We all know that packing up all of the belongings inside of your home can be QUITE a chore (and that’s putting it nicely!). But what about everything else…from those heavy potted plants, to all of that patio furniture plus your gardening tools and supplies?! Many of these items are odd-shaped, heavy, awkward and cannot be contained in traditional cardboard boxes (unless your broom and rake are more accommodating than ours are!). In this week’s blog post, we wanted to address how to prepare and pack some of your outdoor plants and garden accessories. Many of these tips may be also be helpful as you get your backyard or front porch ready for a cold and windy season; we certainly need that rain so let’s think positive!
First of all, clean it off or give it up. Hose down the patio furniture (as long as it won’t rust), dust off those gardening tools and yes – even wipe down those garbage and recycle bins. If you find yourself with a doormat so dirty there is no point in sweeping it, or a trash container so smelly you wouldn’t leave it to your worst enemy – don’t even bother to take them with you. It’s a few less items to move and a few new things to buy, but the result will be a home you won’t mind showing off on the outside as well as on the inside.
Second, account for the awkward items. Be sure to dispose of any un-used charcoal from the BBQ and remove the gas tank from your grill. Don’t forget to drain the gasoline from any lawn mowers and leaf blowers too. Use metal coffee cans to pack and store miscellaneous hardware. Bundle rakes and brooms together so the movers can roll them up in a foam pad. Use old towels to enclose sharp tools (be careful when wrapping & unwrapping and use red tape as code for ‘caution’). Place clean patio cushions in garbage bags, and empty the weighted umbrella stand by dumping out the water or sand in the base. Taking the kid’s swing set with you? Dismantle well before the movers arrive, and keep all pieces in labeled, sealed storage bags (Ziplocs work wonders on moving day!).
And what about all of those plants, plants…and more plants?! Start by wrapping any extra ceramic pots individually with newspaper or bubble wrap. Feeling sentimental about a plant you cannot bring along? Consider taking a cutting, enclose in wet moss and newspaper, then place in an unsealed bag. For potted trees, place paper sleeves over the branches to protect the foliage during transfer. To prevent leakage and seepage from potted plants, cover the bottoms in plastic. Need a great trick to make heavy container-plants a whole lot lighter? Consider this foam peanut ploy from the Family Handyman (http://www.familyhandyman.com/ ).
*** For long distance moves, it is highly recommended to re-pot plants from ceramic containers to plastic ones – but changing sizes can be detrimental to plant health so measure carefully. Also, moving across state lines brings up a whole new set of criteria for parasites, pesticides, Gypsy Moth Inspection Certificates and more. Be sure to check with your state’s department of natural resources for guidance. (Traditionally, California, Arizona and Florida have the most rigid restrictions on bringing plants into the state.)
We hope our T-O-P Move Management tips for packing outdoor items have served as a great starting point for your next move or seasonal storage strategy. If you have any questions about the safety of sharp and heavy items, or the disposal of old paint and chemicals you may find in your outdoor cleaning adventures, be sure to check with your moving company, or shoot us an email. We are here to make every transition easier, both indoors and out!
Helen & Julie
BONUS Info: Check out these 5 ideas from HGTV on making sure your indoor plants make it to their new home in tip-top shape!