What Kinds of Items Do Moving Companies Refuse to Transport?

Blog / What Kinds of Items Do Moving Companies Refuse to Transport?

When planning a house move and packing your belongings, it is easy to forget that there are certain items a removal company cannot transport. These are prohibited items that are unsuitable or unsafe for movers to transport. Understandably, it is frustrating for you to go through so much trouble to pack things that your moving company will not transport. Before packing, you should discuss with your moving company what they can and cannot transport. Each moving company has its own list of prohibited or unaccepted items, which you should inquire about in advance of your move.

In this article, we will be taking a look at What your movers won’t move so you will be able to organise your belongings accordingly before your big move.

What Not to Pack: Guide to Non-Allowable Removal Items

Safety is the primary reason why movers choose not to transport certain items, as it is the most critical aspect of the process. Different moving companies have restrictions on what they won’t move, so it’s essential to do research before your move to know what to expect. This research can help you save time during the process, as your moving company will not need to prepare or pack these items. Here is a list of items a moving company will not transport:

  • Food 

Unfortunately, movers cannot keep perishable goods cool during a move, especially if you are moving long distances or planning on storing your belongings. Additionally, perishables attract insects and rodents. This would severely impact your precious belongings and the moving equipment of your moving company. Therefore, unless you intend to pack everything into a large cooler and bring it with you to your new home, you should dispose of any food items such as milk, butter, yoghourts, ice cream, frozen treats, and fresh produce prior to moving day. Anything that has been opened should also be discarded.

However, non-perishable items such as boxed or canned goods, dried fruits, spices, and oils typically transport well. We highly recommend that you donate any of the food you plan on throwing to a local food bank if you think that packing up all your perishable goods is not worth the trouble. If you are uncertain which food items your movers will not transport, politely ask for clarification.

  • Hazardous Items

Typically, hazardous materials are combustible, corrosive, and even explosive, or any mixture between the three. These may include compressed gases, radioactive materials, and toxic chemicals. Research beforehand and discuss which items are worth transporting to your new home and which should be discarded. Take your time to read the label of any chemicals or materials for disposal or transportation precautions.

If you need to move any of the following items, keep in mind that the removal team may not be able to do so due to various safety regulations. There are common household items on the list that you may not have considered, so it’s important to remember them, so you don’t have to repack them at the last minute. Examples of prohibited and hazardous household items include:

  • Household and car batteries
  • Firearms and ammunition
  • Aerosols
  • Cleaning solvents, including liquid bleach
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Fireworks
  • Oxygen Containers
  • Propane Tanks
  • Motor oil
  • Paints and paint thinner
  • Nail polish remover
  • Lighter fluid
  • Gasoline

When moving long distances, it is best to discard all household chemicals and purchase new ones at the new location. When moving locally, you can transport all necessary items in your own vehicle. We highly advise that you do NOT transport these items in sealed containers in your car. If you must transport them yourself, keep the lids open and secure in your vehicle, and drive carefully.

  • Family Heirlooms and Prized Possessions 

The movers do not wish to be responsible for transporting any personal or valuable items. Before the movers arrive, you must collect all of your personal belongings and valuables. Some movers will require you to acknowledge responsibility for these items before their delivery. You should pack and bring all family heirlooms with you personally when you move to a new residence, regardless of their monetary or sentimental value. This is due to the fact that some moving companies have policies concerning valuables and sentimental items.

Many moving companies may also inform you that they prefer not to transport these items due to the possibility of loss or damage. After all, when movers load and unload numerous moving boxes onto and off of a truck, there is always the possibility that something will break. If the item is damaged or lost, keep in mind that the movers’ liability coverage may only cover the item’s current market value, not the amount you paid for it. No amount of money can ever replace an item with sentimental value, such as a family heirloom or prized possession.

The following are examples of items with a high sentimental or irreplaceable:

  • Cell phones, Laptops, Personal Computers, etc.
  • Photos, Photo albums, and Picture Frames
  • Medicine and Prescriptions
  • Keys (car, safety deposit box, house, etc.)
  • Personal Collections (miniature cars, comic books, baseball cards, etc.)
  • Artworks 
  • Credit Cards
  • Debit Cards
  • Deeds
  • Medical records
  • Birth certificates
  • Financial statements
  • Tax records
  • Marriage Licences
  • Passports
  • Wills
  • Insurance documents
  • Cash
  • Stocks and Bonds
  • Jewellery


  • Pets

Even though your dog may adore his dog bed, he will not appreciate being stored alongside it. Since moving vans can become extremely warm, they are not suitable and ideal for transporting animals. Moving anxiety is also common in animals, so if you’re moving with a dog or cat, you’ll want to make them as comfortable as possible. Remember that you will be responsible for caring for your beloved pet, so you must plan for their safe arrival accordingly.

Moving companies cannot transport pets in their trucks. You must either transport your pets in your own car or hire a company specialising in pet relocation. Contact your pet’s veterinarian and the moving company for expert advice on transporting your pets. It might be a good idea to ask a friend or relative to pet-sit during the moving process, so that you’re entirely settled and unpacked before your pet arrives.

