by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
As if moving wasn’t stressful enough, did you know that there are several items your movers cannot move?
When you select a moving company, they should supply you a list of the items that they cannot haul to your new home in Austin. They are not trying to make your life crazier, they're complying with the U.S. Department of Transportation statute (49 CFR 100-185) which spells out hazardous materials that are not acceptable to put on a moving van. There are several items on the list of non-transportables that are not hazardous, but that will not endure being on a moving van and the moving company will not transport.
Since you're a wise law-abiding citizen, it's possibly never dawned on you that you are actually harboring dangerous explosives wherever you keep your cleaning supplies. You have possibly glanced around the garage and pondered about your lawn equipment going on the truck, but there are lots of other things that are deemed to be dangerous and you'll need to be in charge of moving out of the property.
Anything with chemicals is a definite “no” for putting on the truck. This is due to the fact that chemicals have a bad tendency of doing bad things if they are blended with different chemicals, which can easily happen in a moving vehicle. A guideline is that if you can't place the item in your normal trash for collection, it cannot be boxed up and loaded on the moving van. So not only must you empty 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 friends—a little Miracle-gro and a little leaking gasoline can produce a disastrous result. And what’s worse—any damages will be your responsibility due to the fact that you were warned what not to put on the truck. It's not the moving company's responsibility to check all your boxes for contraband, so make sure that any hazardous supplies-including old paint, batteries, aerosol cans, charcoal, and paint thinner—are NOT boxed for the moving truck. The ideal thing to do is take them to your local hazardous waste drop-off facility or give them away to someone who can use them.
What about your houseplants? Food? Your cat? Believe it or not, a few people have asked that their pets be put on the moving truck—the answer is a firm no. That the moving company can't move your plants may be a tad more shocking. Long-distance moves cause an issue because some states keep a watchful eye on foreign vegetation crossing the state’s borders, and you don't want to accidentlly introduce pests to either the moving van or your new residence. If plants are going more than 150 miles you may need to get a certain permit to move them—so if you are the person who transported in canker worms or aphids, your new state of residence can locate you. As for food items in your cupboard, only box up new, non-perishable stuff with a long shelf life. Or, donate your unopened canned items, cereals, and cookies to a local charity, and start fresh at your new house. Throw out anything perishable or open, unless you are going to ice down coolers and transport them yourself.
Although your valuables are not hazardous or likely to start an ash borer invasion, most moving companies are reluctant to transport jewelry, cash, stock certificates and other valuable items. The liabilities of being misplaced are too great, take them along with you in a carry on, or put them with other valuable documents.
Other items you might not realize is hazardous—nail polish, cleaning supplies, liquid bleach, fire extinguishers—are also not authorized to be transported on the moving truck. Again, anything chemical or flammable is not authorized on a commercial truck, so be smart and get rid of or pack those items separately. The best choice is to properly dispose of these things and get everything new after you've moved, so you'll have brand new cleaning supplies and bleach to go with your brand-new abode.