Rules for Moving to Atlanta--What Movers Can't Move

by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group

Moving - Moving BoxesAs if moving weren't worrisome enough, did you know that there are some things your movers can't haul?

When you select your moving company, they will provide you a list of the things that they cannot haul to your new residence in Atlanta. They are not attempting to make your life more complicated, they're complying with the U.S. Department of Transportation statute (49 CFR 100-185) which spells out hazardous materials that are not acceptable to load in a truck. There are several things on the list of non-transportables that aren't hazardous, but that will not endure being in a closed truck and the moving company won't move.

Since you are a reasonable law-abiding individual, it has probably never dawned on you that you're actually harboring dangerous explosives in your bathroom and kitchen cabinets. You've possibly glanced around the garage and wondered about your lawn equipment going on the moving van, but there are lots of other items that are considered dangerous and you'll have to be accountable for moving out of the property.

Anything with chemicals is a definite moving no-no. This is due to the fact that chemicals have a terrible tendency of doing bad things if they are combined with other chemicals, which can easily take place in a moving vehicle. A ground rule is that if you cannot put the thing in question in your normal trash for collection, it can't be packed up and loaded on the truck. So not only do you need to deplete the gas tanks on any lawn equipment (mowers, leaf blowers, weed whackers, etc), either use any fertilizers and grass seed or give it to your neighbors—a little Miracle-gro and a little leaking gasoline could have a detrimental product. And what’s worse—any damages are your responsibility because you were advised what not to load on the moving truck. It's not the moving company's responsibility to check all your boxes for dangerous items, so make sure that any hazardous supplies-including old paint, batteries, aerosol cans, charcoal, and paint thinner—are NOT packed for the moving van. The ideal thing to do is transport them to your local hazardous waste drop-off facility or give them away to someone who can use them.

What not to pack for movingWhat about your houseplants? Food items? Your cat? Believe it or not, a couple people have asked that their pets be transported on the moving truck—the answer is no. That the moving company can't move your plants could be a bit more shocking. Out-of-state moves create a problem in that states are sensitive to foreign vegetation crossing the state’s borders, and you don't want to unintentionally introduce pests to either the truck or your new house. If plants are going more than 150 miles you might need to obtain a certain license to transport them—so if you're the one who carried in canker worms or aphids, your new state of residence can locate you. As for food items in your pantry, only box up unopened, non-perishable stuff with a long shelf life. Better yet, donate your new canned goods, cereals, and cookies to a local charity, and begin anew at your new house. Trash anything perishable or open, unless you're going to pack up coolers and move them yourself.

Although your valuables are not hazardous goods or likely to start an ash borer invasion, most moving companies are reluctant to move jewelry, cash, stock certificates and other heirloom belongings. The dangers of being misplaced are too great, take them along with you in a carry on, or place them with other essential documents.

Other things you may not think about as being hazardous—nail polish, cleaning supplies, liquid bleach, fire extinguishers—are also not allowed to be transported on the moving truck. Again, anything chemical or flammable is not approved on a moving van, so be smart and dispose of or pack those items separately. The easiest option is to properly dispose of these items and buy everything new once you've moved, so you'll have brand new cleaning supplies and bleach to go with your brand-new house.