by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
As if moving weren't anxiety-filled enough, did you know that there are a few items your movers can't haul?
When you select your moving company, they will provide you a list of the articles that they cannot put on the moving truck to your new home in Oklahoma City. They are not attempting to make your life more complicated, they're complying with the U.S. Department of Transportation statute (49 CFR 100-185) which spells out hazardous materials that are not okay to load in a commercial vehicle. There are several things on the list of non-transportables that aren't hazardous, but that will not tolerate being in a closed truck and the moving company won't move.
Since you are a reasonable law-abiding individual, it has probably never occurred to you that you're actually harboring dangerous explosives in your bathroom and kitchen cabinets. You've possibly glanced around the garage and wondered about your lawn equipment going on the moving van, but there are lots of other items that are deemed to be dangerous and you'll have to be in charge of removing from the property.
Anything with chemicals is a definite moving no-no. This is due to the fact that chemicals have a terrible custom of doing bad things if they are combined with other chemicals, which can easily take place in a moving vehicle. A guideline is that if you cannot put the thing in question in your regular trash for collection, it can't be packed up and placed on the truck. So not only should you discharge the gas tanks on any lawn equipment (mowers, leaf blowers, weed whackers, etc), either use any fertilizers and grass seed or give it to your neighbors—a little Miracle-gro and a little leaking gasoline could have a bad product. And what’s worse—any damages are your responsibility because you were advised what not to load on the moving van. It's not the moving company's obligation to check all your boxes for dangerous items, so make sure that any hazardous supplies-including old paint, batteries, aerosol cans, charcoal, and paint thinner—are NOT packed for the moving truck. The ideal thing to do is transport them to your local hazardous waste drop-off facility or give them away to someone who can use them.
What about your houseplants? Food items? Your dog? Believe it or not, a few people have asked that their pets be transported on the moving truck—the answer is absolutely not. That the moving company can't move your plants could be a tad more shocking. Interstate moves create a problem in that states monitor foreign vegetation crossing the state’s borders, and you don't want to unintentionally introduce pests to either the truck or your new residence. If plants are going more than 150 miles you might need to obtain a specific license to transport them—so if you're the one who carried in canker worms or aphids, your new home state can locate you. As for food items in your pantry, only box up unopened, non-perishable stuff with a long shelf life. Better yet, donate your new canned goods, cereals, and cookies to a local charity, and begin anew at your new house. Throw out anything perishable or open, unless you're going to pack up coolers and move them yourself.
Although your valuables are not dangerous goods or likely to start an ash borer breach, most moving companies are reluctant to move jewelry, cash, stock certificates and other costly belongings. The dangers of being misplaced are too big, take them along with you in a carry on, or place them with other valuable documents.
Other items you may not think about as being hazardous—nail polish, cleaning supplies, liquid bleach, fire extinguishers—are also not allowed to be transported on the moving truck. Again, anything chemical or flammable is not approved on a moving truck, so be smart and dispose of or pack those items separately. The easiest option is to properly dispose of these items and buy everything new once you've moved, so you'll have brand new paint thinner and bleach to go with your brand-new house.