There are many reasons why it might be time to move to a new apartment, even during the pandemic. And, while moving day is stressful enough on its own, getting around during the pandemic could be even more stressful. However, there are many precautions you can take to make sure your move goes as smoothly as possible – and to keep yourself and others safe during the process.
For this, we asked expert movers and moving companies to give us their best advice for how to move safely during the pandemic. Here’s what they said:
Confirm the moving company is open and can operate in the area
“First of all, confirm that the moving company is able to operate in your area. With COVID peaks across the country, it’s important to know the rules for both your city of departure and your destination. For example, some cities and states have been quarantined by their respective local authorities. Also check with your building management if there are any new policies, regulations and restrictions on moving. It is best that you ask questions about this at least a week before the move so that the moving company can adjust on their own as well.
We also advise clients to follow safety and hygiene protocols and instructions from their health authorities. These include washing your hands several times a day for at least 20 seconds. Additionally, clients who wish to interact with our movers are advised to maintain social distancing and refrain from physical contact, as well as wash their hands before and after.
Working with a moving company with COVID-19 regulations
“Social distancing and wearing masks seem to be the best ways to reduce the risk of exposure. These parameters can be easily satisfied by moving around.
I would suggest working with a moving company that brings the teams together on a daily basis. This reduces the chances that the movers will be in regular contact with many people. Maintain distance during the process. The whole idea of hiring movers is that they do the job – not you – so just give them space and let them do their job.
I would recommend asking the moving company for their procedures to ensure a safe environment. What protocols have they instituted in the midst of the pandemic? Many moving companies use masks and gloves, and also practice social distancing from customers to help reduce the risk of spread.
Discuss a contactless move
“To make sure your move is as safe as possible, ask your moving company about contactless moves. Currently, moving companies do not require the client to be present during the move. The client must unlock the apartment doors, consider what needs to be moved, and then the client is free to leave. Once the movers are done, the client can return to the apartment to lock, then head to their new apartment, unlock the door, and start the process again.
Before your move begins, instead of having a sales representative come to your apartment to take inventory, the client should take a video of everything that needs to be moved and send it instead. It is much safer to pack the items yourself. But, if you can’t, ask your movers to wear gloves. Remember that all movers must wear a mask during the move. If not, notify the moving company immediately. “
Protect yourself and your family
“Keep people at risk out of the moving day process. Anyone at a higher risk of contracting the virus or experiencing more severe symptoms if they contracted COVID-19 had better not be there. Exposure to fewer people reduces their chances of contracting the virus. Encourage them to come to the new apartment and prepare by cleaning the walls, cabinets, and rugs, instead of being there while loading. It is important to clean the space before moving in. Wipe down all surfaces with a disinfectant wipe or spray. This will kill any lingering viruses or bacteria lying around before they have a chance to build up on your furniture and belongings.
While your movers are in your apartment gathering your things, protect everyone by wearing a mask that covers your mouth and nose. Plus, opening windows and doors to encourage additional air circulation helps prevent stagnant air from building up in your space. “
Opt for plastic over cardboard
- Kenni Sterns, Health and Safety Manager, College Movers, LLC:
“Another great tip for a safer move is to opt for plastic bins over cardboard boxes. Plastic can easily be cleaned with antiseptic wipes, sprays and cloths. Make sure to clean the exterior (sides and cover) after packing your items securely inside before your movers arrive. After moving, but before unpacking, repeat the cleaning process to remove unwanted germs. Not only do they clean well, but they’re also easy to stack! “
Prepare a special bag for travel during COVID-19
“A small bag with a mask, hand sanitizer, and enough water and snacks for the day can keep you safe and comfortable, saving you from having to go to a convenience store or grocery store and potentially exposing you to the virus. If you need to visit different places during this day, wear your mask, keep your distance, and avoid touching anything. Or, if you do, avoid touching your face until you have a chance to wash your hands well. “
Stay in a different place for a few days
“Interview at least two moving companies for quotes, asking them to wear masks and keep their distance during the home visit. Also make sure they are licensed and insured. To stay socially distant during the moving process, rent a short-lived home for a few days before and after the move to make sure you don’t expose yourself. If you are not home during the move, leave a key for the movers with instructions on a sticky note on items that needed extra care or needed to be left at home / not moved, and make sure that movers have your phone number questions or problems that arise. “
Do your part
“Most moving companies currently follow protocols and security measures to protect their employees and customers – for example, social distancing and sanitation measures; wear masks and gloves; provide virtual moving quotes, etc. And whether or not you hire movers, there are some things you can do to stay safe and healthy during your move. We recommend you:
- Buy new cardboard boxes and moving supplies (don’t use used boxes).
- Wear gloves when packing and unpacking.
- Leave your doors and windows open to improve ventilation and minimize your risk of transmission on moving day.
- Sanitize your things while you pack.
- Complete your packing at least 24 hours before the movers arrive. “
We cannot put life on hold in the face of the pandemic, but it is paramount that we are all aware and do our best to protect ourselves and the people around us. We hope you’ve found some helpful tips for your next move. Then, when you are ready to search for a new rental, go to RENTCafé to start your search.