Moving during COVID-19? A (thorough) guide to move safely

Moving during COVID-19? A (thorough) guide to move safely

Moving during Covid-19 pandemic isn’t the same as the moving you’re familiar with. The pandemic has changed so many things about all aspects of our lives and moving is no different. The rules of the game have changed and there are added risks that are making the moving process harder than it usually is.

Contrary to what we believed would happen to the moving industry at the start of this pandemic, people are moving at a higher rate than usual. With the mortgage interest rates at an all time low, the real estate market is on fire right now and people are buying and selling houses within days. Hence causing an explosion in the need for moving services.

In addition, people are relocating for several other reasons. This includes moving to save lives such as relocating to start a new job in a hospital or even moving to a city with less cases of the virus or where you’ll feel safer.

If you’re considering moving during Covid-19, we created this guide to help you and your loved ones stay safe and away from the virus throughout the move.

COVID-19 Cases in the United States

Here’s a quick snapshot of the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States using data published by Google as at Sunday October 18, 2020, at the time of publishing this. There are 8,143, 348 total reported cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. at the time of publishing this. There are 52,774 new reported cases every day, and 24,710 people are infected out of one million people across the country. In addition, 219,173 deaths have been recorded as a result of the virus.

COVID-19 Cases In The U.S By State

LocationTotal casesNew cases (1 day*)Cases per 1 million peopleDeaths
United States8,143,34852,77424,710219,173
New York487,6261,78825,00432,959
North Carolina244,0201,98825,2703,955
New Jersey220,52793425,00016,204
South Carolina163,21496134,8813,637
Puerto Rico56,65023817,738761
New Mexico36,34357317,454929
South Dakota32,61180639,573315
North Dakota31,26674445,715404
Rhode Island27,691026,3401,152
West Virginia19,80122110,672399
Washington, D.C.16,3347925,787641
New Hampshire9,6251117,302466
You can track the live update of the coronavirus spread here on Google.

How is COVID-19 affecting moving?

Moving to a new place is a very hands-on activity. Lots of hands touching everything in your house and random people walking in and out of your house to load and unload stuff.

It’s hard as it is when everything is normal, but the pandemic has definitely made things worse.

At a time when we are all trying to minimize contact and quarantine to stay safe, moving sure does complicate things.

In addition, a lot of moving companies have scaled back operations hence limiting availability. So its important to plan accordingly to make sure your move goes as safely as possible and without any hiccups.

How is Covid-19 Spreading?

A quick reminder of how the Covid-19 virus is spreading can help you stay safer while moving during this period. Here are the various major ways Covid-19 is spreading:

  • Covid-19 can spread from person to person
  • Covid-19 can spread among people NOT keeping social distance
  • Covid-19 spread when infected person talks, sneezes, or coughs releasing droplets
  • Infected people who don’t show symptoms can spread Covid-19 (unintentionally)
  • Covid-19 spreads when you touch contaminated surfaces

How to Move Safely During Covid-19

Since moving involves a lot of physical contact, which is the biggest way the virus spreads, how to pack up and move during covid-19 is slightly different from the regular way of moving you’re familiar with.

Here are relevant tips to help you stay safe while moving during Covid-19:

1 . Minimize contact as much as you can

Thanks to the internet and several available moving options. You can plan almost every detail of your move with minimal or no contact with people outside your household. Here are things you can do to minimize contacts as much as you can:

Calculate your moving costs online

You’re more likely to plan your moving better if you know how much the entire move will cost. Since cost is one of the most important things you’ll have to consider  before moving, you can get an idea of your entire moving cost by using this free online moving cost calculator.

Once you know how much your move will most likely cost, you’ll need a moving estimate from various professional moving companies near you.

Get moving quotes over the phone

You can request for free moving quotes and several professional movers near you will send you quotes via phone or email. The best part is that these movers have been carefully prescreened to ensure they have the pedigree, experience, and reputation to move you safely during this period. More so, the moving quotes you’ll get are no-obligation quotes.

Do a video estimate instead of an in-home estimate

Video calling has become the norm these days. But video calling isn’t just reserved to call your parents or your kids. Use it to do a walkthrough of your home with a moving specialist. This way you don’t need to have someone actually be in your house, hence reducing the risk of an exposure.

