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Moving and relocating during the COVID-19 pandemic: All you need to know
The world is currently experiencing some very unusual times. COVID-19 is having a huge impact on life for millions of people, with travel bans, stay-at-home orders, social distancing, and countless other changes, life as we know it has been transformed.
As a leading auto transport provider, we’ve been receiving lots of questions from our customers about whether relocating is still possible during these difficult times. These questions have prompted us to write this guide for anyone thinking about moving during COVID-19. In it, we’ll provide some general information, for example, what you need to be aware of and how to move safely. We’ll also provide some resources, so you can keep yourself updated with the latest news.
Is moving considered essential?
Essential travel is permitted during COVID-19, but what constitutes essential? There are clearly defined reasons to leave your home during lockdown. Local and state officials have their own definitions, but generally, you can leave your home if you are:
- Getting health care
- Shopping for supplies or groceries
- Caring for family members
- Getting exercise outside
As you can see, moving house is not on the list and people are being encouraged to reschedule their move whenever possible. Staying home is the best thing you can do to keep yourself and your family safe, and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
However, moving is considered essential in many cities, due to the need to safely “shelter in place”, a crucial part of the current COVID-19 directives. The best advice is to check with your local authorities before planning your move.
For many people, rescheduling their moving date is not an option. If, for example, their lease is ending or they have already sold their home and the closing date is fast approaching. If this applies to you, it’s reassuring to know that services critical to your relocation are still available. Moving services, for example, are still operating in all states. Similarly, car relocation services that offer door-to-door transport are still available.
Are moving services still available?
We’ve scoured the internet for the latest information, and it seems that there have been no notable shutdowns of major moving companies. With regard to car transport services, a number of companies are still operating. Here at SGT Auto Transport, for example, we can provide guaranteed pick up auto transport, cross country car shipping, door-to-door car transport, and a range of other car shipping services. We recommend these services because they provide extra protection and convenience during these difficult times.
We should point out that closures are left to individual moving companies to decide upon, If you’ve already made arrangements for your move and haven’t heard anything from the moving company, it’s safe to assume that they are still providing a service. To put your mind at rest, give them a call to confirm.
If you’re planning to move but haven’t scheduled movers, it’s difficult to be specific about what will and will not be available. For now, it’s probably best to continue with your research, and when you contact companies to make final arrangements, ask them what steps they’re taking to keep customers safe.
Choose a moving company that puts health and safety first, or do-it-yourself
Health and safety should be a priority for any moving company you choose. This applies to you as a customer and the moving company’s employees. There are lots of things a company can do to ensure your move is as safe and seamless as possible. This might include:
- A virtual survey rather than an in-home survey for a price estimate
- Regular screening of their moving crews for symptoms of coronavirus
- Providing hand sanitizers for all employees
- Providing masks and gloves for all movers
- Escalated daily cleaning procedures for any high-traffic areas in your homes, on the moving trucks, equipment, and office areas
- Free storage if you need to leave your old home, but your new home isn’t ready yet
Preparing for your move
One of the most important things you can do to ensure your move is as trouble-free as possible is to plan. This is even more important during the coronavirus. Always try to be one step ahead. Make sure you’ve got all the necessary supplies close to hand. You can’t keep running back and forth to the store because you’ve forgotten packing boxes, sticking tap, labels, or extra rolls of loo-roll. Having a plan in place also means you can allow enough time to pack and get ready for the big moving day.
Here are some more steps to keep in mind:
- Contact your movers: You must confirm your reservations and talk about their procedures for moving day. Companies are changing the way they do things in order to protect their clients. It’s crucial you’re on the same page.
- Make one trip to the store for your supplies: Make a list of what you need because you want to get everything in just one trip to the store. This excellent moving calculator will give you an estimate of what you’ll require, based on how many people live in your house and the number of rooms.
- Clean as you go: Packing your belongings ready for the move is an excellent time to get on top of the cleaning. When, for example, was the last time you cleaned your bedside lamp? Wipe items down with disinfectant, or a solution on one tablespoon of bleach to one gallon of water.
- Finish packing 24 hours before your movers are due: It is known that the coronavirus can last a long time on surfaces. On cardboard boxes it could be as long as 24 hours. For everyone’s safety, even though your movers will be wearing gloves, have your boxes packed and left untouched for at least 24 hours before your movers arrive.
Important tips for anyone moving during the coronavirus pandemic
Don’t be embarrassed about not knowing what to do during the coronavirus lockdown. These are unique times and you’re not alone. Because of the uniqueness of our current situation, it’s crucial you keep up to date with any recommendations issued by organizations such as the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For the latest tips on infection prevention, you can visit Ready.gov. The White House is also publishing regular updates on coronavirus.gov.
We’ve found some very useful articles online with some great tips for people who are planning to move in the near future. Here’s a brief rundown of the advice we found.
Let your movers know if anyone is experiencing symptoms of coronavirus
To keep everybody safe it’s vital you’re transparent with your moving company. Give your movers the opportunity to put additional protocols in place so their workers are protected. You should also let them know if you’re isolating due to exposure.
Provide hygiene products for your movers
Make sure you provide access to products they can use when moving items to and from the moving truck. This might include soap and paper towels and hand sanitizer by the door they’re using to enter and exit your home.
Don’t use recycled or free moving boxes
As we’ve already mentioned, coronavirus can live on cardboard for up to 24 hours, so it’s better for your protection if you ditch the second-hand packing boxes. If they’ve been in your home for a while that’s going to be fine. Any extras you need will have to come from the store.
Cancel your move if you are in a high-risk group
If you’re in a high-risk category, for example, over the age of 60 or with pre-existing cardiovascular and respiratory conditions, please reconsider your move. If you can be flexible with your moving date it makes little sense to put your life at risk.
Don’t leave cancelling to the last minute
It’s only common courtesy to let your movers know as soon as possible if you need to cancel. Similarly, contact them sooner rather than later to find out about their moving procedure, what precautions they’re taking and to confirm your moving details.
Make sure you plan accordingly if you have to travel
Before you make any firm travel arrangements check the airline, hotel, or travel company are offering free cancellations.
If there’s anything else you need to know about moving and relocating during COVID-19, we’ll try to keep you updated as much as possible.