What to NOT Pack in a Moving Truck?

CitizenShipper CitizenShipper · Updated January 16, 2024

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Working with a moving company can be a big relief in the overwhelming process of changing houses. It seems simple – movers take all your things and bring them to your new home. But after deciding to pack and move with the help of professionals, you might be surprised by how many objects you should not or are not allowed to pack in a moving truck. There are items that movers legally can’t take for safety measures and there are other items that you should consider moving by yourself for personal and security reasons. To make your move as smooth as possible, this article will answer the question, what should you not pack in a moving truck? Here is an overview!

What Will Movers Not Pack and Transport?

To keep the movers and your items safe, there are several objects that are banned by law from entering moving trucks. When you’re planning your moving timeline, make some space for searching your household for these objects and sorting them out.

Flammable Objects, Poisons and Compressed Gases

Is nail polish remover a threat? The list of potentially dangerous items starts in your bathroom and continues under your kitchen sink. There are likely more of your items than you would think that are combustible. Most of these relate to cleaning, gardening, and beauty products. A moving truck can get really hot inside (especially in summer!) and this warm environment can transform your usually harmless items into a risky load. Leaving these items out of the truck will protect the movers as well as your household.

Items to watch out for:

  • Ammonia
  • Household Batteries
  • Bleach
  • Fireworks
  • Gasoline and kerosene
  • Lighter fluids
  • Matches
  • Motor oil
  • Nail polish remover
  • Paint
  • Propane tanks
  • Signal flares
  • Spray paint, spray cleaners, and hairspray
  • Oxygen tanks
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Weed killers and other gardening chemicals
  • Insecticides/pesticides
  • Cleaning chemicals
  • Pool chemicals

Perishable Items

You shouldn’t just avoid packing dangerous gases and fluids, but also some food items, which could cause pests and a big mess in the truck. Generally, food can be a good item to give away to friends or donate to local charities before you move, so you have less to transport. If you want to take some special unopened nonperishable food items, make sure that they are tightly sealed, packed into ziplock bags, and safely packed, to prevent any risk of leaking. If it’s possible try to move them yourself, rather than being in the truck.

Food items that packers will not pack:

  • Food put in a plastic container or glass jars: generally, containers that easily can be crushed or leak
  • Frozen food
  • Fresh food products such as fruit or vegetables

What Else?

You should plan a good cocktail menu for your goodbye party because most moving companies won’t accept alcohol! Ask your professional mover about their transportation policies. Generally the answer to the question: what will packers not pack? Anything that needs special attention!

This includes:

  • Alcohol
  • Charcoal briquettes
  • Guns and ammunition
  • Houseplants
  • Pets

If you need support in transporting your pet, the drivers of CitizenShipper can provide safe travel for your loved creature

Things You Should NOT Pack in a Moving Truck

After you went through your household to sort out all of the items that movers will take in a moving truck, you should make a list of personal and sensitive objects, that you might not want to 

Personal Belongings and Irreplaceable Objects

How would I feel if this photo album got lost? How would it be if this old camera got broken? Ask yourself these questions while you are packing your personal belongings and special furniture. Even the most professional moving company can mess up from time to time. If you want to keep your most sentimental and valuable belongings safe, it might be a good idea to not put them in a moving truck, but keep them with yourself during the move. This can be complicated if you just have a small car and your family’ss antique closet belongs to these items! But if this is the case contact your moving company for support in wrapping and packing in an especially safe way. You may also want to consider getting a higher level of insurance. 

Here are a view items, that you might want to keep with yourself:

  • Address book
  • Cash 
  • Collectibles like coin or stamp collections
  • Family photos and home movies
  • Fragile antiques
  • Jewelry
  • Laptops and cellphones
  • Cameras

Important Documents

You should keep all of your important documents and personal identifications with you during the move. You may need to access them in the process of packing and while the moving company is on the road, but also it would a big struggle if they got lost. Don’t forget to always keep the moving documents accessible, in case some questions appear regarding the paperwork of the move. 

Documents you should keep with yourself:

  • Moving documents
  • Car papers
  • All documents around finances, tax, housing, and insurance
  • Work contracts or school/university documents
  • Personal identification
  • Medical records

What Should You Not Pack in a Pod?

If you are storing your objects short- or long-term in a pod, you should stick with the same list of items. Pods are very sensitive towards heat and cold, so don’t store any inflammable, perishables and other objects, that need special attention. If you are storing wooden furniture, apply furniture oil before the storage, to protect them from any damage. 

Ready to Go?

We hope these lists gave you a good idea and overview, but you should ask the moving company of your choice for their list of objects they will not take, to be sure you are well prepared. After going through this list of objects, try to give to friends and donate to charity as much as you can. Fewer items make your move easier. The next step is to find an alternative way to transport the items you want to keep close and safe.

Last but not least pack all the basics that you would take on a vacation, including enough clothes, pet food, but also some essentials that you might need as a first thing in your new house, like toilet paper, a small toolkit, linen, or even a shower curtain. Take one box with all of these things with yourself – it will be the first thing to open in your new home. Maybe this should also include your favorite mug or poster, so you can get cozy straight away. We hope you have a good arrival in your new home!