Moving During Coronavirus: What Families Should Keep in Mind

The novel coronavirus has had huge impacts on our daily lives. While 80% of employees formerly viewed the option to work remotely as a job perk, many Americans are now finding that working from home isn’t as easy or as enjoyable as they thought. Many others have lost their jobs entirely or are now trying to adjust to educating their kids at home. And then there are the events that need to be canceled or postponed due to the necessity of social distancing and staying home.

But sometimes, “staying home” isn’t totally possible if you’re actually changing where home is during the pandemic. Roughly 27% of Americans rented their homes in 2016, but you may be on the road to homeownership. Alternatively, your lease might be up and you’ve already secured a new place to live. Although most people aren’t making the conscious choice to up and move during a global crisis, the wheels may already be in motion or you may be required to move to a new place in order to find employment. Around 58% of workers say they quit when their employers don’t have enough growth opportunities to convince them to stay, but you may have been let go as a result of the virus and need to relocate as a result.

Whatever your reasons for moving, it’s important that you take proper precautions during this period. Here are a few tips your family should keep in mind in order to have a safe and successful move.

Minimize Contact With Others

Your family might have been counting on help from friends and family during your move, but that may no longer be possible given certain health and safety guidelines. Although moving companies and even moving truck rentals fall under the essential businesses category, you may not feel confident using their services. However, if you’ve already paid for their help and you’re going ahead with your move, it may be worth it to have the assistance.

It may also be good to remember that moving companies are required to follow federal and local guidelines pertaining to sanitization and social distancing, which means that they should be wearing masks and gloves and disinfecting trucks frequently. Talk to your moving company to inquire what kinds of measures they have in place to keep their employees and clients safe before the big day. You might need to provide them with hand sanitizer or leave the windows open on the day of your move. And of course, you should forgo shaking hands. You may also want to stay out of the house while the movers are inside and bring out anything you can yourself. You should also plan to prepay your tip or send it electronically to ensure you’re able to stay far enough away.

Clean As You Pack (and Unpack)

Don’t make the mistake of packing away dirty belongings in your haste to get everything done. You’ll have a much easier time if you clean as you go. That will allow you to leave all the grime behind and make sure you aren’t bringing anything nasty with you to your new house. Use disinfecting wipes or make your own sanitizing solution at home to ensure all of your belongings are thoroughly cleaned prior to being put in boxes. As a rule, you should finish your packing at least 24 hours before your movers arrive and refrain from touching any of the boxes at that point. In fact, buy new cardboard boxes for your move; the coronavirus can live on solid surfaces like cardboard for up to 24 hours, so don’t take any chances.

You’ll also want to thoroughly scrub your home before you leave for good. You may even consider hiring a cleaning service to perform a deep clean of your old home or your new digs, as cleaning supplies can be scarce. If at all possible, place soap and paper towels next to the sinks in your home and have some hand sanitizer available by the doors to your home(s) to ensure you and your movers can keep your hands clean throughout the process.

Prioritize Wi-Fi Service and Locate Essential Businesses

Aside from ensuring your move won’t pose a health risk, you should take the time to work out the details of your daily life before you arrive at your new home. For one thing, you should readily locate where essential businesses — like grocery stores, pharmacies, urgent care centers, hospitals, and home improvement stores — before you get there. While you might be able to find these on your Google Maps app, it may behoove you to familiarize yourself with the area before you venture out.

You should also be sure to set up your wireless internet service so it’s up and running as soon as possible; if you need to shelter-in-place in your new home, you won’t be able to do much without internet access. Don’t forget to file a change of address with both the post office and the IRS, particularly if you’re expecting stimulus checks, unemployment wages, or voting ballots.

Trapped in a stuffy car?

If you have the chance to travel any other way than by car, to your new home, then take it. It’s better to be safe than sorry. When you’re trapped in a stuffy car for hours on end, the risk of infection is always going to be higher. But how do you move your car if you’re going to be traveling another way? Give a call and ask them to move your car for you. You can take the train or a flight to your new home, as public transport services are all observing social distancing and someone else will drive your car to your destination. You can get a quote from their website which should give you a good guess of the cost. Get a quote, book a time slot, your car will be picked up and you’ll take delivery at the agreed day or time, at your new home. What could be simpler and safer?

Moving to a new home is never going to be a stress-free process — especially if you have children. But during a pandemic, it’s going to be even more of a challenge. By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be in a better position to keep your family safe and settle into your new surroundings with no health hazards in sight.

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