Dealing with "Non-Allowables" When Hiring a Packing Service

Packing services give you an opportunity to have your belongings prepped for a big move without lifting a finger. But while your moving company's ready and willing to do all the heavy lifting, there are some things that even they won't touch. The following provides an in-depth explanation of what these "non-allowables" are as well as other ways you can safely transport or dispose of them.

Common Non-Allowables

Packing up bedding, clothing, and various other items is no big deal for a typical packing service. However, most services are likely to avoid the following items due to the possibility of serious damage or injury occurring if handled or packed incorrectly:

  • Household paints
  • Acidic chemicals
  • Cleaning solvents
  • Pesticides and other poisons
  • Flammable liquids (including kerosene, lighter fluid and motor oil)
  • Camp stoves and other devices reliant on exothermic heat
  • Tanks containing propane, butane, oxygen, and other gases
  • Pool-cleaning chemicals
  • Darkroom chemicals
  • Car batteries and some household batteries
  • Fireworks, fertilizer, and other explosives

Many of the items in the above list require special containers and procedures in order to be safely transported—something that may be above and beyond what most packing services offer. A packing service specializing in industrial and hazardous materials may be up to the challenge, but these services may cost more than a typical packing service.

Refrigerated and frozen foods, along with fresh produce, may also be included on a packing company's list of non-allowables. For the company, packing and moving these goods while keeping them in satisfactory condition can be a bit iffy—handling these items incorrectly could encourage food-borne illnesses to flourish, for instance.

Dealing with Firearms and Ammunition

Whether a packing company is willing to pack your firearms depends on said company's own policies. Some companies may shy away from packing and/or moving firearms while others may allow it as long as the firearms in question are properly unloaded and made safe for storage and transport.

Keep in mind that if you decide to have your firearms packed and shipped to your new abode, your ammunition might not be able to make the trip. Most packing companies have ammunition on their list of non-allowables, so you'll have to make alternative arrangements. For instance, you could transport your ammunition in your own vehicle as long as you follow all of the proper state and federal provisions.

If you're looking to have your gun safe prepped for moving, you won't be able to keep your guns within it. Not only could the moving process leave behind scratches and marring on your firearms, but your local company's packing policies may prohibit moving your unloaded firearms in this manner.

Dealing with Personal and Sentimental Items

Potentially toxic, explosive, and easily perishable items aren't the only ones commonly declared persona non grata by packing services. Items of sentimental value often make the cut thanks to their immeasurable value to customers. Most packing services don't want to be liable for damaging or losing items that customers consider irreplaceable.

Financial documents with personal information, including banking statements and checkbooks, may also end up on a packing service's list of non-allowables thanks to the prevalence of identity theft. These easily stolen items should be kept on or near your person at all times. This also includes personal effects and devices, including smartphones, car keys, tablets, and address books.

It's usually a good idea to pack and, if necessary, transport your own personal and sentimental items. Not only will you always have these items at your side throughout the moving process, but you won't have to worry about these items getting lost or damaged while in transit.

If you can't transport an item that's on the packing company's non-allowables list yourself, you may have to give these items to friends and family or dispose of them in accordance with your local area's policies on disposing hazardous materials. If you're currently looking for a packing service, contact a company like Bekins Van Lines Inc to see what their non-allowables are.