by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
As if moving wasn’t stressful enough, did you know that there are several items your movers cannot put on the moving truck?
When you choose your moving company, they should supply you a list of the articles that they can't haul to your new residence in Dallas. They are not aiming to make your life crazier, they are observing the U.S. Department of Transportation statute (49 CFR 100-185) which designates hazardous materials that are not safe to load on a moving van. There are several things on the list of non-transportables that aren't hazardous, but that will not tolerate being in a moving truck and the moving company won't transport.
Because you are a rational law-abiding person, it has most likely never occurred to you that you're actually harboring dangerous explosives in your bathroom and kitchen cabinets. You have probably glanced around the garage and pondered about your lawn equipment going on the moving van, but there are lots of other things that are deemed to be dangerous and you will need to be accountable for getting out of .
Any item with chemicals is a definite moving no-no. This is because chemicals have a terrible tendency of doing bad things if they are combined with other chemicals, which can quickly occur in a moving van. A good rule of thumb is that if you can't place the thing in question in your standard trash for collection, it cannot be packed up and loaded on the moving van. So not only must you discharge the gas tanks on any lawn machinery (mowers, leaf blowers, weed whackers, etc), either use any fertilizers and grass seed or give it to your neighbors—a little Miracle-gro and a little leaking gasoline could have a dreadful product. And what’s worse—anything that is damaged will be your responsibility since you were warned what not to put on the moving truck. It is not the moving company's responsibility to check all your boxes for contraband, so make sure that any hazardous supplies-including old paint, batteries, aerosol cans, charcoal, and paint thinner—are NOT boxed for the moving truck. The ideal thing to do is transport them to your local hazardous waste drop-off facility or give them away to someone who can use them.
What about your houseplants? Food? Your dog? Believe it or not, a couple people have asked that their pets be moved on the truck—the answer is absolutely not. That the moving company cannot move your plants may be a bit more surprising. Out-of-state moves cause a concern due to the fact that some states monitor foreign vegetation being brought in, and you do not want to accidentlly introduce pests to either the moving truck or your new house. If plants are going more than 150 miles you could need to obtain a special permit to move them—so if you're the one who carried in canker worms or aphids, your new home state can locate you. As for food items in your pantry, only pack up new, non-perishable stuff with a long shelf life. Or, donate your unopened canned goods, cereals, and cookies to a local food bank, and start fresh at your new house. Toss out anything perishable or open, unless you are going to pack up coolers and move them in your own car.
Even though your valuables are not dangerous goods or likely to start an ash borer breach, most moving companies are unwilling to transport jewelry, cash, stock certificates and other costly items. The risks of being misplaced are too big, take them along with you in a carry on, or put them with other essential documents.
Other items you might not realize is hazardous—nail polish, cleaning supplies, liquid bleach, fire extinguishers—are also not allowed to be moved commercially. Again, anything chemical or flammable is not approved on a moving van, so be ahead of the game and dispose of or pack those items by themselves. The best choice is to properly dispose of these things and purchase everything new once you have moved, so you'll have brand new fertilizer and batteries to go with your brand-new home.