The No-Move List: 13 Surprising Things Moving Companies Won’t Move

13 Things Moving Companies Won’t Move

Are you planning a move? 

It may surprise you how many household items moving companies won’t move. Furthermore, some of your things may require special handling or alternative transportation.

Before you throw everything together into a moving truck, whether moving yourself or using a residential moving company, consult our handy list below. Further on, we’ll explain why these items are on the no-move list.

List of stuff that moving companies can’t move

Acids Fire extinguisher Paint thinner
Aerosoles Fireworks Paints
Ammonia Frozen food Pets
Ammunition Gasoline Pesticides & weed killer
Car batteries Household batteries Poisons
Charcoal Kerosene Pool chemicals
Charcoal lighter fluid Lamp oil Produce
Chemistry sets Liquid bleach Propane tanks
Chemistry sets Loaded guns Reloading supplies
Cleaning solvents Matches Refrigerated food
Darkroom chemicals Motor oil SCUBA tanks
Fertilizer Nail polish & remover Sterno

Now you have the list, so it’s time to dig deep into this topic.

Hazardous Materials in the Garage or Shed

Let’s start with the usual suspects—all the stuff from your garage or shed that cannot go into a residential moving truck.

1. Gasoline and anything containing fuel

You cannot load gasoline and anything containing fuel onto a moving truck. However, you can empty and dry oil and gas tanks to prepare them for moving.

2. Pool chemicals

Pool chemicals are hazardous materials and to maintain safety on moving day these chemicals should be disposed of before moving or generously left behind for the new homeowners.

3. Weed killers, fertilizers and pesticides

Weed killers, fertilizers, and pesticides cannot travel in your moving truck. If you are unsure whether you can move a lawn care product or a piece of lawn care equipment, ask your moving company. Whatever you can’t take, you can give away to neighbours before you depart.

4. BBQ charcoal and lighter fluid

Charcoal and lighter fluids are highly flammable, meaning you won’t be able to put them in the moving truck. If you use propane tanks, they must be empty before being loaded onto the moving truck.

5. Fireworks

Fireworks need a spark to ignite, and while a hot truck alone won’t set them off, they contain all kinds of chemicals that local moving companies would refuse to move by truck. These include black powder, sulphur, charcoal, potassium nitrate, aluminum, magnesium, titanium, and beryllium.

Hazardous Materials Inside the House

Now, we can cover the stuff around your house that cannot go into a moving truck.

6. Cleaning supplies

Many household cleaning supplies, such as window cleaner and bleach, contain toxic and flammable materials. The containers risk leaking chemicals all over the truck. For a local move, bring your cleaning products with you. Whatever you can’t take, give away to local friends or family.

7. Nail polish and nail polish remover

Nail polishes and nail polish remover are flammable under certain conditions, including the heat inside the moving truck.

8. Chemistry sets

Chemistry sets contain components designed to create chemical reactions, electric currents, chemical transformations, and combustion (or, as one package describes it, “explosions”).

I Can’t Move That?! Surprising Items You Can’t Move In a Truck

Some items we’ve already mentioned are no-brainers, but you may not have considered some surprising items moving companies won’t move.

9. Firearms and ammunition

Residential moving companies will not transport firearms or ammunition. Our best recommendation is to entrust your guns and ammunition to a federally licensed firearm dealer who can safely and legally ship them.

10. Pets

Most people realize moving companies can’t move dogs or other pets, even if they are in carriers or their habitats. Pets need climate-controlled transportation with fresh air and a low risk of injury from shifting furniture and falling boxes. 

If you can’t take your pet with you by car or on the plane, contact a pet relocation service to discuss options. Many can transport animals other than dogs and cats, but an expert who can ship your exotic snake collection may require more research.

11. Perishable food (including pet food)

The trucks used by moving companies aren’t equipped to store food properly, and it is impossible to maintain a steady temperature in the truck. For local moves, you can pack dairy and freezer items into coolers and transport them yourself.

The good news is that your movers can move unopened, non-perishable pantry items, such as canned goods, soups, rice, and pasta. Alternatively, you can donate these items to those in need. Perishables will have to be tossed in the garbage.

12. Alcohol

Alcohol is flammable. If you pack it without your movers’ knowledge and it ignites, you could be liable for the damage. Then there’s the risk of breakage and heat damage to wine

Most moving trucks are not climate-controlled, allowing extreme temperatures, humidity, and light to damage your wine collection potentially.

We suggest you hire a wine relocation company to move it for you if you have a precious wine collection. Wine moving companies will pack your wines properly, transport them in vehicles with climate control, and unpack them at a wine storage facility or your new home.

13. Scuba gear

Scuba tanks are composed of specialized gas mixtures and highly pressurized oxygen. Since pressurized air can explode, scuba tanks can be dangerous if transported unsecurely in the back of a moving truck. 

It’s easy to see how a collision could cause a scuba tank to explode. Furthermore, if you’re moving scuba tanks yourself, empty them first.

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Trick Your Moving Company

Getting your movers to move the items mentioned above is too risky. Here’s why:

  • If something happens to your belongings during the move, neither your company nor moving insurance will cover the loss or damage.
  • If something unfortunate happens due to prohibited items in the truck, you are the only person who will be held accountable and liable for any damage.

If you’re unsure how to dispose of these things properly, you can contact your provincial department responsible for the environment and ask for advice. You can also visit your province’s hazardous waste management info pages for a quick answer.

What to Do with Hazardous Things that Movers Can’t Move?

When loading a moving truck, what should you do when hazardous materials are out of the question?

Fortunately, there are ways to dispose of these items before moving day. 

Hazardous materials requiring special disposal include acids, aerosols, batteries, fertilizer, motor oil, and pesticides. Anything flammable or potentially explosive is considered a no-go for moving companies.

Visit your local hazardous waste facility drop-off center. Most cities and suburbs have several places to drop off dangerous chemical-containing items to ensure these materials are disposed of correctly. 

Never drop hazardous materials in your garbage because this could threaten the public, the environment, and those picking up your trash.


Our no-move list is standard for moving companies in Canada, and Let’s Get Moving adheres to it for everyone’s safety and legal compliance. 

Hazardous chemicals, firearms, pets, perishable foods, alcohol, and scuba gear are on the list for safety, legal, or logistical reasons. Attempting to sneak these items into any moving truck is risky and voids any potential insurance coverage for damages or accidents. 

For specialized items like firearms, pets, or valuable wine collections, consider hiring experts in those fields to ensure safe and secure transportation.

We also encourage you to learn your local hazardous material disposal procedures. Even if you’re not moving now, spring cleaning season or DIY projects tend to stir up hazardous waste that requires good disposal habits. 

By following these guidelines and respecting the restrictions set by moving companies, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free moving experience while prioritizing safety and environmental responsibility.

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