What Movers Won’t Move: What Not to Pack When Moving

When you look for moving companies, you will come across a lot of movers, all of whom will try to differentiate themselves from others. However; there is one common factor that they all share - they won’t won’t move certain items for you.

That’s right. Despite their constant efforts to provide the best services, there are some things that movers won’t move for you due to legal, ethical and safety reasons.

Let’s look at it in more depth.

Although every company has a different set of rules, the reasons behind it are pretty similar. Moving companies tend to not allow some items on board due to the following reasons:

  • The item poses a threat to their employees’ safety or their truck
  • The item can cause damage to other items in the container truck
  • There is a chance of the item itself getting spoilt
  • The item is illegal
  • The item can damage the environment

A good company will provide you a list of items that are not allowed on board in their terms and service agreement, but you should have an idea so that in case they don’t, it doesn’t cause any problems for you at the last minute. If you want to more information about Address Change Checklist you can click here.

What Won’t Movers Move

5 Things Movers Won't Move

Here is a general list of items that moving companies do not move and hence, you should not pack with you:

1) Toxic or Hazardous Materials

Moving companies are forbidden by law to transport any flammable, corrosive or explosive items. Even if the transportation of these items was allowed by law, it would make sense for them to not do it as such items can post a serious threat to the mover’s property, the customer’s property, and everyone’s lives altogether. These things include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Guns and ammunition

2. Fireworks

3. Lighters or igniters

4. Signal flares

5. Acids/Ammonia

6. Gasoline or other petroleum products

2) Plants

This might come as a bit of a surprise, but moving companies generally do not move plants - both by law and due to the nature of the plants. They are highly perishable, and may not be available to survive the fluctuating temperatures at the back of the truck. Apart from this, specific pests or parasites may find a way to be transported to another region through plants, which is why they are forbidden on board.

3) Perishable Food Items

You might be thinking what harm do perishable food items cause? And the answer is pretty simple: perishable food items are definitely not as dangerous as hazardous materials. However, their shelf life is short and they quickly go bad. Result? Unpleasant odor, growing mold, insects and so forth. Nobody wants to deal with that mess, hence the ban on perishable food items. Here is a general list of perishable food items that moving companies do not allow onboard:

Frozen foods

Refrigerated food

Canned food that is opened already

Fresh foods such as fruits, vegetables, etc.

4) Pets

Under no circumstances are any pets (dogs, cats, turtles, fish, parrots,etc) allowed on board. The fluctuating temperatures due to no air plus the overall condition of the back of the truck can put your pet’s life in danger, and you certainly wouldn’t want that.

It would be best if you carry your pet with you. This is fairly easy if you’re moving in the same state using your own vehicle. However, if you’re moving to another state, then you will have to look into other options such as air travel and professional pet movers.

5) Documents and other irreplaceable items

The final category of items that movers will not move are important documents and other items that cannot be replaced if something bad happens down the road. Such things usually hold monetary or sentimental value.

Here is a general list of items that are included in this category (again, they are not limited to this list only):

ID cards and marriage licenses

Debit/credit cards

Airline or railway tickets

Birth certificates

Educational degrees etc.

After going through this list, you will have a rough idea of the things you must not pack and keep yourself only. For more information related to this, contact your moving company.


The movers are the professionals. But there are some items which these professionals’ movers don’t move. Some of the things are the toxic and hazardous material which are dangerous to people. Plants are easy to move; it may cause a lot of problem and trouble to move. Perishable food items are required to keep in the refrigerator, and there may chance of bad odor. Pets and documents these both require a lot of care, so the movers don’t move them. This article is only to explain to you what are the essential things which should be given to movers.