Planning a relocation? Are you hiring professional movers to help? Then it’s time to familiarize yourself with what you can and cannot (or shouldn’t) pack in the back of a moving company truck.


At Ace Moving & Warehousing, we know many relocators are surprised to learn there’s a long list of items that movers cannot or will not transport. Below, we’ve listed seven of the most common, non-allowable household goods, so you can start arranging alternate transportation for these items as early as possible. 


Flammable Items

Have you taken stock of the flammable items inside your home? You might be surprised at just how many of them you find. And if you’re working with a professional moving company, it’s your responsibility to transport those items to your new home.


Before you begin the packing process, take some time to go through your bathrooms, kitchen, garage, and storage areas — rooms where most homeowners store the majority of their flammables. What should you keep an eye out for? Here’s a start:


●        Aerosols and lighter fluid

●        Nail polish, nail polish remover

●        Paint thinner, paint, and other solvents

●        Weed killers and insecticides

●        Fuel, motor oil, ammonia

●        Mothballs, hand sanitizer, and rubbing alcohol


If you’re not sure what’s flammable around your house, it’s time to start researching. Failing to inform your moving company of the presence of these items is not only irresponsible; it’s downright dangerous for everyone involved. Plus, if your flammable items cause damage or personal injury — even if you weren’t aware they were flammable — you may be held financially responsible for losses and related expenses.


Hazardous Materials

Technically, flammable items are hazardous materials, but there is a distinction between the two, so we’ve separated them for clarity. From a moving company perspective, hazardous materials include anything that poses a potential threat to human safety, the safety of the truck, or the safety of the items in the truck. What kind of items make the list? It’s a long one, so here are a few to get you started:


●        Charcoal

●        Batteries, both household and vehicle

●        Liquid bleach

●        Pool chemicals

●        Firearms and ammunition

●        Fertilizer


For a comprehensive list of federally non-allowable hazardous materials, check out this helpful resource for more information. 


House Plants

It might sound odd, but your moving company won’t transport your plants, so you’ll need to arrange alternative transportation for them prior to your move day. Why the restriction on plants?


Living plants present a potential issue for professional movers because they can introduce non-native insect species to your new area. In fact, the potential for invasive species transfer is so high, federal law prohibits your movers from transporting living plants across state lines. Too, depending on how far you plan to move and the weather conditions throughout your move, your plants could become unwell or die during transit.


If you’re just relocating across town — and your movers don’t have a strict policy on transporting plants locally — they may be willing to toss a plant or two in the back of the truck, but don’t count on it.



Moving isn’t like flying — you can’t stow Fido in his crate in the cargo area. Nor can you pack your cat, pet fish, snake, birds, ferret, or any other living animals in the back of the truck. Why not?


No professional moving company wants to assume liability for transporting a live animal. Innumerable uncontrollable variables exist within the back of a moving truck — what if another driver causes an accident? What if a massive, heavy item falls on your pet’s crate or tank? What if the temperature in the back of the truck is too high? The list goes on.


It simply isn’t safe to transport a live animal in the back of a moving truck, so make sure you arrange transportation for your pet several weeks before your move date. Pro tip: Did you know there are professional pet relocation specialists?


Perishable Food

Would you guess powdered coffee creamer falls on the flammable list? It’s true — the majority of powered creamers contain an additive called sodium aluminosilicate, which makes the product highly combustible. Who knew?


Besides powdered creamer, your movers will also refuse to transport the majority of food items from your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. When it comes to moving foodstuffs, here’s the rule: Unopened non-perishables are fine, but any foods that are open or susceptible to spoilage are a strict no. Even if the expiration dates of opened items are lightyears in the future, the fact that they’re open designates them perishable.


Personal Documents

Your movers may not necessarily refuse to transport your personal documents, but they’ll certainly shy away from doing so. Why? Professional movers prefer not to assume responsibility for essential documents due to the inherent risk of damage or loss during transport.


Losing your financial documents, medical records, birth certificates, social security information, vehicle titles, and other critical documents can be devastating. Worse, these things are often difficult to replace. To protect yourself, always pack personal or sensitive documents in your own vehicle. 


Valuables & Sentimental Items

Again, your movers and packers may not flat-out refuse to move your valuables, but they’ll definitely recommend you pack them in your personal vehicle. Keepsake jewelry, family heirlooms, sensitive electronics, collectibles, and several other items can easily incur damage during transport, especially in extreme temperature conditions.


Worse, if your items do incur damage, your moving insurance may not be able to reimburse you for the full amount of your loss, depending on the policy you choose. 


Need Professional Movers and Packers? Contact Ace Moving & Warehousing

At Ace Moving & Warehousing, we’ve proudly served the Twin Cities metro since 1958, and we’re here for you, too. We provide an extensive collection of residential moving services to make your move as smooth as possible, including full packing services, move planning assistance, storage solutions, and many more. When you need fast and courteous professional movers to handle your relocation, make us your first call!


To request your moving quote or learn more about how we can facilitate your move, feel free to call us at 507-288-3341. You can also get in touch with us via our contact page, and a member of our team will reach out to you promptly.