2. Research DIY or Hybrid Moving Options

Move with portable moving containers

One of the easiest, safest, and most convenient ways of moving during this Covid-19 pandemic is moving with portable moving containers.

How does it work?

Moving containers are transportable storage units that are made of metal, plastic, wood, or any other material. These containers are large enough to accommodate household stuff making them a good moving option.

All you’re required to do is request for a portable moving container and the company will deliver it at your preferred location such as your home. Then you’ll load the container with whatever item you want to move to your new home.

Once you’re done, you call the company to pick up the container and they will transport it to your new location and leave.

You’ll unload your items from the container into your new home and then call the company to pick up the empty container. This is one of the easiest, safest and most convenient ways of moving during this pandemic.

How much will it cost to use a portable moving container? This depends on the size of your move and how far you’re moving. You can get free portable moving containers quotes to figure out how much your move will cost.

Choose a moving rental truck

Moving truck rental is another safe and convenient moving option during the Covid-19 pandemic. You can rent a moving truck, load it with your household items, and then drive it down to your new home or get someone to help you with the driving.

If you prefer hiring a moving truck, you should request for free truck rental quotes to get started. We have written several guides that can make your moving experience smooth and stress-free. Here they are:

3. Start packing early

Once you’ve considered all options and make up your mind to move, start packing. Since it’s not a good idea to bring strangers into your home to help you pack during Covid-19, odds are you and everyone else in your home will most likely do the packing. So, start packing as soon as you can.

Get all your packing supply in one trip

You will need some important packing supplies to make your packing easier and more convenient. When you’re ready to get your packing supplies from a store, you should consider buying everything you need in just one trip. So, make a simple list of all the packing supplies you’ll need before going to the store.

Get new moving boxes

Moving during Covid-19 isn’t the time to start saving on boxes. The coronavirus has shown that it can survive on several surfaces for hours and that includes surviving on cardboards for about 24 hours or more.

That means you shouldn’t go to various outlets to get used moving boxes for free. Several of such boxes might be contaminated and picking them could mean spreading Covid-19.

Rather, get new moving boxes and keep them in a safe place for a few days before the move. About three to four days should be enough to “quarantine” the boxes in your own way. No one should touch the boxes while you keep them isolated for a few days. Same goes for all other packing materials you want to use for the move.

Pack appropriately

Pack all your items carefully and appropriately without leaving anything to chance. Make sure that every household stuff is wrapped and packed with the right packing supplies to keep them safe. Make sure there are no holes or gaps in your boxes, and seal everything up tight.

You should avoid the temptation of packing anything in a hurry. So, start packing early so you can be done before the moving day. Once the movers arrive all they have to do is pick up your boxes and load them on the moving truck. That’s safer for you and your family as well as the movers.

If you intend to hire a moving company, 24 hours before the move, separate any item or stuff you don’t want the movers to touch. These may include items such as your personal computer, printers, phones, books, and chargers etc. this should include items you want to pack in your essential box.

4. Wear a cloth face covering

A cloth face covering such as a mask can prevent you from inhaling droplets containing Covid-19 when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or is having a normal conversation with you.

If you hire a moving company to help you move, call the mover a day or two before the move to request that they all wear masks and get one for each member of your family too.

If you’ve invited friends, colleagues, neighbors or anyone else to help you move, make sure they are all wearing a mask. You can go a step further by getting a mask for everyone you’ve invited to help you move.

5. Get sanitizing materials ready for the move-in day

If you hire professional movers, you should consider getting sanitizing materials and cloth face covering materials such as a face mask for everyone involved in the move. Chances are the movers will have their own sanitizing materials too but you should leave nothing to chance.

Make sure everyone involved in the move has access to a sink and hand soap, hand sanitizers, gloves, and face covering. These materials will keep everyone safe during the move.

6. Wipe down surfaces

Covid-19 can spread through various surfaces and moving involves touching a lot of surfaces and items in a home. Whether you hire movers or invited friends, neighbors or anyone else to help you move, make sure surfaces are wiped clean throughout the move.

Even if you rent a moving truck, start by wiping down key touch surfaces all over the truck. Surfaces to wipe clean include armrests, the steering wheel, door handles, cupholders, seat belts and buckles, and the stereo, etc.

This CDC’s recommendation for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces can make your cleaning efforts more effective.

