When it comes to moving and packing bicycles and other outdoor gear that fills your yard and garage, you may feel a bit intimidated or unsure of where to even begin. 



This is not surprising as, unlike many of the items inside your home, most outdoor equipment is large, heavy, and oddly shaped. Sometimes they’re even sharp or pointy as well!



So, how can you approach moving these items? More often than not, normal moving boxes simply won’t cut it, and you may need to take extra precautions when packing and moving these items. But don’t let this intimidate you!



Today we’ll explore the simple but effective strategy you can use to seamlessly move all your outdoor items to your new home.



How to Relocate Your Outdoor Gear Safely



Before we hop into specific tips and tricks you can use to move your most awkwardly-shaped item (your bike), you need to understand the general six-step strategy for moving anything from the outdoors.



So without further ado, let’s get right into the process!



Step 1: Make Decisions



The first step in any packing and moving process is determining which pieces are going with you and which ones you are parting with. Think about what items you want to bring into your new space and move those into your “packing” area.



All other items can be given to friends or family who want them or donated if they are in good condition. If they are no longer functional, you can dispose of them responsibly by looking at your city or county’s waste and disposal rules.



Step 2: Clean and Disassemble



Items that live outside (or even those that go outside frequently) get much dirtier than you may think. To avoid bringing this dirt and debris with you into your new home, take the time to thoroughly clean your outdoor gear before you pack it up.



During this time, you’ll also want to disassemble as many of these items as possible — focusing especially on your larger, more awkwardly-shaped items. This will help you pack them more efficiently and reduce the amount of packing materials needed to keep these items secure as you move.



Step 3: Gather Your Packing Materials



Now that you have a good idea of what your outdoor gear looks like when it is disassembled, you’re ready to gather your packing materials.



For moving your outdoor gear, you’ll need the following:


  • Bubble wrap, styrofoam wrap, or another malleable cushioning material
  • Plastic wrap
  • Packing paper, newspaper, airbags, or packing peanuts
  • Quilted moving blankets or old towels
  • Zip ties
  • Ziplock bags
  • Strong tape
  • Sturdy cardboard boxes
  • A marker



We recommend not worrying about the packing materials (other than briefly glancing over the list above for an idea of what you’ll need) before you start getting ready to pack your items because it can be incredibly difficult to picture what sizes and shapes you will need in terms of boxes for your items when they are disassembled.



Step 4: Pack Your Items Carefully



Now comes the tricky part: packing your items so they are safe. You’ll first want to bundle together all of the parts of each outdoor item you have disassembled. Often, this means gathering the smaller pieces of the item and wrapping them together in a newspaper or placing them into a ziplock bag. 



Then, you will want to attach this bundle of smaller parts to the largest part(s) of your outdoor item. This helps ensure that you do not lose pieces of your outdoor gear, and you can easily tell which little bag of screws and bolts belongs with each item.



Once your items have been secured, you can place them carefully into their designated box. Ideally, you want this box to be just larger than what you are packing so that you have only a small amount of extra space to pad out.



Step 5: Pad Out the Gaps



This brings us to the second-to-last step, filling in those gaps. Unless you have found the absolute perfect box for your item (like its original packaging), you’ll likely have some small gaps to fill out before closing your package up. 



To ensure that your outdoor gear stays put during the move, pack up these gaps fully with packing paper, packing peanuts, or any other packing material you have on hand — old rags work too!



Step 6: Tape it Up and Label It



Once you’ve filled all those gaps, you’re ready to seal the deal — and by that, we mean tape the box closed. Immediately after you close and tape your box, label it.



Trust us. It will be much easier to remember what you put in the box immediately after closing it up. Include what is in the box and where it should go in your new home clearly on the sides and top of the box, and include a “this side up” arrow as well to prevent any unwanted turning during the move. 



This can help ensure you don’t accidentally place it in the wrong room and have to pick it up and move it all over again.



Additional Tips for Moving and Packing Bicycles



We mention bikes specifically here because they are one of the most commonly used yet most awkward pieces of outdoor equipment to move.



Some bike-specific tips for a safe move are:



  • Disassemble as much as you can. Try to remove the pedals, seat, and wheels.
  • After removing what you can, bundle all of these items to the bike frame to ensure you don’t lose anything.
  • Select a box that is the closest size to your newly disassembled bike and ensure that it is well-padded to avoid any damage on the moving truck. Pay extra attention to padding and supporting the forks of your bike as they can become easily damaged if pushed from side to side.
  • Secure your box tightly with tape and label it very clearly. Place arrows denoting which side of the box should face upwards on each side of the box and write “FRAGILE,” “BICYCLE,” and “THIS SIDE UP.”

Make Your Move Easy



The bottom line when it comes to moving outdoor gear is that while it may require some extra care, if you start early and take your time packing your items carefully, it can be a breeze. We know moving can be stressful, and if you are worried about not having enough time to carefully pack your outdoor items, don’t worry, Smooth Move has your back!



Our expert local movers have experience in packing, moving, and unpacking even the most unwieldy or oddly-shaped items, so you can rest assured that your outdoor gear is in good hands when you hire Smooth Move.