  5. Power tools

Creating these piles make it easier to know what type and how much packing supplies you’ll need. Plus, if you’re planning on giving away or selling your items, it allows you to see what you have available. 

If your garage or workshop is a cluttered mess and you don’t have room for piles of goods, use your driveway or a tarp in your yard for tool organization. 

If you decide to create your separate piles outside of your garage or workshop, you open up space, making it easier to pack your garage and get ready for the move. It’s also easier to sweep and clean the aftermath if you don’t have a garage full of tools on the floor.

2. CLEAN & INSPECT YOUR TOOLS

Before packing tools for moving, wipe them down and clean off any dirt or gunk. This way, you’ll have clean tools when you arrive at your new location. 

Keep in mind that stored tools are havens for spiders! Wear gloves before reaching into dark corners of your workshop or garage. Use damp rags, towels and cleaning agents to remove the following debris:

  • Dust
  • Dried mud & dirt
  • Pollen
  • Sawdust
  • Grass clippings
  • Lubricant & oil spills
  • Cobwebs and spider eggs

3. REMOVE FUEL & OIL

Properly drain gasoline and fuels from your tools (especially garden tools like lawnmowers). Most moving companies will not allow you to load moving tools that are full of flammable fuels as gasoline can leak out when the vibration of the moving van loosens their fuel caps.

Not only is leaking fuel a fire hazard, but the gasoline can drip or pool on other expensive household goods. Fuels can also soak and stain boxes… which leaves your goods smelling like gasoline.

How to Properly Remove Fuel & Oil from Your Tools

Never dump gas, oil or lubricants in your yard or down your drains. Take spent fuel and lubricants to an approved disposal site in your area like an auto-service garage or local recycling facility.

4. REMOVE BLADES & BITS

Take blades out of circular saws, table saws and other motorized saws. Otherwise, mounted blades can become warped or damaged during the move. Follow these tips to keep your tools safe:

  • Use rubber guards around saw teeth so they don’t puncture moving boxes
  • Pack saw blades upright when possible and allow plenty of cushioning such as bubble wrap between the blades
  • Remove drill bits from drills, impact wrenches & drivers
  • Pack bits separately from fasteners like nails and screws so they’re easier to locate in your new workshop or garage
  • Use pierce-proof containers to hold drill bits and fasteners inside your moving boxes

5. SUPPORT LARGER TOOLS & GEAR

Heavy tools or power tools need extra support to remain undamaged during the drive to your new location. Cushion the corners and all protruding parts with thick packing foam or bubble wrap.

If you plan to move a rolling tool chest, remove the tools to make the chests lighter. Don’t use packing tape to secure the doors—instead, wrap tool cabinets and chests with moving blankets. Use rope or tie-downs to secure the blankets around the large tool cases.

Whenever possible, break down your larger workshop tools into smaller parts. Moving shop equipment like this can make putting things back together a pain. Take photos before disassembly to make reassembling the tools easier. Protect your large tools with the following steps: 

  • Use boxes reinforced with plywood
  • Wrap motor shafts and mounts
  • Coil cords and tape them to the tools
  • Don’t use lightweight Styrofoam to pack sharp-edged tools

6. RESEARCH & PLAN

If You’re Moving by Plane:

If you’re flying to your new home, you may be able to take some tools along. Tools generally aren’t allowed with your carry-on bags, however. Check with TSA to find out which of your tools is approved for airplane transport.

If You’re Moving by Car:

When driving to your new home, pack tools for moving in a designated move-in toolbox.

Hand tools are valuable during move-in to unscrew light fixtures, hang pictures, mount drapery rods and more. Plan ahead so you have the tools you need when you get to your new home. Handy tools for moving include:

  • Hammer
  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Level
  • Scraper
  • Stud Finder

Get Help From the Best Moving Tool: Bekins Van Lines 

To learn more about moving a garage and packing the tools that are kept inside of it, get in touch with the relocation specialists at Bekins! We offer supplies, moving advice and a plethora of moving services to meet your commercial or residential workshop needs.