Over the years of living independently, you’ve curated a collection of drinks that suits your taste perfectly. Now you have to move houses and there are two huge problems with the collection: first, you have no clue how to move alcohol and second, you really don’t want to throw any of it out.
We get it. It’s your hard-earned money that you’ve invested and the collection is your pride and joy. So, how do you move alcohol? What about hiring help, will movers move alcohol? In most cases, if your booze is packed properly, the moving company shouldn’t have any issues with moving it. However, that varies from company to company. Here’s a little guide on how and when a moving company would move your alcohol.
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What You Need To Do
The first thing you need to realize is, regardless of how nicely packed your collection of drinks is, it cannot be included in the list of general things to pick up and throw in the back of a moving truck. You need to have a conversation with your movers and clarify everything. Most importantly, you need to ask two questions to your movers: will they move alcohol, to begin with, and what kind of packing and sealing do they need before they will load it up on the truck. Once these things are cleared, here are a few more things you should clarify before starting the moving process:
Will they help you pack the alcohol?
How much would it cost to move alcohol?
What transportation options are available for moving alcohol?
Will alcohol be moved along with other household items? (if the collection is big enough to justify this question)
Secondly, regardless of what your movers offer, you should invest in high-quality wine stoppers and extra padding for the alcohol. This is just to ensure the maximum amount of safety on your end. Ideally, you should also ask for a truck with climate control in the storage area. This will ensure that drinks like wine do not get spoilt in transit.
Due to the nature of a few items and state as well as national regulations, packers and movers will refrain from even touching a few things. Obviously, improperly sealed alcohol containers are very close to the top of that list. This is because of the volatile and rather explosive nature of the liquid. Here are a few more items that movers would generally refuse to load into trucks:
As a rule of thumb, avoid putting things that are important, especially if they are irreplaceable, into the back of a truck. This includes things like passports, medical records, photo albums, and other important documents. If you have a bottle, or bottles, of alcohol that hold any sentimental value, take that into account as well.
What To Expect
This is probably the most important part of the process, even more so than the actual moving. Usually, if the alcohol that you want to move is of very high value, you will be advised to pack it in a very well sealed, climate-controlled container. Moreover, we would also recommend getting some sort of liability coverage on that case.
However, if that is not the case, you will have to pack your drinks yourself. You’ll have to make sure that all your alcohol is packed in conditions that are suitable for the drinks themselves. Here are a few basics on what to expect with different kinds of alcoholic beverages.
Regardless of what sort of alcohol there is in the bottle, you need to make sure you are compliant with the local, state, and federal laws pertaining to transportation and alcohol. This is especially important if you’re moving across state borders. The basic-most rule here is that nobody can carry open containers of liquor in a vehicle. So, most moving companies won’t even let you load it on their trucks if they aren’t sealed.
All open containers and bottles from your old home need to be packed in highly-padded boxes with some sort of sealing on the cap. In most cases, a little bit of painter’s tape covering the cap of the bottle along with its neck should do the job. That being said, the box itself should also be sealed properly throughout the duration of the journey.
Beer is one of the few drinks that needs to remain under a certain temperature for it to not change in any way, shape, or form. In most cases, properly sealed bottles and/or cans in a climate-controlled container, which is also sealed, should suffice.
However, if your collection of beers is high in value, the movers might ask you to get some sort of insurance or liability coverage. Lastly, even if your movers offer to pack your beers for you, we suggest you seal and pack them yourself and let the movers take care of the climate-controlled containers, if that’s a possibility.
Since wines have been known as a rather delicate drink that people love collecting, a lot of movers have now armed themselves with the equipment and technique to effectively move them around. However, there are a few things that you should know and be careful about as well.
First things first, evaluate the value of your collection. If it isn’t very expensive, you might get by with just proper sealing and packing. However, if your collection is expensive, fiscally or sentimentally, you might want to have a conversation with your movers about climate-controlled moving. In any case, we do recommend additional coverage. Full value protection will account for the value of the items in question that could be damaged in transit, like expensive wine.
