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  • Writer's pictureE. A.

What items movers can't transport.

Updated: Jan 22

If you’re planning to hire a professional moving company to do the job, you should be aware that there are items that professional moving companies won’t allow on the truck.


Unfortunately, movers won’t be able to keep perishable food items cool during a move. The good news: Your movers will be able to move unopened non-perishable items, such as canned goods, soups, rice, pasta – and basically anything else left in your pantry.

 High-value items

Many moving companies will not move high-value items such as money, checkbooks, expensive jewelry and collectible art.   That’s because if you decide to purchase full-value protection, your mover will be on the hook for the actual cash value of any non-repairable or lost items. 

High-value items are not limited to those that are worth a lot of money. Your movers should not move your important documents, including medical records, and anything with sentimental value. Plan to bring photo albums and other irreplaceable items with you.


Be aware that the movers may not be allowed to move certain plants to your new state.

According to the National Plant Board, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and plant health agencies in each of the 50 states “regulate the shipment of nursery and greenhouse stock in an effort to minimize the spread of harmful insects, diseases, and other pests.” So before you start packing those plants for the move, make sure to check with your State Plant Regulatory Official first.

For a local move, we suggest packing and bringing the plants yourself. Just ensure that all potted plants are wrapped and secured in plastic wrap to avoid any unwanted plant destruction in the car. If you’re moving long-distance or just don’t want to hassle with moving your plants, ask the new homeowners if they’d like the plants. Or, you can gift them to friends and neighbors.

Nail polish and nail polish remover

Movers won’t move your nail polish or polish remover. That’s because both products are extremely flammable under certain conditions (such as exposure to an open flame or even heat). These toxic products (and all chemicals) should be handled with care when moving to a new home. If you’re moving far away, we strongly suggest tossing them and replacing them once you arrive at your new home.

Outdoor equipment

You may not be able to move your lawn and pool equipment either. Acids and treatment chemicals qualify as hazardous materials and should be disposed of before moving day or left behind for the new owners. The same is true for weed killers, fertilizers and pesticides. If you’re unsure whether you can move a product, be sure to ask your moving company.

Generally, you can move your lawn and outdoor equipment, such as a generator. Just remove as much gas and oil as you can from the system several days before loading it onto the moving truck. This should allow you plenty of time to dispose of the gas and oil properly following local environmental regulations.

Grill and barbecue supplies

While your movers can transport your actual grill or smoker, some of the items associated with them can’t be moved. Since charcoal and lighter fluid are extremely flammable, you won’t be able to take them with you. And if you use a gas grill, your propane tanks will have to be empty before they can be loaded on the moving truck. A clean grill won’t get the other items being loaded on the truck dirty.


Most people realize moving companies won’t move their dog or cat. The trucks aren’t climate-controlled, there’s no fresh air, and there’s a risk of items falling and injuring your pet. But the same holds true for smaller animals like hamsters, gerbils, rabbits, birds, lizards and snakes. Moving companies won’t allow them on the truck either.

Firearms and ammunition

This may seem obvious, but movers will not transport firearms or ammunition. It doesn’t matter what type of gun it is, what size it is, and whether you’re just transporting the ammunition. Each state has its own regulations, complicating the matter even more. The best and easiest thing to do is to entrust your firearms and ammunition with a federally licensed firearm dealer who can ship them to you. It is well worth the price to avoid worrying about transporting the gun across state lines yourself. 


Here’s another one that should come as no surprise: fireworks. While they technically need a spark to ignite the heat of being enclosed in a hot truck alone won’t set them off , every state has its own regulations regarding fireworks, and many towns and cities further restrict their use. 

Cleaning supplies

Windex, bleach and other cleaning supplies and many other products containing flammable materials, but movers are also concerned about one of these items leaking and damaging other items on the truck.

Since you’ll need products to clean your home as you move in, you may want to set aside cleaning products to travel with you. Or donate them to friends or family and purchase replacements at your new home.


Your movers may refuse to transport your alcohol. Liquor laws vary by state, and some states have restrictions on the amount of alcohol you can bring with you into the state for personal consumption. Not to mention alcohol is flammable. If you pack it without your movers knowing and it ignites, you could be liable for the damage.

Transporting alcohol in a moving truck is risky for another reason. Most moving trucks are not climate-controlled, and extreme temperatures, humidity and light can damage wine and expensive bottles of alcohol.

Other hazardous materials

Hazardous materials are absolutely out of the question when it comes to loading a moving truck. Fortunately, many of these items can be easily disposed of before the move. Hazardous materials include fertilizer, paints, aerosols, pesticides, motor oil, batteries and acids. Anything that is flammable or potentially explosive is considered a no-go for moving companies.

To dispose of these materials before the move, make a trip to your county’s local hazardous waste facility drop-off center. Most counties throughout the country have several places to drop off hazardous chemical-containing items to ensure that these materials are disposed of correctly. Do not under any circumstances drop hazardous materials in your garbage. This could present a danger to the public, the environment and those picking up your trash.

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