Well, you want to degas but not oxidize. Pouring and splashing would oxidize it. When you stir to degas, you do it in the carboy so that the dissolved co2 will leave. Some people use a stirrer on their drill (that's why I mentioned headspace being ok for this- think volcano) or a mity vac (like you bleed brakes with). Really, you can just stir until your arm falls off and then do it again later. After stirring, I stick the airlock back on immediately.
I really think you're ok with the 5 gallon and 1 gallon right now. Then degas, stabilize and rack into the 6 gallon. Instead of bottling then like the instructions tell you, wait a month or so and then bottle. Longer if you can stand it! This will also help with degassing. The reason you degas kit wines and not fruit wines and grape wines is the speed in which you do the kit. To have it drinkable in 60 days, you have to rush the process. The kits are good, don't get me wrong! But wine will usually degas well on its own in time.
I think your merlot kit sounds great! I have an Australian Shiraz kit on deck. (Same company and type of kit).