dogs in a moving box

By signing up for a full-service move in Southern California, you might be expecting your local or long-distance movers to handle everything in your home. And if that’s your expectation, you’ll probably end up unpleasantly surprised!

There are certain household items that even professional movers can’t handle. To know exactly what to expect—and not expect—on moving day, check out this brief list of five common “no-go” items.

1. Pets

You already know how much dedicated care your furry friend requires, so it should be no surprise to learn that busy movers simply aren’t equipped to give your animal the attention it needs.

Even if you’re moving just down the block, your Southern California local movers will not take your pet for you. For the wellbeing of your four-legged companion, be sure to make your own arrangements for your pet’s food, water, toilet, climate control, and medication.

2. Plants

This one may seem weird, but many professional movers have a policy against moving plants. Not only is this restriction due to the high likelihood that the plant would die in a dark truck with limited ventilation, but it’s also in compliance with state/federal regulations.

Since plants often carry pests and/or disease, you may need a special license to move them over a long distance.

3. Hazardous Materials

It probably goes without saying…but you shouldn’t ask your long-distance movers to relocate items that could combust or explode on the way! The specific list may vary depending on your moving company and their van line, but it often includes corrosive, explosive, and flammable materials such as:

  • Fireworks
  • Propane Tanks
  • Charcoal
  • Batteries
  • Ammunition
  • Nail Polish
  • Paint
  • Aerosols
  • Liquid Bleach
  • Household Cleaning Agents
  • Pool Chemicals
  • Weed Killers

Many moving companies also include firearms on this hazardous materials list, so be sure to ask before assuming they’ll move any weapons.

4. Perishable Foods

Anything that could spoil on the way—or that could attract rats, mice, and other pests—will be a definite no for your professional movers. This category includes obvious stuff like produce and meat but also open packages of longer-lasting items like rice or pasta.

Also, while you technically can move nonperishable items like canned goods, you may want to consider whether it’s worth the cost. Since weight affects total price, you may be better off donating these items and buying them again in your new home.

5. High-Value Items

When we say “high-value items,” we really mean two different things:

Personal valuables like cash, jewelry, credit cards, IDs, and keys should almost always be kept in your own possession. While some moving companies would move them, there’s no reason to risk the loss.

Larger valuables like grand pianos, family heirlooms, and fine artwork often can be shipped by your professional movers but may require special inventorying and insurance paperwork ahead of time.

The bottom line?

If you’re moving anything that’s alive, potentially toxic, or impossible to replace, you probably shouldn’t ship it on your moving truck. If you have any questions, though, you can always reach out to your local or long-distance movers for clarification.

At Merit Moving Systems, we always start with detailed moving consultations and pair our clients with expert move coordinators to handle situations like these. With 60+ years of experience as Southern California movers, we know exactly what we can move and how to do so with minimal cost and stress.

Call us or complete our quick online form to learn more today!