So you're planning a big move and trying to find long distance movers that can handle everything you've got.

Even if you're the most organized person on the planet, making a long distance move is never simple. You'll want to be sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible.

Before you start putting everything in boxes and trying to figure out whether everything is going to fit on the truck, there's one thing you'll need to consider.

There are things that long distance movers will not move.

You can smile, tell jokes, give them compliments, offer them money. But it (probably) won't work. At least not if you're working with a reputable moving company!

Here are ten things that most long distance movers will not pack onto the truck:

Household plants

If you’re big into plants and have named each of your potted green friends, you're probably not too glad to hear this.

There are a few moving companies who might be okay with a plant or two if you're moving to a nearby neighborhood. But as far as intrastate and cross-continental moves, forget about it.

If you can't bear to part with your plant pals, you'll need to plan ahead to figure out how to move them yourself. And be aware that some states are pretty sensitive about plants, for fear of you bringing in bugs or other problems into the state. So you'll want to check ahead.

Perishable food items

For moves that are picked up and delivered within 24 hours, perishable food items that are properly packed might be allowed.

But generally speaking, long distance movers will not allow perishable food items. Perishable food that goes bad will attract rats and other creatures that could damage your property.

Perishable items include:

  • Refrigerated food
  • Frozen food
  • Produce
  • Any opened food products
It should be noted that anything open is considered perishable, regardless of the expiration date. So you'll want to play it safe and pack only sealed food with a long shelf life. These would be things like canned fruits and vegetables and beans, boxed cereals and crackers and jarred spices.


It would be nice to live in a world where this is obvious. But there are always people who will insist that their snake or hermit crab or albino gecko actually prefer long stays in the dark.

Insist all you want, but long distance movers aren't tucking any of your pets into the dark corners of the truck.

Hazardous materials

Most movers will give you a list of the hazardous materials that long distance movers won’t move. Essentially, anything that you can't dispose of in your regular trash collection is not going to be movable.

Here are some of the things that are considered hazardous which might surprise you:

  • Fire extinguisher
  • Nail polish/nail polish remover
  • Aerosols
  • Paint/paint thinner
  • Ammonia
  • Pesticides
  • Propane tanks
  • Paint
  • Pesticides
  • Pool chemicals
  • Motor oil
If you can't use up any of these items or pawn them off on the neighbors, then be sure to dispose of them properly before you move.


Right along with the obviousness of not packing up your pets, it should go without saying that long distance movers are not going to transport explosives. This includes ammunition, black powder, primers, propellants and any collection of souvenir explosives.

Flammable items.

Right in line with the hazardous materials and explosives above, anything that's easy to ignite will not be moved by long distance movers. These include kerosene, lighter fluid, and even seemingly harmless items like charcoal and matches.


Okay, you may not have gallons of muriatic acid and nitric acid in your garage. But another place you'll find acid is in batteries. And this includes household batteries, as well as car batteries.

As long as those batteries contain acid, they will not be moved. The exception to this is if the batteries are the absorbed glass mat (AGM) or gel-type that cannot be spilled.

Valuables and documents

Some movers have strict policies about this, while others are more relaxed. Whatever the case, it's in your best interest to keep any valuables with you at all times during the move.

Even if your moving company allows for the transport of valuables and will reimburse you for any lost items, they’re often things that have sentimental value and cannot really be replaced. Valuable items might include:

  • Family photos/videos/DVDs
  • Laptops/Computer equipment
  • Jewelry
  • Heirlooms
  • Antiques
  • Collections (stamps, coins, etc.)
  • Documents (bonds, deeds, stocks, wills, etc.)
  • Cash

Fuel-Powered Equipment

Okay, that's not 100% accurate. Most moving companies will move the equipment, but only if every last ounce of fuel is removed.

Among the equipment that long distance movers will not move until the fuel is drained are:

  • Motorcycles
  • Snow blowers
  • Leaf blowers
  • Lawn Mowers
  • Weed Eaters
  • Edgers
To ensure that the movers will be able to move these items, you have either manually drain the fuel, or run them until the fuel reserve is completely empty. And you'll need to do this at least 24 hours before loading.

Special items

Are you wondering what you're going to do with that pool table, hot tub or baby grand piano? What about your car? Again, this one will depend on the company.

Some full-service companies are okay with moving extremely heavy items, while others will require you to find an alternative method.

Yes, there's always a lot to be done before making a big move. But with proper organization and planning, you can make that long distance move an exciting adventure rather than a stressful disaster.

And here's one more thing to keep in mind. If you have difficult stairs to maneuver, you'll want to let those movers know. They're more than happy to move your items on and off the truck and to and from your home.

But as soon as it requires transporting those things up a rusted out spiral staircase, or a staircase with broken steps, they're no longer game. Can you blame them?

Did you make a big move and encounter any other items that you found long distance movers wouldn't move? Tell us about it!