We are getting ready to PCS. I love to coupon, so I have this huge stockpile of unopened food. Will the movers pack my food?
Sincerely, Coupon Lady
We get a lot of questions like this one. Letting the military pack and move you instead of doing it yourself often makes the whole process easier -- but it could also mean you have to leave behind (or move in your car) all the things that the packers and movers refuse to put in their van.
What the military movers will and will not pack has a lot to do with liability. Think about it: If they pack liquid, and that liquid somehow leaks, it could get all over your stuff and ruin it. And they are liable for that. Same goes for batteries, which could leak acid, or things that could melt into liquid like candles.
For that reason, your local military transportation office will probably warn you that the movers will not pack food, batteries, candles and more. The truth is that those are simply general rules. What the movers will and will not actually pack often depends on which company is hired to move you, where you are going and the time of year and temperature outside.
So, will the movers pack your _________ [insert thing here]? Here's a semi-definitive list. But, again, remember: All of this greatly depends on the specific packer who walks into your house.
Will the movers pack my candles? Technically, no. But whether they actually will depends on the time of year.
Will the movers pack my batteries? Probably not. They are also supposed to have you remove batteries from all electronics, including toys. However, they might not be that thorough.
Will the movers pack my food? If it's dry food and still sealed, probably. If it's wet food and in cans, maybe. And if it's wet or dry food and unsealed, probably not. The exception to that might be dry food that is in other containers, like airtight canisters or zip-lock bags. Just don't be surprised if they say "no."
Will the movers pack my trash? If you don't take it out or make it clear that it's trash -- definitely. You should hear the horror stories of people unpacking old trash.
Will the movers pack my cat? Believe it or not, yes. So be careful. It's probably not on purpose, but if your cat is hiding in your box spring, for example, the movers will pack it. Many a cat has died this way. A surprising number have also survived.
Will the movers pack my houseplants? No. They won't pack anything that's alive, at least not on purpose.
Will the movers pack my lotion? It depends on the mover. Technically, no -- but sometimes, yes.
Will the movers pack my cosmetics? Depending on the size of the item in question, yes. They're unlikely to pack large bottles of liquid anything, including cosmetics.
Will the movers pack my canned goods? Again, it depends on the mover. Cans might break and leak all over your stuff. Many movers don't want to be liable for that.
Will the movers pack my stuff if I pack it first? The movers are supposed to pack everything themselves so that they can make a note about what each box contains and its condition. That said, some movers will follow that rule and others will not.
Will the movers pack my alcohol? Another most likely "no." Glass containers full of liquid are probably going to be left out of the shipment.
Will the movers pack my cleaning supplies? Since cleaning supplies can really do some serious damage if they happen to leak, the movers will most likely not pack your cleaning supplies.
Will the movers pack my fish tank? Yes, if it's clean and empty. No, they will not pack it if it's full of fish. Same goes for your rabbit cage, hamster wheel, and basically any other pet habitat you can think of.
Will the movers pack my trampoline? Yes, but it must be disassembled. Same thing goes for all other outside toys, including swing sets.
Will the movers pack my garage gym? Yes, but keep in mind that all of this stuff is included in your overall household goods weight, and you're only allowed so much before you have to pay for the extra weight out-of-pocket.
Will the movers pack my great grandmother's dishes? Yes, but do you really want them to? Think about self-transporting very breakable items.
Will the movers pack my hot tub? Yes, but it has to be empty and as disassembled as possible, and you must warn them ahead of time.
Will the movers pack my piano? Yes, but again -- remember that pianos are heavy and count toward your overall weight. And, like with the hot tub, you must warn the movers ahead of time.
Will the movers pack my deep freezer? Yes, but make sure it is empty, turned off and defrosted.
Will the movers pack my waterbed? Yes, but only if it is drained.
Will the movers pack my kayak? Yes.
Will the movers pack my mounted pull-up bar? Yes, but you need to unmount it for them.
Will the movers pack my guns? Maybe. They have a list of what types of guns they can and cannot move. And they will not move ammunition.
Hope this answers all your "will the movers pack my ..." questions.
Sincerely, Team Q&B
-- Do you have a question about your benefits? Email the Military.com Questions and Benefits team at firstname.lastname@example.org.