They say you do not realize what you have until you must pack and move it all. Moving is a stressful, exhausting, and daunting process at any time. However, the added strain of moving during the COVID-19 pandemic creates another layer of concerns and considerations. That said, some people’s circumstances do not offer timing flexibility, and they must relocate. Therefore, we compiled some helpful tips when moving out during a pandemic that can still translate to any other time. Check out the list below, and remember to stay safe out there!
Top 10 Tips When Moving Out During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Whether you are in the early stages of planning or have secured a move out date, the COVID-19 pandemic is no doubt on your mind. However, with a few extra precautions, relocating during a pandemic can go just as smoothly as any other. Continue reading for some of our tips when moving out of a rental.
- Prepare to Disinfect
- Limit Trips to Buy Supplies
- Pack in Advance
- Hire Professionals
- Take Advantage of Virtual Services
- Review Company Policies
- Maintain Social Distancing Protocols
- Follow CDC Recommendations
- Monitor Your Own Symptoms
- Disinfect Your New Home
Prepare to Disinfect
Before a crew comes to assist in moving, you have a responsibility to clean and disinfect the property. While that may seem like a daunting task, it an essential tip for moving out safely. The CDC recommends paying close attention to frequently touched items and surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, stair railings, and electronics. Always use a
household disinfectant that is appropriate for the surface and following any label instructions for use.
Limit Trips to Buy Supplies
Packing and relocating to a new home takes supplies. So, try to limit the number of shopping trips by making a list of everything you will need in advance. Another tip when moving out is that items like boxes, tape, bubble wrap, cleaning supplies, disinfectants, and blankets should be new. These items are difficult to sanitize, and with the current pandemic concerns, new is best. Additionally, buy a bit more than you think you need, just in case.
Pack in Advance
According to the CDC, the coronavirus can last a long time on various surfaces. For example, the virus can last up to 24 hours on cardboard boxes. So, to further ensure the safety of individuals coming to help you move, finish all packing a minimum of 24 hours in advance. Even with added sanitizing and waiting periods, it is still recommended that anyone handling boxes or items wear disposable gloves as an added layer of protection.
The benefits of hiring a professional moving company are numerous, especially when moving long distances. Any reputable company will put both their customers’ and employees’ health and safety as top priorities. Check online reviews from other clients to first evaluate a company’s overall customer service. Many companies understand people’s concerns surrounding safety and cleanliness measures and therefore address these issues on their website. If you cannot find the answers you need, reach out to ask the following:
- Are your employees taking precautions that help prevent the spread of COVID-19?
- How are the moving trucks and equipment sanitized?
- Do employees receive regular temperature and symptom checks?
- What is the protocol if an employee has been diagnosed with COVID?
- Are there any additional steps I should take to prepare for movers to come?
- If I have any concerns, who do I contact?
- Is the company offering virtual surveys instead of in-home surveys to provide estimates?
- Do employees wear masks and gloves or any other PPE?
- Are moving trucks equipped with hand sanitizer?
Take Advantage of Virtual Services
As positive test rates continue to climb, avoiding person-to-person contact is essential. Businesses have had to adapt common practices to a more virtual platform. Therefore, look for a company that offers a virtual estimate function that allows you to connect with a staff member through mobile video chat. Once connected, the employee will ask questions and complete a virtual walkthrough of the home to make recommendations tailored to your specific needs. Having a virtual estimate feature not only keeps everyone safer; it demonstrates a company’s commitment to the health and safety of its employees and customers.
Review Company Policies
Before you sign an agreement with a moving company, check out their policies and fees. In such a turbulent and unprecedented time, no one knows what tomorrow will hold. Therefore, if you needed to change your date, time, or cancel completely, you need to be aware of the process. Some companies do have cancellation window limits and may charge fees even if you never move. So, read documents carefully and do not be afraid to ask questions.
Maintain Social Distancing Protocols
Social distancing or physical distancing is said to help curb the potential spread of the coronavirus. These protective measures are defined as follows:
- Remain six feet away from other people except for fellow household members
- Do not gather in groups and avoid crowded areas
- Wear a face mask
- Limit contact with individuals outside of your household residents
When moving, allow the workers to load and unload your belongings on their own. Continue to practice social distancing and keep children or any at-risk individuals separate from the process as much as possible.
Follow CDC Recommendations
In addition to social distancing, the CDC recommends other measures to help slow the coronavirus pandemic’s spread. These tips for moving out include avoid touching your face, washing hands often for at least 20 seconds, and regularly disinfecting touched surfaces. All of these measures will help keep your family and the moving vendor as safe as possible.
Monitor Your Own Symptoms
Health and safety is everyone’s top priority. If you know or feel you have symptoms or have been exposed to someone with the coronavirus, inform your moving help immediately. From there, you and the moving company can determine the next steps and reschedule as needed. In many cases, a mover may still be able to work with you with additional safety measures in place if the infected individual is in isolation. Whatever the scenario, transparency is vital.
Disinfect Your New Home
Just as you did when you packed everything up, allow the boxes and items to remain untouched for a minimum of 24 hours before being handled. Once that waiting period is over, continue to thoroughly sanitize as you unpack and settle in. After all, items have been unpacked, remove, and discard all packing materials.
Bonus Tips for Moving Out During the Coronavirus Pandemic
The protocols above can go a long way in protecting individuals from the coronavirus. However, nothing is foolproof, and some risk remains. So, with that in mind, consider the following tips for moving out during a health crisis.
- High-risk Individuals Should Postpone if Possible – It is not always possible to delay relocating, but if you can, you should. Especially for those individuals with extenuating health conditions, heightened risk factors, and those who are elderly. As positivity rates continue to climb and the vaccine has just made it’s way to the first round of people, waiting until it is safer to travel is recommended.
- Plan Ahead if You Must Travel – When travel is unavoidable, plan ahead. Therefore, make reservations for flights and hotels well in advance and check to verify any specific protocols or requirements they may have. Whenever possible, look for tickets that offer free cancellation or rescheduling just in case your plans change unexpectedly.
Whether in good times or bad, moving is a large undertaking. Apart from organization and planning, our top tip for moving out is to stay safe! Do everything you can to keep your belongings and property sanitized to protect you, your family, and any moving contractors. Whether you are searching for a new rental home or an investor in need of support navigating COVID-19 changes, Bay Property Management Group can help. Check out our website for the latest property listings in your area, or reach out to one of our dedicated team members to learn how full-service rental management can assist your portfolio.