Rules for Moving to Houston--What Movers Can't Move
As if moving isn’t anxiety-filled enough, did you recognize that there are a few things your movers can't haul?
When you hire a moving company, they will give you a list of the articles that they can't put on the moving truck to your new house in Houston. They are not trying to make your life crazier, they are heeding the U.S. Department of Transportation statute (49 CFR 100-185) which details hazardous materials that are not okay to load on a commercial vehicle. There are some items on the list of non-transportables that aren't hazardous, but that won't withstand being on a moving van and the moving company won't transport.
Considering you're a rational law-abiding citizen, it has probably never occurred to you that you're actually harboring dangerous explosives wherever you keep your cleaning supplies. You have probably looked around the garage and pondered about your lawn equipment going on the truck, but there are several other things that are deemed to be dangerous and you will need to be in charge of getting out of your residence.
Anything with chemicals is a sure bet to be a moving no-no. This is due to the fact that chemicals have a nasty custom of exploding if they're blended with other chemicals, which can quickly occur in a moving van. A good rule of thumb is that if you cannot throw something in your regular trash for collection, it cannot be boxed up and placed on a moving van. So not only must you empty the gas tanks on any lawn equipment (mowers, leaf blowers, weed whackers, etc), either use any fertilizers and grass seed or give it to your neighbors—a little Miracle-gro and a little leaking gasoline could have a dreadful result. And what’s worse—any losses are your responsibility due to the fact that you were warned what not to load on the truck. It is not the moving company's responsibility to check all your boxes for contraband, so make sure that any hazardous items-including old paint, batteries, aerosol cans, charcoal, and paint thinner—are NOT packed for the moving truck. The ideal thing to do is transport them to your local hazardous waste drop-off facility or give them away to someone who can use them.
What about your houseplants? The pantry? Pets? Believe it or not, a couple people have asked that their pets be put on the moving van—the answer is no. That the moving company cannot move your plants may be a tad more shocking. Out-of-state moves cause a concern in that states keep a watchful eye on foreign vegetation being brought in, and you don't want to unintentionally bring pests to either the moving truck or your new residence. If plants are moving more than 150 miles you could need a certain permit to move them—so if you are the person who transported in canker worms or aphids, your new home state knows where you live. As for food items in your cupboard, only pack up unopened, non-perishable stuff with a long shelf life. Or, donate your unopened canned goods, cereals, and cookies to a local food bank, and start fresh at your new residence. Trash anything perishable or open, unless you're going to ice down coolers and move them in your own car.
Even though your valuables are not hazardous goods or likely to start an ash borer attack, most moving companies are unwilling to transport jewelry, cash, stock certificates and other valuable items. The dangers of being lost are too great, take them along with you in a carry on, or put them with other valuable documents.
Other items you might not realize is hazardous—nail polish, cleaning supplies, liquid bleach, fire extinguishers—are also not allowed to be moved commercially. Again, anything chemical or flammable is not authorized on a commercial truck, so be smart and dispose of or pack those items separately. The simpliest choice is to properly dispose of these things and buy everything new once you have moved, so you'll have brand new fertilizer and batteries to go with your brand-new home.