How to Move During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Moving is a daunting task during the best of times. Throw a pandemic into the mix, and you have a recipe for stress. If you’ve been considering moving, you may be tempted to postpone your move until life calms down. But what if circumstances won’t allow it? Maybe you need to relocate to another state for a new job, or you just had a baby and need a bigger home, or maybe you’re renting an apartment and your lease just expired.

Whatever the situation – don’t panic. Moving is still possible. To help you prepare, here’s what you need to know about how to move during the coronavirus.

Can I move during coronavirus?

The short answer is yes, you can. But, to ensure the safety of you, your family, and the local movers, it’s critical to follow the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. 

In addition to thorough hand washing, keeping a distance of at least 6 feet, and wearing masks and gloves, here are a few more sanitation tips for moving:

  • Deep clean your home before the movers arrive, whether hiring professionals or enlisting members of your household.
  • Sanitize your moving supplies frequently. This includes anything other people will touch like moving boxes, packing supplies, bubble wrap, tape dispensers, scissors, or dollies.
  • Use new cardboard boxes rather than discarded ones from items you’ve ordered online. Once packed, wipe them down before the movers handle them. Then wipe again before you unpack.
  • Deep clean your new home before the movers arrive with your things.
  • Provide your movers with handwashing supplies, sanitizers, masks, and gloves.

Should I consider postponing my move?

It depends. If your move isn’t essential or you are in a high-risk category, it’s best to reassess your options. Similarly, if you or someone in your home is sick or has been exposed to the coronavirus, it’s best to postpone your move. On the other hand, if your move is essential, like relocating a new job or moving to a larger home to accommodate your family, moving may be the only option.

If you plan to travel by air for your move, make note that many airlines have reduced the number of flights. It’s best to have a backup plan in place if your flight is canceled, such as renting a moving truck and driving to your destination. 

Are moving companies essential services?

Yes, moving companies are considered an essential service. However, it’s always best to check your state’s website and contact your local authorities. Regulations are different all over the country and change rapidly. For instance, if you are living in New York City, some apartment complexes have canceled move-ins and many smaller businesses may be on a reduced work schedule.

When the time comes to hiring movers or choosing a truck rental company, ask them what steps they’re taking to protect their customers from the coronavirus. 

Make sure to ask:

  • What social distancing measures do they have in place?
  • How often are they disinfecting their facilities, trucks, blankets, or other supplies?
  • How are they ensuring that employees aren’t sick?
  • If they have to cancel due to illness, how much notice will you receive?
  • What are the terms if you have to reschedule your moving day due to illness or exposure?
  • Can you get a refund if you cancel your move?

Are storage companies closed?

It depends. A few states specifically list storage facilities as essential businesses while other states are unclear. If you need to put your belongings in storage, it’s best to check with your state’s guidelines or contact the storage company you plan on using. 

By understanding how to move safely during the coronavirus pandemic, you’ll be able to make this transition as smooth as possible and protect yourself and those around you.


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