If you recently read our Planning Your Move (http://midwaymoving.com/planning-your-move/) page, then you likely have a few questions. For example: what can’t go in your moving truck?
To answer this question, use this post as a guideline. If you have more specific concerns about your personal belongings, contact your mover.
Some documentation should stay with you for safety’s sake. While your movers will try to secure your belongings, paperwork could become lost or trampled during the packing and unpacking process. So keep the following documents in your suitcase or travel bag:
- Birth certificates, social security cards, and passports
- Diplomas, transcripts, and other education records
- Insurance information
- Medical information
- Unpaid bills
- Tax documents and IRAs
- Stock and bond certificates
- House closing contracts and any other moving documents
- Car titles
- A list of passwords, if needed
You should also take with you any airline tickets, address books, cash, checkbooks, and similar documents as you travel. You don’t want to lose these items and have your safety or identity compromised.
2. Immediate Needs
If you will need something as soon as you reach your new home, you shouldn’t put it in the moving van. After all, even if the moving van arrives at the same time you do, you’ll still have to unload and unpack your boxes before you’ll reach that critical item. So you should keep these items readily available in your car:
Bathroom items, like towels, toilet paper, soap, shampoo, feminine products, makeup, etc. Basic kitchen supplies, including snacks, one set of dishes, etc.
- Pet food, if necessary
- Prescription medications
- A pillow and blanket
- A change of clothes
- Cell phone and laptop chargers
You should also have a basic tool kit on hand in case anything happens. Additionally, put games, movies, and other entertainment items in your car so you and your family members have something to occupy you during the trip.
Again, your moving company will do everything it can to keep your belongings secure and intact. But if you feel especially protective over special heirlooms or other valuables, you should hold onto them instead of putting them in the moving truck. These items could include:
- Custom/expensive jewelry
- Musical instruments, especially stringed instruments like violins or cellos
- Family heirlooms
- Rare artwork
- Photo albums
- Silver, crystal, or china dishes
- Laptops and other expensive electronics
- Automobiles, including antique automobiles
If you pack these items correctly and you choose a trusted moving company, you can also put them in the moving van. They will almost always arrive intact-they won’t only if a significant disaster happens. These disasters could include serious car accidents, landslides, and other natural phenomena. Of course, disasters of that scale rarely occur.
Some things die or spoil if you put them in the moving truck. And because you don’t want anything to rot or leak over your boxes, you shouldn’t pack the following items:
- Frozen foods
- Refrigerated foods
- Open or used foods
- Animals, even insects
Additionally, you shouldn’t transport food in glass jars just in case the glass cracks and the food inside spoils. Otherwise you may have an odorous surprise waiting for you when you open the moving van.
The items in the sections above won’t destroy your belongings if they go in the moving truck. They’ll simply make the moving process more inconvenient. However, the items in the following list could destroy your boxes, their contents, and the moving van at the same time.
Flammables only need a small spark to ignite, and they could have exposure to heat and friction as they travel. So if you want to keep your belongings (and the moving van’s driver) safe, don’t pack these flammables:
- Propane tanks, even if they seem empty
- Scuba diving tanks
- Charcoal briquettes
6. Combustible Liquids
Liquids might seem like the opposite of fire, but some of them still burn. Keep these liquids out of your boxes and dispose of them instead:
- Alcohols, both in medicines and beverages
- Herbicides and pesticides
- Gasoline, motor oil, antifreeze, and other car-related liquids
- Other petroleum products
- Nail polish and nail polish remover
- Shoe polish
- Paint, varnish, and paint or vanish remover
- Acids, including batteries with acids
- Cleaners, including ammonia and bleach
- Lighters and lighter fluids
Explosives could cause more damage than flammables, and they will ignite with less warning. So don’t pack these explosive materials in your car or moving van:
- Firearms and ammunition
- Fuse lighters
- Signal flares
- Souvenir explosives or other weapons
- Toy propellants or smoke devices
Remember: if you have any specific questions about your personal belongings, ask your moving company. The movers may have different restrictions than those on this list. They will also have pointers for you if you want to transport some of these hazardous items instead of disposing them.