Moving is stressful by nature, but now there’s a global pandemic that has added fuel to the chaos. Coronavirus has singularly disrupted the lives of millions of people. Uncertainty has forced many to put important plans on hold, but certain things such as relocating to a new home cannot wait.
Maybe you’ve found new employment, are selling your current house, or your lease is coming to an end; there are many reasons why you might have to move in these unprecedented times. This article aims to explore all the common questions people have about moving out of state during a pandemic. The following information also applies to local and commercial moves.
What is Coronavirus Disease?
According to the WHO, Coronavirus is a highly infectious respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus strain discovered in 2019.
Its symptoms include fever, dry cough, fatigue, body aches, sore throat, loss of taste and smell, headache, loss of appetite, high fever, and breathing difficulty. Some COVID-19 patients may experience neurological symptoms like dizziness and confusion and gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.
One of the salient features of this virus is that it impacts people differently. Most only experience mild to moderate symptoms and can recover without medical intervention. But those with multiple pre-existing illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, the chronic respiratory disease may develop severe complications with this virus.
Research has found that COVID-19 spreads via airborne particles. It can also be transmitted from person to person through saliva droplets, coughs, and sneezes. This is why it’s pertinent to wear a mask, wash hands frequently, and maintain at least a 6 ft distance from others in public.
As of right now, the US has seen over 32 million COVID-19 cases, with the numbers slowly declining due to the administration of vaccines such as Pfizer and Moderna and people following safety measures to the best of their abilities.
Is Moving During Pandemic Considered Necessary Travel?
In most states, moving providers are categorized as an essential business. With lockdown restrictions being loosened and lifted, companies are resuming operations but with a few modifications in business practices to minimize the risk of infection among employees and clients.
We suggest calling your chosen relocation provider to learn their moving in the middle of a pandemic protocol. But for the most part, hire a company that requires staff and customers to wear masks and practice social distancing throughout the move.
Whether or not relocating during pandemic is essential depends on your situation. For a lot of people, the moving date isn’t flexible. You may need to move on a specific date for various reasons, like the need to vacate the space due to the lease ending.
Suppose you do have the flexibility to postpone your move to a later date or belong in a high-risk group for the novel coronavirus. In that case, we recommend waiting till you are at least fully vaccinated.
If you are still worried about exposure to the virus while moving out of state during a pandemic, we recommend renting a truck or moving in your vehicle and securing items that won’t fit inside your car in a safe, climate-controlled storage unit.
Are Moving Companies Still Open?
At this point, most moving companies are fully operational. But, some providers may have closed doors due to labor shortages or financial constraints. That said, there’s no nationwide shutdown impeding the operations of moving companies, and your plans to get moving cross-country during pandemic should happen without any glitches.
Before hiring a company, we suggest calling them for more information about their COVID-19 protocols. If you already have a date booked and haven’t heard anything from the movers, likely, they’re still offering services, and the move will happen as scheduled. But, it’s still best to call and confirm anyway so that you aren’t caught off guard when the crew don’t show up to get your stuff on the assigned day.
Stark Movers and Storage are still taking on clients for local and cross-country moves. The only thing that has changed is that we keep our mask on, maintain social distancing from clients for both the safety of the crew and customers, sanitize our vehicles and equipment, and wash hands much more.
Should I Move During A Pandemic?
Moving companies are taking all the necessary precautions to ensure that they can continue to offer their services without putting the customers or employees at risk of contracting the novel coronavirus.
In many cases, moving in a pandemic is not up for debate — it needs to happen ASAP. Pandemic has caused many people to lose their jobs, and many have been forced to move elsewhere for new job opportunities or for a more affordable living situation. Whatever your «why» is behind the move, know that it’s okay to be relocating during a pandemic, provided you’re following all the safety protocols.
If your move cannot be canceled or postponed, we recommend hiring a company that has stringent Covid-19 protocols in place. This way, you’re minimizing your risk of exposure.
If you are over the age of 60 or have pre-existing conditions like asthma, diabetes, etc., we recommend postponing your move if you can or renting a moving truck.
