Lawyers, Ammo, and Moving

Moving is a big deal. Make the process a bit less stressful for your transferees by making sure they understand what can and can’t be moved, and what they should move themselves.

Guns and ammunition. Jewelry. Rare coin collections. Money. Passports. Sounds like the topics you would find in a bestselling crime novel, a movie or a reality TV show (you know you watch them). But all these items are also connected to moving.

Now you wouldn’t think someone who’s moving cross country or to another state using a full-service mover would pack stuff like this, right? Wrong. Surprising or not, some people think nothing of loading priceless, irreplaceable items into a moving box and sending it off on a truck. Reputable full-service movers always educate the customer – it’s even in writing – on the items they can and cannot transport in a moving van and items they recommend the transferee transport personally. And goods transported by a mover are covered up to a certain value should damage occur.  Despite this, invariably people forget small but important details regarding valuable items in the stress of moving.

This is particularly true for corporate transferees. Besides the anxiety that takes place during a typical move, like orienting yourself and your family to a new place, corporate transferees may also be dealing with additional stress related to a partner or spouse losing a job and income, helping a family that may – or may not – be “thrilled” with the move adjust to the new neighborhood, not to mention the personal stress of a new job that comes with new responsibilities, new coworkers, etc.

Here’s some information from professional movers you can share with your relocating employees on what items they should have packed and moved by their moving company, and what items they should be sure to transport personally. Trust us, this additional reminder should make the moving process just a little bit less stressful for your transferee.

What Should Go with the Movers? Ask Them.

Full service moving companies strive to continuously provide high-quality service and offer competitive pricing to assure customer satisfaction and maintain a stellar reputation. Typically, these companies are the best go-to source regarding moving and relocation tips: i.e., how to save money, effort, and time and safely move treasured belongings.

Below is a partial list of items that may answer your questions as to what northAmerican® Moving Services (and most, if not all, full service national movers) prefer (and in some instances, require) customers to transport themselves. We have also included a little bit of insight and some helpful hints regarding the moving of sensitive materials or possessions.

Keep in mind that though the items discussed apply to moves within the United States, moving internationally typically involves even more rules and restrictions, depending on the destination country.

One Major Consideration

Safety is a significant factor when it comes to determining what can be transported by a moving company. You and your transferees should be aware that there are several items that, due to safety reasons, will not be allowed in the moving truck and should probably be left behind.

Federal law forbids moving companies to transport explosive, corrosive, and flammable items.  If spilled, punctured, or exposed to heat, they can potentially endanger everything – and everyone (driver and crew)—in the truck

Any number of items are hazardous by nature. Here is just a sample of dangerous materials that may not be transported by movers (see your moving services provider’s website for a complete list of specific items). These should not be packed or placed in an area for packing or pickup by a moving service.

•    Hover Boards

•    Alcoholic Beverages (ask about a climate-controlled van if you are moving an extensive wine collection)

•    Car Batteries

•    Chemicals

•    Fluid Cleaners (including bleach and other common household cleaning products)

•    Lamp Oil

•    Antifreeze or Motor Oil

•    Petroleum Products

•    Ammonia or Acids

•    Signal Flares

•    Paint Thinners

•    Propane Tanks

•    Poisons, Fertilizer, or Pesticides

•    Fireworks

•    Handguns and/or Ammunition*

Lawyers, Guns, and Ammo…

No matter what the gun laws are in your state, your moving service will not transport handguns and/or ammunition (*northAmerican Moving Services will transport unloaded long arms, like rifles or shotguns under certain circumstances).If your transferee plans to transport ammunition across state lines, he or she should first review the regulations as they apply to each state through which they will be traveling and review this with the moving company in advance.

If transporting a large selection of firearms and ammunition, the recommended alternative is to use a licensed firearms dealer who will ship weapons safely and within the law.   While these dealers do charge for their services, the financial penalties a transferee will be assessed for violating restrictions applying to the transportation of firearms and ammunition are far greater and may even result in forfeiture of weapons – a very costly price to pay.

Now let's take a look at some other things that, while movers are not prohibited by law from transporting, require more of a personal touch.

My Irreplaceable You

There are things that a moving company is not allowed to move, and then there are those personal or irreplaceable things that would be best transported by the owner.  Consider items with high monetary or sentimental value, personal documents and materials (like family photos), and medications – inother words, any item that, if accidentally lost or damaged during transport, could not be replaced or restored.

