For the last few months, COVID-19 has touched nearly every aspect of our day-to-day lives. It’s a time of great uncertainty for all, but that doesn’t mean we can put our lives entirely on pause—some things must go on, like moving.
Moving is always stressful, but that stress is intensified when you’re doing it in the midst of a pandemic. Maybe your lease is up or you’re moving in with family or you’ve found a great new place. No matter the situation, here are some tips for making your move during the pandemic less stressful.
1. Consider governmental obstacles
It seems like the policies surrounding COVID-19 change almost every day, as local governments try to figure out how to best contain the virus. They’re issuing new policies and recommendations in response to the latest information about the health crisis provided by the CDC and other public health officials.
So if you’re thinking of moving, it’s probably a good idea to do some research on what kind of special policies or restrictions are in place in the county you’re thinking of moving to. If your move requires you to cross state lines, you should consult with the health department of the state you’re currently in and the one you’re moving to in order to stay informed about policy changes or possible travel restrictions. Search around online to see if the state health department has any specific advice for moving.
You should also keep other potential obstacles in mind. For example, if you’re thinking of moving into a new house, you’ll want to check your tax status. It’s often more difficult to secure a home loan if you owe back taxes to the IRS, so make sure your finances are sorted out before you begin the moving process.
2. Purchase plenty of moving supplies
You don’t want to have to make more trips to the store than is absolutely necessary, so pick up plenty of moving supplies on your first trip. In fact, get more supplies than you think you need.
Moving can be a hectic process and all kinds of things can pop up unexpectedly. Not only that, but making multiple last-minute trips to the store can be both an inconvenience and a health hazard, especially if you’ll be interacting with hired movers within the next few days.
Thus, you should be prepared with all of the supplies you need prior to actually moving. This means getting cardboard boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, markers for labeling, and whatever else you might need in order to effectively pack up your possessions.
3. Take precautions with travel
Traveling is a sensitive situation right now. Air travel has been subject to more restrictions as a result of COVID-19 and many flights are operating at reduced capacity.
Some railroad companies such as Amtrak have also announced that they will take extra precautions due to the virus, such as providing some travelers with private rooms and reducing the number of seats they sell for each train.
Transporting your belongings in your personal vehicle is probably your safest bet, but even that isn’t foolproof. No matter what mode of transportation you end up using, it will inevitably increase your risk of infection.
However, there are precautions you can take that will protect both your health and finances. For starters, you should wear a mask whenever you’re traveling in close quarters with other people. You might even want to carry a travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer with you and some disinfecting wipes to help you sanitize any shared spaces.
As far as how to organize travel, your plan will obviously depend on the circumstances of your move— if you’re moving across the country, for instance, it may not be time- or cost-effective to drive your own car. If you need to schedule a flight or book a hotel, work with companies that offer free (or inexpensive) cancellation policies.
4. Stock up on personal protective equipment
Building up a plentiful supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) well before your move is a good way to protect your health and lower your risk of infection during the moving process. Purchase items like disposable gloves, face masks, and hand sanitizer.
If you rent a vehicle to help with the move, it’s not a bad idea to clean off high-touch areas like the steering wheel and dashboard with disinfecting wipes. You should also be washing your hands with soap and warm water on a regular basis. This is especially important if you’re an immunocompromised individual or if you belong to a more vulnerable population.
5. Communicate with movers
Most moving companies are still operating in the midst of the pandemic, as they’ve been deemed essential businesses. However, many of the companies have instituted extra safety procedures in order to lower the risk of infecting both you and their employees with the virus.
If you’re using a moving company to help transport your belongings, you should keep an open line of communication with them to ensure everything goes smoothly. Ask them over the phone about the steps they’re taking to prevent the spread of the virus.
For the sake of your own health, you’ll want to make sure that the moving company is taking the situation seriously— at the minimum they should be requiring their employees to wear masks. Ideally, they’ll be screening their employees by conducting temperature checks and implementing measures that promote social distancing.
6. Give yourself extra time
Ever since the pandemic became a reality, the stress and uncertainty involved in day-to-day life has surged. Everyone is trying to navigate the situation and adapt to the new conditions, whether that means working from home, wearing a mask to the store, or avoiding physical contact with other people.
Simple things have increased in complexity, basic processes take longer to complete. You should take all of this into consideration when planning your move. Give yourself plenty of time to pack your belongings, transport them, and figure out your new living situation.
Moving is stressful under normal circumstances, but, as a result of the pandemic, you may face unexpected challenges that make you feel that stress even more acutely. That’s why you have to give yourself the extra time to deal with this unique predicament.
Try and reschedule any appointments or obligations so that they don’t coincide with your move. If possible, you might even consider taking some time off work to avoid having to juggle professional responsibilities and the work of moving.
The bottom line is that if you’re moving during the pandemic, have a plan in place. Do your due diligence and plan accordingly. Above all, prioritize your health and take the necessary steps to protect yourself.
We hope you found this blog post on 6 Ways to Make Your Move Less Stressful during Covid-19 useful. Be sure to check out our post on How To Stay Safe From COVID While Preparing to Move To Another Country for more great tips!
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