When the COVID-19 pandemic first started, most Americans believed that they’d be in quarantine for two weeks at most. Unfortunately, the pandemic is still in full swing, and Americans have to continue living their lives despite the presence of the virus. This includes, of course, moving to a new home.
If you have an upcoming move, or if you’re thinking about moving, you might be wondering about moving during the pandemic. Thankfully, you’re not alone.
Read on to learn how to carry out your move safely and efficiently.
Is It Essential?
The first step in planning your move during the pandemic is to determine whether it is essential for you to move. That doesn’t mean that your reason for moving needs to be life or death, but you should think critically about your reasoning before pulling the trigger.
Some good reasons for choosing to move right now include relocating for a new job, moving to a more affordable home, or moving because of health issues. If you’re planning on moving because you want a change of scenery or a different space, consider putting your move off until the pandemic has died down to keep you and all others involved safe.
Try Virtual Tours
You have a great reason to move, so now it’s time to start planning where you’re going to move and how you’re going to do it. The safest way to find your new home is by doing it virtually!
If you’re moving to a new apartment, most complexes offer virtual tours of the apartment, and the leasing agent can even photograph the specific unit and its views for you. If you’re buying, ask your real estate agent to offer you a video tour of the houses you’re interested in seeing.
Need to book a mover? Ask if they’ll allow you to send a video to them in order to provide a quote for their services.
Start Planning Early
The best thing you can do when you’re moving during the pandemic is to start the process early and plan on being flexible with your move. Start talking to movers in your area to determine when they are available, what precautions they’re taking to prevent the spread of the virus, and what you need to do to minimize the movers’ risk.
Keep an eye on current infection rates in your area and the area in which you are moving. If things start to get out of hand, consider pushing back your move to minimize your risk.
Stock Up on PPE
No matter how or when you plan to move, you need to stock up on PPE for the times when you cannot avoid interacting with other people. Buy disposable masks for the movers in case they don’t have any when they get to your home. Keep a container of hand sanitizer in your home for the people who assist you with your move.
Get Creative With Decluttering
One of the most rewarding aspects of moving is when you create a pile of stuff you aren’t planning on taking with you to donate. Normally, stores like Goodwill and the Salvation Army would happily accept your gently used items, but the pandemic has limited their ability to accept used items.
That doesn’t mean that you need to give up on getting rid of old stuff and send it to the trash. You just have to be creative about it. There are a bunch of traditional and non-traditional methods for decluttering.
Take photographs of your items as you move through them and then post them on the Facebook marketplace or on Craigslist. If you’re giving things away, offer to leave the items on your doorstep for a contact-free transaction. You can do the same for things you sell thanks to Venmo, CashApp, and PayPal.
There are a number of different ways in which you can travel to your new location, but most people will either fly or drive. You might be wondering which method is safer, but both have a fair amount of risk involved.
Air travel means you’ll be in close quarters with hundreds of people for several hours. Driving means you’ll have to stop for gas, food, and potentially stay in hotels. Weigh the pros and cons for your individual situation in order to determine which travel method is for you.
If you want to fly, make sure to pack extra face masks, just in case, and practice social distancing as much as possible. If you want to drive, limit the amount of time you spend in gas stations and restaurants. Pack plenty of hand sanitizer and use old grocery bags to handle the pumps at the gas station.
Observe Social Distancing
If you’re planning on being present when the movers arrive, you’ll want to make sure to observe social distancing while they’re in your home. Talk to the moving company ahead of time to discuss the logistics of the move and then stay out of the way and let the movers work for an easy moving experience.
Give Yourself a Buffer
If you want to be extra careful, you should give yourself a buffer on both sides of your move.
Consider renting a storage container and moving everything yourself. Handoff possession of the container to the movers, and start traveling to your destination. Have the movers move all the items into your new home, and either wait a day or two to officially move into your home.
Alternatively, you can hire a cleaning company to do a deep disinfecting clean after the movers leave your new home.
Moving During the Pandemic Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult
Moving during the pandemic is not ideal, but, for many people, it cannot be avoided. The best thing you can do to make sure that your move goes smoothly is to plan ahead as much as possible. Utilize virtual tours and visits, and stock up on sanitation supplies and PPE.
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