How to Pack Your Man Cave

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For the die-hard and unwavering sports fans, paying homage to favorite teams by dedicating an entire room to them is part of the game. Whether it's your Johnny Unitas Hall of Fame memorabilia, the fly ball you caught at the "Green Monster" or your life-sized cut out of Jerry Rice, all of these items play an important part in crafting your sports den, or more lovingly called "man cave. It goes without saying that while planning for a move, you'd intend on taking everything in this room with you given the opportunity to do so.

Pack your Man Cave

So, if you have little or no knowledge on how to pack your man cave, these packing tips would help you ease your move while keeping all your valuable belongings safe and secure.

Here's how you need to pack your man cave, one item at a time:

Wall decals

Almost every man cave has a few of these. While some decals are smaller and can be put on/taken off your walls with ease, other larger ones require strategy and a second pair of hands. Most of these decals are life-sized cut outs of athletes, so their shapes are almost never symmetrical. This can leave the decals vulnerable to tears. Unless you don't mind your $100 Tom Brady decal missing his plant-foot or Carmelo Anthony missing a finger mid-jump shot, you should take the time to put them up and take them down properly.

For putting decals on the wall, popular websites like Fathead give you a step-by-step (and additionally humorous) tutorial on how to do this, including a list of recommended surfaces. For taking your decals down, however, it's not quite as simple as just doing this process in reverse.

While these decals shouldn't lose their stick, you'll need to be able to transport them without being exposed to too much air, and without them getting stuck to themselves.

TIP: SAVE THE ORIGINAL BACKING! If you do this, it will save you a lot of time and aggravation when packing up your wall decal. You can gently peel the decal away from the wall, working from the bottom up so the decal doesn't end up falling on you and sticking to your clothes, simply spin it around, and re-stick the decal to the backing. If you used Fathead, you also received a small yellow squeegee to help remove any unwanted air bubbles when putting your decal on the wall - you can use this to help minimize wrinkles when sticking it back onto the backing as well. Once this is done, you can roll it back up and put it in its original poster tube and box. If you've thrown those away, you can purchase poster tubes at your local post office.

If you don't have your original backing, the process can get tricky and may require some trial and error in transport. The best option is to use simple wax paper - but you'll have to make sure you have enough of it laid out ahead of time. This would enable you to make a speedy transfer from your wall to the paper to avoid any big sticky mess. Once you've succeeded in transferring your decal to the wax paper, you can place that on a larger sheet of packing paper in order to roll it up evenly.

Foosball tables/pool tables

When commercials just won't suffice, you need these for entertainment during halftime, right? The problem is, they're heavy, require disassembly, and have a lot of small pieces that might take you a few extra innings to get organized and packed up properly.

The foosball table isn't nearly as heavy as the pool table, but is assembled using plenty of nuts, bolts, washers and screws that can be more time consuming than anything. The good news is, as long as you stay organized, the disassembly and reassembly time can be reduced.

Use the following steps to pack up your foosball/ pool table:

    1. Remove handgrips & rods : The tables may vary as per the brand, but you can start by removing the end caps on the rods, followed by the hand grips. This would allow you to slide the rods easily out of the table.

      Note: Some tables require removal of individual players on each rod, which is usually done with a pin punch and a hammer.
    2. Unscrew legs & leg panels : Flip your table upside down for this step. Certain tables have leg panels that slide in after leg assembly, so make sure if your table has these, they are unscrewed and removed prior to removing the legs.

      To remove the legs, you'll need to unscrew or unbolt them to the table. Set aside any screws, bolts or washers in a marked plastic bag that you can tape to the bottom of the table later for easy access. Once the legs are removed, you can set them aside to package separately in bubble wrap and then cardboard.
    3. Remove support braces & play fields : There will most likely be a small thin board or two bracing the playfield so that it does not warp over time. Unscrew and remove these braces, then carefully slide the playfield out from the table and wrap securely in bubble wrap. Pack any screws in a separate small plastic bag. If there are any end panels, these will need to be removed in the same fashion as the braces prior to removing the playfield.
    4. Pack all pieces of table for moving: If you do not have the original packing, wrap each part of the table in bubble wrap or thick layers of newsprint paper. Secure the packing material you choose with packing tape to ensure that the bubble wrap or packing paper does not unravel.

      Note that you'll need a box big enough to store all large pieces of the table (like the playfield), with some extra room for packing peanuts or packing paper to supply added cushion to the parts.

      Once you have got the box, line its bottom with packing peanuts, place your wrapped playfield at the bottom of the box, and add more packing peanuts. Repeat this process for all other parts of the table. You can either tape the plastic bags of screws and bolts to the inside of the box lid or to the pieces of the table prior to wrapping. Make sure there's no room for movement once the box is shut, then seal with packing tape.

Sports collectibles

While sports collectibles vary drastically from item to item, the most important thing to remember is that, if it's valuable, you'll need to keep it from getting any exposure to extreme elements like high or low temperatures, dampness or excessive dryness. If you don't have a moving service, these are the types of items you might be tempted to seatbelt in the front seat of your car.

