The Ultimate Guide to Moving During COVID-19

By Brittany Loeffler on January 22, 2021

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If you’re thinking of moving during the COVID-19 pandemic, then you definitely need to read this article.

To say that COVID-19 has changed the world entirely is an understatement. We do just about everything differently, from buying a cup of coffee to working to playing sports. Moving during COVID-19 is no exception.

There are certain things to consider before you move during a pandemic and safety precautions you need to take in order to protect yourself and others who are involved in your move.

Moving is already stressful enough without a pandemic happening in the background. By the end of this article, you’ll have learned essential tips for moving during COVID-19 so you and your friends and family stay safe.

moving during COVID-19

via Pixabay

Searching for a New Home During COVID-19

Before you even begin your move during COVID-19, you must first search for a place to move to. This is also a very different process than before the pandemic started.

Instead of attending open houses and scheduling a bunch of showings with a real estate agent or going to showings yourself, a lot of the real estate industry has turned virtual. Searching for homes online and going off of pictures and videos is what most apartment hunters must rely on right now.

Take Virtual Tours

To keep yourself safe and away from strangers who may or may not have been exposed to the virus, consider taking virtual tours of apartments. Some real estate agents have upgraded their technology to include 3D tours or even virtual reality tours where you can actually walk through the house or apartment.

Maintain Social Distancing When in Person

When you do see a potential new home in person, make sure to maintain social distancing. Keep at least six feet away from others and always wear a mask to protect both yourself and the people you’re with.

While it’s encouraged to take virtual tours of apartments, it’s still a good idea to see the ones you are really considering in person before signing a lease or contract. Taking advantage of the virtual tours is so you can cut down how many places you go to see in person, reducing your risk of coming into contact with the virus.

Watch for Rental Scams

While searching for a new home online while moving during COVID-19, it’s important to look out for scams. Real estate scams were already common before the pandemic, but are even more prevalent now. Always go with your instincts – if it doesn’t feel right or is too good to be true, it probably is.

Learn the Rules and Regulations of Your New Community

The rules and regulations to keep COVID-19 cases low differ from state to state and even city to city. If you’re relocating to a new state or city, make sure to research the rules and regulations that are in place.

Some of these rules may limit how many people can be together in a house. Others may determine whether restaurants are open or dining or takeout only. Some cities even have curfews where you have to be at home by a certain time.

So you don’t find yourself in trouble or breaking these rules, do your best to become familiar with them before you move.

moving during COVID-19

Infographic by Brittany Loeffler

Should You Hire a Moving Company?

Moving definitely isn’t an easy thing to do, especially if you are moving by yourself. Many people hire moving companies to help them move their furniture, boxes, and drive a moving truck to the new house or apartment.

However, you may be wondering if you should hire a moving company if you’re moving during COVID-19. While many businesses have been ordered to close, the ones deemed as essential are allowed to stay open.

Luckily, moving companies are considered essential services and are open to help you move during COVID-19. Their services may be altered, though. If you do decide to hire a moving company, call and find out which services they’re offering and if any procedures have changed.

Pack Up Yourself

Even if you decide to hire a moving company to help you, you should still pack up your belongings yourself, even if they offer a service to pack for you. This keeps strangers out of your home for long periods of time and reduces the risk of exposure.

When you pack up your home yourself, you are the only one touching your belongings. You don’t have to worry about someone else who hasn’t washed their hands touching your things.

How to Pack

Packing up an apartment is an art. It should be done efficiently and strategically.

First, you should buy new moving boxes instead of using free or recycled ones when moving during COVID-19. The virus can live on a cardboard surface for 24 hours, so buying new boxes decreases the risk of contracting it.

Secondly, make sure you’re buying the correct boxes to move. You don’t want to put all of your fragile valuables in a box only for it to break open while carrying it into your new home.

Lastly, when packing a box, make sure to put heavy items on the bottom and lighter, smaller items at the top. Don’t make the boxes too heavy to carry, though! This is especially helpful when packing up your kitchen. 

Stay Organized

Moving during COVID-19 can be a pretty chaotic couple of weeks. The first way to stay organized is by labeling your moving boxes. This way, you know exactly which room each box should be put in when moving into your new home to make unpacking easier.

The best way to label your boxes is by which room they belong in and some of the contents that are inside the box. So, when you’re looking for your kitchen dishes to make dinner that night, you know exactly where to find them.

