What Will Movers Not Take?

What Will Movers Not Take?

Moving is a big undertaking — if you’re using movers to help make your move more manageable, you need to know what items movers will not move. Understanding what movers will take will help you organize your packing and make your relocation as easy as possible.


Moving companies maintain a list of items movers won’t take. Each company has many reasons for refusing certain items — companies work to keep safety, legal compliance and item protection in mind at all times when operating. These restrictions are in place to protect the items being moved, other drivers on the road and the moving crew themselves. Moving company regulations revolve around:

  • Safety: Driver safety is paramount for moving companies. Allowing hazardous materials or prohibited items can endanger the moving crew and other drivers. Items like flammable materials, explosives or toxic chemicals could lead to accidents, fires or even health hazards. Refusing certain items helps prevent accidents for anyone involved in the moving process. 
  • Legal regulations: There are many complex regulations around moving items within and across states. Since moving across states involves following different state and federal laws, companies must refuse some things to ensure they remain compliant and safe with those interstate moving regulations. Failure to follow these regulations could result in fines, penalties and delays. 
  • Packed items: Moving companies want to protect the items they’re moving for all their customers. Properly handling and securing belongings prevents damage and loss during transit. Some items, like perishable goods or valuable personal items, are best transported separately to avoid potential harm or theft. 
What Will Movers Not Take?


When starting your moving journey, it’s important to remember that moving companies have restricted items. Long-distance moving regulations are in place to ensure the safety and legal compliance of everyone involved — make sure you listen to your moving company and follow their restricted items list. 

Let’s look at some types of items that are strictly prohibited by moving services and those that are subject to various restrictions. Understanding these guidelines is essential for getting a seamless and secure relocation process and establishing what movers will not move. 

Prohibited Items

Prohibited items are items banned by legal regulations from being moved by a moving service. Moving companies must follow these regulations or risk their business. Prohibited items include:

  • Hazardous materials: Flammable, explosive or toxic items — like gasoline, fireworks and chemicals — pose serious safety risks and are strictly prohibited. Moving hazardous materials should be done by you or your household since movers won’t take them. 
  • Pets and live animals: Moving companies don’t transport live animals due to their specific care needs and potential stress during a move. 
  • Valuables: Items of high value, like jewelry, cash or important documents, are often excluded from liability coverage and should be moved separately. 
  • Firearms and ammunition: Moving firearms and ammunition varies by location and regulations but generally requires specific arrangements and compliance with local laws. 
  • Medications: Prescription medications should be carried personally to ensure you have access to them during the move. 
  • Prohibited substances: Illegal drugs or controlled substances are illegal to transport and can result in legal consequences if discovered during the move. 

Restricted Items

What Will Movers Not Take?

Restricted items are items movers won’t move. These items may pose a safety risk for the company or might be too fragile or difficult to move without risking someone’s safety. Here are some common restricted moving items: 

  • Electronics: Sensitive electronics like laptops, gaming consoles and TVs are often restricted due to their fragility. Companies usually require special packaging and handling if you want them to take these items. 
  • Fine art and antiques: Valuable artwork and antiques might be restricted due to their high value. These items typically need special handling and insurance to protect them during relocation. 
  • Alcohol: Transporting alcohol is subjected to specific regulations, depending on location. Moving companies may or may not allow the transport of alcoholic beverages based on where they are and where you’re moving to. 
  • Refrigerated or frozen items: Goods with refrigeration requirements might be restricted due to limited transport time. Moving companies don’t want perishable goods melting or spoiling all over the other items.
  • Plants: While some movers accept plants, many restrict them due to potential damage or pest concerns. Plants are fragile and highly sensitive to changing environments — moving can stress them out and even kill them. 
  • Large appliances: Items like refrigerators, washing machines and stoves may require special preparation or be subject to size restrictions.
  • Cleaning products: Household cleaning products contain many harmful chemicals. Moving companies usually refuse to take household cleaning products to avoid spills or hazards. 
  • Wax candles: Wax candles may melt in the hot moving truck, leaving a waxy mess all over the vehicle and other items. 


Your personal valuables’ safety and security are critical during a move, whether across town or the country. If you’re trying to figure out what not to pack when moving, here are some reasons why you should keep your valuable possessions with you:

  • Security: Personal items and valuables like important documents, jewelry, family heirlooms and sentimental keepsakes are irreplaceable. Keeping them with you ensures they’re under your control, reducing the risk of loss or damage. 
  • Immediate access: Having personal items on hand allows easy access during the move. Essential documents, medications or valuable items can be accessed at any time. Keeping them close ensures you can quickly retrieve what you need without rummaging through packed boxes. 
  • Peace of mind: Knowing your most treasured possessions are with you provides peace of mind. You won’t have to worry about them getting lost or damaged during transit, reducing your stress during an already hectic time. 
  • Special care: Some valuables require specific conditions or careful handling. Items like fragile artwork, fine jewelry or delicate antiques may need special packaging and climate control. These demands are best met when you keep these items close, where you can personally ensure their safety. 
  • Insurance and liability: Moving companies typically have limited liability for specific items, especially those of high value. By keeping your valuables with you, you retain complete control and responsibility for their protection, reducing the need for extensive insurance coverage. 
  • Legal documents: Important documents like passports, birth certificates and financial records should always stay in your possession during a move. Losing these documents can lead to substantial complications, and keeping them nearby is a preventive measure against such mishaps. 
  • Sentimental value: Many personal items hold immense sentimental value beyond their monetary worth. Family photographs, mementos or heirlooms are irreplaceable. The emotional attachment to these items makes keeping them close even more crucial. 


