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What Not to Pack

While this packing guide covers the basic packing methods and techniques, there are some items that require special packing and handling, and some items that you don't need to pack simply because your moving company will not move them due to limitations presented by law and regulations.

Dangerous Goods

Some household items cannot be transported by your moving company. Learn what not to pack for your move.Any material that is flammable, corrosive or explosive is dangerous and moving it will be against rules and regulations. If you own dangerous goods, you will have to discard them prior to your move date.

Be responsible as you discard these materials to avoid injuries. In addition, improper disposal of these materials may lead to expensive fines. If you are not sure where and how to dispose of these materials, contact the following:

  1. Contact your local recycling center and order a pickup service.
  2. Contact your local fire station for instructions for proper disposal of flammable materials.
  3. Contact the closest Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) office to find out how you can properly dispose of these items.
    Environmental Protection Agency of New York
    Environmental Protection Agency of California
  4. Ask a relatives and friends if they could use the item.

The following is a list of dangerous goods:
Acid, aerosols, Ammonia, ammunition, batteries (and car batteries), charcoal, chemistry sets, cleaning fluid, darkroom chemicals, fertilizer, fireworks, gasoline, kerosene, lamp oil, lighter fluid, liquid bleach, loaded weapons, matches, motor oil, nail polish and remover, paints and paint thinner, pesticides, pool chemicals, stern, propane, weed killer.


Moving perishables such as food and plants depends on the type of your move. If you are moving locally, you can move perishables if they are properly packed. In any case, it is recommended to discard meat, eggs and dairy products as these products tend to spoil quickly even in colder.

However, if your move is a long distance move, your perishables may die or spoil while in transit. 24 hours prior to your loading, empty your refrigerator and freezers. Keep doors open so the appliance will dry out completely.

High Value Items

High value items are items you do not want anyone to transport for you. High value items don't necessarily mean they have a high price value; rather they are of sentimental value or simply irreplaceable items.

The following is a list of high value items and should not be loaded on a moving truck:

  • Address books
  • Artwork including children's work and other small art work
  • Collectibles such as coins, stamps, etc.
  • Computer or at least all back-up media and software
  • Financial documents and records such as bank statements, check books, credit card, deeds, stocks, and tax records
  • Flight tickets and all other travel documents such as passports, hotel reservations, etc.
  • Home movies, personal video tapes and DVDs, and photo albums
  • Jewelry
  • Keys: car keys, house keys, safety box keys
  • Personal files including marriage license, birth certificates, wills, and insurance policies


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