Rules for Moving to Austin--What Movers Can't Move

by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group

Moving - Moving BoxesAs if moving isn’t anxiety-filled enough, did you recognize that there are some things your movers can't haul?

When you hire a moving company, they will supply you a list of the articles that they can't put on the moving truck to your new house in Austin. They are not trying to make your life more complicated, they are heeding the U.S. Department of Transportation statute (49 CFR 100-185) which details hazardous materials that are not okay to load on a commercial vehicle. There are a few items on the list of non-transportables that aren't hazardous, but that won't withstand being on a moving van and the moving company won't transport.

Because you're a wise law-abiding person, it has most likely never dawned on you that you're actually harboring dangerous explosives wherever you keep your cleaning supplies. You have probably looked around the garage and pondered about your lawn equipment going on the truck, but there are several other things that are considered dangerous and you will need to be accountable for getting out of your residence.

Anything with chemicals is a sure bet to be a moving no-no. This is due to the fact that chemicals have a nasty tendency of exploding if they're blended with other chemicals, which can quickly occur in a moving truck. A good rule of thumb is that if you cannot throw something in your regular trash for collection, it cannot be boxed up and loaded on a 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 neighbors—a little Miracle-gro and a little leaking gasoline could have a dreadful outcome. And what’s worse—anything that is damaged are your responsibility due to the fact that you were warned what not to load on the truck. It is not the moving company's responsibility to check all your boxes for contraband, so make sure that any hazardous items-including old paint, batteries, aerosol cans, charcoal, and paint thinner—are NOT packed for the moving van. 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 not to pack for movingWhat about your houseplants? The pantry? Pets? Believe it or not, a few people have asked that their pets be moved on the moving truck—the answer is absolutely not. That the moving company cannot move your plants could be a bit more shocking. Out-of-state moves cause a concern in that states keep a watchful eye on foreign vegetation coming in, and you don't want to unintentionally bring pests to either the moving truck or your new residence. If plants are moving more than 150 miles you might need a certain permit to move them—so if you are the person who carried in canker worms or aphids, your new home state can find you. As for food items in your cupboard, only pack up unopened, non-perishable stuff with a long shelf life. Better, donate your unopened canned goods, cereals, and cookies to a local food bank, and start fresh at your new residence. Throw out anything perishable or open, unless you're going to ice down coolers and move them with you.

While your valuables are not dangerous goods or likely to start an ash borer attack, most moving companies are unwilling to transport jewelry, cash, stock certificates and other valuable items. The dangers of being lost are too great, take them along with you in a carry on, or put them with other essential documents.

Other things you might not realize is hazardous—nail polish, cleaning supplies, liquid bleach, fire extinguishers—are also not allowed to be moved commercially. Again, anything chemical or flammable is not authorized on a commercial truck, so be smart and dispose of or pack those items separately. The simpliest choice is to properly dispose of these things and buy everything new once you have moved, so you'll have brand new fertilizer and batteries to go with your brand-new abode.