July 13, 2022 Posted in Moving Tips

What Items Movers Won’t Move – Dos and Don’ts of Packing for Relocation

If you are thinking about hiring movers from Seattle to California, it is important to know that there are certain types of items movers won’t move. This might not seem a big deal at first, but you are exposing all your possessions to danger by placing something banned into a box. Moreover, there is even potential that workers might get harmed, so take this issue seriously and follow all guidelines and rules strictly.

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There are different types of objects that you have to get rid of when relocating

See What Items Movers Won’t Move Before You Start Packing Your Home Possessions

When relocating to another state, it’s natural to move all useful home possessions. However, reputable long-distance moving services have regulations on what won’t movers move. So, starting any kind of preparation before learning the rules is a huge relocation mistake that can affect the efficiency of your move.

Whether you have hired movers to Seattle from California or movers from California to Seattle and their packing services, the outcome will be the same if they notice that something banned is packed. They will simply refuse to load the container until the forbidden item is removed. You are maybe thinking – “Well, I can maybe put something at the bottom of a container, and they will fail to notice”. However, this is, to say the least, an irresponsible and childish way of thinking, as many things can go wrong. Therefore, learn the rules and prepare for a relocating crew adequately.

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Here Are Some General Rules Before We Start Enumerating Banned Items and Materials

You will probably wonder, “Will movers move things not in boxes?” or “What will packers not pack?”. Here are some general rules that all long-distance movers follow in order to move everything safely:

Put Everything Smaller in Boxes

Above all, it’s impossible to organize packing for relocation without appropriate containers (mostly cardboard and plastic boxes). The general rule that all relocation companies follow is to place all smaller objects into boxes. This adds extra protection, especially when packing fragile objects, and is quite important if you are using storage services as it prevents objects from breaking.

Clean Everything

Each and every item before being placed into a box or wrapped in a protective covering should be thoroughly cleaned. First of all, this will make unpacking after the move much easier, but also, relocation companies will refuse to load all dirty items in their trucks and storage facilities.

Don’t Put Valuables in Boxes

All cross-country movers will give you this relocation advice. Valuables like important documents, jewelry, money, and sentimental possessions should be placed in a bag of essentials that will be beside you during the entire journey. The issue is that there isn’t insurance that can cover the sentimental value. Therefore, an old picture frame from your grandmother and a plate will be treated the same. Relocation is stressful as it is, and losing something dear makes you regret your decisions which is not how it should be.

Buy Custom Crating for Bigger Valuables

When relocating objects like paintings, antique furniture, sculptures, and such, it’s not worth risking anything at all. Luckily, you can purchase custom crating from a cross-country moving company. This service is specially devised for protecting such objects during transport.

Pack Electronics by Yourself

Preparing electronics for transportation should be done by the owners, especially smaller ones like laptops, phones, and tablets. If you are unsure of how to pack a TV, a long-distance moving company can help. However, they will not take responsibility for the aforementioned smaller objects, and furthermore, there is no special insurance for these gadgets.

See Whether Companies Relocate Special Objects

If you have to move a piano or some other item like a grandfather clock, contact and check whether relocation companies perform such tasks as such objects require special knowledge.

Hazardous Objects and Materials Are Strictly Prohibited When Moving

Do movers move everything? The answer is no, and the first and most important group of prohibited objects is the one that contains objects with explosive properties. Here is a list of objects that should not be moved under any circumstances:

  • Fireworks, matches, or lighters,
  • Weapons and ammunition,
  • Any type of fuel container or an object that contains fuel,
  • Alcohol,
  • Dyes, paints, varnishes.

Now, you might be thinking -“No problem, I’ll just put them in the trunk of my car and drive there.”, but this is not advisable as well, especially if you are moving in the summer when the temperatures are high. It’s best to get rid of objects that have any combustible materials when you start downsizing for the move.

Chemicals and Acids Are Banned by Moving Crews as Well

After completing the relocation-out cleaning, you will probably think that it would be convenient to pack leftover cleaning supplies, and indeed it would be. Unfortunately, such chemicals (chemicals and acids in general) are prohibited when moving, so you will have to take them off your relocating-out list. Here is a list of banned chemicals and acids:

  • Cleaning supplies,
  • Beauty products (hair dyes, nail polishes, and nail polish removers),
  • Batteries,
  • Pesticides, fertilizers, and poisons.
Cleaning Supplies
Cleaning supplies are highly flammable, don't forget that

Although Not as Dangerous as Explosives and Acids, These Items Are Banned When Relocating

Unfortunately, there are other kinds of possessions that have to be left out when booking professional services, but there are good reasons for all of them:


We know that this might further increase relocation anxiety, but you will have to say goodbye to your plants before relocation. To begin with, it is against the law to relocate plants if the distance exceeds 150 miles. But in general, all relocation companies will refuse to move them, and here is why.

