Tips to Efficiently Pack and Move Your Workshop Tools

Do you own a woodworking shop or a garage full of tools? Ease the job of moving your heavy tools to your new location by following these important steps.

Organize and Purge

A move to a new location is a great opportunity to take inventory of your tool collection. As you sort through all of your workshop or garage items, separate the items into three piles.

The three piles will be designated as follows:

  • Large tools you want to take
  • Large tools to give away or toss
  • Small items you want to move

If your garage or workshop is a cluttered mess and there’s no room for any piles of goods, use your driveway to start your piles. Of course, the weather must cooperate. Don’t set tools outdoors in rainy or snowy conditions. Use a tarp on grass if you don’t have a driveway.

As you create your separate piles of goods outdoors, you open up space in the garage to set the packed and boxed items that are ready for the move. It’s also easier to sweep and clean the space when tools are not crowding the floor.

Clean and Inspect

Before packing your tools, wipe them down and clean dirt and gunk from the surfaces. You’ll have fresh, clean tools when you arrive in your new location.

Use damp rags, towels, and appropriate cleaning agents to remove the following debris from tools:

  • Dust, dried mud, and dirt
  • Pollen
  • Sawdust
  • Grass clippings
  • Lubricant and oil spills
  • Cobwebs and spider eggs

Stored tools are havens for spiders, so wear gloves before reaching into dark corners of your workshop or garage.

Remove Fuel and Oil

Drain and properly dispense of all gasoline or other fuels in your tools. Most moving companies will not allow you to move tools that are full of flammable fuels. Gasoline can leak out of tools when 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 soak and stain boxes that in turn soak other boxes, and your goods end up smelling like gasoline.

Drain oils and lubricants from tools before moving them. Leaking oils and lubricants can soak through boxes too.

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

Remove Blades and Bits

Take blades out of circular saws, table saws, and other motorized saws. Mounted blades can become warped or damaged during the move. Use rubber guards around saw teeth, so they don’t puncture moving boxes. Pack saw blades upright when possible, and allow plenty of cushioning between the blades.

Remove drill bits from drills, impact wrenches, and 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. Durable containers keep nails and bits from piercing the cardboard.

Support Larger Tools and Gear

Heavy tools need extra support to stay undamaged during the ride in the moving van. Cushion the corners and all protruding parts with thick packing foam or bubble wrap.

Whenever possible, break down your larger workshop tools into smaller parts. Take photos before disassembling the tools to make reassembling the tools easier.

The following steps help protect your large tools:

  • Use boxes reinforced with plywood
  • Wrap motor shafts and mounts
  • Coil cords and tape to tools

Avoid using lightweight styrofoam to pack sharp-edged tools. The material will compress under pressure and is easy to puncture.

If you plan to move your rolling tool chests, remove tools to make them more lightweight. Don’t use tape to secure the doors, but wrap tool cabinets and chests with moving blankets. Use rope or tie-downs to secure the blankets around the large tool cases.

Research and Plan

Will you be arriving at your new home before the moving van gets there with your goods? Do you want to have your drill or other tools available for move-in tasks?

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

When driving to your new home, pack your necessary tools in a designated move-in toolbox. Tools you might want for your move include:

  • Hammer
  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Level
  • Scraper
  • Stud finder

Hand tools are valuable during move-in to unscrew light fixtures, hang pictures, mount drapery rods, and perform other necessary move-in tasks. Plan ahead so you have the tools you need at hand when you get to the new place.

To learn more about moving your workshop tools, contact the relocation specialists at Bekins today. We offer supplies and advice to help you move all of your valuable tools safely and securely.

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