What Not to Pack When Moving: Items Movers Won’t Transport

Moving to a new home involves careful planning and packing, but there are certain items that moving companies will not transport due to safety, legal, or logistical reasons. Knowing what not to pack can help you avoid last-minute headaches and ensure a smoother moving process. Here’s a detailed guide on items movers typically won’t transport:

Hazardous Materials and Chemicals

One category of items that moving companies universally refuse to transport includes hazardous materials and chemicals. This includes items like propane tanks, gasoline, motor oil, paint thinners, and other flammable substances. These materials are dangerous to transport due to the risk of fire, explosion, or leakage, which can endanger the movers, your belongings, and the moving vehicle.

Perishable Foods

Another category of items movers typically won’t transport includes perishable foods. This includes fresh produce, refrigerated or frozen foods, and open containers of pantry items. These items can spoil during transit, attracting pests and causing unpleasant odors. It’s best to consume or donate perishable foods before moving day.


Live plants are another item that most movers won’t transport. Moving trucks can get extremely hot or cold, which can damage or kill plants. Additionally, transporting plants across state lines may violate agricultural regulations, as some plants carry pests or diseases that can harm local ecosystems. Consider giving away plants to friends or neighbors before your move.

Valuables and Personal Items

Items of high personal value or irreplaceable items such as cash, jewelry, important documents (birth certificates, passports, etc.), and sentimental items should not be packed for transport with movers. Instead, keep these items with you during the move to ensure they arrive safely at your new home.

Firearms and Ammunition

Firearms and ammunition are another category of items that movers typically won’t transport. Federal law and many state laws regulate the transportation of firearms and ammunition, so it’s essential to check and comply with all legal requirements if you need to transport these items yourself.


Moving companies do not transport pets. Pets require special care and attention during relocation. If you’re moving long-distance or internationally, research pet transport services or consult with your veterinarian for advice on safely transporting your pets.

Medical Supplies and Prescription Medications

Prescription medications and certain medical supplies require special handling and temperature control, so it’s best to transport them yourself. Keep these items in a secure, accessible place during your move.

Expensive Electronics and Personal Devices

Expensive electronics such as laptops, tablets, and personal devices are best transported by you. While movers can transport electronics, these items are vulnerable to theft or damage during transport. Backup important data and consider packing them securely for personal transport.

Large Collections of Coins or Currency

Large collections of coins, currency, or other valuable collectibles should not be packed for moving. Instead, transport these items in a secure manner to prevent loss or theft.

Items with Sentimental Value

Items with sentimental value or irreplaceable sentimental items should be packed and transported personally. These items are irreplaceable and should not be entrusted to movers.

Illegal or Prohibited Items

Lastly, movers will not transport any illegal or prohibited items, such as drugs, stolen goods, or items that violate local, state, or federal laws. Ensure you are aware of and comply with all legal restrictions regarding the items you plan to transport during your move.

By understanding what not to pack when moving, you can avoid unnecessary complications and ensure a smoother transition to your new home. Take the time to properly dispose of, donate, or transport these items yourself to minimize stress and make your moving experience more efficient and organized.