by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
As if moving wasn’t anxiety-filled enough, did you recognize that there are some items your movers cannot move?
When you select a moving company, they will give you a list of the items that they can't transport to your new home in Denver. They're not aiming to make your life more complicated, they're observing the U.S. Department of Transportation statute (49 CFR 100-185) which designates hazardous materials that aren't acceptable to load in a truck. There are several things on the list of non-transportables that aren't hazardous, but that won't withstand being on a moving truck and the moving company won't move.
Considering you are a wise law-abiding person, it's possibly never occurred to you that you are actually storing dangerous explosives in your bathroom and kitchen cabinets. You have likely peered around the garage and pondered about your lawn mower going on the truck, but there are lots of other items that are deemed to be dangerous and you will need to be responsible for removing from your residence.
Any item with chemicals is a sure bet to be a moving no-no. This is because chemicals have a nasty tendency of doing bad things if they are combined with other chemicals, which can quickly take place in a moving truck. A good rule of thumb is that if you can't place something in your regular trash for collection, it can't be packed up and put on a moving van. So not only should you discharge the gas tanks on any lawn equipment (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 have a disastrous result. And what’s worse—any losses will be your responsibility because you were advised what not to put on the moving truck. It is not the moving company's obligation to double check all your boxes for dangerous items, so be sure that any hazardous materials-including old paint, batteries, aerosol cans, charcoal, and paint thinner—are NOT boxed for the trucks. 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 about your houseplants? The pantry? Your dog? If you can believe it, a few people have asked that their pets be put on the moving truck—the answer is absolutely not. That the moving company cannot transport your plants might be a little more surprising. Interstate moves cause an issue due to the fact that some states keep a watchful eye on foreign vegetation being brought in, and you do not want to unintentionally bring pests to either the moving van or your new house. If plants are going more than 150 miles you may need a certain permit to transport them—so if you're the one who brought in canker worms or aphids, your new state of residence knows where you live. As for food items in your cupboard, only pack up sealed, non-perishable stuff with a long shelf life. Better yet, donate your unopened canned items, cereals, and cookies to a local charity, and begin anew at your new home. Throw out anything perishable or open, unless you are going to pack up coolers and transport them in your own car.
While your valuables are not hazardous goods or likely to start an ash borer breach, most moving companies are hesitant to move jewelry, cash, stock certificates and other costly belongings. The hazards 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 recognize is hazardous—nail polish, cleaning supplies, liquid bleach, fire extinguishers—are also not approved to be transported on the moving truck. Again, anything chemical or flammable is not allowed on a moving truck, so be wise and dispose of or pack those items by themselves. The simpliest choice is to properly dispose of these items and get everything new after you've moved, so you will have brand new cleaning supplies and batteries to go with your brand-new home.