7. Disinfect your new home before unloading unpacking

Before unloading your household stuff from the moving truck, or portable moving container, clean and disinfect your new home appropriately. It’s hard to tell if the previous occupant cleaned and disinfected the home before moving out and even if they did, you should do it again. You can’t be too careful.

8.  Unpack carefully

After unloading your items from the moving truck or portable moving containers, you’ll have to unpack them. If you hired a moving company, we strongly suggest that you do not let the movers unpack for you. Unpacking all by yourself is safer and you shouldn’t bother about unpacking all your items in just a day or two.

The safest method is to follow the same safety measures you took while packing. First, leave all items including moving boxes for a few days before you start unpacking.

If you have a large and safe garage, the mover can unload all your items in the garage. You let the stuff sit for a few days before moving them in and unpacking.

However, make sure you keep your essential box with you throughout the move. Wipe it down immediately when you’re in your new home, and unpack it carefully.

After other items sit in quarantine for at least 24 hours, you can start unpacking carefully. Get your hand sanitizers ready as well as soap and water for handwashing. Wear a face cloth cover and gloves before you start unpacking. Clean and disinfect every item as you unpack.

9. Dispose of all packing materials and moving supplies appropriately

Once you’re done unpacking, you’ll have to dispose of all packing and moving materials appropriately. One of the safest methods of disposing all used materials is recycling. Recycling your moving supplies is not only safe for the environment, it also limits the spread of Covid-19.

General Safety Tips While Moving During Covid-19

Here are other key things you can do to protect yourself and others while moving during Covid-19:

1. Clean Your Hands Regularly

Keeping your hands clean is one of the easiest ways of stopping the spread of the virus while moving during Covid-19. Since Covid-19 mostly spreads through physical contact and the hands are involved in most contacts, maintaining clean hands throughout your move will keep you and everyone around you safe.

Hand Washing

The CDC recommends that you wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Once you’re done washing rinse it well with clean running water to clean the germs off your hands.

However, you shouldn’t wait to see dirt or grease on your hands before washing them. Once you’ve touched one or more surfaces during the move, you should consider hand washing.

Hand Sanitizing

Another recommended hand cleaning option is to rub or spray alcohol-based hand sanitizers on your hands. Make sure the hand sanitizer you’re using contains not less than 60% alcohol. Using a hand sanitizing spray may be your preferred option while handling several moving boxes.

So, make sure everyone involved in the move has at least a bottle of hand sanitizer handy or in their pocket. This will make it easier for them to apply it every now and then throughout the move.

2.   Maintain Social Distancing

The CDC recommends that to limit the spread of the coronavirus, you should keep a social or physical distance away from others not in your household. You’re advised to stay at least six feet or about 2 arm’s length away from others.

Maintaining social distance should be done with other measures such as handwashing and wearing cloth face covering.

3.  Wear Cloth Face Covering

The CDC now recommends wearing cloth face covering as one of the key ways to impede the spread of the coronavirus. Make sure everyone involved in the move wears cloth face covering such as a face mask to protect themselves and everyone else around.

4. Protect yourself and others when you cough or sneeze

An infected person can spread Covid-19 by coughing, talking, or sneezing. This is because respiratory droplets are spread through coughing, sneezing, or talking and these droplets can contain Covid-19. Here’s how to protect yourself and others around you:

  • Cover your nose and mouth anytime you cough or sneeze
  • Use a tissue or the inside of your elbow to cover your nose and mouth
  • Do not spit when you cough or sneeze
  • Dispose of used tissue appropriately
  • Wash your hands with soap and water immediately after sneezing or coughing
  • Or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer

5.  Clean and disinfect

Contaminated surfaces are known for spreading Covid-19. These are mostly surfacing that various people come in contact with or touch regularly. This is mostly important before the movers arrive to start packing and loading the moving truck and when they are done.

  • Clean, disinfect gadgets like phones, keyboards, light switches, laptops, and so on.
  • Clean and disinfect items like tables, desks, doorknobs, and handles etc.
  • Clean and disinfect key areas in your toilets
  • Clean and disinfect your kitchen sinks, faucets, and countertops etc.
  • Use detergent or soap and water for cleaning dirty surfaces before disinfecting

Check the EPA list of recommended disinfectant for SARS and Covid-19 before buying any.