10 Items Your Movers Might Refuse to Move

By: Tommy Loutzenheiser Last Updated: May 11, 2024

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In order to make sure your items arrive safely and intact, most moving companies will refuse to move specific items. And it may seem like a pain, but it’s because each one of these 10 items poses a major threat to the safety of your move.

10 Items Your Movers Might Refuse to Move

When moving to a new area, it’s a given that you want the entire process to go as smoothly as possible. Nothing is damaged, everything arrives on time, and you have a reliable moving company to help you.

Well, these 10 items might pose a massive inconvenience since you’re on your own when it comes to moving them, in the big picture – letting the moving company take care of them is a sure way to deal with a huge mess, broken items, and an unreliable moving process.

Here are ten items that your moving company may refuse to move:

  1. Foods
  2. Cleaning Products
  3. Liquor
  4. Flammable/Hazardous Materials
  5. Plants
  6. Pets
  7. Personal Items
  8. Firearms
  9. Oxygen Tanks
  10. Fueled Machinery

1. Foods

Any perishable food or drink combined with a moving truck runs the risk of spoilage, leaks, and potential damage to other items.

Think about an expired gallon of milk getting all over your mattress – not exactly something you or the moving company would want to deal with.

It’s best to consume or donate most perishable foods before the date of your move since most moving companies will not take them.

2. Cleaning Products

Similar to perishable foods, cleaning products risk leaking and damaging your belongings. Since most cleaning products contain hazardous materials, if they leak, it can create noxious gas inside of the moving truck.

These products are so dangerous in moving trucks that federal law prohibits moving companies from transporting any sort of cleaning product.

3. Liquor

Liquor is a bit more of a gray area with moving companies. Liquor transportation laws are also different depending on what states your moving company will be driving through.

Some moving companies may agree to transport liquor, whereas some may not. Since it usually depends on the moving company, we recommend doing research to find one that will gladly transport your packaged liquor.

4. Flammable/Hazardous Materials

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) prohibits the transportation of hazardous materials including but not limited to flammable liquids, explosives, and gasses.

Here are a few common household chemicals and materials that moving companies cannot transport.

  • Aerosols
  • Ammunition for firearms
  • Antifreeze
  • Bleach
  • Batteries
  • Fire Extinguishers
  • Gasoline
  • Nail Polish Remover
  • Pool Chemicals
  • Weed Killer
  • Lighter Fluid

Any item that contains or uses these substances cannot be transported by a moving company.

5. Plants

Moving companies unfortunately won’t move your plants for you across long distance moves. However, if you’re insistent on getting assistance moving your plants, you can request a permit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that complies with plant protection agency regulations.

If you’re moving to a nearby home in the same zip code, depending on the moving company, they may agree to help move your smaller household plants for you.

6. Pets

Although we hope you’re not going to try and put your dog in the back of a moving truck, the confusion comes with smaller, less-owned pets, such as reptiles, bunnies, and fish.

Regardless of the pet, movers will not consider moving any live species in a moving truck.

You can however request pet relocation services if needed for your special friend.

7. Personal Items

Moving companies often take pride in how they handle valuable items, but there are certain ones that they might request you to hold on to.

These include but are not limited to:

  • Passports
  • Wallets
  • Birth Certificates
  • Financial Documents
  • Keys
  • Marriage Certificates
  • Medical Records
  • Family Heirlooms

In the event you need to move one or many of these items, we recommend that you hold onto them during the duration of your move.

8. Firearms

Moving companies are allowed to transport firearms provided they are unloaded, and there’s no ammunition anywhere in the moving truck. This is all provided that they comply with federal and state firearm laws.

Smaller moving companies will vary and tailor policies depending on what state they are in, so we recommend doing background research to find the safest way to get your firearm to your new home.

9. Oxygen Tanks

Scuba tank canisters contain highly pressurized oxygen, which is very dangerous to transport. In the event the moving truck gets in an accident, the scuba tank could explode on impact.

However, some moving companies may transport your tank if it’s emptied beforehand. It’s best to check directly with them to see their policies.

10. Fueled Machinery

Movers will not transport any outdoor power equipment. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Lawnmowers
  • Chainsaws
  • Weed Wackers
  • Tree Trimmers

It’s illegal to transport any flammable substance, and due to the gasoline, these tools fall under that category. Electric machinery is different, and it’s best to check with your moving company on their policy with moving electric tools.

Know Beforehand

In the event you need to move an item on this list, it’s best to plan ahead and figure out how you’re going to safely transport that item to your new home.

You may have to contract special moving services or find a safe and legal way to transport them yourself. While this may be a big inconvenience for you and your family, it’s important to abide by all federal laws and protect the safety of your movers.