When you’re preparing for a move to the Hawaiian Islands, you’ll find yourself faced with a number of decisions, especially when it comes to which possessions you’ll take with you.
Everyone who’s made such a big move has their own system for deciding 1) what to pack, 2) what to sell, 3) what to give away and 4) what to simply toss in the trash. At times, you’ll probably feel uncertain—and maybe even emotional as you go through the items you own.
We’d love to give you a little help. If you’re shipping your items in a container, there are restrictions on what can and can’t go inside. This information might help you make your decision process a little simpler—and save you from any surprises on Moving Day.
Check out these 8 surprising things you can’t ship in your container of household goods to Hawaii:
1. Bug Spray
When many people think of moving to the Hawaiian Islands, they daydream about being outdoors 365 days a year. Hiking, camping, beach days, barbecues and outdoor parties are all a part of the island lifestyle. So naturally, why not bring those bottles of aerosol bug spray you’ve been storing in your shed?
Unfortunately, aerosol cans are considered hazardous materials, so those cans can’t ship in your container. This is true for all aerosols: hair products, spray paint, those compressed air cans you may use to clean your keyboards, etc.
So when it comes to aerosols, you’ll need to sell them at your yard sale, give them to a friend or dispose of them properly with your local waste authorities. Your best bet is Googling to discover how your state disposes of hazardous household waste.
2. The Potted Palms from Your Living Room
They’ve been a crucial décor element that’s added color and flair to your main living area for years. Why wouldn’t you want to take them with you to tie the room together in your new home?
In order to protect the health of its native species and agricultural resources, Hawaii has very strict agricultural rules about what can and can’t be imported into the state. Unfortunately, palm trees are on the list.
Even if you give those palms to your sister, keep in mind that all plants, plant parts, animals, microorganism cultures, soil, and related containers are subject to inspection and must be declared. Some are prohibited entirely.
If you plan to bring any plants, seeds or soil with you, make sure you familiarize yourself with the Department of Agriculture’s rules and regulations before you try to include them in your container.
3. Your Daughter’s Lava Lamp
You probably wouldn’t think twice about packing up the pink lava lamp your daughter got for her birthday a few years ago. It seems completely harmless, and she loves the patterns it makes on her walls at night.
However, lava lamps are made up of what are called chlorinated hydrocarbons. The shipping industry considers them a hazardous material, so that lava lamp isn’t allowed in the container with the rest of your household goods.
Since you can’t pack it, you may want to add it to the “yard sale” pile in the garage and get your daughter a new one at your destination.
4. Full Scuba Tanks or Spear Guns With Charged Heads
If you love the water, the Hawaiian Islands truly are paradise. Surfing, sailing, snorkeling, diving, outrigger canoeing, paddleboarding, spearfishing and more—you’ll find it all in Hawaii. You’ll also meet many people who share your enthusiasm for being in and around the water.
If that’s your dream, you may want to bring some of your gear with you. You’ll just want to know two things:
- While you CAN’T bring a full scuba tank, you CAN bring one that’s certified purged. Take your tanks to your local dive shop, and they can take care of prepping them for shipment.
- Spear guns with charged heads are also not allowed in your container. However, rubber-powered spearguns can go. Just make sure you understand the fishing regulations in Hawaii before you take to the water.
5. A Carlo Rossi Jug of Burgundy
It’s a staple of casual Italian restaurants around the U.S., but who knows how it ended up in your liquor cabinet? Maybe a guest brought it for a party. It also could have come from that White Elephant exchange at work a few years ago. Either way, you find yourself looking at that big jug of red wine as you decide what to do with each of the bottles in your bar.
The good news is that most bottles of alcohol under a gallon can ship in your container. Now, if you have a few wildly expensive bottles of wine that you’re saving for special occasions, you may want to air freight those, as the heat in the container can affect them. However, keep in mind that all the wine you’ll buy on Hawaii was shipped in a container at some point, so there’s no need to go overboard with shipping every bottle you own.
Unfortunately, the Carlo Rossi jug of Burgundy clocks in at 4 liters, which is just over the gallon mark. So make sure you put that jug out on the bar during your going away party since it can’t go in your container.
6. Shout Stain-Removing Spray
That white bottle of stain-removing spray seems perfectly innocent—and useful! When you’re chowing down on your first plate of ono grinds (that’s local speak for “tasty food”), bits and pieces will probably go flying. So why not pack that bottle of Shout stain remover to take with you?
Did you know that spot cleaners are combustible and can catch fire easily? In a closed container, this can make for a hazardous condition very quickly.
So hand off your Shout spray to your neighbors as a going-away gift. Same with that anti-freeze (and any other combustible liquids). You won’t need it where you’re going!
7. Ammunition for Your Hunting Rifles
Many of the Hawaiian islands offer opportunities for hunting deer, goats, boars and other types of game. If you’re already a hunter, you may be interested in continuing your hobby after you move. If so, you’ll probably want to figure out how to take your gear with you, including your guns and ammunition.
Some people are surprised to learn that you can ship guns in your container. However, you can’t ship ANY ammunition for those guns. Ammunition, like fireworks, signal flares or blasting caps are explosives, all of which are restricted from your container.
Instead, if you want to bring your ammunition with you, you can place it in your checked luggage. Make sure you review the TSA requirements before packing it up. Additionally, you can also ship it via a carrier such as UPS or FedEx.
Your best bet is to talk with one of our Certified Moving Consultants, and they’ll walk you through the options.
(And don’t forget to apply for your hunting license once you arrive!)
8. Charcoal Briquettes or Lighter Fluid
Maybe you loved hosting outdoor parties at your old home, and you can’t wait to throw one once you get settled at your new home in Hawaii.
The weather’s perfect for eating outdoors almost every night in the Hawaiian Islands—but you’re going to have to buy new charcoal and lighter fluid when you get to your destination. Same with the propane tank that powers your gas grill. All of these items are considered extremely flammable and can’t go in your container of household goods.
So while we support the outdoor lifestyle in Hawaii, just make sure you give away your flammables to your grilling buddies before Moving Day.
Although this list will get you thinking about what can and can’t ship in your container, it’s by no means exhaustive. As you start deciding what to take with you, make sure you reference the above list of items that can’t ship in your container. It might help you eliminate some stuff from your pack list. It can also save you some unexpected surprises on moving day.
Day. By giving away these items or working with your local waste disposal authority to get rid of them properly ahead of time, you’ll have one less thing to worry about when your movers show up on the big day.
Of course, if you have any questions about what you can and can’t pack, don’t hesitate to ask one of our Certified Moving Consultants. We’d be happy to clear up any confusion and help you get your most valued possessions safely to your new home.