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Moving during coronavirus
Here’s what you need to know about safely moving
The coronavirus pandemic impacts every aspect of our lives. Maybe you’ve lost your job or have been social distancing for months, or perhaps you are a stressed essential worker. It’s a topsy-turvy world, but despite all the chaos, life moves forward. For some of us, that means moving during coronavirus.
Some things that we used to take for granted, like shopping for groceries or grabbing a beer, have become complicated. The same goes for moving. Whether you wanted to hire a moving company or do the heavy lifting on your own, you probably had a vision for how things would go. So, since COVID-19 isn’t vanishing anytime soon, what does this mean for you and your move?
We’ve got you covered with tips, suggestions, precautions and frequently asked questions about moving during COVID-19. Read on to get the skinny on what to do — and how to do it.
DIY moves during COVID-19
When you decide it’s time to move, one of the first things you need to decide is whether you’re going to hire a moving company, use an app, or move yourself. In the wake of COVID-19, many people exercise caution, and you may be giving more thought than ever to a self-move. It may be harder on your back, but it can help minimize the risk of exposure to the virus. But a self-move is not as straightforward as it used to be, and you may for whatever reasons have to use a moving company. So, during this tumultuous time, what should you be thinking about to make moving during coronavirus as safe as possible?
What to consider in a moving company during coronavirus
Sometimes, moving yourself just isn’t an option. Maybe just the idea of lifting heavy box after heavy box makes your back hurt, or maybe you don’t know anyone with a truck who can give you a hand. No matter why you decide to use a moving company, there are several things you’ll want to consider when you’re selecting your mover during this turbulent time:
- Make sure they’re open. While the moving industry hasn’t shut down completely, some local movers may have suspended service for the duration. Check the moving company’s website or give them a call to double-check, and make a list of backup providers if your first choice is unavailable.
- Get the latest info. Truck rental companies, storage rental companies, car shipping companies, and moving companies have been thinking long and hard about handling business during COVID-19. They’ve likely implemented plans to protect their employees as well as their customers. Check their websites to learn more about new policies and changes to procedures.
- Learn about their precautions. In the past, you would’ve been wise to find out what kind of insurance a mover had to relieve concerns about dented furniture or scratched walls. Now, you should take as much care to learn what health precautions your mover is taking. See if your movers are practical social distancing (between each other and you!); find out what they’re doing to disinfect your belongings; learn about the personal protective equipment they’ll be using. Be informed and ask questions.
How to prepare for your move
Whether you’re using a moving company or hauling boxes yourself, you’ll want to take special precautions as you prepare your belongings (and yourself!) for the move. We know that prepping for a move is difficult under normal circumstances (does anyone really like packing boxes?), but you’ll want to take extra steps to ensure safety during the pandemic.
Here’s a few moving during coronavirus ideas to get you started:
- Stock up on supplies. Typical moving supplies like boxes and tape are great, but for a move during COVID-19, you’ll want specific protective equipment. Be sure you have gloves, masks and disinfectant sprays and wipes handy to make your move safer.
- Talk to your current landlord. No matter whether you use a moving company or a couple of close friends as your labor, you’ll still need to wrap things up at your existing place. Check with your landlord to verify procedures like dropping off your keys or having your final inspection. Your landlord may have some new safety measures in place.
- Come up with an unpacking plan. Unpacking can be a drag even in the best of times. Sometimes, after a long move, your friends or the moving professionals would naturally help you unpack. But now, it might make sense to handle all the unpacking on your own. That way, you limit the number of people who come in contact with your belongings and you can more easily control disinfectant procedures.
Tips for moving during coronavirus
Once you’ve prepped yourself and your belongings, it’s time to focus on the move itself. Moving is a stressful time no matter when you’re doing it, but right now, it can be even more worrisome than usual.
Here’s a few tips to keep things safer, both physically and mentally:
- Use new products, like boxes. It’s tempting to scrounge for spare boxes at local stores or to ask your friends to save boxes for you, but with the pandemic going on, you’ll feel more secure if you buy new boxes. When you go shopping for tape and bubble wrap and other supplies, it’s smart to get everything in one trip and then wait for 24-hours before you start using your new supplies, decreasing your risk of exposure.
- Coordinate all your plans ahead of time. Sometimes moves, especially ones that cover great distances, can be complicated. Coordinate your travel plans with your moving company’s schedule and be sure to verify your plane tickets or other travel reservations. Travel has become complex these days, with schedules and procedures shifting often. You don’t want your personal items showing up in California while you’re grounded in Pennsylvania!
- Don’t be afraid to be cautious. Perhaps you’re in a high-risk group. Maybe you’re concerned that you’ve been exposed to the virus in the past few days. Maybe you’re just nervous about the whole process. Don’t be afraid to consider your options and make a tough decision. If you planned to move but don’t feel comfortable, talk to your landlord and see what can be arranged. It’s a strange time for everyone, and you’re better off asking questions if it will assuage your concerns.
Frequently asked questions for moving during coronavirus
Is it smart to even consider moving during the pandemic?
That’s a great question. While there is a lot more uncertainty in the world now than there has been in a long time (certainly as long as most of us can remember), there are certain precautions that you can take to make your move safer, and moving companies are doing the same. If you’re concerned about the pandemic — or just want the latest updates from the government — check out www.coronavirus.gov for info on how to keep yourself — and your loved ones — safe.
What rights do I have if I can’t move when my lease is up?
This is a multi-pronged answer. Your rights will depend on timing, vary by state and city — and if you live in housing that receives a federal subsidy or federal financing. Check out Roost’s Renter Rights by your state for details and resources to help.
Will travel restrictions affect my move?
Each state has set its own travel guidelines, as have many local governments. While the Centers for Disease Control have recommended limiting nonessential travel during the pandemic, you might not have a choice. In that case, you should consult local and state governments to see if any restrictions are in place that could affect your move. The last problem you want is to pack up your rental truck only to be stopped at the state border!
While COVID-19 has disrupted our world quite a bit the past few months, it can’t last forever (we said, feeling cautiously optimistic). So, what do you need to keep in mind when the world comes back to some form of normalcy?
Your primary duty in this situation is to remain calm and take a deep breath. Be even more diligent with your research and don’t be afraid to make phone calls to get the exact answers you need. Take extra precautions to ensure you’re following guidelines concerning social distancing and disinfecting goods. Most of all, be safe and cautious and your move will be a successful one!
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