Non Allowables are items that moving companies are legally prohibited from transporting due to safety, legal, or environmental reasons. Ignoring these restrictions can lead to serious consequences, including fines, delays, or even accidents during transit. To ensure a smooth and hassle-free move, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with what not to pack. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore various categories of non-allowables and provide tips on how to handle them.


Hazardous Materials

Perhaps the most critical category of non-allowables is hazardous materials. These are substances that pose a risk to health, safety, property, or the environment. Examples include:

  1. Flammable Liquids: Items such as gasoline, paint thinner, and propane tanks are highly combustible and can cause fires or explosions during transit.
  1. Corrosive Chemicals: Substances like bleach, drain cleaners, and certain types of batteries can cause severe damage if they leak or spill during transportation.
  2. Explosives: This includes fireworks, ammunition, and other explosive materials that are strictly regulated for safety reasons.
  3. Radioactive Materials: Certain medical or laboratory equipment containing radioactive substances must be handled with extreme care and are typically not allowed in moving trucks.
  4. Compressed Gases: Cylinders containing compressed gases like oxygen, helium, or propane are hazardous and should not be transported by moving companies.


Perishable Items

Another category of non-allowables is perishable items. These are goods that can spoil or decay over time, requiring special storage conditions. Examples include:

  1. Food: Perishable food items such as fresh produce, dairy products, and frozen foods are not suitable for long-distance moves, as they may spoil or attract pests during transit.
  2. Plants: Live plants may not survive the journey, especially if exposed to extreme temperatures or prolonged periods without sunlight or water.
  3. Pets: While not exactly perishable, pets require special care and attention during a move. It’s essential to make proper arrangements for their transportation and accommodation.


Valuables and Sentimental Items

Certain items are too valuable or sentimental to be entrusted to a moving company. These include:

  1. Cash and Jewelry: Items of significant monetary value should be kept with you at all times to prevent loss or theft.
  2. Important Documents: Documents such as passports, birth certificates, financial records, and medical files should be kept in a secure, easily accessible location during the move.
  3. Family Heirlooms: Items with sentimental value, such as heirlooms, antiques, or irreplaceable keepsakes, should be carefully packed and transported personally.


Restricted Items

In addition to hazardous materials, perishable items, and valuables, there are other items that moving companies may refuse to transport due to various restrictions. These include:

  1. Firearms: Firearms are subject to strict regulations, and moving them across state lines may require special permits or licenses.
  2. Alcohol: Shipping alcohol across state lines can be complicated due to varying regulations regarding importation and distribution.
  3. Narcotics and Illegal Substances: Possession of illegal drugs or substances is prohibited by law and can result in serious legal consequences.
  4. Prohibited Items: Certain items may be prohibited by the moving company’s policies or by federal, state, or local laws. It’s essential to check with your moving company for a comprehensive list of restricted items.


Tips for Handling Non-Allowables

Now that you’re aware of what not to pack for moving, here are some tips for handling non-allowables:

  1. Dispose of Hazardous Materials Properly: Take any hazardous materials to a designated disposal facility in your area. Many communities have recycling centers or hazardous waste disposal sites where you can safely dispose of these items.
  2. Use Up Perishable Items: Before your move, try to use up perishable food items or donate them to friends, family, or food banks. Consider giving away plants to neighbors or friends who can care for them properly.
  3. Secure Valuables and Sentimental Items: Keep cash, jewelry, important documents, and family heirlooms in a secure location that you can access easily during the move. Consider transporting these items yourself or using a secure courier service.
  4. Check with Your Moving Company: Before you start packing, check with your moving company for a list of non-allowables and any other restrictions or guidelines they may have. This will help you avoid any last-minute surprises or complications on moving day.
  5. Label Boxes Clearly: Properly label all your boxes to indicate their contents, especially if they contain items that require special handling or are not suitable for transportation by the moving company.


Moving can be a stressful experience, but knowing what not to pack can help streamline the process and ensure a smooth transition to your new home. By familiarizing yourself with non-allowables and following the tips provided in this guide, you can avoid potential pitfalls and enjoy a hassle-free move. Remember to plan ahead, communicate with your moving company, and take the necessary precautions to protect your belongings and ensure a successful relocation. Happy moving!

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