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Tips for Long-Distance Moves: What You Shouldn’t Pack On the Moving Truck

No one likes to move, even if it’s exciting. Packing your life’s possessions into boxes and then painstakingly transporting them out of your current home, into a vehicle, into your next home, and then laboring over finding the perfect spot for all your things is an arduous and daunting process. These tasks can feel even more insurmountable if you plan to move long distances. That’s where professional movers step in.

Professional movers can streamline the moving process so that you can focus on life’s other stressors. While all professional movers will handle the hard labor of moving your heavy furniture and boxes, some companies will go further than others. Some moving companies will do everything from packing your boxes, while budget options may only account for moving your already packed boxes. No matter what service type you choose, it’s essential that you understand the dos and don’ts of packing a moving truck — especially if you’re planning a long-distance move.

Hazardous Materials

Any moving company worth their weight in salt will know to warn their clients about the regulations for moving hazardous materials. However, even still, it’s good to keep track of items that could otherwise go undetected. Hazardous materials include anything that is: 

  • Flammable
  • Explosive
  • Corrosive
  • Or Environmentally unfriendly

Federal regulations have written bans stating that these items cannot be transported in moving trucks. These regulations apply to local and long-distance moves. It’s best to dispose of or recycle any potentially hazardous materials before you pack for your move. Suppose you’re unsure if something is dangerous, exercise caution. It’s always best to ask and prevent a possible issue than to resolve it after the worst has happened. 

The below items are hazardous and cannot be packed on a moving truck:

  • All flammable liquids and items, including but not limited to lighters, charcoal, aerosol cans, and matches 
  • Corrosive acids and cleaning solvents, including bleach and ammonia
  • Propone and other compressed gas
  • Kerosene
  • Motor fuel and cooking oil
  • Paint and paint thinners
  • Explosives and fireworks
  • Car batteries
  • Pool chemicals
  • Poison, including rat poison, pesticides, and weed killer
  • Nail polish and nail polish remover
  • Firearm ammunition
  • Fire extinguishers

These items can start fires or trigger an explosion with no warning. The risk of moving with these items is not limited to a loss of property, but potential injury or death of movers or other drivers on the interstate. 

Fragile Items and Houseplants

No matter how well you pack a moving truck, boxes will get shuffled around during transport. Moving trucks and vans are not climate controlled, so fragile items like heirloom china or tender houseplants are best transported in your vehicle or carefully packed by mail for long-distance moves. 

With that said, it’s imperative that you check with state restrictions for transporting houseplants across state lines. 

Groceries and Food

Groceries are an investment. Moving is also expensive, so it’s natural for you to want to save as much of your dry goods and grocery items as possible. Jarred, canned, and unopened food items are generally safe to transport via moving truck, but perishable food items and opened food is better tossed or eaten before you begin moving. 

Refrigerated items are safe to move over short distances if they are packed well in a cooler, but in general, moving gurus suggest donating perishable items wherever possible. Moving with food can be tricky. Food items can attract rodents, cockroaches, and other vermin. Who wants to move unwanted pests into their next home?

Precious Personal Items and Documents

Whether you are moving around the block or across the country, packing for your move can be likened to airline travel. That is, don’t pack anything you wouldn’t check on an airplane, and don’t pack anything you can’t afford to lose. 

Personal items can include:

  • Medical records and insurance cards
  • Financial records, such as tax documents
  • Birth certificates, social security cards, and other valuable records
  • Collectables
  • Cash and coins
  • Heirlooms and precious jewelry
  • Car keys, including spares

Moving is one of life’s most significant stressors, but it doesn’t have to be. At Dan the Mover, we pride ourselves on being accessible to our clients and making every move stress-free, call us today with any questions!