What Items Cannot Be Moved By Professional Movers?

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante
Credit: Shutterstock / Studio Romantic

You can relieve so much stress if you hire professional movers to help with your move. That said, movers can’t simply wave a magic wand and transport everything from your current home to your new home. So, what items cannot be moved by professional movers?

Professional movers cannot move firearms, ammunition, pets, and dangerous chemicals due to laws between states. Movers cannot pick up flammable items, like charcoal and power tools full of gasoline because of the fire hazards. Most moving companies also won’t move important personal documents, storage safe keys, and live plants, especially for long-distance moves.

Regulations vary between states and movers, so it’s a great idea to ask the company about their rules. Follow along as we explore what items cannot be moved by professional movers.

What Won’t Your Movers Pick Up?

Whether it be abrasive chemicals or a bag of charcoal, movers won’t pick up many items. That’s why it’s important to speak openly with a moving company before you hire them. Many moving companies operate similarly, and professional movers won’t move some items, such as:

1. Alcohol

Do you have a liquor cabinet and a collection of alcohol? If so, you may have to move it without professional help. Moving companies can’t move liquor in many states, but it varies.

That said, professional movers may be able to move your liquor collection depending on where you live. In that case, they may ask you to pack the liquor yourself, or even pay extra. Otherwise, you can simply line a box with bubble wrap, carefully space the bottles, and move them without help.

2. Plants

Houseplants aren’t too hard to move, but many moving companies are unwilling to pick them up. It’s often possible with local moves, but movers can’t typically transport live plants between states. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has strict laws about live plant transportation.

These laws primarily target plant nurseries, but they affect movers as well. Luckily, that’s not a problem in most cases if you simply need to move within the same city and state. However, some moving companies may want to avoid the risk altogether.

3. Firearms

Understandably, many movers won’t touch your firearms when you move. It depends on the state and condition of the firearm. For example, movers can transport firearms in many states if they don’t have any bullets in them.

Things get tricky when it comes to moving out of state with firearms. You can legally move firearms out of state, but you may have to ship them. Make sure to refer to ATF guidelines to avoid legal penalties.

4. Pets

We all know that many animals don’t trust people besides their owners. Moving companies typically refuse to move pets, as it is risky. This lets them avoid allergic reactions, bites, and scratches.

Professional movers are also unlikely to pick up some pet items, such as litter boxes. Pack your pet’s food and toys right before you move so they don’t go without these items.

5. Pressurized Containers

Some homeowners have pressurized containers for their health, hobbies, and home maintenance. That said, pressurized containers, such as oxygen tanks, pose fire risks that moving companies aren’t willing to undertake.

Even scuba diving tanks are dangerous to move, so movers are unlikely to pick them up. Unfortunately, you must move pressurized containers and tanks without professional help. Make sure to secure the container safely so it doesn’t move during transportation.

6. Safe Keys

Do you have a safe full of valuable items? If so, the movers you hire won’t likely move the key to open the safe. This is a liability issue as it gives the moving crew access to your valuable items, such as jewelry.

Luckily, this isn’t a big inconvenience as you can simply take your safe key with you. The moving company can move the safe itself in many cases, just not the key.

7. Valuable Belongings

In some cases, movers won’t move certain valuable items. It varies between companies, and they often have a value limit for what they won’t move. That said, many movers offer white-glove service packages specifically meant for high-value items.

You will likely pay a premium rate for movers to pick up valuable items, such as pianos, and precious family heirlooms.

8. Important Documents

It can be hard to keep track of your important documents when you move. Moving companies understand that, and that’s why they leave that up to the homeowner. You must handle your medical records, passport, Social Security card, and financial documents.

It helps to simply put them all in a box or folder so you can keep these documents in one place. Movers are strict about this rule because it is a liability for them. For example, you could sue the moving company if an important document gets lost or damaged during the move.

9. Dangerous Chemicals

We all rely on chemicals to keep our houses clean. That said, some of these chemicals are dangerous, and movers don’t want to incur the risk. Even basic household items you use to clean your house are considered hazardous.

They may move basic sprays meant to clean your kitchen, but movers won’t likely move abrasive chemicals. In that case, you must bring them to your new home. Sadly, you may need to discard some chemicals if you must fly to your new home and the movers won’t pick them up.

Everything from paint thinner and chlorine to bleach are considered hazardous chemicals.

10. Fueled Power Tools

Movers can pick up power tools as long as they don’t contain fuel. However, a chainsaw or lawnmower full of fuel is too hazardous to move. The flammability is too big of a risk for most moving companies to handle.

You can avoid this problem if you simply drain the fuel from your power tools before you move. Luckily, this isn’t a problem if you have electric power tools.

11. Charcoal

Much like gasoline and lighter fluid, charcoal is quite flammable. That’s why movers won’t transport charcoal to your new home when you move. Understandably, movers can’t justify the risk of moving such a flammable item.

12. Illegal Items

You should never move with illegal items, and that’s why movers won’t pick them up. Both you and the moving company can face legal penalties if you move with illegal items. That’s especially true for long-distance moves across state lines.

That can be more complicated than it sounds, as laws vary between states. For example, you may live in a state where fireworks are legal. You cannot bring fireworks to a state where they’re illegal without facing a legal penalty.

The fireworks may be legal in your state, but that doesn’t mean you can take them to a state where they’re prohibited. The same rules apply to all illegal substances, weapons, and plants.

Summing It Up

Movers can’t pick up many items, such as alcohol, live plants, firearms, and dangerous chemicals, like bleach and acetone. You also can’t ask movers to move pets, charcoal, pressurized tanks, and personal documents. Moving companies are also unwilling to move many cleaning products because they are often hazardous.

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Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

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