Locked & Loaded, Ready to Go! Or Maybe Not: What Are Non-Allowables?

Moving companies are amazing businesses for helping you get through a very stressful time in your life. Depending on what level of help you opt for, you might not have to do much of the physical moving at all. The movers simply show up, pack up your stuff, load it all onto a truck, and take it away. Then they show up at the new location, unload the truck, and even unpack it in some cases.

However, there are some items you might own that are in a class of things called “non-allowables”. If you have some of these, the moving company will not transport them with the rest of your things. You’ll end up having to make your own separate arrangements for how these items will make it to your new residence.

What Are Non-Allowable Items?

Non-allowable items are things that pose some kind of risk when moving. That risk could be in terms of safety, legality, or ethics. Moving companies have the right to put certain items onto a list of non-allowables. If you pack any of those items in boxes they’re moving, you have to disclose that to them. They then can refuse to transport the item or the box it is in. If you don’t disclose that a specific item is packed in a container they are being asked to move, you are in violation of the contract you entered into with the moving company.

Examples of Common Non-Allowable Items

Different companies will have their own lists of things they won’t move for you. It’s up to you to check with the business that you choose to work with. But, there are some items that are pretty common for this category. So, let’s take a look at what they are.

Guns and Ammunition

Guns and ammunition are rarely going to be allowed by a moving company. The reason is that it poses a risk to their employees. These items are considered to have a hazardous nature.

When it comes to firearms and their ammo, there can also be a legal factor for the movers refusing to move them. There are many laws governing the purchase, handling, transporting, and other aspects of these items. When you’re making a long-distance move, you need to make sure you look up the legal issues involved with moving them across different regions. You need to find the correct way to get your guns moved, so you stay in compliance with any regulations for areas you’ll be transporting them through.

Power Equipment

These items are usually things that you use in the yard or on your property. Examples might be lawn mowers, chain saws, edgers, trimmers, or anything else that will require some type of fuel.

Most moving companies will transport pieces of power equipment. That being said, they will not if you leave fuel in them. You need to go through your shed beforehand and drain all of your yard power equipment so they can be transported safely by the movers.


This one is hit or miss. Some companies will move it; some will not. Usually though, if a moving company does agree to move it, it has to be only bottles that haven’t been opened and are well-packed.

If you have a wine collection or some other kind of expensive collection of a type of alcohol, your standard moving company probably isn’t going to want to take that. There are specialty companies who have experience with moving these. They’ll be able to handle moving the collection separately from your other household items, ensuring that nothing gets broken or damaged in the process.

Cleaning Supplies

You will most likely have to leave your cleaning supplies behind. This is ok though because once your household goods are out of the way, you’re going to have to clean out the entire place anyway unless you’re leaving that job to someone else.

Moving companies don’t like to transport cleaning supplies because the liquid cleaning solutions can end up causing a lot of damage to your things, the truck, and anything else they come in contact with if they get tipped over and spill. Nobody wants that.

Use up what you have left when you clean the place you’re leaving behind. If you don’t use everything, either look up how to dispose of the solutions safely and get rid of them, or knock on your soon-to-be ex-neighbor’s door and give them away. You’ll just have to buy new supplies when you get where you’re going.

Perishable Food

This might seem harmless to some people, but if you really think about it for a moment, there’s no reason to ask a moving company to move these kinds of items. They’ll tell you no anyway.

Reasons for telling you no include they can stink, they can make a big mess, and it just isn’t very sanitary. By the time your goods show up to your new home, the food will most certainly be bad. Rotting food can lead to some pretty bad odors. All of your stuff will smell bad. The mess it can make will attract pests like ants and mice too. Those guys can cause damage to your things.

As with the cleaning supplies, you need to either find a way to use up the perishable food, dispose of it properly, pack it with you personally in a cooler or something, or give it to your neighbors.


Plants, much like food, can be very perishable in nature. Moving companies won’t be able to take your house plants in the truck. It’s illegal in most places. Plants often provide a home to parasites and other pests. When they get transported long distances, such as from one side of Canada to the other, those pests could be introduced to a new territory and wreak havoc on the plant life found there.

Summing Up

Don’t get caught in a situation where the mover has to refuse to transport something for you. Find out what isn’t allowed upfront and move forward accordingly.


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Moving Tip

  • Get rid of the junk! Get rid of anything you don’t need or want, it will make packing that much easier and save you money.The more stuff you have will increase the time and or weight of the move and will cost you more money!
  • Do not move jewelry, money, coin collections, etc. Keep these items in your possession.
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