Can I Move to a New State During COVID-19?
Yes, you can still get moving cross-country during the pandemic. We recommend working with an independent, reputable moving company that has a strict and detailed Covid-19 safety plan in place to reduce exposure.
Be ure to check out customer reviews before hiring any provider. Specifically, look for the latest reviews to check if the customers mentioned whether or not the crew were wearing masks and following proper hygiene and safety measures.
If you already have made a reservation with a moving provider, call before your moving appointment to ask them about their COVID protocols. This way, you’ll both be on the same page.
Can I Still Rent a Truck for Moving During A Pandemic?
Yes, you can still rent a moving truck if you plan on relocating during a pandemic. Rental trucks are considered critical for transportation and mobility, so they’re available for rent. The only difference is that you may have to place your reservation online or via phone.
We recommend renting moving trucks to those who fall in the high-risk group for COVID-19.
When evaluating your options, ask the truck rental provider if they thoroughly clean the truck between every rental period. This means vacuuming, deep-cleaning with an EPA-approved disinfectant, wiping windows, etc.
Are Storage Services Available for Moving in a Pandemic?
Storage services continue to operate during the pandemic. Now, more than ever before, there’s a heavy focus on cleanliness and hygiene practices. Additional measures are being implemented to sanitize the facilities and the office throughout the day, especially between each rental period.
Companies are also limiting the number of customers allowed in the office at a time. Many providers are offering contactless purchase options, enabling customers to rent units through the website itself.
Does Someone Have To Come Into My Home to Provide a Moving Quote?
No. In the light of Covid-19, many moving companies have modified their in-person estimating procedures to limit infection spread due to direct physical contact.
Stark Moving and Storage, along with other moving companies, are conducting consultation and survey virtually via Zoom, FaceTime, and other platforms. Our agents will talk to you about where you are relocating, how much stuff needs to be moved, and what services you require from us. We offer full-scale moving solutions including furniture assembly-disassembly, packing-unpacking, loading-unloading, and transportation.
We will provide you with a flat-rate after assessing your needs. That said, we can still do an in-person assessment if you prefer that route over virtual.
What Should I Do If I Don’t Feel Well Before the Move?
Contact your moving company ASAP to let them know you’re not feeling well. Your decision to be transparent at this stage can help keep an entire workforce safe.
In most cases, the company will still be willing to conduct the move with extra safety and social distancing measures. If you or a family member will be isolating within the house, notify the company about that too.
We recommend wearing a mask and gloves while handling your belongings and disinfecting everything you’d like us to pack. Try not to access the room that contains the packed boxes for 48-72 hours, especially if you have COVID-19.
When the crew comes in, they will have PPE on, but still stay as far as possible (preferably in another room) and continue to keep your mask and gloves on. You can always call or text the movers to tell them of any special requirements you may have while they’re working.
What Are Moving Companies Doing Differently During the Pandemic?
Moving companies have several measures in place to protect the health of their employees and customers. Here are some of them:
- Virtual quotes: Instead of in-home surveys, moving companies are offering quotes online via video call. You’ll be asked to walk us through your home while on your mobile device. Once the estimator scans the cabinets, furniture, closet, and all the areas that contain objects needing to be relocated, you’ll be given a quote.
- Stringent hygiene and social distancing practices: Moving companies strictly follow the latest federal and local COVID-19 related sanitization and social distancing guidelines. This means frequently sanitizing equipment, moving trucks, washing hands often, wearing PPE while conducting the move, and limiting contact between the employees and customers.
- Employee screening: Companies are using daily temperature checks and contact tracing to minimize the risk of Covid-19 areas within their teams. If an employee is infected, they and any other staff they come in contact with are required to get tested and quarantined.
How to Prepare For Your Move
Moving during a pandemic requires extra planning. After all, with CDC guidelines still proposing social distancing, and situations changing daily, you can’t make multiple trips to the store like before.
