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Prohibited Items Movers Won't Move

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Professional movers are paid to help you in every aspect of your relocation. Their main goal is to safely move your belongings and household items to your destination without misplacement or damage to your goods. However, there are certain items that movers are prohibited to move due to laws, ethics and safety regulations.

items movers cannot move

When you are planning a move, it is important to prepare for moving day by packing and transporting prohibited items yourself or disposing of them properly.

Movers will not touch hazardous materials

Professional movers cannot transport anything that is flammable, corrosive or explosive. These items can be dangerous to the movers as well as your property. They are illegal to transport. They include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Aerosol cans (such as deodorant and hair spray)
  • Weapons and ammunition
  • Acids, ammonia
  • Motor oil, antifreeze
  • Gasoline, kerosene
  • Turpentine, solvents
  • Pesticides, fertilizer, weed killer
  • Propane tanks
  • Yard equipment containing fuel
  • Pool chemicals
  • Paints and stain
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Car batteries
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Lighter fluid, matches
  • Fireworks
  • Liquor
  • Paint thinner
  • Nail polish, polish remover
  • Bleach
  • Charcoal
  • Lamp oil

Before moving, find out the correct and safest method for disposal.

TIP: If you are moving any yard equipment such as a lawn mower, drain the gas from its tank before the movers arrive.

It is also not advised to fool the movers by packing any of these items without informing them. According to the Department of Transportation, if movers are unaware of the presence of hazardous items on their truck, their liability is greatly limited should anything happen to your property during transport.

Movers prefer not to take perishable food

Movers typically prefer not to pack any perishable items on the moving truck, because it is unsanitary. Perishable food attracts insects, can spoil during transit and may cause damage to your property. You are advised to empty and thoroughly clean out your refrigerator and freezer at least 24 hours before your move. Unplug the unit to allow it to defrost and leave it open to air out and prevent the growth of mold or foul odors.

You can also pack some of your perishable food in your own vehicle for a local move. If you are moving just a short distance, the movers may agree to transport your items if they are packed properly, but it will depend on the company and their policy.

Movers will not transport pets or plants

Plants are illegal on moves longer than 150 miles. For more local moves, it will be up to your mover's discretion and company policy. You are advised to pack and transport houseplants yourself, since they can be very delicate and susceptible to unfavorable temperatures and conditions.

Pets are never allowed on the moving trailer under any circumstances. Air conditions are poor and temperatures can be extreme. Even for very brief moves, you cannot stow your pet on the moving truck. Pets must be transported in your own vehicle or taken on the plane with you.

TIP: Unclean pet bedding, cages, carriers, food dishes and toys may also be prohibited on a moving truck if considered unsanitary. Thoroughly clean any pet amenities before moving or transport them in your own vehicle.

Movers advise against packing irreplaceable items

Some items, while not necessarily forbidden, are not advised for transport on a moving truck. These include items of extreme value, important documents and sentimental possessions.

For example:

  • Financial statements
  • Check books, cash, credit cards
  • Airline tickets
  • Keys
  • Collections (stamp, coin, baseball cards)
  • Personal documents (passport, birth certificate, Social Security cards, deed)
  • Tax records
  • Medicine
  • Photos
  • Valuable jewelry
  • Fur coats
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Car titles
  • Cell phones
  • Medical records

Because many of these items are extremely valuable, irreplaceable or even priceless, most movers prefer not to transport them to limit their liability in case of loss or damage. In the unfortunate circumstance that your shipment is delayed, you may be without certain necessary belongings for a period of time. You don't want to have to wait a week for your medications or important documents to arrive. These items should be packed and moved in your own vehicle, so you can ensure that they are safe and arrive at your new location as promptly as you do.

Nicole La Capria  Posted by Nicole La Capria on November 29, 2018

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