As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States continues to grow, “shelter in place” is the increasingly common directive. Self-quarantine. #StayHome.
If you’ve given your landlord notice, signed a lease on a new place, or are in the process of selling your home and/or buying a new one, you may be able to work out an agreement that allows for flexibility. But if you have no choice but to go ahead with your move, there are a number of things you can do to keep yourself and those around you safe.
Are moving companies an essential service?
Yes, in most states and counties.
While there is no federal mandate on essential services, the CISA (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agencies) and various governmental bodies list “transportation and logistics” as an essential service, which includes moving services. Companies like HireAHelper have updated policy and safety measures to better serve people moving during this time.
Follow COVID-19 health guidelines during a move
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) (1) lays out all you need to know to protect yourself from infection, along with vital information on how the coronavirus spreads, how to keep your home clean, and much more. The World Health Organization (WHO) (2) is another critical source of information.
- Do NOT move if you are sick
- Maintain six-feet of distance between yourself and your movers at all times (they won’t be offended)
- Use new boxes, as COVID-19 can live on cardboard for 24 hours
- Wash your hands routinely with soap and water
- Make sure everyone wears disposable gloves and face coverings during the move
- Do not shake up dirty laundry and avoid stirring up dust
- Keep the area well ventilated with open windows and doors, if possible
Know your leasing rights
The National Apartment Association (NPA) has put together a list of resources for renters during COVID-19.
Beyond utilizing best safety practices for apartment complexes, it’s also important to check in with your county or state government, as some places around the country are instituting safety measures such as rent freezes or deferred payments.
Here is a running list of states with paused evictions, as of 04/01/20:
|State||Evictions Paused?||State||Evictions Paused?|
If it’s possible, do a DIY move
Of the three different move types, a DIY move, where you do everything yourself, is definitely the safest right now (although if you need to rent a moving truck, there are still inherent risks.)
If you hire movers, make certain they are actively safety-conscious
Movers around the country are doing their part to amp up the communication during the pandemic.
It makes sense, since it’s the health of their crews who’re working on the front-lines. We suggest any top-rated mover on HireAHelper who continues to earn 5-star reviews for people forced to move during the pandemic.
When searching for the best movers, make sure they do these things:
- Update you on their newest policies and clearly define their working hours publically
- Are open to direct communication
- Do any assessments virtually or over the phone
- Come prepared with face masks and disposable gloves
- Have health screenings for their crew members, if possible
- Be more flexible with health-related cancellations
And if your moving company needs extra help with assessing your moving needs, HirerAHelper is trained to step in and help. Remember, if anything changes health-wise for anyone in your household, communicate this to your mover right away. (They’ll do the same for you!)
Communicate a lot with your moving company leading up to your moving date
Communication is important for any move, but essential when the safety of everyone involved is on the line.
Movers on HireAHelper are instructed to keep in close communication with their customers leading up to their moving day, letting customers know all their updated policies and safety measures. Make sure you talk before and during moving day!
HireAHelper is also waiving all COVID-19 related “same-day cancellation” and “no-show” penalties for both customers and movers in an effort to reinforce safety measures. No matter where you find your movers, make absolutely sure they are flexible enough to stay safe, in case anyone becomes ill or exposed to someone ill before moving day.
Prep your place for the movers
Don’t just sit back and hope the movers are safe, pitch in to make sure everyone is safe!
- Keep as many windows and doors open as possible for proper ventilation
- Only use new cardboard boxes, do not use used boxes of unknown origin
- Don’t worry about handshakes! Communicate your commitment to social distancing ahead of time
- Having hot water, soap, paper towels, disinfectant and hand sanitizer readily available for the movers can make a huge difference
- Make sure all clothes are washed
- Keep the hot water running and soap next to the sink for yourself and anyone helping you. Use paper towels for drying your hands
Consider a moving container for added safety
At a time where we are all trying to keep distance, renting a portable container might be the best (i.e., safest) option.
Companies like PODS, 1-800-Pack-Rat and ZippyShell can drop off a container in front of your home (provided there is adequate space), leave it for you to load with all your things, then pick it up when it’s ready. There’s no close contact needed and you get your stuff moved without anyone necessarily having to touch anything!
Even if you need to hire labor to help you with your storage container, the added perk of transportation can make this a safer way to move during the pandemic. This is especially true for a long-distance move, where it minimizes the need for extra crews handling your stuff at both ends.
Deep clean your new place before you unpack anything
It’s super important that you don’t take this for granted. Make sure to wipe down all your things: your boxes, your furniture, the surfaces in your home, etc.
Follow the CDC recommendations for how to deep clean your new place, including a long list of disinfectants they say are effective in killing the coronavirus, which includes:
- Diluted household bleach
- Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol
- Other common EPA-registered household disinfectants
It’s very important that you do not go through all of the previous steps, just to stop short of making sure your new place is properly disinfected.
Remember that we really are all in this together – and we will get through it by staying apart. Stay safe.
- Updating COVID-19 case tracker within the United States https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html
- World Health Organization
- States’ health departments
- American Moving and Storage Association Health Policy
- CDC disinfectant list
To read HireAHelper’s policy updates during the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.