Here are some tips to help you prepare for the relocation before the professional movers come over to haul your belongings to your new home:
- Confirm with the movers: Call before the moving day and check what safety measures they expect from you. It’s nice to have paper towels and sanitizers readily available just for the movers to use while they travel in and out of your apartment while carrying things.
- Making a supply list: Knowing exactly what you need will help you get everything in one trip. Stark Moving and Storage offers packing services too, and we use our own supplies, so you don’t have to worry about hopping from store to store for one-time use packing materials. Check if the moving provider you chose offers the same service.
- Get estimates online ASAP: Moving companies are offering virtual estimates as an alternative to in-person estimates for those looking to limit in-person contact. Get your moving quotes from at least three providers to zero in on the best deal. If looking for inexpensive long-distance moving rates, try to move mid-month or mid-week, as demand is slow during those times.
- Get purging and packing: Cull everything you own into a highly curated assortment of items you are excited to take to your new home. By purging items you have no use for, you will have more space in the moving truck and the new home for the things you absolutely love. There will also be less employees required to do the move. When it comes to packing, start as soon as you can. Take it room by room and start packing unused items first. Since many of us have been exclusively ordering stuff online over the last year, you should already have plenty of packing boxes at home. Alternatively, you can save time and headache by hiring professional packing services. Just make sure you sanitize everything before the crew arrives.
- On the day of the move: To limit physical contact, know that the crew will greet you with a smile instead of a handshake. While the movers are working, it’s best to limit the number of family members present inside the house. One person can be present to answer questions and for supervision, but everyone in the family doesn’t have to be there. Also, make sure that whoever is present inside the house has a mask on at all times. If there’s someone quarantined within the house, notify the movers prior to their arrival and ensure that the person is in a separate room and, if possible, on a separate floor.
5 Important Tips For A Safe Moving During the Pandemic
- If you’re sick, inform the moving company: Being transparent about if you or anyone in your family feels ill or is experiencing coronavirus systems is highly critical to curbing its spread to other family members and professional movers. Call and notify the providers as soon as you or a family member starts experiencing symptoms. Your moving provider will still work with you, but will be better equipped with extra safety protocols to make the whole procedure safe for their employees.
- Sanitize before the movers arrive: Sanitize the boxes and your belongings, the doorknobs, and other areas of your house before the movers arrive. Also, if possible, have hygiene items like paper towels, soap, and hand sanitizers available just for the movers to use between packing and transporting items to and from the truck.
- Don’t use free boxes: In pandemic-free times, we would highly recommend using recycled or free boxes. But with COVID-19 still here to stay, this might not be a safe idea since this virus can live on the surface of the cardboard for up to 24 hours. If you don’t have boxes in your home, purchase them weeks or at least days in advance, and sanitize them before use.
- Pack in advance: If you decide to pack everything yourself, try to get it done days in advance. Have the packed boxes placed in one area and try to limit entering that area 24-48 hours before the crew arrives to transport everything to the truck. You may decide to leave the bigger items for the moving pros to dismantle and pack. If that’s the case, just sanitize the items before the workers come in. They will handle the rest.
- Postpone your move if you’re in a high-risk group: Those over the age of 65 or with pre-existing illnesses should try their best to push their move as far as they can. As this group is at serious risk of suffering dangerous symptoms if infected with coronavirus. If cancellation is not possible, see if you can make the move yourself.
If you have no other choice but to hire a moving company, know that we will do everything in our power as far as strictly following social distancing and sanitization protocols to give you a safe and risk-free move. We recommend isolating yourself in a separate room with face masks on while the crew packs and carries the items to the truck. Then sanitize everything once the crew leaves.
We hope this article answered your most pressing questions about moving during a pandemic. No move is worth putting your life at risk. But we also know that moving has to be done out of necessity rather than choice in many cases.
Please be safe during your move, and be earnest in following all the standard pandemic safety rules to protect your family and the moving professionals. If you want to learn about what the Stark Team is doing to ensure the safety of our customers and its employees, contact us today! We will also love to answer any of your questions and discuss your upcoming moving plans.