When you wish to know what to pack when moving cross country, then the first thing you should do is familiarize yourself with the things you must NOT pack for a move. And once you know all the forbidden items to pack and move, your packing task will become a bit easier since you’ll only be left with the stuff you can safely pack and move with you to the new home.

In short, you’re not allowed to pack

  • hazardous goods (flammable, explosive, and/or corrosive);
  • perishables – food items that are likely to go bad during a long-distance move; and
  • plants that have a minimum chance of surviving a move across the country.

Dangerous household goods

Don’t take any risks packing and moving any items that are hazardous in any way – flammable, explosive, and/or corrosive. Bear in mind that safety – your personal safety and the safety of the people around you – should be your number one priority during a house move.

Hazardous items can pose a serious risk to the health and life of the participants in a residential move, so you should get rid of such dangerous goods before you start packing up your things. Professional moving companies have detailed lists of things you must not pack when using their services, so why should you waste precious time in boxing items that are forbidden for transport in the first place?

If possible, use up most hazardous items – gasoline, petrol, oil, pesticides, fertilizers, paints, chemicals, propane tanks, and even cleaning supplies prior to Moving day so that you won’t have to worry about how to get them from Point A to Point B.

Click here to access the full list of items that are forbidden to pack and move.

Perishable foods

Don’t pack perishable foods when moving long distance – any frozen, refrigerated, or fresh foods are most likely to go bad during the cross-country move, thus creating a number of potential problems such as releasing bad odors, casing infestation (attracting all sorts of critters), or getting covered in mold. In most cases, perishables are bound to create quite a mess and to ruin the rest of the items inside the moving vehicle.

With the exception of canned food, don’t pack any perishable foods unless you’re only moving a short distance away from where your current home is. The risk is never worth it.


How to pack and move houseplants

The distance between the two homes will be the deciding factor when you wish to take some of your houseplants with you.

When thinking about what to pack when moving, your house plants should not make the list unless you’re moving locally and you plan to transport some of them in your own vehicle. As a rule of thumb, most potted plants won’t survive a long-distance move due to the numerous unfavorable conditions during the move itself – mostly temperature fluctuations.

Another reason to refrain yourself from packing up your plants for transport is the strict regulations in some states about which plants can and cannot be brought into the destination state. So, when moving long distance, you’re strongly recommended to give away your household plants to friends, neighbors, or interested parties such as schools, nursing homes, and hospitals.

READ MORE: What not to pack when moving