Moving Guide During COVID-19
There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has changed the normal routines of everyday life for us all. Information and advice are varying daily, making it difficult for anyone to plan too far into the future. However, some things can’t always wait: such as moving.
If you’re planning to move during COVID-19, you’re going to want to make special allowances and preparations to keep everyone as safe as possible. So, how does moving during a pandemic actually work? Before getting into our advice, let’s just take a quick look at some questions you might want to ask yourself.
Is your move essential?
For most people, moving is out of necessity rather than something to be done for fun. For instance, you might have a lease ending or had a dispute with your landlord, or have even sold your current place and need to vacate. If you’re lucky to have flexibility around your date, consider moving it forward if possible. This might make things a little easier
Do you have a high-risk member in your group?
We all know that COVID-19 has different implications for different people. More vulnerable groups are put at significantly higher risk if they move during the pandemic as they are exposed to more people and surfaces. If you or a member of your moving party fall within a vulnerable group, you might be able to get some leeway from whatever is pressuring you to move.
Are moving services even still available?
There’s often confusion around what qualifies as an essential service, and what doesn’t. It’s worth checking if the moving services in your desired areas are still operating, or you might be in for an unexpected complication. We recommend you get in touch with your preferred moving service to make sure that everything is still running.
Is your moving company properly observing COVID-19?
While base operations may have changed, the way a moving company treats customers will have undoubtedly adapted to the times. Visit your company’s website to find out about their safety practices, or get in touch with them directly to ask what their protocols are.
Things to quiz them are about:
- Their sanitization practices
- Are the staff wearing masks and gloves,
- Are tools/vehicles cleaned regularly?
- Are they following government guidelines about social distancing with customers and each other?
- Are trucks well stocked with hand sanitizer?
You can read our own announcement here.
Tips for moving during COVID-19
Moving takes a lot of planning during the best of times, so you can imagine doing so during a pandemic takes quite a lot more. You’re going to need to be on the ball for all things hygiene, as well as being one step ahead of any complications that might arise.
The number-one rule here is to follow all of the standard pandemic rules at all times. To remind yourself what they are, go-ahead for a quick refresh at the WHO page dedicated to COVID-19. Here’s what else you will want to keep in mind:
Keep regular contact : You might have booked your move some time ago, so it wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with your company closer to the day to make sure that everything is still going as planned. It’s also a good chance to go over the best practices for carrying everything out safely on the day.
Cancel as early as possible : There are a lot of unexpected things happening at the moment so if you need to cancel your move for whatever reason, do so as early as possible. This not only increases your chances of a full refund but lets your moving company manage their own time better.
Get your supplies in one go: Going to shops and supermarkets is one of the riskier things these days, as every moment exposed to other people increases your chances of being infected. Before doing your ‘big shop’ ahead of the move, make sure that you have everything written down so that you don’t end up doing a lot of back and forth.
Only use new packing materials: Moving is often expensive and we all look for ways to make it cheaper. In more normal times it’s not unusual to go around looking for second-hand boxes and bags, but right now this isn’t a good idea. The Coronavirus can live on many surfaces for longer than 24 hours (including cardboard), so make sure that you only use new boxes or boxes that you already own.
Clean as you go: You can be extra efficient (and hygienic) if you wipe down all of your belongings before you pack them. Just get yourself an alcohol spray/rag and go to town. Not only will this help keep you and your movers safe but it’ll also be an opportunity to wipe down all those dusty things you’ve not moved for years.
Be transparent about any infection: For many of us, COVID-19 poses no fatal risk, but that doesn’t mean you should keep it to yourself. If you or any of your family are infected or have been in the past, let your movers know so that they can be extra careful. This is so that they can put down additional protocols for the service and reduce their own risk of infection.
Be packed and ready at least 24 hours before the move: While COVID-19 can last a long time on various surfaces, the general advice is that 24 hours is enough time for it to be safe again. As a courtesy to your movers, pack everything up and leave untouched for 24 hours before to make sure things are as safe as possible.
Have sanitation at hand: Help your movers and their family stay safe by providing hygiene products for them. While they will most certainly be taking their own professional precautions, it’s a good idea to have gels and wipes nearby for them to grab whenever necessary.
Don’t take unnecessary risks: It’s a real hassle to reschedule a move, and most of us will do anything to avoid it. However, if you or someone in your group fits into the ‘at-risk’ category, we do recommend that you look at changing the date if possible. For more information about vulnerable groups, refresh your memory at the WHO webpage on COVID-19.
Stay safe, move smart: Moving is always difficult, especially during a pandemic. You don’t necessarily have to cancel everything. Just observe the same social distancing and hygiene rules that you have been already and everything should work out just fine.