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What Not to Pack When Moving?

So, the day of relocation is approaching, and you’re moving to New York City. Wonderful! The panic is probably rising as you have less and less time to deal with everything. Luckily, there is a simple solution – hire a reliable NYC moving company to assist you in moments of crisis. With their help, you can relax more, and complete all the tasks easier. But knowing what not to pack when moving is certainly one of the most important questions to ask. Just to make double sure, every packer will check the content before the shipping. On the other hand, you can be responsible and save everyone precious time by avoiding packing unauthorized items. To help you with that, we’ll present you with a list of such items. Read on to learn what not to pack when moving.

Why is it important to know what not to pack when moving?

The answer to this question is super simple and it’s – safety! Now, some things are easy to pack. There are those which require more effort, such as packing and moving furniture. And then, there are those which are to be avoided. When packing, there are several concerns most people have. Most of them have to do with working hours, payment issues, benefits, and of course, safety at work. To make things clear, there are jobs that have a high and low-risk label. Packing and moving can be classified as high-risk unless a packer follows the protocol and applies the rules. One of the rules speaks about what not to pack when moving.

A yellow caution sign with a black exclamation sign

It is an absolute imperative to be cautious about things you wish to pack

Before the day of the relocation, a moving company you hired will send a person responsible to make a necessary evaluation and inspect the cargo. If any of the unpermitted items are found, the whole process stops until this is sorted out. In this way, a professional moving company takes care of its reputation and puts safety in the first place. If you’re moving to New York for work, or college, and you need your gadgets and a laptop, then you better find out how to pack and move sensitive equipment such as these. These can also be a bit dangerous to move too because of the batteries and chargers. That’s why packing them properly saves the day.

Reasons why some specific items should not be packed

Now that you’ve learned something about this issue, let’s take a look at a few more reasons why you should not pack certain things:

  • Someone from the moving company, usually a mover, can suffer a damage, or injury
  • There might be a damage to a moving truck
  • An unpermitted item may cause harm to other belongings inside a truck
  • Presents a risk to the environment
  • It may cause health issues to the people nearby
Moving truck on the road

Before the moving truck leaves towards the destination, it is mandatory to check the cargo.

Unfortunately, the list can go on. However, some unconscious people may disregard the warnings and cause great damage. This is why you should do business only with those people who follow the regulations and who are reliable. This is why we point out again the importance of hiring a moving company that is licensed and approved by a relevant number of people. If you have a direct recommendation from a person you trust, even better! Such a company will provide you with its own list of non-transportable goods. It’s your obligation to comply with it. The first time you think they do it out of caprice, think again. A company that follows all the regulations, such as Dumbo Moving and Storage NYC, will never endanger any participant of the moving process, nor the shipment. On the other hand, if it’s illegal, then it’s not only about the company.

Please note that illegal items are strictly prohibited by law. Therefore, do not even try to hide them among your other stuff. The consequences are very serious and punishable by law.

What not to pack when moving?

Hazardous materials

For safety reasons, the first group of items that are forbidden is hazardous materials. Anything flammable, corrosive, or that contains explosive materials is strictly forbidden. Some of the most common items on this list include car batteries, charcoal, acids, fireworks, motor oil, gasoline, fire extinguisher, etc. These items can easily burn. Therefore, they represent a major risk to everyone involved in moving. You may also be surprised that your nail polish and hairspray are on the list of non-allowables as well. But it all makes sense once you understand that any of these items can easily cause disaster if they get into contact with heat. Just think about long-distance moves that take days or weeks to offload the shipment to the designated address. Now imagine this move is happening in summer or it’s taking someone’s belongings to Florida or another state with a hot climate.

If you add flammable and explosive items to this scenario, you’ll easily learn that this is a recipe for a disaster. Some moving trucks do have air-conditioned storage but this will cost you more and still won’t guarantee safety in case you want to move hazardous materials. So, leaving anything that’s flammable or corrosive behind is better for everyone’s safety.


The next on the list of non-allowables is food. While perishables may not cause danger as the aforementioned items, they can still cause a lot of mess. It is especially risky to move any food that’s easily perishable such as dairy products, eggs, and meat. If you don’t pack these properly, they can spoil easily or make a real mess inside the truck. Even if you pack them the best way possible, there’s still a risk because the truck may experience delays and food may end up sitting there for days. If you don’t want to waste food, our suggestion is to move them yourself and pack them the best you can. Use plastic moving containers or get portable refrigerators. Or better yet, donate that food to your local charity. You’ll make things much easier, and you’ll make a good deed!


Food rack with dairy products

Dairy products such as cheese and milk are among products that should be avoided to pack.


Another group of items that you shouldn’t pack when moving is your plants. Similar to food, plants can also get spoiled and lead to all sorts of issues. They could also die while in transit so it’s better if you leave them behind. You could gift them to someone instead or even sell them before you move. Different states have different regulations regarding plants so your mover is most likely not to accept moving plants.


Valuables are also something on the list of what not to pack when moving. Your treasures and personal items should not be put together with other items in the truck. A simple reason is that they are irreplaceable, and no insurance will be able to pay you enough. We don’t talk about money here. We talk about items that hold sentimental value such as a family heirloom, or a rare collection of something, think artworks. Also, avoid putting any of your personal documents, or documentation you need for work. Just imagine your ID or passport getting lost or mixed up with someone else’s belongings. This is always possible if you’re having a consolidated move. While you can get the new personal documents, it’s very time-consuming and represents an additional cost. It’s better to be safe than sorry so keep valuables on you at all times.

Guns and ammo

While some items are prohibited by movers for various reasons and the non-allowable list may vary from mover to mover, some things are prohibited by law. The law forbids the unpermitted shipment of any explosives, guns, and ammunition. It is a good idea to read about federal laws and learn more about other restrictions. For these reasons, most movers won’t move your firearms or ammunition. You may still be able to move your personal protection weapon on your own if you have a license to carry, but you must check regulations for a city or state you’re moving to. Some states allow you to travel with your weapon while others are pretty strict about it and you may end up having issues with the law, which is the last thing you want when moving. Always check government guidelines regarding firearms if you want to take guns and ammo to your new home.

The next time you’re planning to relocate, keep in mind what not to pack when moving. It will speed up the moving process and you will avoid all the inconveniences. Keep in mind that each moving company has its own list of non-allowables. They will usually provide you with the list so it’s up to you to stay compliant. Also, the mover is not responsible for transporting forbidden items they were not aware of, so if you try to move something without their knowledge, you may get yourself into unnecessary trouble.