11 Common Items Movers Will Refuse to Move

If you’ve ever had to complete a home move on your own — without the help of professional movers — you know how difficult that can be. Hiring professional movers makes the whole process so much easier.

But there are some things that movers won’t touch. Continue reading below for an idea of what movers won’t move so you won’t be surprised when moving day arrives.

1. Food


When moving, it’s easy to get focused on the big picture and forget about some of the details. Because of this, it’s quite common to forget about moving food from one house to another.

Most non-perishable, unopened items can be packed in a box and your movers will take them, but anything perishable or opened goes on the list of what movers won’t touch.

It’s almost always easier to throw it away instead of attempting to move it to your next place. But you can always hire a moving company that’s partnered with a nonprofit called Move For Hunger and have the entire donation process handled by your movers!

2. Chemicals

If you live in an apartment community, chances are there are staff members responsible for handling any yard or pool maintenance. However, if you rent a detached home, condo or even a multi-unit building like a duplex or triplex, you may be responsible for some of that maintenance yourself. If so, you probably have ton of chemicals like chlorine and lawn pesticides lying around.

Chemicals like this must be disposed of in a specific fashion and cannot be moved by a professional moving company.

3. Sentimental items

Many moving companies have internal policies prohibiting the transport of items that have a lot of sentimental or emotional value. Items like family photos, precious stones or jewelry, collectibles, cash and important documents should be personally moved by you, preferably in your own vehicle so they don’t get lost in transit.

Even if it isn’t in the policy of the moving company you hire to not move these items, you should seriously consider moving them yourself, says Allied Van Lines:

“That’s because even if movers could reimburse you for the items, they’re typically things that can’t truly be replaced for sentimental reasons.”

4. Plants


Houseplants are very in design-wise right now, so chances are your apartment is filled with them. Unfortunately, most moving companies won’t move them.

Laws regarding the transportation of live plants vary from state to state, so you should check out the guidelines before you make the move.

If you do decide to move your plants on your own, try wrapping the pot in Saran Wrap but be sure to leave the main part of the plant exposed.

5. Nail polish

This one may seem strange, but most movers will not move nail polish or nail polish remover!

The reason is that both are highly flammable. Under certain conditions, these products could cause a disaster. So, it’s best to either use them up, donate them or toss them in the trash before moving day.

6. Anything with fuel

Fuel, like nail polish and polish remover mentioned above, is extremely flammable. Because of this, moving companies will not move any power equipment that has fuel in it. You’re usually allowed to move power tools, small toy vehicles and lawn equipment, but you’ll have to empty the tank first.

To dispose of unwanted fuel, call a local recycling center or contact your local hazardous waste disposal center.

7. Vehicles

So, this one technically varies from moving company to moving company. However, those moving companies that will move your car with the rest of your household items tend to charge an arm-and-a-leg for it as they charge by weight.

If you need to move a vehicle that you won’t be driving on the move, you’ll probably need to contract the services of a separate company, usually called an “auto mover.”

8. Pets

dog in a box

High up on the list of items movers won’t move is pets. Pets, after all, are living animals and it would be extremely unsafe to move them like you would your dresser or bed frame.

If, for some reason, you’re not able to move your pet with you in your personal vehicle or on the flight to your new home, you can ship a pet with a professional transport company — just not your standard moving company.

9. Guns or ammunition

If you’re a gun-owner, you’ll probably want to make sure that your guns make it to your new home. Moving companies each have their own policy regarding transporting guns — most will not but a select few agree to move guns. However, by law, it’s prohibited for any professional moving company to move ammunition.

10. Loose items

Outside of large pieces of furniture, you’ll need to make sure everything is packed. Whether you pack yourself or hire a company to do it for you, everything must be in a box. This is not for any safety reasons, but to protect the items in transit and to ensure nothing gets lost.

11. Oxygen tanks

oxygen tanks

Whatever the reason you have for owning oxygen tanks — health reasons, a scuba hobby or something else — you need to know that movers won’t move these. Oxygen is extremely flammable and poses a threat to your belongings, the moving trucks and crew.

If you use the oxygen tanks for hobby purposes, it might be best to empty the canister and buy new oxygen at your next destination, or even buy new tanks altogether. If you need oxygen for health purposes, you should contact your insurance company for advice on moving.

Know what needs to go

Moving is never easy. Regardless of the distance, the entire process can prove to be quite stressful. However, knowledge is key in situations like these. Now that you know what movers won’t move, you have the opportunity to be as prepared as possible before-hand.

In most cases, it will be best to speak directly with the specific moving company you ultimately contract, but this list should give you a preliminary idea of what movers won’t put on the truck.

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Timothy HarrisTimothy Harris is a freelance writer based in Albuquerque. He brings a professional background in event marketing, residential real estate and journalism to the table to provide useful and relevant content for the modern renter. Timothy has previously written content for Karsten & Associates in New Mexico and Up 'til Dawn, a philanthropic fundraiser that benefits St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

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