In early 2020, COVID-19 hit the United States and changed the way we live and interact. It limited the way we shop, dine, and spend time with our friends and family. One of the few businesses that remained open were moving companies, an essential industry that needed to accommodate the growing number of individuals who are moving during COVID-19.
Moving companies rapidly began implementing procedures to make the transition from one home to the next as safe as possible, such as personal protective equipment (PPE) policies. In-home estimates became virtual, moving teams got smaller to enforce social distancing, and movers now have to wear masks while doing the heavy lifting. That is no small feat in the heat of summer when business is booming. However, there is a lot more that goes into prepping and moving during a pandemic that you may not have considered.
Travel restrictions have been put in place to limit visitors from entering high volume / high-risk areas where they could potentially spread the virus. However, some moves are considered essential, and therefore, allow residents and moving companies to make the journey across state lines. The CDC identified two types of moves to be essential:
- to provide home or medical care
- to move because of a job that is considered essential.
When moving during COVID-19, you want to stay up-to-date with the guidelines and infection rates set by the states you are moving to and going through. You should also consider whether you live with high-risk persons and if you have plans in place for work/school in case you need to self-quarantine. If you think you could be putting yourself or others at risk, then maybe you can put your plans off for a safer time or even store your items if need be.
Now, let’s talk about the pre-moving day battles; from finding an affordable mover to figuring out how to pack and purge after years of collecting. With so much happening all at once you can never be too prepared for a move, especially when moving during COVID-19.
Here’s a tip: buy more boxes than you think you need. In a time where retail capacity is limited, the last thing you want to do is realize you have too much stuff and nowhere to pack it, only to have to go back and wait in line or for another curbside handoff. So, make sure you have more boxes than you think you will need. And if you want to save some time and avoid those lines, ask a Freedom Moving agent about purchasing packing supplies! If at the end of the day you have leftover boxes, you can easily find people or places in need of them.
But, what do you do with the items you aren’t taking with you? Since the peak of the pandemic, various locations have reopened to accept donations like clothes and furniture. Research your area to find out who is accepting what, and what procedures they are following for safe donations.
Above all else, be sure to give yourself time and compassion during the process. Sifting through old collections can be nostalgic and make it hard to let go. The best thing to do is to avoid getting more stressed than you already are. Don’t take on a full load last minute, ask for help even when you don’t think you need it, and take small breaks in between tasks to regroup.
Now, it’s move day. Everything is packed up and in order; the movers arrive on time and are ready to work. A few reminders to keep everyone happy: enforce the use of PPE. It may seem like an awkward conversation to have, but it’s one that will keep everyone safe. Consider having sanitizing stations set up around the house so the workers can keep their hands clean. The loading and unloading could take a while, so it’s best to not pack up the soap in your bathroom in case anyone needs to use it. You should also separate items that you don’t want the movers to touch such as keys, phones, and chargers. Soon, you’ll be on your way to your new home.
Congratulations, you are now moved in! You have yourself and your moving team to thank for a job well done but with prep work and the physical move. In the midst of a pandemic, you took control of a naturally stressful experience and took all the steps to make it almost seamless. Now you can kick back and enjoy the new digs.