by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
As if moving wasn’t anxiety-filled enough, did you know that there are several items your movers cannot put on the moving truck?
When you hire your moving company, they will supply you a list of the items that they cannot transport to your new residence in Atlanta. They're not trying to make your life crazier, they're heeding the U.S. Department of Transportation statute (49 CFR 100-185) which details hazardous materials that aren't acceptable to put on a moving van. There are a few things on the list of non-transportables that aren't hazardous, but that will not tolerate being on a closed truck and the moving company won't transport.
Considering you're a rational law-abiding citizen, it has probably never occurred to you that you're actually harboring dangerous explosives wherever you keep your cleaning supplies. You've likely glanced around the garage and pondered about your lawn machinery going on the moving truck, but there are lots of other things that are considered dangerous and you will have to be responsible for removing from the property.
Anything with chemicals is a definite moving no-no. This is due to the fact that chemicals have a bad habit of doing bad things if they are mixed with other chemicals, which can easily occur in a moving truck. A guideline is that if you can't put the thing in question in your normal trash for pick up, it shouldn’t be boxed up and put on a moving truck. So not only must you empty the gas tanks on any lawn machinery (mowers, leaf blowers, weed whackers, etc), either use any fertilizers and grass seed or gift it to your friends—a little Miracle-gro and a little leaking gasoline can produce a bad result. And guess what—anything that is damaged are your responsibility because you were warned what not to load on the moving truck. It's not the moving company's responsibility to check all your boxes for contraband, so be sure that any hazardous supplies-including old paint, batteries, aerosol cans, charcoal, and paint thinner—are NOT packed for the moving truck. The ideal thing to do is take them to your local hazardous waste drop-off facility or give them away to someone who can use them.
What about your houseplants? Food? Your cat? Believe it or not, some people have asked that their pets be moved on the moving van—the answer is no. That the moving company cannot transport your plants might be a little more surprising. Out-of-state moves create a concern due to the fact that some states are sensitive to foreign vegetation being brought in, and you don't want to accidentlly introduce pests to either the truck or your new house. If plants are being transported more than 150 miles you may need to get a specific license to transport them—so if you are the one who carried in canker worms or aphids, your new state of residence can locate you. As for food items in your cupboard, only pack up new, non-perishable stuff with a long shelf life. Or, donate your unopened canned goods, cereals, and cookies to a local charity, and start fresh at your new residence. Trash anything perishable or open, unless you're going to pack up coolers and transport them in your own car.
Although your valuables are not hazardous or likely to start an ash borer attack, most moving companies are reluctant to transport jewelry, cash, stock certificates and other heirloom possessions. The hazards of being lost are too big, take them along with you in a carry on, or place them with other important documents.
Other items you may not think about as being hazardous—nail polish, cleaning supplies, liquid bleach, fire extinguishers—are also not approved to be moved commercially. Again, anything chemical or flammable is not approved on a moving van, so be ahead of the game and dispose of or pack those items separately. The easiest choice is to properly dispose of these items and buy everything new once you've moved, so you will have brand new paint thinner and bleach to go with your brand-new abode.