Man holding box outside of moving truck

Moving is stressful enough without causing an explosion. Setting a fire, losing your cherished memories, and poisoning yourself are all bound to ruin move-in day. With that in mind, here are nine things you should never put in a moving truck:

1. Photo Albums

Photo albums aren’t going to do any harm to the other items in your moving truck, but they’re at risk themselves during a move. Accidents happen in moving trucks, whether it’s something falling down, a box getting misplaced during unloading, or even (rarely) something dramatic like a fire. If you have any albums of particular significance, make sure they’re in the car with you when you move.

2. Pet Food

Let’s imagine a scenario – you get to your new place, and your puppy is ready for his evening meal. So you put him in his designated room, put down a bowl of water, and grab a bowl for food. But wait! Where is the dog food?

If it’s tucked somewhere amid the furniture and boxes, you’ll have no way to get it out for your pup. Set aside at least two to three servings of pet food, so you don’t risk having to scramble to find the kibbles.

3. Flammable Material

Fires can happen in moving trucks, particularly if there is any flammable material to get things going. This means no lighter fluid, alcohol, nail polish remover, or anything else labeled “Keep away from open flame” in the truck. If there were a spark, or the van got hot, these materials could have your stuff up in smoke before you even realized there was a problem.

4. Things That Go ‘Boom’

In the same vein, you cannot put anything combustible into a moving truck. For some items, like fireworks, this might be a little obvious – others, however, are easier to overlook. For example, you can’t have any aerosol cans in a moving van, whether they’re full of tile cleaner, cooking spray, or deodorant. Anything that can explode has no place in a moving truck.

5. Medications

This is one of those items that seems obvious, but is still worth stating, just in case – don’t put your meds in a box in your moving truck. Any prescriptions you take regularly will be a serious pain to try and find amid the many boxes. That’s assuming, of course, you don’t take any emergency meds: In that case, putting meds in the van could cause a life-threatening situation.

6. Perishable Foods

Some foods can’t move with you, and that mainly includes any food that can’t survive outside of the fridge. If you put perishable items in your moving van, the odds are good they’ll have spoiled by the time you arrive. Best case scenario, you notice and throw them out – worst case, you give yourself food poisoning.

7. Fertilizers and Pesticides

Anything you’d describe as “poison” should be kept out of your moving van. Fertilizers and pesticides can leak chemicals into anything touching them, which is why you keep them far away from the rest of your stuff. That shouldn’t change when you move – find a safe way to transport them that doesn’t involve your moving van.

8. Important Paperwork

Never transport important documents in a moving truck. Too much can go wrong for this to be safe or wise. Keep your tax information, IDs, passports, health info, will – basically anything you can’t afford to lose or replace – with you, ideally from the moment they leave their proper place until the moment they’re returned.

9. Temperature-Sensitive Stuff

Are you a musician? If so, keep your instrument with you so you can make sure it doesn’t warp with the temperature changes in the van. The same goes for any item that can be affected by extreme heat or cold – moving vans aren’t exactly known for their temperature regulation, so your items will be at the mercy of the elements.

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