Think about all your most precious belongings that you take care to keep safely in your home. Photo albums. Heirloom jewelry. Your financial files. Somehow, though, many people think nothing of tossing those in a box and loading them onto a moving truck.
There are some things that you can’t put on a moving truck – because it’s illegal.
But while we like to assume that everything will end up at the destination in one piece, there are still some things that it’s wisest not to risk putting on a moving truck. Stuff happens: The truck might get broken into when it sits overnight; extreme weather changes can damage certain items; or you may end up with an unscrupulous mover.
Here are five categories of items that the experts recommend you should not put on a moving truck.
1. Items of Worth
We’re talking fine jewelry, watches, your special collectibles and other small keepsakes.
“Any items of particular value — whether economic or sentimental — should remain with you during a relocation, rather than go into a box and end up out of your sight,” says David Hauslaib, an owner of Greystone Relocation Concierge.
2. Important Papers
Technically these are “items of worth,” as in, see how much a passport is worth when you need it and can’t find it, but here we’re talking those hard-to-replace papers. You know: passports, licenses, wills, checkbooks, credit cards, ATM cards, insurance information, birth or marriage certificates, Social Security cards, banking and tax records, medical and dental records, prescriptions, and work-related hard copies.
“While most moving companies have excellent records regarding loss and damage, in the unlikely event something were to disappear, you would not want to risk it being an irreplaceable or difficult-to-replace document,” says Hauslaib.
In addition keep with you any papers you may need to access as part of your move, such as contracts and phone numbers.
Well you probably want easy access, since you are going to want to pop a bottle as soon as you are done moving, but that’s actually not why you shouldn’t put wine on a moving truck.
Unless you’re moving an extremely short distance, wine should only be transported in a climate-controlled vehicle, cautions Hauslaib.
“As we all know, temperature and humidity changes can cause damage to wine, and the inside of a truck will certainly be warmer than your wine fridge or even the ambient temperature of your home,” he says.
So unless the wine is of low value — in other words, you won’t cry if it spoils — it’s always safest to transport wine and champagne (cigars too!) in an environment that maintains safe temperature and humidity controls.
Yes, wine is a liquid, and that’s one reason it can’t be moved. But wine is not the only liquid that shouldn’t be on a moving truck, says Ori Siri-Princz, long-distance moving manager at Oz Moving & Storage.
While there are some liquids, like cleaners or aerosol cans, that can’t be moved, Siri-Princz says they discourage moving any liquids because of potential damage. Containers can easily be broken in transit, which causes the liquids to leak. Then, since all your items are packed close together on a moving truck, the leaking liquid can damage other belongings, especially electronics or clothes.
5. Stuff You Need as Soon as You Get There
You made record time and showed up before your stuff. Yes, it happens. All. The. Time.
So, what then? No change of clothes. No bedding. No towels. And don’t even get us started on the fall out when you neglect to put your daughter’s favorite stuffed animal in your carry-on.
For other ideas of handy stuff to have with you, check out this post about the essentials to pack in your “open first box.”