While other forms of liquor might not be at risk of getting spoiled as much as wine and beer are, there are still some things we would recommend you do when moving said liquor. If it’s an expensive collection, get some insurance. If it isn’t, let the movers know to pack your liquor in padded boxes and the location you want the boxes dropped in.
How To Pack Alcohol
First things first, before you do anything else, make sure all bottles and containers are screwed tightly or that the cork is securely on the bottle. Make sure you tape the containers shut with a little bit of tape, just for that extra layer of protection.
Next, before you put the alcohol in boxes, make sure you wrap each glass bottle individually. Firstly, wrap the bottles up in paper and if you want to go the extra mile, wrap it with bubble wrap.
Lastly, the necks on alcohol bottles are particularly fragile. The bottles will most definitely shatter from that part if dropped. So, pay extra attention to the necks of your liquor bottles. If possible, add just one more layer of bubble wrap in this area before putting it in the boxes you would use for moving.
When buying the boxes you would use to store and transport your booze, make sure you use strong boxes. If possible, store the bottles and cans in double corrugated cardboard boxes. Some movers will allow you to rent reusable plastic boxes, which are much stronger than cardboard boxes. These boxes are much more convenient to use as well. Check them out before buying a bunch of boxes.
When packing, make sure you place some sort of a layer between the already wrapped bottles. You can go for sheets of cardboard, or even keep a bunch of crumpled pieces of paper in the boxes. This will greatly reduce the intensity of any impact that the boxes might experience.
Lastly, make sure that the boxes themselves are properly sealed. You can double down on the tape to make sure of the seal and to give the boxes an extra layer of protection. Moreover, you can take a permanent marker and write the contents of the box and the location at which you want the boxes to be dropped off in your new house. This means you don’t have to worry about what boxes go where and the movers know which ones to not throw around.
As an extra precautionary measure, we recommend you keep the boxes containing your drinks in one place before the movers arrive. That way, you can just point in their general direction and they will know what boxes to load extra carefully.
Moving houses is a complicated task, to begin with. Trying to move something as controversial and heavily regulated as alcohol will only make it a little more complicated, to say the least. But, we get it. It’s something you’ve spent your money on, and sometimes, you just have to have that bottle of age-old single malt with you.
So, here’s everything you need to know about moving alcohol with a moving company. In a nutshell, have a conversation with the movers and make sure you seal, pack, and mark all your bottles carefully. Then, once you settle down in your new place, have a drink to celebrate the arrival of your prized poison of choice. Cheers!
Moving companies will move most liquids without a lot of hassle. However, different moving companies have different rules regarding different types of liquids. This might also be shadowed by the local and/or state laws. So, have this conversation with your movers and make sure they are okay taking responsibility for the liquids you want to move. Additionally, they won’t move hazardous liquids like paint thinner or gasoline.
Can A Moving Company Move Wine?
Absolutely! In fact, a few moving companies offer specific boxes and other transportation solutions for wine exclusively. You might also be able to get liability coverage for the alcohol if it is expensive, making wine moving an entire subcategory in the process of moving.
You can ask professional movers to move your alcohol for you, or you can move it yourself. Either way, you have to make sure that it is properly sealed inside strong, well-sealed boxes. Ideally, you should pack alcohol in a climate-controlled container, if the type of alcohol demands the same.
How Much Does It Cost To Ship Wine Cross Country?
There are many factors that come into play when you are figuring out the expense of moving your collection of wine across the country. On the more affordable side, it will cost you about $40-$60 to move wine from one coast to the other in the United States. However, depending upon the valuation of your collection, you might easily end up spending multiple thousands.
Alex Sherr is the founder of My Long Distance Movers, a blog that provides moving information and resources for people who are relocating. He has more than two decades of experience in the moving and relocation industry, and he is passionate about helping people relocate smoothly and efficiently. When he's not writing or blogging, Alex enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.