Preparing for a Move: What are Non-Allowable Items?

You’ve scheduled your moving company, and you’re ready to get packing — but before you start filling boxes, there’s one thing you should consider: non-allowables. 

But what, exactly, are non-allowables? They’re things that moving companies can’t move. Sometimes, laws prohibit the transport of hazardous items, such as certain chemicals. Other items may be “restricted” or only allowable after proper preparation.

A reputable moving company will provide you with a list of non-allowable and restricted items. Other items may be allowed but not recommended. Check your moving company’s list before you start to pack.

Prohibited Items

It’ll probably come as no surprise that most of the items on the “Prohibited List” pose potential safety risks. Many of these items are flammable, corrosive, explosive, or toxic.

While each moving company will have its own list of prohibited items, here are a few that you’ll find on most “no transport” lists:

  • Ammunition and gunpowder
  • Batteries: Lead-acid, alkaline, and automotive/marine
  • Cleaning products such as ammonia and bleach
  • Corrosive chemicals like hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, bromine, hydrogen peroxide
  • Chemicals used in the yard or garden, such as pesticides and fertilizers
  • Flammable and explosive substances, such as lighter fluid, gas, oil, kerosene, antifreeze
  • Fireworks
  • Oxygen tanks
  • Paint, primer, paint thinner, acetone, and other hazardous solvents
  • Propane and other compressed gas cylinders
  • Yard equipment that contains fuel

Of course, any illegal substances or items are a no-go. Many moving companies draw the line at live plants and animals, too. So before your move, give prohibited items away, or dispose of them safely and correctly

Restricted Items

Some items are restricted rather than prohibited. That means that you may pack and transport these items on a moving truck as long as you prepare them correctly and submit appropriate written notice before the move.

Restricted items may include:

  • Alcohol
  • Batteries used in personal mobility devices, such as power-driven wheelchairs or scooters
  • Clean, empty gas and fuel tanks
  • Cordless power tools

Before moving these items, check with your moving company and fill out any necessary paperwork.

Not Recommended

Some items aren’t prohibited, but most moving companies don’t recommend their transport on a moving truck. As a result, such things may be ruined during the move, while others hold great value or are irreplaceable. 

If your move is more than just a couple of hours’ drive away, don’t pack perishable foods. This includes refrigerated or frozen foods, anything in an open container, and produce. Food can spoil or spill and may attract pests.

You probably don’t want to pack items with great sentimental value (or small things with monetary value) either. This includes:

  • Children’s artwork
  • Jewelry
  • Heirlooms
  • Photographs and photo albums
  • Precious metals

Finally, don’t pack important documents and items onto the moving truck. Rather, keep these things with you during the move:

  • Birth certificates
  • Computers
  • Contacts and eyeglasses
  • Financial documents, checkbooks, and credit cards
  • Government-issued IDs
  • Keys
  • Marriage licenses
  • Medical and health records
  • Medications
  • Passports 
  • School records
  • Titles

Remember: Reputable moving companies will provide you with a list of prohibited and restricted items. So before you start packing, ask your moving company what they don’t move. 

Contact us for a free quote today. Then, we can help with your moving needs.