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What Can’t You Move?

Woman in grey shirt holding brown cardboard moving box.

TLC Moving

TLC Moving

There Are Items Moving Companies Can’t or Won’t Move – Here’s the List to Help You Prepare!

Did you know that there are household items that moving companies in Ottawa cannot legally move? Whether the reason is for safety or practicality purposes, some things must either be left behind, thrown away, or hitch a ride with you directly.

There are also items that you should keep with you, or pack in your car, instead of moving in a moving truck or shipping to a new city.

Keep these items in mind when you’re preparing to move. You may have to find alternative arrangements to dispose of some items if you can’t leave them behind.

What Your Movers
Can’t And Won’t Move

Dangerous Goods

Movers can’t move dangerous goods because they are illegal and unstable to move.

Dangerous goods include any material that is flammable, corrosive, or explosive. The extensive list of dangerous goods will vary by moving company, so make sure to verify with your movers before moving day.

A general rule of thumb is to move any items with flammable, corrosive, or explosive warning symbols on the packaging with you in your car instead of packing them to move in the moving truck.

These items include ammunition, explosives, gasoline, bottled gases, and other flammables.

Household items that moving companies in Ottawa cannot put in their trucks include:


Pack extra bottles of anti-freeze in the trunk of your car.

Paint Cans

You are better off leaving paint cans for the new renters or homeowners taking over your previous home. But if you can’t leave your cans of paint, bring them to a hazardous waste depot instead.

Cleaning Products

Gather your household cleaning products and move them into your car. This will also make it easier to access your cleaning products when you arrive at your new home and need to clean.


Because it is highly flammable, hairspray is considered a dangerous good. Be sure to pack it in your car for the move.

Propane Tanks

Moving companies will gladly move your barbecue, but will not move the propane tank that comes with it. So you will need to move this yourself.


Moving companies are also willing to move any small vehicle that uses gasoline such as motorcycles, lawn mowers, snow blowers, ATVs, dirt bikes, etc. But they won’t move gasoline, so make sure to empty the tanks before your moving company arrives and take any gasoline canisters with you.

For items that cannot be moved, dispose of them safely at a hazardous waste depot.


Perishables include food items that need refrigeration and plants that need watering.

If you are moving far, long distance moving companies won’t want to move your perishables since they will spoil and make a mess. You’ll want to either consume or dispose of all perishable items before a long-distance move.

For local moves, you can pack your perishable food in a cooler and shopping bags to either move in your car. Or, if packed properly, local moving companies might move this for you.

Ask moving companies in Ottawa how to securely pack plants for a local move. Your plants might also be better off in your car—space permitting—than in a moving truck.

What Is Household Hazardous Waste? And How Do You Dispose of It?

Hazardous waste is any dangerous good that is poisonous, flammable, or corrosive, and will cause injury, illness, or death to plants, animals, and people.

Household hazardous waste can be found throughout your home. Any item that is hazardous will have a warning label stating that the product is corrosive, toxic/poison, flammable, or reactive/explosive.

Some hazardous waste may not have these warning labels, so you must take care to properly dispose of items that are harmful.

Batteries, medication, fertilizers, and compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs are among many household items that are actually harmful to wildlife and others.

Since these products will contaminate land and water sources, they should never be poured down the sink or toilet or be placed out for garbage.

To safely dispose of hazardous waste without threatening the environment or waste workers, drop these items off at a local hazardous waste depot.

Things You Shouldn’t Ship
(High Value Items)

Items of high value include anything you can’t live without, and you certainly can’t risk losing in the move.

No one wants to wait for delayed shipments or have their belongings lost or damaged by the shipping process. But what’s even worse is losing important belongings and documents that will cost you time and money to replace, or that have high sentimental value.

This may seem like an obvious one, but to avoid a headache from shipping issues, do not ship personal files such as birth certificates, passports, legal documents, keys, or any sentimental belongings such as videos and photos. Instead, pack these in your luggage, preferably your carry-on or purse that will be travelling by your side the entire time.

While moving companies are happy to help you move, they cannot move everything, especially if the items are dangerous and illegal to move. Don’t hesitate to contact your local moving company for more details to help you prepare for