September 17, 2020
Shows movers working with masks during coronavirus pandemic.

Moving can be incredibly stressful. The safety concerns and overall uncertainty that the coronavirus presents certainly doesn’t help. However, there are things you can do to ensure everyone’s safety and reduce your stress.

First, research your local moving companies. Talk to your friends and family who have recently moved to get their advice. Read online reviews. Request estimates. Call moving company offices to speak with them live. The better their customer service is on the front end, the more likely it is for them to provide high caliber movers on your big day.  

Second, educate yourself about the virus. Stay up to date by checking the CDC’s website every so often, as well as your city’s or town’s local government page. Talk to your moving company in depth about how you and your movers will protect themselves and each other. Knowledge is power!

Once you’ve selected the right moving company and are current on coronavirus information, you can rest easy knowing that your moving day will be much less stressful.

Moving services are essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic

With so many industries closed down and businesses shuttered during the pandemic, it can be difficult to keep up with which services are essential and which aren’t. Moving has been deemed an essential service so that individuals and businesses can still relocate.

Why are moving companies considered essential services?

Moving is considered an essential service because it is absolutely necessary for many people and companies. Whether you’re moving for personal preference, family situation, or financial constraints, you have the right to move to a new or different home, and businesses have the right to relocate their offices.

In March 2020, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced in an executive order that moving service is essential during the shelter in place order and throughout the pandemic.

Is it safe to move during the coronavirus pandemic?

Just like any other activity, moving is safe as long as all parties involved protect themselves and each other. Cleaning your materials and wearing a mask will protect you and your family during the move. Speak in depth with your moving company about what steps they’ll take to keep you and your home safe.

What your moving company will do to keep you safe on moving day

We all need to work hard to keep ourselves and each other safe. And your moving company’s top priority must be the safety and wellbeing of everyone in their community. This includes their own team and all of their clients.

There are new regulations in place since the beginning of the pandemic that outline the best and safest practices. And while some of these regulations are pretty standard and even common sense, there are a few restrictions that people outside of the moving industry might not be aware of.

Will the movers be equipped with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Movers, just like all people, must be equipped with PPE. The most important piece of PPE, of course, is a mask. Everyone inside your home—the movers, you, and anyone else present—should wear a mask at all times. And remember: the mask must cover the nose and mouth!

Additionally, all moving trucks should carry hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. This is to protect the movers as well as their clients.

Read your moving company’s website and social media pages to make sure they’re taking steps to protect everyone from the coronavirus. And don’t be shy! Call them to discuss any specific concerns you might have. You deserve the highest level of service, and they need to be available and willing to answer your questions.

Is there anything the movers cannot do on move day?

There are a lot of things that your moving company—and your onsite movers—can do to protect you and themselves on your moving day. But there are also some things that they cannot do.

Many movers will wear washable fabric gloves to protect their hands and improve their grip while moving your materials. But surgical, vinyl, and nylon gloves are off limits. OSHA prohibits gloves that impair grip, and since disposable gloves are too slippery, they are not allowed. Although other essential workers like medical professionals, store cashiers, and stockers wear these gloves, your movers cannot.

Movers must wear shoes to protect their feet and have better traction on all walking surfaces. Although some clients feel that shoes might bring in germs, shoes are essential PPE to all moves. And while some industries can wear booties over their shoes, moving crews are required to carry heavy objects on all sorts of surfaces, sometimes during inclement weather. Their footwear needs to have a good grip, so shoes without booties are required at all times.

Will the moving blankets, furniture pads, and other supplies that the movers bring be clean?

All good moving companies bring clean supplies to each move. However, it is impossible for them to wash all of the blankets, pads, bags, etc. every day. Their trucks should be equipped with disinfectant and extra supplies to ensure that only clean and safe materials come in contact with your personal possessions.

Cardboard can be the most difficult material to disinfect. Moisture damages the structural integrity of cardboard, so any paper-based packing supplies have to be lightly sprayed with sanitizer rather than wiped down. A safer and greener solution to cardboard boxes are plastic moving boxes. These are easily disinfected between each move, so there is no risk of germs. Additionally, since they are rentable and reusable, they are much better for the environment than cardboard.

If you prefer, you are welcome to purchase your own packing supplies. Shrink wrap, tape, moving blankets, etc. are easily found online and at big box stores. Although your movers will come prepared with their own materials, you are free to provide your own brand new supplies if it makes you feel safer. Just let your moving company know before your move day.

Moving your home during the COVID-19 pandemic

Maybe your lease is up. Maybe you’ve been on lockdown for so long that you need to look at a fresh set of walls. Or maybe your financial situation has changed during the coronavirus pandemic, so you’re moving to a new home. Whatever the case, your move is essential, and your local moving company can make it happen safely and healthily.

Is it a good idea to make moving arrangements during the pandemic?

Moving during the coronavirus pandemic is perfectly safe. Just follow the recommended moving safety guidelines, wear PPE, and educate yourself on best practices. Arm yourself with the knowledge you need to protect yourself and your home by speaking with your moving company on their COVID protocols. Once you have that knowledge, you’ll be able to rest easy and imagine yourself living your best life in your new home.

Are there moving safety tips to keep in mind in preparation for the move?

