How to Safely Move During COVID-19
Guest Post by Abby Drexler
Moving to a new area during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic might seem like a nerve-racking experience. However, as long as certain precautions are followed, it can still be an easy and safe experience for you and your family.
Due to the pandemic, many families have moved to new cities, states, and countries this past year for various reasons. Regardless of your reasons for wanting to move, you should know that you’re not alone in wanting to do so.
While you’re probably already familiar with the CDC’s basic guidelines to stay safe, such as wearing masks and social distancing, you should also follow these additional measures when making your move.
Plan Your Move
As the world has already learned, the COVID-19 pandemic is an ever-changing one. This means that when cases suddenly spike or the situation in your area changes, it can affect your plans. That’s why it’s important to think ahead and plan out everything you’ll need for your move.
Get your supplies early and have backup plans in place for everything you’ll need in case you suddenly find that something is unobtainable. During upticks in cases, many supply shortages at retail stores have occurred.
The moving company that you plan to use may decide to reduce their office hours, or they may even run out of equipment or vehicles for use if there’s high demand. Studies have shown that the pandemic caused mass migrations where many people moved out of urban areas as soon as cases began to spike. If your move involves flying, ensure that your airline tickets can be changed to another date or canceled at the last minute if need be.
If you decide to hire movers instead of moving things yourself, you should make sure that the moving company you hire is following all safety protocols. It wouldn’t hurt to ask them about their safety measures and what they’re doing to keep their staff safe and limit the spread of the virus.
Find out if all employees are required to wear masks by asking their management about this. You should also inquire about whether they’re screening and monitoring for symptoms. As an extra precaution, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to ask what types of sanitizers they’re using while touching the surfaces of their clients’ belongings.
Also, you should ask if the company offers virtual quotes instead of coming to your home first to inspect everything. Virtual quotes would allow you to show them all your belongings in your home using pictures and videos so that you won’t need to have any contact with them before the move.
When it comes time to pack your belongings, you should try to use any boxes that you already have or purchase new boxes. Using recycled or pre-used cardboard boxes that are thrown out by grocery stores or other retail businesses may increase the chances of coming into contact with viruses.
Although the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 doesn’t live very long on cardboard, paper, and soft surfaces, it’s still an unnecessary risk that you don’t need to take.
You should also disinfect all your belongings as you’re packing them if anybody outside of your household came into contact with anything, such as things recently purchased from the store.
Precautions Upon Arrival
Lastly, once you arrive at your new home, you should remember to sanitize any items you unpack that may have been touched by movers or helpers. In fact, it might even be a good idea to leave any things you don’t need right away packed inside the boxes. This will reduce the possibility of any traces of the virus making it into your new home.
If you have children, you should speak to them right away about precautions that they should be taking due to the pandemic. Sometimes children act out and start behaving differently when they reach a new destination because they are homesick or anxious from the move. They may even be curious if they see other children within the neighborhood and may forget to keep their distance or follow basic safety measures.
Moving during a pandemic can be challenging, but it is do-able. Remember these tips to keep you and your family safe during this major transition.
Abby Drexler is a contributing writer and media specialist on behalf of North American Van Lines. She graduated from the University of Tennessee with a major in Public Relations.