Perishable Transition


Perishable Transition

The trouble with moving from one state to another is the time and costs it requires to uproot your life. You have grown to love your current amenities and living arrangements, but then you are given a promotion in another state, so your gut tells you to pack up and take it. Moving has evolved into much more than just a bindle over the shoulder and the clothes on your back. You now have the television, the couches, the stereo, the plants, and some food. Most of the above can be taken care of by your friendly moving company except the latter two, plants and food.

ABC moving company has packed your home from top to bottom, but they hadn’t touched your family plants. The trouble with plants is that they represent too much of a liability. A moving company doesn’t want to be held responsible if your plant dies, or breaks, or if the contents of the plant spill out in the truck during transport and ruin your other belongings. Aside from natural forces preventing companies from moving plants, state regulations also add barriers to interstate transport.

Plants transportation regulation

Transportation of plants is regulated by state statutes. States, and countries, don’t want individuals importing and exporting plants without prior approval because of the risks involved. Plants can harbor pests that could be native to the original environment, but detrimental to the destination environment. These regulations are simply a means to protect our environment. Refer to the National Plant Board to determine the requirements for each state.

A plant inspector can also be requested from your current state’s Department of Agriculture to determine if your plant is clear to be transported. Before the inspection, it is always a good rule of thumb to make sure your plant is clear of pests. Once the inspector determines your plant to be clear, a certificate is issued.


Once you have determined that you aren’t going to convince the moving company to move your ten-year old plant, it is now time to weigh your other options. You have the option to take cuttings of the parent plants and transport them yourself; the parent plants could be given to a good home thereafter. A plant cutting is also known as a clone and can be taken from the plant’s stem or a leaf. By placing the cutting in moist soil (or another suitable medium), the cutting will grow into an independent plant with roots and all.

You could also see this as an opportunity to raise a new family of plants. If you have plants in your home, there’s a chance you have a green thumb. So why not cultivate that skill and raise more plants?

A third option is to ship your beloved plants; but you face similar risks to throwing them on a moving truck. Shipping services will take care of your items as best they can. It all boils down to how much you love your plants and how much you are willing to sacrifice.

Food moving

Another tricky part of moving on whim is taking care of a fridge full of food that you are reluctant to throw away. The rising costs of food makes consumers unwilling to waste good food, so the food has to come along! Non-perishable food is as easy as packing it away in boxes and moving it like your other belongings. Transporting perishables are trickier because they need a bit more tender love and care (TLC).

Perishable food items are defined as those that will deteriorate over a given period of time. Examples of such foods include seafood, dairy, and fruits and vegetables. When items such as these are subjected to abnormal conditions such as extreme cold or humidity, the food item loses its nutritional sustenance and could make you sick if eaten.

Perishables do not have to be thrown out just because you are making big move. Like your plants, food can shipped through the mail with proper packaging and adherence to federal regulations. One can also transport the food themselves if you have a large enough vehicle. Simply pack a cooler with ice or some other cooling agent and pack it with those items that need refrigeration. If your move is over 12 hours away, it is best to leave the shipment of your food to a professional shipping company.

FedEx, UPS, or USPS are all popular companies who have mastered the art of shipping specialty items. Their company websites provide valuable knowledge as it pertains to shipping food. Utilize the Perishable Cargo Relations (PCR) manual as it is a reference guide for worldwide transporters of perishable foods. Compliance with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may be difficult to understand and adhere to, so let the professionals help you along the way.

Contacting a non-profit organization for your plants or food is also worth considering. Not-for-profit organizations often have needs for things like plants to beautify their premises. A plant can be considered a luxury good and be outside of a typical non-profit’s budget. A donation would be a win for both you and the organization. The food may pose a different level of consideration – it just depends on what you have to offer.

The decision to transport food or plants will ultimately come down to how much one is willing to spend on the process. Transporting decisions must consider both time and money. Your time horizon must be determined before any decision is made. Whether you have to move within the week or within the month, you must refrain from procrastination. Procrastination will ultimately lead to more stress and more money. Remember to give yourself time and an opportunity to make an informed decision.

Moving is ultimately a big song and dance that requires a sufficient amount of planning and research. Plants and food are two common items that catch movers off guard when considering relocation. As outlined above, there exist several options to transport both. The method chosen is heavily dependent on your family circumstance and resources. Take your time and make the most informed decision possible.