This is a very strange time. We hesitate to gather with friends and family due to coronavirus concerns. And now that you’re moving, there will be strangers in your home, packing and carrying your personal items.

Fortunately, there are ways that you can help the moving process to go more quickly.

  • Pack and label your boxes before the move. This will save you money and will help the movers to finish the job more quickly. Here are some helpful tips and tricks for the best pack and move possible, including keeping heavy boxes to a minimum and putting the heaviest items on the bottom.
  • Research any elevator or parking restrictions. If you live in a large building, you might have to rent or reserve a freight elevator for your move day. And many streets require parking permits or have laws against large trucks. The more information that you can send to your moving company about these restrictions, the better set up you’ll be for a quick move.
  • Provide a hand washing station. If you’re able to have a designated sink with soap and paper towels available for the movers to use, please do! A counter with a bottle of hand sanitizer will also do the trick.
  • Limit the amount of people present. Social distancing is a huge part of preventing the spread of coronavirus, so the less people that gather together, the better. If possible, only have one or two people from your family present on your move day.

As with everything in life, it’s best to be prepared. Talk to your moving company in the days leading up to your move date to find out what their specific protocols are. Ask what you can do to ensure the quickest and safest move possible.

What you can do to prepare for your moving day

The best way to avoid unwelcome surprises is to prepare as best as possible. Even if you’re not accustomed to moving, there are resources available to help. Don’t hesitate to contact your moving company for some tips and advice as well.

What is the best way to prepare for moving day?

There are lots of things to be done in the weeks leading up to your move. Don’t get overwhelmed! Download and print this moving checklist. It’ll help get you organized and on the right track for a safe and successful move.

Here are a few highlights:

  • One Month Before Your Move
    • Create a folder to keep all move-related records and notes.
    • Talk to your moving company about any temporary or permanent storage needs.
    • Schedule the turn-on and turn-off of your utilities: phone, internet, cable, water, garbage, gas, and electrical services.
  • Three Weeks Before Your Move
    • Notify your insurance and credit card companies of your change of address.
  • Two Weeks Before Your Move
    • Make sure you have enough time off of work around the move, and coordinate this with your employer.
    • If you have children or pets, make sure you have someone lined up to watch them on moving day.
    • Cancel the following services at your old home: newspapers/magazines, house cleaning, lawncare, and water delivery.
  • One Week Before Your Move
    • Clear hallways and stairways of obstructions so that large furniture items may be loaded onto the truck first.
    • Empty the contents of drawers.
    • Defrost and clean the refrigerator.
  • Moving Day
    • Be present and available! Your movers will call you with an estimated time of arrival, so don’t go anywhere and have your phone nearby.
    • Make sure that all pathways and walkways that the movers will use are cleared of obstacles. If you’re moving in the winter, this might include ice and snow.

Breaking down your move into many smaller tasks will help you focus on getting things done. Just chip off a little bit of the iceberg at a time over the month leading up to your move.

You’ve got this!

What cleaning should be done prior to moving day?

Any cleaning that you can do prior to move day will help protect you and your moving team. Walking into a clean and sanitized home will make everyone feel better, too.

Proactively cleaning won’t only help prevent the spread of the virus. It will also help your stress level on move day! It’s common for the move to be one of the last times you’ll be in your old home. Landlords and new buyers will perform walkthroughs before the home is handed over to the new tenant, so it’s best to clean early. So empty out those drawers and wipe down those counters!

Moving your business during the COVID-19 pandemic

People need to move. And businesses do too! The coronavirus pandemic has changed the face of in-office business. Some companies have seen their product demands skyrocket, and they need larger spaces. Others have had great success with employees working from home and have decided to move to smaller facilities to save money on overhead costs like rent or mortgage, electrical, and heating and cooling.

Is moving a business essential just like moving a home?

Companies often lease or rent their facilities, and commercial leases end just like personal ones do. Companies have the right to increase or decrease their space as their needs dictate. Moving is sometimes critical to the health of a business. Because of this, moving commercial facilities is just as essential as moving personal homes.

What is the best way to prepare for a commercial move?

Moving a company is a lot of work. Fortunately, there are steps that a business can take to prepare for the move. Here are a few:

  • Require your employees to pack up their own desks. Each individual staff member should be responsible for their own items. Ask them to box up their office supplies and critical files. And don’t forget the labels! Each box should be labeled with their name and quantity of boxes. For instance: “John Smith, Box 1 of 2.”
  • Task your IT Department with disconnecting and packing up all computer equipment. Although your employees know their computers, printers, and phones quite well, these items really should be handled by the experts. Your IT Department should be responsible for disconnecting, packing, and labeling all of this equipment.
  • Assign common areas to employees. Who is packing up and cleaning the breakroom? What about the reception area and the foyer? Make a list of all common areas to ensure they’re packed up and cleaned before move day.
  • Remember: be safe! Keep in mind that the COVID-19 safety guidelines recommend small gatherings, including at work. Create a schedule for your employees so that they know when to be at the office to pack up.

Should my employees be present during the move?

It is best practice during the pandemic to have as few people as possible in any confined area, including an office. Having a few key employees at your facility during move day is great. They can help answer questions from your moving team and tighten up any last-minute details. But keep your onsite staff as small as possible. This will help protect your employees, your company, and your move team.

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