Here is a brief list of examples of items that a transferee should transport personally, or arrange for special transportation by an expert in the field, rather than by the moving service:

  • Personal Electronic Devices
  • Heirloom, sentimental or expensive (highly appraised) Jewelry
  • Photo Albums
  • Prescription medication
  • Collections (i.e., collector cards, coins, stamps, etc.)
  • Keys (safe deposit box, house, car, etc.)
  • Travel Tickets (bus, train, airline, etc.)
  • Stocks and Bonds
  • Debit and Credit Cards
  • Cash
  • Highly personal items (these can include deeds, medical records, tax records, financial statements, Social Security cards, birth certificates, insurance documents, wills, passports, marriage licenses, and so on)

And moving-related documents, or any paperwork related to the move itself, should never be packed and transported on a moving van.

Why do most moving companies prefer not to transport these items? The risk is just too great. Should something accidentally happen to a valuable antique or unique possession, it is difficult at best to replace.

However, items of sentimental or high monetary value such as antiques CAN be included with the rest of your household items, as long as your moving representative is notified prior to moving day and such items are listed on a high value inventory sheet. Items worth more than $100 per pound are considered “extraordinary value”.

To be certain that any claim involving these items will not be limited to the minimum liability, it is essential that a High-Value Inventory form is completed and signed. There may be an “Extraordinary Value Article Declaration” as well.

Every moving company has a different procedure for high-value goods. Make sure your transferee discusses such topics with their relocation specialist so that they clearly understand everything before moving day arrives.

If your relocation policy does not include packing services, advise your new hires to pack carefully and consider keeping sentimental and valuable items in their own vehicles.

Moving Fluffy, Tweety, and Nemo

Whether they are exotic animals, fish, birds, cats, or dogs, a moving van is no place for a pet. The air conditions and temperatures within moving vans are not appropriate for animals. 

Transferees must transport pets themselves; in their car, if they are driving, or if traveling by plane, in accordance with airline rules for transporting animals. This is the safest way to move a beloved member of the family. However, if moving a pet personally is not an option for your transferee, professional pet movers are the next best thing. These services are experienced in the best way to carefully transport animals, and many are insured (check reviews, credentials, etc. before booking one of these services to make sure that all the bases are covered). In the end, it’s all about making sure the transferee’s pet weathers the move as comfortably and calmly as possible. As stressful as moving is for humans, it is unimaginably stressful on animals. Click here for information on how to keep pets stress-free during the move.

While We Are Moving Live Things…

Plants are another thing that movers prefer not to handle – some are actually against the law for them to transport. In certain states, special licenses are needed to haul even something as simple as a houseplant more than 150 miles. And insomuch as the back of a moving van is no place for an animal, it doesn’t offer ideal conditions for live plants either. The move alone could shock them and cause them to wilt or die.

And while the health of the plant is the main reason movers don’t transport houseplants, another very important reason is pests. The back of a moving van is sealed during transport to protect belongings, leaving minimal ventilation. Just one bug can become an infestation in the right conditions, and reputable full-service movers will not risk exposing a transferee’s precious belongings to insects. If your new hire is a plant lover, the best option is for them to either donate the plant to a loving new owner and home or transport the plant personally.

This is another topic that should be discussed with your moving expert long before the big day.

And Finally, Food

Few foods can be considered genuinely hazardous, but they are, nonetheless, on the list of “don’t put in the moving van.” While sealed, nonperishable foods can be packed and moved along with other household goods, perishable foods, fresh foods (like fruits and vegetables) and foods requiring refrigeration/freezing will not be moved by professional movers. It is best to move perishable, fresh foods, refrigerated, and frozen foods personally, or give to a friend, family member or neighbor. (And be sure to mention to transferees that if they don’t want to move any food items, some movers are affiliated with hunger relief organizations, and will be happy to drop off any unwanted, nonperishable food items at a local food pantry. Ask your moving provider if they provide this service.)

If a transferee is moving a refrigerator, it should be defrosted and cleaned out prior to moving day... Your full service moving provider will provide your transferring employees with instructions.

Stay One Step Ahead of the Moving Game

Before your new employees or transferees pack up their belongings, make sure they have all the information about what can, can’t and shouldn’t be moved from your moving services provider.  Ask for a specific list of non-allowable items and make sure it is provided to every employee relocating with your company.This will help your employees be better prepared, resulting in a more orderly – and pleasant – moving experience. Please check out our FAQ page for more information.

At northAmerican® Moving Services, we want to assist you and your relocating employees in all your moving and relocation endeavors. We hope that the above explanations have been helpful in alerting you to challenging situations that may affect your transferees. Our goal is to make the entire relocation experience comfortable with no problems or legal ramifications. We will see to it that your belongings get to their assigned destination safely and securely. Abiding by the previously stated laws and guidelines will assist us in our endeavor.

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