Plants usually cannot withstand the journey and will most likely wither. In this state, vegetation attracts all kinds of rodents and insects, and that can become a complete disaster as they will both gnaw at all your possessions and ruin all protection materials supplied by a relocation company. Hence, don’t forget to add to your relocating to-do list to donate all your vegetation.


This is another thing that is strictly banned by all relocation crews. The reason is similar to vegetation. Food easily becomes spoiled, which then attracts all kinds of unwanted guests. However, food is even worse than vegetation as edible materials discharge all sorts of vile liquids, which can permeate all your other possessions and inflict irreparable damage. In some cases, canned food is allowed, but you have to contact the relocation crew and check the regulations.

Medicine Cabinets

Most relocation crews will refuse to move filled medicine cabinets for various reasons. First of all, medications are usually heat-sensitive, and insurance will not cover them. Secondly, if you are, unfortunately, taking some prescribed medications, laws vary from state to state, and you would probably have to provide the necessary documentation for them, and relocation crews are not responsible for such things.

Office Files

If you are moving your office, it is best to organize all important documents at home by yourself. Although this is not strictly prohibited, paperwork can easily get lost or ruined (especially when relocating in the rain), and relocation crews will be reluctant to accept such a task. Again such paperwork is priceless for a business owner, but there is no insurance that recognizes that.

Relocating Crews Will Never Accept Relocating Your Pets

If you are moving with pets, know that regular relocating crews don’t accept them, and for a good reason. Pets are living beings that require special attention and regular relocation businesses are not, above all, not qualified to deal with such tasks. Nor do they have the appropriate vehicles. Even though, for example, you can put your dog in a traveling carriage, imagine having to be put in a dark trailer for hours. Your pets will be traumatized, to say the least.

The best thing to do is to travel together with your pet (especially when relocating with cats). Traveling by plane is the most suitable way, if it suits your relocation budget, as the journey will be the shortest, but going together in a car can also be enjoyable (especially when moving with dogs). If traveling together is not possible, consider hiring a professional pet relocating crew. Nonetheless, here is a lovely video that has useful tips on how to go on a road trip with your dog.

Some Objects Have to Be Prepared for Transportation

There are certain types of objects that have to be prepared for transport if you want to keep them when relocating. Here are the most common kinds:

  • Lawn equipment – Leaf blowers, mowers, chainsaws, trimmers, and such all have gasoline, oil, or acidic batteries in them in order to function. All these combustible materials have to be removed for relocation.
  • Grills and barbeques – These objects as well have fuel in them, which has to be drained before relocation.
  • Kitchen appliances – First of all, you have to empty them all. A filled fridge will never be accepted by a relocation crew. Secondly, all freezing compartments must be thawed as nothing will be accepted in the frozen state.
  • Bolted items – If you want a relocation crew to take your shelves, curtain rods, or mirrors, you will have to unscrew them first.

However, emptying equipment that has flammable materials can be dangerous if you don’t know how to properly do it. Hence, ask for professional assistance if you are unsure of how to empty a gas tank from a barbeque, as there is a risk of both damaging the item and harming yourself.

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You Have to Prepare Your Car for Vehicle Transportation

If you have purchased auto transport services, the vehicle will have to be prepared as well. Here is what you are supposed to do:

  • You will have to remove all external car accessories like a bike, skim, luggage racks, rooftop boxes, antennas, and custom spoilers.
  • The car has to be washed both inside and outside.
  • Leave just one-quarter of the gas tank filled. This is enough for a relocating crew to load and unload the car after transportation.
  • All personal belongings from the glove compartment should be removed as a relocating crew is not responsible for these objects.

Some relocation crews allow people to leave packed objects in the trunk and on the back seats (objects that are not considered hazardous). People usually take drawers filled with clothes, wrap everything together in bubble wrap, and leave them in the trunk. However, you will have to contact the relocation enterprise and ask about their policies, of course.

Cars carrier truck at the highway asphalt road in Poland. Truck transporter
You'll have to prepare your car before the move

Follow These Guidelines, and Your Relocation Will Be Smooth

After browsing “long-distance movers near me“, you should contact the company you have chosen and ask for their policies about prohibited objects. Not following the guidelines can only cause unnecessary delays and stress on the relocation day. But, more importantly, hazardous objects can cause a lot of problems and ruin your home possessions.

Daisy Wilson

Daisy was born in Salt Lake City and in her free time, she writes about moving and watches Charmed.

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