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moving during the pandemic


No matter when it happens or why, nobody actually likes moving.

Sure, you can be excited about the aftereffects of the move! Maybe you’re finally getting a new place with your partner, maybe you’re moving the family into a new house where everyone can have their own space, maybe it’s just time to get out of your old studio in the city. But nobody likes doing the move, just what happens after.

Imagine, then, how frustrating it must be to have to move during the pandemic.


It might be hard to imagine, but it has happened! (To some of us here, in fact!) Leases aren’t going to not end just because of the shelter-in-place order, and the various challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic can magnify the already stressful situations that moving can bring about.

If this is about to happen to you or someone you love, we’ve got a few ways to keep yourself safe and try to make the whole process easier:


Use new supplies

We’ve all done the tried-and-true method of borrowing cardboard boxes from a local store or a friend who’s done with them to help cut down on expenses during a move. Right now might not be the safest time to do that, however, as many stores have been disposing their old cardboard more quickly than normal, and you don’t know what it’s been exposed to in the meantime. Better to stick with new cardboard for the time being to prevent illness.


Get safe storage for the new place

It might be a second before you can get totally unpacked and settle in when you get to the new place, so in the meantime you might need to get some storage that can help fight germs. Especially if you have a team of movers that may be handling your stuff, try to set up something like epoxy coated shelving that won’t transfer germs as easily, so you can leave your stuff safely at the new place and give it time for any potential contagion to wear off.


Get to know your movers

In most states right now, movers are still considered an “essential business”, although individual moving companies may have different standards and hours of operation. If you’re working with a mover to get your biggest stuff (since you can’t exactly have friends over), a few good questions to ask are:

  • Will they use masks and gloves?
  • Can they offer contactless services for smaller items?
  • Will other families’ items be in the same truck?

A few simple questions can go a long way towards keeping your family safe when using the help of others.


Let everything air out

Especially if you needed the help of movers, you might want to make some room in the garage for your stuff to stay until any potential contaminants have had time to fall away. Set up some garage shelving and tell the movers to leave everything in there (barring larger items like couches and the like) to make sure nothing gets tracked into your house that you don’t want.


Deep clean the new place when you get there

Lastly, you should make sure that everything left in your new house – fixtures, faucets, fire extinguishers – gets cleaned out and wiped down before you’re totally settled in to make sure nothing got left behind by the previous residents. Chances are nothing too unpleasant will be waiting for you, but especially if you have younger family members, older family members, or anyone with a compromised immune system, you’re better off not taking the risk.

And lastly, just remember to be patient. It won’t be a fun process, but once you’re settled into the new place, it will all have been worth it!

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