Leave It Or Load It? 7 Things You Should Not Bring With You When You Move

Posted on: 10 September 2015

Moving to a new house can be exciting, fun and stressful all at once. Preparations for a move can begin months in advance, and you may want to start packing as soon as you find out the date on which you'll be moving. Before you rush to load everything you own into your local moving company's van, realize that there are a few things that really shouldn't make the trip. Here are seven things that you are better off leaving behind when you move to a new house.

Potted plants

You may love your potted plants, but carrying them across town, or across state lines, may be more hassle than it's worth. Many states forbid people from bringing in plants from out of state without proper documentation and approval. The laws in place prohibiting plant transportation are meant to keep pests and disease out of areas that are not already infected, and it may be easier just to buy new plants when you arrive.

Your barbecue propane tank

When the interstate movers pack up your backyard barbecue, don't be surprised if they advise you to toss the propane tank that goes with it. The risk of transporting these types of gas tanks far outweighs their value, so just pick up a new tank once you arrive at your new home. Also, if you have gasoline in your lawnmower, you'll probably be asked to remove it before packing the mower away for transporting. 

Your household and garden chemicals

Don't plan on packing up your cleaning supplies or garden fertilizers so you can make a clean start in your new home. These are typically considered dangerous chemicals and won't be allowed in the moving van. The same goes for pool chemicals and any automobile chemicals, like antifreeze and even oil. You can transport these separately, in your own vehicle, but is it really worth the hassle and risk? It's usually better just to start fresh once you move and buy replacement items as you need them.

Frozen foods

Unless you are moving in a refrigerated van, transporting frozen foods to a new home is risky at best. Depending on how long it takes to reach the new home, the food could defrost enough for harmful bacteria to grow, making the food unsafe to eat. Plus, if you're moving your freezer right along with you, it can take anywhere from 4-12 hours, or more, to reach the optimal temperature for storing food safely. 

Other perishable foods

Freezer foods aren't the only thing that your movers might not take. Any perishable food items from your pantry should be tossed out or eaten before the move. Open containers are welcome invitations to bugs and other critters that might want to enjoy a little snack at your expense, so toss these or give them to a neighbor and restock once you've reached your new home.


If you have a spare car battery that you want to take with you, don't expect the moving company to accept it in their van. The same goes for regular household batteries, too. These are considered dangerous items to transport, so you'll either need to put them in your own car or dispose of them properly before moving.


If you're moving into a house with a fireplace, you probably can't wait to build a cozy fire for your first night in your new home. If you do, make sure you buy firewood that is local to your new home, and don't transport firewood from the old one. Insects and diseases that kill trees can live in old firewood, so if you bring infected wood into your new home, it could cause major damage to the trees in your area. Just buy new wood from a hardware store once you arrive to be safe.

Once you know what you can and can't take with you, moving becomes a lot less stressful, so you can focus on getting into your new home and getting settled in. Be sure to ask your local moving company for their own list of excluded items before planning your move.