Most of the time, any signed memorabilia is encased in plastic or even glass to protect the integrity of the autograph and the object. If you have an item like this, it is best to wrap the casing in bubble wrap, tape it, then place in a packing box filled with either packing peanuts or packing paper. If you think your item may be stored in extreme heat for a short period of time, you may want to consider packing paper to insulate the box so that the heat does not make the bubble wrap stick to the casing of your item. Any original packing materials, including fitted Styrofoam pieces for the inside of the packing box will also be beneficial, if you still have them.

Any oddly shaped memorabilia like trophies can also be wrapped in either bubble wrap or packing paper and placed in a heavily insulated packing box for moving or storage. If you have several trophies, try to stagger them inside the box so that the weight is equally distributed, and the trophies' shapes are evenly dispersed. Place your heavier items at the bottom of the box, and lighter items at the top. In this way, the weight won't damage your more fragile items.

Leather recliners

Nothing says "man cave" more than leather recliners, especially when you have any secret compartments for TV remotes or cold beverages. If your beloved sofa or chair does come equipped with any "bells and whistles" that require to be plugged in, make sure that these plugs are unplugged as much as possible (if they can be completely removed until you move in, do so) and wrapped in bubble wrap, followed by a layer of cardboard. The last thing you want is your heated chair, for example, to no longer work during hockey season because of a frayed wire.

If your chair or sofa has a mini-cooler built in, make sure it is empty and clean before you move, and tape the door shut.

It's important to note that leather can be easily damaged by outside elements as well. So, you'll need to carefully wrap your sofa or chair in furniture blankets to protect it from heat, cold, scratches and tears. You'll also need to tape the blankets down with furniture pads, but make sure the tape does not make any direct contact with the sofa or chair.

Flat Screen and other electronics

Quite possibly it's one of the most important elements to a man cave or sports den, as this is where all the action is captured. Game after game gets broadcasted through your big screen TV. Be it a flat screen plasma or an older tube or projection screen, you'll need to bring it to your new man cave safe, sound, and ready for another exciting season!

If you're lucky enough to have a newer model flat screen, your task of moving your TV will be considerably easier than the person who has to take on moving a 70-inch projection screen from 2001. For these monsters, you'll need to hire movers or good friends to help you with the lifting, as many of these older TV's are over 5-foot tall. Do not try to move these on your own-that's a penalty flag! You'll need furniture blankets and pads to tape around the edges of the TV so as to not damage any delicate parts inside the almost hollow frame. Once it's packed, your best bet is to gently lift the TV onto a dolly and then onto a truck.

Newer flat screens actually have packing boxes large enough to fit them, and are definitely a worthwhile investment when considering how to pack a large flat screen, especially if you are moving long-distance.

Note: More information on packing a flat screen TV can be found in our Packing Guides and Tips section here at Movers.com

For any videogame consoles, rented cable boxes, DVD players and stereos, there should be separated, labeled boxes. Be sure that smaller controllers and remotes are packed with their designated console. You can even bubble wrap your remote and attach it to your bubble wrapped cable box with some packing tape.

TIP: Take extra care in packing rented cable boxes, since you don't own the boxes and could be charged a free for a replacement and any damage done to it during the move. You want to keep these boxes in pristine condition since you'll need them again to set up your cable in your new residence. In addition, some cable companies offer various sports packages at a discounted rate when you stick with that cable company after your move. Be sure to check with your cable provider for details!

Mini fridge/kegerator

You may be a veteran to moving mini fridges back and forth between dorms and apartments in college with ease by simply unplugging it and hoisting it from the ground. But if you choose to move this by yourself, take proper precaution to make sure you don't injure yourself or your refrigerator in the process. You'll want to wrap it in cardboard and tape it, at the very least, for long distance moving. When picking it up, bend your knees and lift with your legs, not your back.

The kegerator, however, is a slightly different story. Since there are beer lines and a tap involved, you'll probably want to take apart as much as possible before your move. Generally, you can unscrew the faucet from the collar on most manufactured kegerators, as well as the tap handle (since most of these will come with whatever keg you purchase and will need to be returned with the keg once it is kicked). You can then cover the collar with bubble wrap and tape to make sure nothing gets inside of it during the move. Furthermore, you should wrap your entire kegerator in cardboard and tape it, to prevent any scuffs or other exterior damage.

This is a good opportunity to clean the faucet out with mild soap and water before packing. You can also clean your beer lines, after carefully disconnecting them, so that they are good to go for your next watch party.

Mini bar/personal bar

The procedure you use to move your mini bar will depend on the type of bar unit you have. Some people may have smaller "tiki" style bars that can be easily folded up and transported from place to place, while others may have heavier solid wood pieces that require at least two people to move it.

Remove all accessories and glassware from your bar before attempting to move it. You can pack your beer glasses and stemware separately. Any shelving that can be removed should also be taken out before moving, including overhead glass racks. Sometimes small home bars have glass tops, and you should take extra care in cleaning the glass top and packaging it separately.

Note: Movers.com has some specialized tips on how to pack a glass table top that could be useful in packing your bar top.

Once all extras are removed from the bar, you should be all set to carefully lift and load your bar onto your moving truck (again, with a help of another person). If your bar is made of solid wood, granite or marble, you'll definitely want to wrap it in furniture blankets and pads before you load it so as to avoid any scratches and scuffs.

Jenna Farmer  Posted by Jenna Farmer on May 14, 2013

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