Much has been written about prepping and packing for the moving van when the big day arrives. But it’s just as important to know what not to pack—what to hold out and transport yourself, either because (a) certain items are not permitted on moving company trucks or because (b) certain items are too valuable or irreplaceable for you to entrust to anyone else’s care.
The first category—what’s not allowed, usually for safety or insurance reasons—includes objects or substances that you’ll have to move yourself or perhaps just dispose of prior to moving day:
- Gasoline: Make sure you use up the last of your gas in the lawnmower and that your propane tank is disconnected from your gas grill. If you have portable gas containers for your cars and such, those must be empty too or you can bring them along in your car trunk, where they’re usually already stored anyway.
- All other liquids: Gardening sprays and chemicals, cleaning fluids, paint tins, solvents—none of them should be packed on the truck, including beverages, booze, and other frozen food or drink items that will melt.
- Batteries: Any and all batteries—whether for cars, remote controls, smoke detectors, toys, and anything in between—should go with you, not the movers.
The second category is more subjective and consists of anything and everything you truly cannot afford to lose, misplace, or have damaged. It also includes items you’ll want with you immediately upon arrival at your new location, simply for practicality and convenience. In your own vehicle or luggage, consider packing:
- All important documents: Paperwork like birth certificates, passports, social security cards, marriage certificates, financial records, and the like are best kept with you during the move, not only because they’re most secure that way, but because you also may need some of these documents along the way for interstate or international moves. And don’t forget the moving contract—you’ll want your own copy on hand at delivery.
- Jewelry, family heirlooms, old photos: Anything expensive or very near and dear to your heart should be kept that way. Best to keep them on your person for those very rare but possible “just in case” scenarios.
- Perishable or open food: An unopened box of rice or canned vegetables aren’t likely to do any harm, but why transport edibles in a hot moving truck when you can just do your best to empty your fridge, freezer, cupboards, and pantry in the days leading up to your move. Eat up all those leftovers, drink all the juice and soda, and cook meals with the groceries you already have on hand before heading out. If you really want to keep that special maple syrup you bought on vacation or your grandma’s canned peaches, pack a cooler and bring it with you in the car.
- Pet food: Unless you plan to stop at a store on your way to your new home, your pets will appreciate not having to wait for dinner! (And make sure you have some kind of receptacles for their food/water.)
- First night’s bedding: After a long day of moving, the last thing you’ll want to do is go on a hunt in boxes or be without your pillows and comfy sheets so you can get that good night’s sleep you’ve earned.
- Toiletries: You’ll also surely want your toothbrush, toothpaste, comb and brush, and any other bathroom items that will make you comfortable that first day and night.
- Medications: Any prescriptions or supplements you take on a daily basis should be close at hand. You don’t want to be rummaging around for them in a house full of unpacked goods or, worse yet, without them altogether if the moving truck is delayed for any reason.
- A day or two’s worth of clothing: Filling a bag or suitcase with a few changes of clothes for each of your family members is a smart, time-saving move. Just bring along whatever you would pack for a weekend getaway and you should be all set.
- Chargers: Who goes anywhere without their cell phone these days, right? But it won’t do you any good if it goes dead. Make sure your smart devices are juiced up so you can receive and send messages throughout the move.
Want more helpful hints from a tried-and-true professional moving company? BB&D Moving Services is here for you to meet all your moving needs large and small. Contact us today for a consult or estimate: 301-57-5447 (MD) | 571-375-2826 (VA) | 786-390-4040 (FL) | bbdmoving.com/