What NOT to Pack – A Useful Guide

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When you’ve hired or rented a big moving truck it can be tempting to simply cram your entire life inside. If you’ve got the space, why bother stuffing boxes into your little Honda Civic? However, before you move there are a number of things you should leave out of the moving truck – things you should either give away, throw away, or pack somewhere else.

Things That Go Boom
As a general rule, if something can explode you should probably get rid of it before your move. This includes just about anything containing compressed gases or liquids along with highly flammable liquids. Whether you have movers or you’re driving your own truck, combining combustibles in the back of a truck full of cardboard and cloth is a big no-no.

Don’t forget that these materials include guns and ammunition – something most moving companies will not move for you.

• Propane
• Motor oil
• Gasoline
• Lighter fluid
• Fireworks
• Firearms
• Gunpowder/ammunition
• Scuba tanks
• Alcohol
• Aerosols – hairspray, spray-on sunscreen, spray paint, spray glue…you get the picture.
• Fire extinguishers (ironic, we know)

Many of these items are cheap and not worth the weight of hauling across the state or country anyway, so be sure to ditch them or gift them to a neighbor who may be a pint low.

Anything You Love
If you feel something you own is irreplaceable, leave it out of the truck. Grandma’s antique dolls are not something you want to lose if the truck crashes (or if you skipped the previous section – explodes).

This applies to important documentation and even that one sweatshirt you couldn’t live without.

• Family heirlooms
• Photo albums
• Computers (or backups on a hard drive)
• Valuable artwork
• Jewelry
• Important documents

All the Rest
So you’ve left out all the explosive items along with the items that would make you cry if they were to explode – but you’re not quite done. You’ll still want to avoid packing your cleaning liquids, plants, and just about anything from your toolshed that isn’t a tool.

• Bleach
• Ammonia
• Pesticides
• Fertilizer
• Houseplants

Finally, you’ll want to make sure to keep a box of things you’ll need on your first night. Nothing is worse than digging through fifty boxes to find a toothbrush or your dog’s food dish.

Featured image by duncan c/Flickr

About the author

Jonathan packed his whole life into a backpack and two years later needed an entire moving truck for everything. He enjoys traveling, getting lost and laughing way too hard. Contact him at jonathan.deesing@imove.com.