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What Not to Pack: A Guide to Non-allowable Removal Items

Owain Banfield
Written by Owain Banfield
11th September 2017

Here at Compare My Move, we've compiled this guide on what not to pack for moving day: non-allowable items which removal companies won't be able to take.

We know the feeling: you’re fully geared towards moving day, you’ve planned your boxes, plotted your packing, and seem to be dreaming of Tetris. The last thing on your mind at this point will be what not to pack.

But there are some items that even the professionals can’t touch, ‘non-allowable’ items that are unsuitable or too unsafe for a removal company to move. Every removal company will have their own list of prohibited non-allowable items which you should request before moving day.

The list includes the sentimental, the living, and the dangerous, and are things that may need to be either moved by yourself or disposed of. You might need to dispose of many of these items in advance, so we hope this guide will save you from some last-minute stress.

This article will cover the following points

Dangerous Items Perishable Foods Pets and Plants Valuable Items

Dangerous Items

This first part of the list is the most important, as it is about keeping you and the removal team safe during moving day. Dangerous items are generally flammable, corrosive or explosive (or any mixture of the three!) and include compressed gasses, radioactive materials and poisons.  

So keep in mind you'll have to transport those 'new house fireworks' yourself, as fireworks are some of the many items that most removal companies just can’t move due to safety legislation.  

Some of the list are common house items you may not have thought of, so it’s worth keeping them in mind so you won’t have to do any last-minute repacking.

Prohibited household items may include:

  • Nail polish remover
  • Paints and paint thinner
  • Lighter fluid
  • Petrol
  • Fireworks
  • Oxygen bottles
  • Propane Cylinders
  • Motor oil
  • Matches
  • Radio-pharmaceuticals
  • Cleaning solvents including liquid bleach
  • Household and car batteries
  • Firearms and ammunition
  • Aerosols
  • Fire extinguisher

Figure out in advance which items are worth bringing with you to a new house yourself, and which should just be disposed of. Consult the label of any chemicals or materials for instructions on correct disposal or information on safe transport. If you’re unsure on anything, talk to your removal company.

Perishable Foods

Simply put, these are items that may ‘go off’ in transit. Perishable food shouldn’t be packed on to the removal van, and any fridge or freezer will need to be thoroughly cleaned and defrosted before being packed.

This is because of the potential for mess and the perishables going off in transit. The removal company might take well-sealed non-perishable foods, so it is worth contacting them to find out. But open, frozen, perishable or refrigerated food cannot be taken on a removal van. Of course, these is always a silver lining, as this is a prime opportunity for a final fridge/freezer banquet.

As you are expected to defrost and clean your fridge and freezer ahead of moving day, invite your neighbours over for a final farewell meal. You never know what delicious foods you may uncover from the darkest depths of your freezer. Any foods that can’t be used can be given to neighbours, friends and family, donated to charity, or transported by you as a moving-in snack.

Pets and Plants

Although your dog might love his dog-bed, he certainly won’t appreciate being packed away alongside it. Removal vans aren’t the most hospitable places, and can get very hot, so aren’t suitable for transporting pets.

So, remember that moving your favourite cat, fish, bird, insect or micro-pig will be your responsibility, and plan accordingly. Contact your vet and talk to the removal company for specialist tips on how best to transport your animal friends. It might be a good idea to give your pets a brief holiday at a friend or family member’s house over the moving period, so that you are settled and unpacked in your new house ready for an inquisitive pet.

The same applies to plants, which are fragile things no matter how careful you are. Plant pots are also surprisingly heavy, so can take up a lot of room in a removal van. The dark, cramped environment of the back of a removal van is far from optimum for plant life, so make sure your favourite fern is safely transported by you. Remember, any plants you particularly dislike can be great parting gifts for neighbours.

Valuable Items

All removal companies that Compare My Move works with have Goods in Transit and Public Liability Insurance as standard. But, as you know, there are many possessions that are simply irreplaceable.

Sentimental and priceless items such as photo albums, birth certificates and family jewellery should be packed separately and moved by you. The same goes for tablets, laptops and computers. It is well worth keeping valuable items at hand, just in case of the small chance of breakages.

Ensure a separate box ready for transport by you contains all your important paperwork and documents such as title deeds, so you know where they are at all times. Check with your own home insurance provider to see if these valuable items will be covered during the move. If you have items of great value it will be worth making sure they are covered by your insurance provider before the move.

So there we have it, a guide on what not to pack. You should always check with your removal company for specific guidance and information, but we hope this guide gets the ball rolling so you feel fully prepared ahead of moving day.

Last updated on Wednesday 13th September 2017

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