Beginner's Guide: What NOT to Pack on the Moving Truck [Video]

Let’s be honest: Your movers pick up some of your most clunky, awkward-to-move items. Let’s not forget the time they managed to fit the living room sofa through the narrow doorway in the front hall, or the time they managed to completely dismantle the trampoline into one small moving box.

While most moving companies will go above and beyond to move your stuff, they’ll still have a list of items that should stand clear of the moving truck. Whether the item’s on their moving truck blacklist (for things that are too dangerous or illegal to transport) or otherwise suggest that you move it yourself, here’s a list of everything you shouldn’t put on the moving truck if you want to stay in your mover’s good graces.

Fertilizers, weed sprays, and other gardening chemicals.

Gardening sprays likely top the list of your mover’s worst nightmare. Why? Many of these common household sprays are flammable, which spells disaster for the back of moving trucks that reach high heat in the middle of summer.

Unsealed and/or perishable food.

Enter one of your mover’s top headaches: improperly sealed food stuffs. Avoid the sticky mess of cleaning up the spilled honey, and package your perishables in ziplock bags or air-tight plastic containers. Make sure to package your glass bottles in extra newspaper or packing peanuts.

If you have sealed, non-perishable items that you don't want to bring with you on your move, consider donating them to Move for Hunger. Move for Hunger will pack up your unwanted food and deliver it to local families in need. Not only is it a great service for helping others, but it will help you clean out your kitchen before you move!

Photo Albums.

If you don’t have a digitized copy of the family trip to Disney circa 1995, chances are that you’ll want to keep the family albums extra close. If you’re driving to your new place in your own car, avoid loss or damage to your precious memories, and go ahead and stick the photo albums in the front seat.

Your mover’s contact information.

Make sure to exchange contact information with the driver of your moving truck, and enter it in your cell phone immediately (rather than keep it on the back of that sticky note). That way, if a disaster strikes en route, like a flat tire incident, you’ll be able to get in touch directly.

Your alcohol collection.

Check in with your moving company, and inquire about their policies for transporting alcohol. If they won’t budge on moving your alcohol, stop by the local package store to pick up used wine boxes (great because they have handles!). Worst case scenario: You’ll have to drink everything ahead of time!

Important documents.

For both your security and to avoid future loss, keep your important financial documents (birth certificates, social security cards, passports, medical and financial documents) under lock and key. Best practice: Purchase a folding folder or file box to store all of your important documents, and carry it in the car with you.

A small tool kit.

So you’ve officially made it to your new place and are ready to get going on furniture disassembly. The problem? The screwdriver and nails you need to assemble the master bed are buried in the depths of “Garage Box #3.” Save yourself the headache, and set aside a small tool kit.

Things that need repair.

This one should be a no brainer, but if something doesn’t work, now’s the time to start to pare down your “to fix” collection. Don’t bother packing things that you know you’ll never repair, and save a bit of moving space in the truck.

Some extra cash.

Don’t get caught fishing in your pockets for the tip when it comes time to unload the moving boxes from the truck. Depending on how much you plan to tip, make sure you have at least fifty to a hundred dollars on hand.

Jewelry or other valuables.

Best practice: If you’re moving locally, store all of your valuables in a safety deposit box at the bank and keep those precious family heirlooms with you, rather than risk breaking grandma’s china.

Prescription medications.

This one should be a no-brainer, but make sure to have all your meds packed in your purse or briefcase, before you realize that you need medicine for that splitting moving headache.

Pooch’s dog food.

We get it: Dog food bags are large and heavy, and you’ll probably want the movers to load it up onto the truck. Set aside a big ziplock bag of pooch’s food, and bring it with you so you’re not caught without doggie biscuits for your four-legged friend.

Leftover gasoline.

Most moving companies will not turn a blind eye to moving this one. Save the leftover gas from the grill or the lawnmower for your own car trip, not the back of the moving truck.

Your last-to-pack box.

This box should include everything that you’ll need to access immediately once you’re at your new residence (soap, chargers, utensils, a clean set of sheets, matches, flashlight).


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