Checklist: Before you move
1. Make sure moving is allowed in your area or building
Not sure if you can move? According to the American Moving & Storage Association, moving has been deemed an “essential service” by the federal government.
Still, while moving is legal in the big picture, it might not be allowed for your specific circumstances. For instance, some apartment buildings in New York City are not allowing residents to move during the current shelter-in-place order. So check with your local and state governments (and your HOA or condo board, if applicable) before scheduling any move.
2. Choose car travel over air travel
“In order to be safe and to protect others from possible exposure to the coronavirus, drive instead of fly for your long-distance move,” advises Ali Wenzke, author of “The Art of Happy Moving.”
It may take longer for you to arrive at your new home, but driving is better for the safety of everyone.
3. Carefully research your movers
Hiring movers should always be a process that involves careful research before signing a contract. Now that missive is even more important. So is using professional movers rather than a cheaper man-with-a-van option, which could involve unknown rental equipment and multiple trips to get everything moved.
These days, many companies have transitioned to contactless moving, which means customers leave their homes while the crew comes in to pack up and load the truck. Many movers are also using video chat technology to see customers’ homes and offer quotes.
At Bellhops, a company that provides moving services in 30 states, “the customer provides instructions and takes a video and sends it to us,” says Luke Marklin, the company’s CEO. “We do a FaceTime walk-through when we arrive and a final FaceTime walk-through to show them the truck and the house, then repeat that process for the unload.”
As each industry and individual company has pivoted to our new normal differently…Make sure to ask all prospective movers about their COVID-19 policies and practices, and make sure to ask the following:
- Do you provide virtual or digital estimates?
- Are the trucks and movers equipped with hand sanitizer, masks, and gloves?
- Will the truck transporting your furniture and boxes be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized before your belongings are packed inside?
- Will all equipment—such as hand trucks and sound blankets—be cleaned before your move?
- How often are high-touch surfaces in the trucks sanitized?
- What is your cancellation/rescheduling policy?
- How are the movers ensuring employees aren’t sick? This could include taking their temperature on the day of the move and asking if anyone in their household is ill or experiencing symptoms.
These best practices don’t just apply to the movers but to you as well.
“We advise that anyone who is planning to move right now to get gloves and masks to wear during the move,” says Rachmany.
Decluttering? Call ahead if you plan to donate
Moving is a natural time to sort through your closets and set aside items to donate. This unusual time period doesn’t have to be an exception to this.
But if you plan to drop off old housewares, clothing, and other items at your neighborhood Goodwill or Salvation Army, call ahead—not all stores are open or accepting donations right now, and you may need to take additional steps to sanitize donated items.
Alternative Moving Methods
I’ve long been a fan of choosing the moving method that works best for you. Many of my clients are foregoing the traditional moving van and headed towards PODS which can be delivered at your convenience if you home won’t quite be ready when you arrive in your new location. Enjoy a complimentary discount from me!
As often we’re looking at an imperfect moving timeline or unexpected delays might occur with COVID. Some moving companies, like local Denver Cowboy Moving and Storage will store items after they are pack up.
Keep reading on Realtor.com for your Post-Move Checklist.
Ready to look for new digs? I’d love to help!