If you are planning to move, you may be overwhelmed with a lengthy to-do list. Pulling up roots in one community and relocating to another means changing relationships, neighborhoods, schools, and perhaps even a new job.
One of those major tasks on your list is packing. Whether you are downsizing, upsizing or starting a new life cross-country, you have a lot to consider when it comes to what items you will take with you.
To reduce the stress on yourself and your family, it is recommended you start packing early. This may seem like it will extend the process even longer, but in fact, starting early gives you time to think about what you plan to pack, sell, give away or throw out. Another tip: leave yourself a “sanctuary” that is packed last, so you can retain the creature comforts that help you get through your day-to-day life.
While you want to make the moving process as easy as possible, you must also take into account some important regulations. Movers cannot transport certain items due to their hazardous nature. In addition, some items are too precious to risk putting on the moving van lest they get lost. Here’s a bit of an idea of what not to pack when moving and how else you can handle them.
Dangerous or Flammable Goods
If you want to bring anything that is flammable, potentially explosive or corrosive, you may be out of luck. Movers are prohibited from transporting such materials because of their hazardous nature.
While some of the items that fall into this category are expected by most people, others may surprise you. As a rule of thumb, it is best to ask your moving company well in advance for a list of items for which you need to make other arrangements. Here are a few common examples:
- Paint and paint thinners
- Household chemicals
- Automotive maintenance chemicals
- Nail polish remover
- Propane tanks and cylinders
- Radio-pharmaceuticals (radioactive drugs)
If you have these items, you have many options. Your neighbor may appreciate a gift of a spare tank of gas or extra cans of paint. Many of these dangerous items, although they cannot be moved, often are acceptable to pass on to others.
Contact your municipal waste or recycling council for tips on how to dispose of any chemicals or hazardous items. Often, there are strict rules around disposal and a specific methodology for doing so.
here is another tough fact about moving: it takes a while! Even when everything runs smoothly, most people need several hours to load the truck, drive to the new home and unload the belongings. The sad truth is that perishable food will not last without spoiling. In the event of spillage, it can also damage your other household items.
Instead of planning to take the food with you, have a goodbye meal with what is left in your fridge. Give the excess to neighbors or, if possible, the local food bank. If you need to throw out any perishable food, check with your city about organic waste programs, especially if you cannot put food in with your regular garbage.
Plants and Flowers
Your favorite houseplant may not be a hazardous good, but many regions still have rules about what can cross state lines. This is a great question to ask your mover: can you trust your beloved rubber plant to go in the truck? Depending on where you are going and the projected length of the move, the movers may or may not recommend that you make other arrangements for your green-leafed items.
Personal Items for Health and Safety
During the move, you will not be able to pop in to retrieve an important item at a moment’s notice. Make a list of those things you must have on hand, especially in the event of traffic delays or other unexpected events. These may include medications, changes of clothing, toiletries and comfort items for small children.
Valuables and Heirlooms
Most moving companies are reputable and take great care of your household items. However, they do not want to put your precious valuables at risk any more than you do. Since you will not be riding in the moving van along with your packed boxes, consider whether you can take some items with you. Among these precious items you may want to keep safely are:
- Personal papers
- Identification and moving documents
- Family photos
If you are not sure what you need to keep near you, ask yourself if an item is replaceable. If it is not, do not pack it, regardless of the trust you have in your moving team to get the job done efficiently.
In any moving experience, unexpected issues arise. If you are not sure about a particular item, just ask us. We can help make your moving day is as stress-free as possible. Give us a call at 1-800-233-MOVE or email [email protected]