A long drive in a hot moving truck means that your household items experience a bit more stress than during a local move. But what if you have a valuable wine collection, a few bottles of open liquor, or a collection of craft beer?
In most cases, interstate movers will happily help you move alcohol, but this may vary from company to company. In this guide, we’ll touch on whether a moving company will transfer bottles of alcohol, the safest way to pack them up, and similar items on the do-not-pack list.
Understanding the No-Pack List
Let’s start out by clarifying why moving alcohol is even in question. Most local and long-distance moves do not allow hazardous items, including flammable, combustible, explosive, or perishable items in their truck. Basically, any hazardous materials that can’t handle extreme temperatures or movement should be packed in your own car.
Non-allowable items may include:
- Cleaning supplies (including bleach)
- Rubbing alcohol
- Propane tanks
- Pool chemicals
- Motor oil
- Fire extinguishers
- Lighter fluid
- Loaded guns
- Paint thinners
- Pesticides and weed killers
- Scuba tanks
- Aerosol cans
- Nail polish remover
- Food items (frozen food and perishable food)
As a general rule, movers also discourage placing personal items in the moving truck, especially those that are irreplaceable. This list may include medical records, photo albums, passports, or other important ID documents. If you have alcohol of personal value—such as a wedding gift—keep this in mind as well.
Moving with Alcohol
There are a few instances to consider whether you can—or whether you should—pack alcohol into a truck. In most cases, movers will likely advise against moving alcohol of high value unless it is incredibly well-packed, in a climate-controlled moving crate, or if you purchase additional liability coverage. Let’s break down each scenario and what to expect.
You must follow local, state, and federal transportation laws when traveling to your new home, especially if you’re crossing state lines. For example, a moving company cannot simply travel with open containers of alcohol in the back of the truck.
If you have opened bottles from your home bar, companies may require you to pack them in a highly padded box to protect them from spilling. The box itself must also remain well-sealed.
In other words, open bottles of alcoholic beverages can go on the truck, but you must pack them in a way that they are fully sealed from the rest of your items.
Movers will happily move your wine collection, but it’s important to take a few extra steps if the wine has a high value or requires special climate control. If you just have a cupboard of wine of lower or mid-value, simply make sure that the bottles are packed with ample padding, cardboard separators, and reinforced boxes.
For higher-value collections, speak with your movers about climate-controlled crating. Many full-service movers will offer the option to move specialty items that won’t make it in the hot moving van.
We also recommend purchasing additional carrier liability insurance. Basic coverage—included in your contract—typically only accounts for your items based on weight. For an extra fee, account for the value of specialty items like wine, liquor, beer that could become damaged during the trip.
As the popularity of craft beer grows, many residents wonder how to get their collections safely to their new home. Much like expensive wine, a mover will likely agree to take your cans or bottles but may suggest extra care. For example, high-value bottles or a large collection may require extra carrier insurance.
No matter what, be sure to wrap your bottles and cans properly in boxes with appropriate bubble wrap and padding. During the free quote process, you can speak with your movers about climate-controlled moving options as well.
The same rules go for unopened liquor bottles. Higher-value items should get extra packing care and carrier liability insurance. Otherwise, simply make sure that you movers know where the alcohol has been packed and whether it should be left in a specific area when you arrive.
How to Pack Wine, Beer, and Liquor for a Long Move
Long-distance moves take time. If you’re headed across the country, you may not see your moving truck for several days, if not even a couple of weeks. Remember that the heat and movement of the truck can jostle or spoil perishable items, so keep this in mind if you’re on the fence about packing certain drinks.
However, there are plenty of ways to keep delicate bottles safe before the big journey. Here are some things to consider when packing up your collection.
Use Strong Boxes
If you’re packing on your own, reinforce the bottom of the cardboard box before adding any bottles. Some movers allow you to rent fortified plastic containers during your move as well.
Wrap Each Bottle Individually
While it may seem excessive, always wrap each glass bottle and pack of cans with paper and bubble wrap. Lay the paper on a flat surface and roll the bottle up from the far corner of the sheet. Fold the edges over the top and bottom of the bottle and secure with tape.
Pay extra attention to the necks of the bottles, as these are most likely to break if dropped. If the bottles are particularly fragile, wrap with additional bubble wrap as well.
Whenever possible, request the cardboard separators from your local liquor store to keep your bottles in place in the box. Pack any open spaces with additional paper or bubble wrap to prevent breakage.
Mark Your Boxes
List which items are in your boxes when packing alcohol. Not only will this help you when you arrive at your new home, but will also help movers know which boxes need special care.
Set these boxes aside if you have arranged crating or climate-controlled packing with your mover. We recommend keeping fragile boxes in one section of your home before moving day so movers avoid loading these in precarious positions.
Frequently Asked Questions about Moving Alcohol
Can you transfer your own alcohol?
Movers allow you to take as much or as little in your own car as you like. During a long-distance move, the moving company will likely recommend transporting personal and highly valuable items by hand. This includes high-value wine or liquor unless you purchase additional liability coverage.
Can you move wine in a moving truck?
If your wine is properly sealed, movers will take properly packed wine bottles. Be sure to thoroughly wrap them in paper, bubble wrap, and in fortified boxes. Also, speak with your movers if your wine requires proper temperature control.
Where does liquor go in the moving truck?
If you plan to pack wine into a moving truck or van yourself:
- Mark the alcohol-filled boxes clearly
- Be sure they are in strong boxes with proper packaging
- Place them at the bottom of the pile
- Do no layer them on top of furniture or boxes that could be destroyed by liquid
Will moving companies charge extra to move alcohol?
Long-distance movers charge by weight, so alcohol should only contribute to these costs. If you request climate-controlled crating or packing services, expect extra charges for these as well.
Moving cross-country may be a bit more complex, but all you need is a little extra packing and planning. The majority of long-distance movers will take your alcohol—be it liquor, beer, or wine—but may require a few extra steps to keep your items and their truck safe along the way.