Preparing items for movers is essential to ensure a smooth and safe relocation. Once you’ve removed everything the movers won’t take, you need to prepare the items they’ll be moving. Here are steps you can take:

  • Appliances: Defrost and clean your refrigerators and freezers. Unplug and disconnect any washing machines and dryers. You should also secure the tub drum in your washing machine with bolts. 
  • Furniture: Disassemble large furniture items, like beds and tables, when possible. Remember to keep your hardware, screws and bolts in labeled bags for easy reassembly. Remove any fragile or valuable items from drawers or cabinets. 
  • Electronics: Back up important data from computers and electronic devices to ensure nothing gets lost. Always disconnect and label cables so your reinstallation is easy. Use protective packaging to protect your fragile screens and components. 
  • Artwork and mirrors: Your artwork and mirrors need extra protection to preserve them on the trip. Use specialized cushioning materials and picture boxes to keep them safe. Remember to label these items as fragile and indicate the correct orientation visibly on the packaging. 
  • Lawnmowers and outdoor equipment: Drain fuel and oil from your lawnmower tanks and other machinery to prevent spills. You should also secure any loose parts to avoid damage during transport. 
  • Clothing and linens: Use wardrobe boxes to keep your clothing on hangers for convenient packing and unpacking. Always pack your linens into sturdy boxes or bags. 


Here are answers to some of your most common moving questions. If you have further questions about packing for your move, don’t hesitate to contact your moving company for assistance. They’ll answer your questions and provide helpful information to ensure your move is as smooth as possible. 

Will Movers Move Laundry Detergent?

Most moving companies will not move laundry detergent. Detergent is a household cleaning agent that may qualify as a hazardous material. You should talk to your mover about whether or not they move laundry detergent to confirm the details. Since detergent is fairly easy to spill, you might be better off giving yours away or throwing it out and buying new once you arrive at your destination. 

If your movers take laundry detergent, seal it properly to prevent leaks during transit. Pack it separately with other cleaning supplies to prevent potential damage to other items. 

Will Movers Take Shampoo?

Movers may or may not take your shampoo. Cosmetic and hygiene products can easily spill all over other items or become hazards during the move. Always ask your mover if you need clarification on an item. If they allow shampoo, put tape over the opening and seal it in a plastic bag to contain any spills. 

Can I Leave Clothes in Drawers for Movers?

What Will Movers Not Take?

You should take your clothes out of your drawers for movers. If you leave them, movers will have to double-wrap the drawers to ensure they don’t pop open with all the extra weight. Additionally, your furniture will be much heavier and more challenging to move onto the truck if it’s full of clothes.

When moving, set aside some clothes in a suitcase to take with you so you have something to wear during the move. You can box up all your other clothing in sturdy boxes and label them for convenience. Your movers will have an easier time loading boxes, and you can ensure everything is separated and easy to unpack. 

Will Movers Move Toiletries? 

Moving companies will move most of your non-liquid, non-hazardous toiletries as long as they are packed. For liquids and chemicals like nail polish, you should talk to your moving company about what they will and won’t move. 

Will Movers Take Plants? 

Some movers will take plants, but your moving company and moving distance may affect this. Plants can be delicate, and being transported in a moving truck may stress them out, leading to wilting or death. Additionally, many plants are sensitive to light, humidity and temperature — the moving truck might not be the best environment for them. On longer trips, your plants will likely die if you don’t transport them yourself. 

How Do I Prepare My House for Movers?

Ensure everything’s packed and your house is easy to navigate through before the movers arrive. You want to make the process as efficient as possible, so grouping everything and ensuring clear paths through your space will help movers work quickly. Here are steps you can take to get your home ready for moving day: 

  • Declutter: Start by decluttering your home. Donate, sell or dispose of items you no longer need. Decluttering reduces the items you need to move and simplifies packing and unpacking. 
  • Create an inventory: Make a detailed inventory of all your possessions. An inventory will help you keep track of all your items during the move and assist you with any insurance claims if needed. 
  • Label boxes: Label every box with its contents and the room it belongs to. Labeling makes it easier for movers to place boxes in the correct rooms at your new home. 
  • Pack essentials separately: Pack some separate boxes or containers with your essentials. These are items you’ll need immediately upon arrival at your new home. You should include your toiletries, clothes, important documents, basic kitchen items and cleaning supplies. 
  • Clear pathways: Ensure there are clear pathways for the movers to get through your home. Make sure you remove any obstacles, rugs or furniture that could hinder their work. 
  • Protect floors and walls: Cover high-traffic areas and door frames to prevent damage to floors and walls during the move. Movers may use materials like floor runners and corner protectors for this purpose. 


What Will Movers Not Take?

If you’re looking to make your moving experience seamless and stress-free, trust the experts at Transtar with your moving job. Our comprehensive moving and packing services are designed to make your transition to a new home as smooth as possible. We offer local and long-distance moving services so you can get to your new home quickly. Our packing services provide you with custom, careful packing for your South Jersey move. With Transtar, you can rest assured that your cherished possessions are in expert hands. 

As an A+ Better Business Bureau-rated company, you’ll get the best, customer-oriented moving services every time. When you’re ready for an efficient and worry-free move, choose Transtar Moving Services to be your trusted partner. Get started with us by requesting a quote online today! 

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