Selective focus danger sign.

How to Move Non-Allowables

When you hire a moving company, especially a full-service one, you probably expect them to do everything for you. And for the most part, your expectations will be met with the company. Moving companies are there to make relocation easier for you. And they will do their best to succeed at that because there’s nothing more valuable to a reputable mover than a satisfied customer and their positive review. But there are some things moving companies just won’t do. So don’t be surprised when your movers hand you a list of items they won’t pack or transport. If you want to move non-allowables like these, you will have to do it yourself!

What are non-allowables?

Non-allowables are items that a moving company won’t pack, handle or transport as a part of their regular service. These items generally fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Hazardous materials and other dangerous goods
  2. Perishables such as food and plants
  3. Personal items of great sentimental value

Sometimes movers can make exceptions to these rules. This will depend on the items in question, the distance, and difficulty of the move and any exceptional circumstances that need to be taken into account.

Red and white sign "Do not enter",
Movers won’t handle prohibited items

Why won’t movers handle these items?

For the most part, the answer is as easy as it is obvious: safety. Moving companies won’t move anything that is a potential risk to their employees, equipment and property or customers and their possessions. Other reasons for not moving certain items are the special care those items require (such as storing of perishables at a certain temperature or watering of plants) and the potential for losing or damaging something irreplaceable (like a family heirloom or an old photo album for example). These rules are in effect to protect the movers both from harm and your dissatisfaction with the moving services. But they also ensure that your belongings are handled adequately.

Have questions? Ask your movers!

When you hire your top choice of movers in Brooklyn, you will get a list of items considered non-allowable by their company. Most reputable movers provide you with this information early on in the moving process. If you don’t get a list of non-allowables, ask for it. You should know in advance what you need to move so you can prepare. Don’t hesitate to consult with your movers on any items you are not sure about!

Should you move these items at all?

Whether or not you should move items which are not allowed all by yourself depends on the specific item in question.

You will obviously want to bring any items with sentimental value to your new home. But it is not a good idea to move hazardous material yourself. The risk of serious harm and injury to you, your family and your belongings is far too great especially on a long-distance move.

How to move non-allowables: step by step guide

The first step to moving items like these is identifying them. Once you get a list of non-allowable items from your movers, you should have a pretty good idea of which of your own personal possessions belong on it. You should then categorize those possessions as hazardous, perishable or valuable. This will help you decide on whether they need to be moved at all.

Hazardous materials and other dangerous goods

Any flammable, corrosive or explosive items are considered too dangerous to move. Even if they wanted to, your movers are not allowed to move these as per federal law. Some of the items considered hazardous are:

  • guns, ammunition, and other weapons
  • fireworks and signal flares
  • motor oil, lighter fluid, matches, lamp oil, and even candles
  • ammonia and other acids
  • gasoline and other petroleum products
  • propane tanks, fire extinguishers and scuba diving tanks
  • pesticides, insecticides and other poisons
  • paint, paint-thinners, bleach nail polish, and nail polish remover
  • aerosol cans like deodorant or hairspray
  • yard equipment containing fuel
  • car batteries
  • liquor/alcohol

For the most part, you don’t want to risk moving these either especially long-distance. It’s better to use them up, give them away or dispose of them properly.

Guns, firearms, and ammunition: should you move it?

Yes, but not yourself. Gun laws vary greatly by state. Moving your weapons yourself is therefore not only dangerous but may result in breaking the law. It is better to have a licensed dealer store and then ship your firearms for you. If you insist on moving weapons yourself, research gun laws in all states you are going through thoroughly before moving.

Move non-allowables like guns and ammo with professional help.
Movers won’t handle your firearms because they are considered dangerous.

Fuel-powered house equipment: should you move it?

Yes, but only when completely drained of fuel. This is the only way movers will transport it.

Liquor: should you move it?

If you want to, but how you move it depends on the amount of alcohol, its value, and state laws. Consult with your movers first. Some are willing to transport certain amounts of alcohol when packed properly. They may also know something about local laws surrounding moving alcohol. For special and expensive collections, hire a specialty moving company. If you’re transporting alcohol in your own vehicle, make sure all bottles are closed and properly packed.

Flammable and poisonous material: should you move it?

No, especially not long-distance. Gasoline, antifreeze, pesticides, cleaning supplies and other flammable or corrosive liquids are too dangerous to move. You should only move unallowed items like this locally. If you’re moving long-distance, try to use them up before relocating or give them to family, friends, and neighbors who might need them. If you can’t get rid of them quickly, look into self storage Brooklyn where you can keep them until you can dispose of them.

Perishables

Perishables can be divided into three categories:

  1. food
  2. plants
  3. pets

They are not dangerous and can be transported safely. You can absolutely move prohibited items like this yourself. But some can be too much hassle to bother with.

Food: should you move it?

No, especially not long distance. Most moving companies will make exceptions for perishable food on moves that are less than 150 miles in distance and less than 24 hours in time. This is because the food won’t be in transit long enough to spoil. You can also bring a certain amount of perishable food along with you for the road. But if you are moving long distance, use it up in advance or give it away.

Plants: should you move it?

No, especially not long distance. Again, exceptions can be made for local moves that don’t take a lot of time. But as a general rule, plants are too sensitive to move. If any of your houseplants hold special meaning or value, hire a specialty moving company for them.

Pets: should you move it?

Yes, obviously. Pets are not possessions – they are family. Wherever you go, they should follow. Just make sure to keep the pets safe and comfortable during the relocation.

Personal items of great sentimental value

Photo album with black-and-white family photos.
You should move irreplaceable items with sentimental value yourself.

Items such as personal documents, cash and credit/debit cards, stock and bonds, priceless jewelry, photos, artwork, collections and the like are all considered irreplaceable. Moving companies can move non-allowables in this category. They just prefer not to. And you probably prefer it that way too. Keep those valuables you can on you and transport them yourself. If needed, hire specialty moving companies for the rest. This will ensure all your possessions are moved with you safely.

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