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Packing liquids is something we never recommend. As a NYC moving company that has been in business long enough to really “see it all”, we know all the dangers that packing liquids in a constantly shifting truck moving at rapid speeds can create. But often times, clients must bring their liquids along with them, whether due to their high value or due to their own stubbornness. There are ways to prevent disaster from occurring with certain kinds of liquids if you are prepared and take proper precautions. Here’s how.  


What to Pack

In general, only liquids in factory sealed containers should be packed for moving. These items should be padded really well to minimize the chance of breakage. With long-distance moves you not only run the risk of getting your own stuff all wet; other people’s belongings are on the same truck as yours, and your liquids could get onto their belongings too. Leaks can not only occur from the top or wherever the liquid is usually dispensed from the container; any cracks or breaks in the container can lead to unwanted leakage. When packing wine bottles in particular, it’s important to place buffers between each bottle to prevent friction that could result in breakage.


While we advise against packing liquids, certain liquids are permissible to pack with a certain method, even if they are open. As some people have valuable bottles that are not sealed, we recommend taping the top to the bottle itself, putting it in a sealed plastic bag and then packing it in a box with ample padding. Usually, relocators pack opened alcohol with this method, though it can be used for various other products like gels, liquid soaps or cooking oils. Better safe than sorry is a worthwhile motto to use in this scenario, and if you are packing any liquids, use an extra layer of protection to prevent caps from jamming open, or from their containers from breaking and causing spills.


What Not to Pack

Packing liquids as a whole is not completely forbidden by most moving companies. However, there are some liquids that are simply too risky for moving companies to risk trying to transport. The risk of leakage for flammable or potentially explosive liquids is especially worrying. An item as common as nail polish remover presents a serious security risk if the worst happens. Other liquids that moving companies typically forbid customers from packing with them include paints and paint thinners, propane, automotive chemicals (including gasoline), and oxygen.

Generally speaking, liquids likely to cause significant damage to the surrounding items they are packed around should not be packed in a moving truck. This could include chemicals, paints, corrosive materials, or whatever else you deem too risky.

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