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Things to Avoid Putting on the Moving Van

Packing for a move is a gargantuan task. Finding the right number and size of boxes, wrapping breakables, and finding the time to get it all done, is just the start of the process that ends in a successful move to a new home. 

There are some items that you will want to avoid packing and putting on the moving van. We have separated them into prohibited items according to federal law, restricted items depending upon permission by your movers, and special consideration items that you may want to move separately. 

Prohibited Items 

There are many common household items that are prohibited by the federal government to be included in your moving van. 

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports “Federal law forbids you to ship hazardous materials in your household goods boxes or luggage without informing your mover. A violation can result in five years imprisonment and penalties of $250,000 or more (49 U.S.C. 5124).”

Many prohibited items are things that you may find in your garage or basement and may not even think twice about them. Here is a list of our references but you will want to confirm a full list from the FMSCA. 

  • Weed sprays 
  • Fertilizers 
  • Gardening chemicals 
  • Paints
  • Detergents
  • Acids
  • All flammables, including matches and lighter fluid
  • Explosives and corrosives
  • Fireworks
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Car batteries
  • Motor oils and fuel
  • Ammonia and liquid bleach
  • Pool chemicals 
  • Poisons and Pest killers
  • Bottled gas or propane
  • Lamp oil
  • Charcoal

Restricted Items 

There are some items that your moving company may have their own requirements about including prior permission to have these items on the moving van. These could include: 

  • Firearms 
  • Ammunition
  • Clean gas tanks
  • Scuba tanks
  • Power tools 

Special Considerations

There are also some items that homeowners may want to transport on their own instead of putting on the moving truck. This short list really depends upon the distance of the move, the personal preferences of the people moving, and what items you may need right up until the time you move. 

  • Medical information and files
  • Family documents such as passports and birth certificates
  • Plants
  • Prescriptions
  • School records
  • Checkbooks, credit cards, and financial records
  • Jewelry 
  • Family heirlooms
  • Collectibles 

While these lists are not exhaustive, they can help you plan what NOT to pack for the big moving day. As you go room to room packing, especially the garage and basement, consider these items prior to the day of moving so you can make plans to dispose of them properly. 

Many of the prohibited items are included on the list due to the fact that improper storage or spillage during the move could potentially start a fire or cause an explosion, thus destroying your personal possessions during the move. 

Talk to our moving specialists who can help you determine what to pack and what to handle and dispose of prior to moving day. 

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