What Not to Pack

As you may already know, packing is an essential part of moving. The good news is you don’t have to pack everything you own. This is because there are some items that are better left unpacked and safer in your hands. These are usually more valuable, sensitive, and sentimental objects. There are also certain items you should not pack due to their hazardous nature. Use this article as a guide to make your packing process easy and safe. Below is a list of what not to pack when moving.

Valuables: These are items of great value. Do not pack them in case they are lost or stolen. Your valuable items may be hard to replace. It is a good idea to carry these things on your person; or to put them in a safety deposit box. If you are flying take these valuables with you as carry on. Items of value include but are not limited to:

  • Jewelry
  • Cash
  • Checks
  • Expensive collections
  • Rare items/collectables
  • Family heirlooms
  • Expensive equipment

Important Documents: It is highly suggested that you do not pack any important documents to be shipped along with the rest of your belongings. These documents contain sensitive and personal information, and should not be left in the hands of anyone but yours. If any of these items are lost, it may cause you a lot of trouble. Pack these documents with you, no matter if your mode of transportation is by car, plane, bus, or train. These documents include but are not limited to:

  • Passports
  • Birth certificate
  • Credit cards
  • Visas
  • Medical information
  • School records
  • Car papers
  • Deeds
  • Travel documents
  • Check book
  • Mortgage and lease contracts
  • Bank statements
  • Keys

Sentimental Items: Please do not pack these. They may not mean much to everyone else, but sentimental items are irreplaceable. It is important that you keep these items with you when you travel. Sentimental items will vary from person to person, but their value will always be immense. These may include:

  • Photo albums
  • Family heirlooms
  • Memorabilia
  • Trinkets

Hazardous Items: If you have any hazardous materials please dispose of them correctly. You can give the Environmental Protection Agency a call to find out how to properly dispose of these items. Please do not pack these items as they may be dangerous for those handling your shipment. Hazardous items include:

  • Anything flammable (will be labeled as flammable) or explosive
  • Chemicals
  • Acids
  • Fertilizers
  • Pesticides
  • Nail polish and remover
  • Liquid bleach
  • Gasoline
  • Motor oil
  • Paints
  • Cleaning fluid
  • Lighter fluid
  • Loaded weapons
  • Batteries

Plants: It is not always a good idea to pack up your plants for the road. If you are relocating a fairly close distance from your previous home, then you may take your plants with you. Otherwise, if you are relocating far away from your current home please consider leaving your plants behind. Long distance travel can be hard on plants and they may not survive the trip. Instead, you can give them away to friends and neighbors.

Frozen Food: Do not pack any frozen food to be shipped. Once your frozen food has defrosted you cannot re-freeze it; and it may not be safe to eat. Try to eat all the frozen food you have prior to your move out date. Or give your frozen food away to friends, neighbors, or family. Only take frozen food with you if you are traveling a short distance.

Unwanted/Unused Items: Any belongings that you haven’t used in over a year, or no longer want consider leaving behind. Do not pack items you know will not be used. If you take unnecessary belongings they will only add to your total cost and take up valuable space. Consider having a yard sale, donating, or giving these items away instead of packing them.





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