BY FRANCES THOMAS ON 9 APR 2020
By taking extra safety precautions and minimizing social contact, you can still move safely.
Amid travel bans, widespread stay-at-home orders and social-distancing mandates, millions of Americans are learning to adapt to the changes brought about by COVID-19. Countless events have been rescheduled or cancelled, but for a few people — including those who already made plans to move this spring — staying put is simply not an option.
If you are about to move, you can still pull it off with a little extra planning and a few precautionary steps.
Here are some tips for making your move as safe, seamless and stress-free as possible.
DIY if possible
Even though most states have designated moving services as “essential” and therefore still able to operate, many smaller companies have reduced hours or have paused business altogether. If you can, try to manage the move on your own.
If you need help, do your homework on the companies operating in your area. Call to ask about sanitation procedures, whether the movers have necessary supplies (like masks, gloves and booties), and confirm there is a reasonable cancellation policy in the event that you need to change your plans.
If you’re working with a moving company, ask for a virtual quote and see if the company offers fully contactless service.
Forgo handshakes, for obvious reasons. A smile and a generous tip (sent through Venmo, PayPal or another contactless digital platform) are a welcome substitute.
Take extra sanitary precautions
- Wear masks, gloves and booties. If you’re hiring a moving company, they’ll likely bring similar supplies for their workers, but consider having additional hygiene products available.
- Disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, paying particular attention to door knobs and handles.
- Place soap and paper towels next to sinks and hand sanitizer by doors.
- Buy new boxes: The coronavirus has been found to live on cardboard for up to 24 hours, so this might not be the time to pick up used moving supplies from stores that are recycling them. You can also use boxes that you already have in your home.
Be transparent and flexible
In advance of your move, reach out to your neighbors — especially if you live in an apartment building — and share the date and time you plan to move. This gives everyone in your direct vicinity an opportunity to avoid unnecessary contact and let you know if your timing is a problem.
If you or any family members are experiencing coronavirus symptoms, postpone your moving plans. Though rescheduling is a pain, the health and safety of your community comes first.
Help those in need and lighten your load
Even in the best of circumstances, nearly 40 million Americans are unable to afford groceries. As COVID-19 forces school closures, soup kitchen shutdowns and a surge of layoffs, the need for anti-hunger provisions is greater than ever. Donate your shelf-stable items to a local food bank or to Move for Hunger, a national organization that works with professional moving companies and their customers to feed those in need.
Moving is hard work no matter what, and it’s especially challenging right now. But by taking extra precautions, you can — and will — get past this hurdle.
- While planning your move, continue to monitor the health and safety guidelines set out by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- For tips on infection prevention, visit Ready.gov.
- For the latest updates from the White House, consult Coronavirus.gov.
- If you need to list your home or are on the lookout for a new one, use Zillow’s 3D Home app to produce or view immersive virtual tours.
See below for a roundup of popular moving companies that are continuing service during coronavirus. The list is not exhaustive or provided as a recommendation of their services, and we encourage you to check the company websites for up-to-date information.
- Atlas Van Lines
- North American Moving Services
- Stevens Worldwide
- United Van Lines
- Wheaton Worldwide Moving