Moving is a hectic time; not just the day of, but the entire process leading up to it. There’s so much to plan for and remember, and it can cause your stress level go through the roof and cause many sleepless nights.

So, while you might have all the boxes and packing material you think you’ll need, packing these following things will make your difficult day even more so.

Hazardous Materials

Unless you’re planning on moving everything yourself, most moving companies won’t load onto their trucks things that are toxic or flammable. These include things like chemicals, propane tanks, or fuel. Also, most movers are hesitant about moving firearms, so if you have guns and ammo you need to move, consider putting them in your car and taking them with you. Lastly, if you’re unsure about what not to pack, you can always contact your moving company and ask them for a list of prohibited items. Do this before you pack up anything so you won’t waste time having to unpack or fight with the movers on your already stressful moving day.

Food

While not toxic or flammable, most moving companies discourage packing and moving food because the food is likely to attract pests such as rats, which no one wants to deal with. Be sure to contact your moving company and ask, but in general, they’re going to say no to things like frozen or refrigerated food, meat, produce, and sometimes even flowers.

The good news is that if you have food that’s still good, you can try donating it to a local food pantry or shelter where it can be put to good use and not go to waste.

Money & Valuables

If you have money, valuable jewelry, securities or other valuables, it’s advised that you don’t put that on the moving truck with the rest of your belongings. While most reputable movers are insured, you don’t want to deal with the headache of having to replace lost cash or jewelry or the loss of something that’s irreplaceable such as an heirloom.

Valuables also includes computers, cell phones, video game consoles, and important documents.

Plants & Flowers

As we mentioned above, flowers are usually prohibited as well as plants. The reason for this is that many states prohibit some plants and flowers from crossing state lines. Also, keep in mind that many plants won’t do well if they’re kept in the dark truck for a long time. If you do have plants and flowers that you simply can’t part with, contact your moving company and ask them specifically if they can move your particular plants. Otherwise, you should consider getting new plants when you arrive at your destination.

what not to pack when moving

Medicine

Most moving companies won’t transport medications, so it’s a good idea to call your pharmacist and get your prescriptions called into a pharmacy in the town to which you’re moving.

Animals

It should go without saying, but don’t pack your animals — even if it’s just a reptile — and put them on the moving truck. First off, it’s cruel to the animal, and second, most moving companies won’t transport living creatures because of the risk that they could become sick or die during the transport. Lastly, you don’t want the movers to be responsible for the handling of your pet should something go wrong.

If you do have a pet, consider taking them with you in the car or make arrangements to take them on the plane if you’re flying. Call your local airline and see what is their policy regarding animal transportation and talk with your veterinarian to see what steps need to be taken to ensure your pet has a happy and healthy trip.

While these are things that are mostly prohibited by movers, here are things that aren’t but that you should leave behind anyway to save you time and energy.

Old Clothes

There’s no sense packing up old clothes that either don’t fit anymore or that you just don’t wear; it’s a waste of time and resources you could better spend on more important things like keeping your sanity during the moving process.

Go through your wardrobe and see what doesn’t fit or what you don’t want to wear anymore and consider donating those items to a charity or church.

Old Furniture

One of the perks of moving to a new house or apartment is starting fresh, which means getting new furniture. A great way to save time and money is to ditch that old raggedy furniture you have now and buy new once you arrive at your new location. As part of saving money, it’s less hassle for you or the movers you hired to help move. 

If your furniture isn’t in bad of shape, but you still don’t want to move it, consider selling it on places like Craigslist for some quick cash to help you with your move, or simply donate it to a charity. Most charities will even come and pick up your unwanted furniture provided it’s in reasonably good condition. If you can’t sell your old furniture, you can always hire a house removal service to dispose of your unwanted items.

Books

Most of us have shelves full of books that we’re never going to read again, so don’t waste time and energy packing them up. Instead, either donate them to a local library, or you can sell them to a used bookstore.

Junk & Knick Knacks

In addition to having too many books, most of us have too many knick-knacks that do little more than collect dust. Consider getting rid of these items so that your new place is clean, fresh and ready for — you guessed it — more knick-knacks.

Appliances

Moving appliance like refrigerators or ovens is a massive pain in the butt. So, like your furniture, look at your appliances and see if there’s anything that could use an upgrade. If so, leave that behind and buy new when you arrive at your new digs.

Moving is stressful, but it’s something that most of us have to do at least once in our lives. If you follow these tips, it should make the process go more smoothly and with minimal stress.