  • Live Plants

Similar to perishable goods, live plants cannot survive a long-distance move without damage. If you don’t want to abandon your plants, bringing them along is the best choice. Ask the new homeowners if they’d like your plants if you’re moving long distances or don’t want to move them yourself. Or, you can give them as gifts to your friends and neighbours. Primary schools, senior centres, and healthcare facilities may also welcome them.

Plants, like your pets, are susceptible to the unstable conditions in a moving truck. The dark, confined environment of the back of a moving van is not ideal for plant life, so be sure to transport your favourite fern carefully on long trips. We recommend packing and bringing the plants yourself for a local move. Ensure that all potted plants are wrapped and secured in plastic to prevent any unwanted damage during travel.

  • Scuba Diving Equipment

Your moving company will almost certainly not allow you to transport all of that scuba equipment on their truck, so you’ll need to devise an alternative method of transport. In addition to highly pressurised oxygen, scuba tanks may also contain specialised gas mixtures. Unfortunately, because pressurised air can explode, improperly maintained or handled scuba tanks pose a danger to those nearby. On the back of a moving truck, scuba tanks would undoubtedly be shaken, so it is easy to see why this could be dangerous. Worse still, a pressurised scuba tank can explode as a result of an automobile collision. If you are moving the scuba tanks yourself, ensure that they are completely emptied.

  • Liquor or Alcoholic Beverages

Want another reason to throw a fantastic farewell party before moving into your new home? Your movers may refuse to transport alcoholic beverages. Some regions restrict the amount of alcohol that can be brought into their jurisdiction for personal consumption. Not to mention that alcohol is also very combustible. If you pack it without telling your movers and it catches fire, you may be responsible for the damage.

Transporting alcoholic beverages in a moving truck is risky for an additional reason. The majority of moving trucks are not climate-controlled, and extreme temperatures, humidity, and light can damage wine and expensive bottles of alcohol. Pay a little extra for a climate-controlled moving truck, or hire a wine relocation company if your wine collection is immensely valuable. These companies will professionally pack, transport, and unpack your wine collection.

  • Barbeque Grilling Tools and Accessories

Although your movers can transport the grill or smoker, certain accessories cannot be moved. Since charcoal and lighter fluids are highly combustible, you cannot bring them with you. And if you use a gas grill, your propane tanks must be empty before loading them onto the moving truck. In addition, you will need to allow your grill or smoker to cool for at least one day prior to your move so that it is cool enough to load. Even though the grill’s handles are cool to the touch, the remainder of the grill may still be hot. By not using it for at least a few days before your move, you will have the opportunity to clean it. A clean grill will not contaminate the other items in the truck.

  • Outdoor Equipment

You may also need assistance moving your lawn and pool equipment. Acids and treatment chemicals qualify as hazardous materials and must be disposed of or left behind for the new owners prior to moving day. The same goes for herbicides, fertilisers, and pesticides.Before moving, all flammable liquids must be drained from the lawnmower, chainsaw, weedeater, and other gasoline and oil equipment. Remove as much gas and oil from the system as possible several days prior to loading it onto the moving truck. This should give you ample time to dispose of the gasoline and oil in accordance with local environmental regulations.

  • Registered Firearms and Ammunition

Evidently, movers do not transport firearms or ammunition. It makes no difference what type of gun, what size, or whether you are only transporting the ammunition. Certain items, including pistols and rifles, are strictly regulated and require a licence to possess. Removing companies generally avoid handling such items unless the proper documentation and storage space are provided. 

You may carry firearms and ammunition so long as they are licensed and kept separately. Any necessary paperwork or permissions must be obtained, and specific arrangements must be made. The best and most convenient option is to have your firearms and ammunition shipped to you by a licensed firearm dealer. Avoiding the hassle of transporting the firearm across borders yourself is well worth the cost.

Bottom Line

Knowing what to pack and what to leave behind can be difficult, but ultimately, you should ask your chosen moving company in advance which items are not permitted, so you don’t have to deal with unshippable things on the day of your move. If you can easily replace certain items or would be devastated if they were lost, you should avoid having your mover handle them. Also, keep in mind that moving companies are not out to get you. They have established these rules to safeguard your belongings and themselves during the lengthy process of moving into your new residence.

If you are in need of a trustworthy removal expert in Perth that will tell you which things you can and cannot move, then Adlam Transport is the team you need to get in touch with as soon as possible! With more than two decades of experience, Adlam Transport provides removal and storage services throughout Australia. We offer local and interstate residential and commercial relocation services, project management, warehouse management, container storage, personal items storage, and local multi-drop furniture services. We also provide workers for inventory counts, on-site labour, and permanent facility management professionals. We provide experienced crews and continual training to ensure our team has the most up-to-date skills and adheres to best-practice guidelines. We would love to assist you with your next removal or storage project!