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What not to pack when moving to New York

When it comes to relocation, packing is always the biggest challenge. As one of the best moving companies in New York, we often offer advice regarding this important task. On our blog, you can get packing tips for your NYC relocation, as well as a guide about unpacking after the move. And everything in between. When it comes to packing, everyone seems to know what you should do. But not many know what you shouldn’t. When it comes to what not to pack when moving to New York, only the most experienced movers can help you. And make no mistake, this is an important topic.

what not to pack when moving to New York

Before your moving truck hits the road, make sure you know all the regulations.

Regardless if you are moving using a relocation company, or you have chosen a DIY move to the Big Apple, you still need to know all of these things. This is especially important if you have chosen to move to New York. Many people use storage facilities and before you rent one you should know about all of these regulations. This will help you tremendously during your relocation to NYC and prevent you from having problems with your moving partners. Take this advice under careful consideration, and enjoy your move to NYC to the fullest.

Although moving companies have a list of regulations, it is important that you apply by the same rules even if you are moving on your own. Items that are hazardous do not change their nature, and perishables can go bad either way. The list of what not to pack when moving to New York stays exactly the same. 

What not to pack when moving to New York item number one: Dangerous goods

We are starting off strong because there are not just items you shouldn’t pack. These are the items you can not pack based on the regulation of your company and based on the law. There are safer ways to deal with this kind of items and we urge you to look for them. We can not stress this enough  – do not pack these items when you are moving to NYC. Or anywhere.

But, let’s just be clear what those dangerous items really are. In the most general sense, it’s everything then is flammable or explosive. If it can cause a fire, chemical leak, and create any sort of danger or injury, it is banned. It does not go anywhere near the moving truck.

Although have in mind, it is not just the obvious items. Cleaning supplies, liquor, guns… They might not be the first thing you think about, but they are definitely on the list. Check out the entire list down below:


  • Guns and ammunition
  • Black powder
  • Fireworks
  • Lighter fluids
  • Matches
  • Acids, ammonia
  • Gasoline, kerosene
  • Petroleum products
  • Yard equipment containing fuel
  • Motor oil
  • Lamp oil
  • Antifreeze
  • Disinfectants
  • Pesticides, fertilizer, weed killers
  • Poisons
  • Paint, paint thinners
  • Paint-related materials
  • Nail polish, nail polish remover
  • Aerosol cans, deodorants
  • Charcoal
  • Pool chemicals
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Propane tanks
  • Car batteries
  • Cleaning supplies, bleach
  • Liquor

If you have any doubts regarding these items, or any permits you might need contact your moving company and consult with them. Make sure that you have chosen a reputable NYC moving company, so you won’t have any problems.

You should also avoid packing perishables

This is especially important for long distance moves to NYC. Any type of perishable food, regardless if it’s frozen or fresh, never goes into a moving van. There are many reasons for this but the biggest one is that the food goes bad, attracts insects, creates mold and releases a bad odor.

what not to pack when moving to new york - perishables

Eat, sell or donate, but get rid of everything eatable before the moving day.

That is why, in the days leading to your move, you should clean out your refrigerator and freezer, and give away everything you won’t consume. There is no reason for any food to get wasted. Have this in mind when making a moving checklist for your relocation to New York.


If it needs oxygen, it is not going in the moving truck

Although many people are not aware of this, moving companies are not willing to transport pets or plants. Anything that is in danger of not surviving the trip is a liability. Your pets need special attention, but so do your plants. Dark corners of the moving van will simply not cut it. When it comes to what not to pack when moving to New York, this is definitely on top of the list. Although your pets are going to love running around Central Park, they might not enjoy the drive so much.

That is why you need to make special arrangements, especially for your pets. Make sure that they are transported safely, and with food and water. If you are not able to do this yourself, you can hire someone to do it. Just not your moving company.

What else should I have in mind before I move to NYC?

this is what not to pack when moving to New York

Some memories are priceless, keep them close to you.

Your items will go one way, and you will go another. That means that there are things you need to bring with you and carry close. You want your trip to NYC to be as relaxed as possible, but you can’t leave everything up to the moving company. First, you need to carry your documentation and contracts with you. This is a must. But, in addition to this, you should pack a bag or a suitcase with your most precious items. These usually include old albums, precious memorabilia, collections, medals and childhood memories. If your moving company breaks your TV it is very clear how much they should repay you. But some items are irreplaceable because their worth isn’t monetary. In order to avoid any stress while you are moving to NYC, keep these items close to you and pack them separately. It will help both you and your moving partners. Always have in mind safety, and be patient. The road is long to New York.