What Movers Won’t Move

What Movers Won't Move | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamIf you are moving to or from Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County, or the Edmonton region, you may be planning to use professional movers to get all your belongings from your old home to your new one.  You might be surprised to learn that there are many items these companies will not move for you, and it will be up to you to get them to your destination yourself, or dispose of them.

Why are you left on your own to deal with some things?  Laws and safety regulations account for some, while ethics and liability account for the rest.  Items the professionals won’t touch (and some you don’t want them to touch) fall into 3 main categories:  hazardous materials, perishable items, and irreplaceable valuables. 

Hazardous Materials

Anything flammable, corrosive, explosive such as:

  • Acids
  • Aerosol cans (deodorant & body spray, hair spray, spray paint, spray cleaners)
  • Batteries of all kinds
  • Bleach & ammonia
  • Charcoal
  • Chemistry sets
  • Cleaning supplies & solvents
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Fireworks
  • Gardening chemicals, pesticides, fertilizer, poisons of all types
  • Lighter fluid & matches
  • Liquor
  • Nail polish & remover
  • Oils of all types
  • Paints, stains, varnishes, paint thinner, turpentine
  • Petroleum-based products:  fuel of any kind, gasoline, kerosene, motor oil, antifreeze
  • Pool chemicals
  • Propane Tanks
  • Scuba tanks
  • Weapons, firearms & ammunition
  • Yard equipment containing fuel (ask your mover if they will take equipment if it has been drained of fuel and oil)

(You might think of being sneaky and hiding some of the above in with more legitimate items.  DON’T DO IT!!  This could have all sorts of negative consequences.  Even if the vision of an exploding moving van with you being liable for the damage doesn’t become reality, you could still be on the hook for voided insurance claims and the like.  It’s just not worth it!)

Perishable Items

  • Food of almost any kind:  fresh, frozen, refrigerated, open packages of non-perishable foods
  • Houseplants
  • Animals, living or dead.  (Sorry, but Fluffy and Fido will have to ride with you!  And that stuffed deer head trophy over the mantel?  Probably that too!)
  • Almost anything containing organic materials, such as unwashed pet items (bedding, cages, food dishes, etc.), household appliances such as freezers that haven’t been cleaned of food debris, and the like.

Irreplaceable Valuables and Personal Items

Items of high monetary or sentimental value, personal items, important documents, such as:

  • Financial items:  financial statements, cheque books, cash, credit & debit cards, stocks & bonds
  • Important documents:  deeds & titles, tax records, car registrations, medical records, insurance documents (life, health, home, auto, etc.), airline & other tickets
  • Personal documents:  birth certificates, passports, marriage certificates, wills, Social Insurance cards
  • Keys (vehicles, house, safety deposit, etc.)
  • Collections (stamp, coin, sports cards)
  • Photos & memorabilia
  • Medications
  • Electronics, especially data-filled:  cell phones, computers, external hard drives, etc.
  • Other high-value items, such as artwork, antique furniture, jewelry, furs, etc.  (Some moving companies specialize in moving items like this – ask your mover)

Check with your moving company about extremely heavy or delicate items such as pool tables, pianos, hot tubs, vehicles and the like.  Some companies will, some won’t!

There is a 4th category of items you are advised not to have movers move, nor should you move those things yourself!  This category includes items you are not using because they are broken, damaged, worn out, out of style, “maybe I’ll have a use for this someday”, “that was a gift from a special person”, “I paid good money for that”…!  Take a picture of yourself with especially hard to part with items, then sell usable items, and give or throw the rest away (keep in mind some items need special hazardous waste disposal methods).  Congratulate yourself for not paying to transport and store stuff you’ll never look at it again!

Moving is a huge life event, with many, many things to think about and do.  Take a look at our Moving Guide for much more advice and help.

Comments or questions about this article or anything related to buying or selling real estate?  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.  


Barry Twynam, Realty Executives Leading
#1 14 McLeod Avenue, Spruce Grove, Alberta, T7X 3X3
Tel: 780-962-9696 Cell: 780-910-9669 Fax: 780-962-9699
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