Start Slow

As you stand in your apartment and look around at everything you have to pack, you may feel a little overwhelmed. How are you going to pack up your life into boxes? It’s actually easier than you think!

Start slow with packing. A week or two before your moving date, start packing up rooms individually for an hour or two every day. Start with items you know you won’t need between now and the move such as books, pictures, and decorative items.

As your move date gets closer, start packing up the larger items you tend to use often.

A good tip is to pack yourself an overnight bag with all of the essentials you need to get ready during the day. This will keep you from looking for your toothbrush, makeup, pajamas, and an outfit or two right after the move.

Who Can Help You Move

If you decide against hiring a moving company, then you may be wondering who can help you move during COVID-19. We recommend that you only ask a couple of people who have been in your social circle from the beginning. As mentioned, make sure to be aware of rules about how many people can get together at once.

Ask friends and family who you have seen. Remember to keep wearing masks during your move, though.

Before Entering Your New Home

We know how anxious and exciting you are about moving into a new home, but there are even more precautions to take before you move your first box inside. While many people are supposed to clean their apartments before they move out, not everyone does.

So, before you move into your new home, take a few hours and wipe everything down with Clorox or another disinfectant. Wipe down counters, doorknobs, windows, and anything else that is regularly touched.

This will have you feeling safe moving into your new home knowing that if any trace of COVID-19 was there, you got rid of it!

Staying Safe During Moving Day

It’s finally the day that you move into your new home! While you’re excited and overwhelmed with the process, you may forget to take the necessary precautions to stay safe while moving during COVID-19.

Remember to always wear your mask when around people you don’t live with or see often, like employees of a moving company, or when you’re outside. While it may be uncomfortable, especially while moving heavy furniture up a flight of stairs, it is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself and others during the pandemic.

Next, make sure to wash your hands constantly. When someone first comes to help you, ask them to sanitize their hands. After sneezing or blowing your nose, wash your hands. Before you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, wash your hands.

If possible, try your best to keep your distance from strangers. While this may not be possible one hundred percent of the time when it is possible to adhere to the social distancing guidelines.

moving during COVID-19

via Pixabay

What to Do If You Aren’t Feeling Well

If you are not feeling well before your move, you should consider delaying and postponing it. You don’t want to risk getting other people sick.

First, if you find yourself with flu-like symptoms, you should call your doctor and have a COVID-19 test done. If it comes back negative and you’re starting to feel better, then you can proceed with your move. However, if it comes back positive, then you should delay your move and quarantine for two weeks until your tests come back negative.

If you hired a moving company, call to see if you can reschedule your move. Most companies have a policy in place that allows you to do this with the current circumstances. Next, you’ll want to call your landlords to see if you can stay in your current place until you test negatively and feel better and delay the date of your move to your new place.

Even if you do not have COVID-19, but still aren’t feeling well, you should let the people who are helping you move know. Some may want to take extra precautions and would feel more comfortable staying home.

Get to Know Your New Area – Virtually

One of the most exciting things about moving to a new area is the chance to explore new restaurants, parks, shops, and streets. However, moving during COVID-19 inhibits you from doing this as you normally would.

So, instead of going out in public, take a tour of your new area virtually. Hop on Google Maps and use the street viewer to take a “walk” down your street. Order food from local restaurants to support the local economy and find your new favorite places to eat in your new area.

We know this isn’t the same as actually going out and exploring. If you must go out, take a drive and stay in your car around your new area. Maybe there’s a park or hiking trail you’d like to check out too. Just make sure to wear a mask and keep your distance from others.

Staying Safe While Moving During COVID-19

Is it safe to move during a pandemic? Sure, but only if you take the necessary precautions.

Before you begin your move, research the current restrictions and regulations in both your current and new area so you adhere to them during the move.

Always wear a mask and consistently wash your hands if moving with other people. If hiring a moving company, ask the company what their COVID-19 policy is and if any of their services have been modified. Pack your belongings yourself in new cardboard boxes, not recycled or free, before the moving company comes.

If you have friends or family helping you move, limit the number of people to just those in your COVID bubble. Still wear your mask when outdoors, though.

While moving is stressful, to begin with, moving during COVID-19 can make it even worst. But with the right strategies and precautions, you can have a safe and healthy move into your new home.

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