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Moving is stressful during an average move. Mix in the coronavirus pandemic and the fact that we’re in the heart of moving season, and you have a recipe for misinformation, uncertainty and anxiety.

If your clients have questions about how to move safely, they’re not alone. Here are the answers to the most frequently asked “moving safely during coronavirus” questions.

Related to State-by-State Guidelines

Is moving an essential service in my state?

Check your state’s executive order for essential businesses and check frequently as officials update their guidance daily.

How do I know if my move is allowed?

While your local officials may deem moving essential, some apartment communities and HOAs are not allowing residents to move during stay-at-home orders. Check with your management company, board, etc. before booking anything for your move. As of this publish date, most states are allowing moving, as long as they abide by the state-mandated safety precautions.

Related to the Moving Company

What should I ask moving companies to ensure they can handle my move safely?

Specifically during this pandemic, here are a few questions you should ask your professional moving company:

– Do you provide virtual or digital estimates?
– Are the trucks and movers equipped with hand sanitizer, masks and gloves?
– What other measures are being taken to ensure the safety of your customers and crew?
– How often are high-touch surfaces within the trucks sanitized?
– If I opt for packing services, can you pack my home without me there?
– What is your cancellation/rescheduling policy?

What should I do to best accommodate my moving company?

You should provide a few accommodations to make the move safe for your family and the moving crew:

– Wear a mask and gloves.
– Don’t pack your disinfecting wipes, cleaners and soap—allow the crew to wash their hands frequently (before, during and after).
– Disinfect high-touch surfaces often—doorknobs, sinks, cabinet pulls, refrigerators, etc.
– Keep your windows open during the move to provide additional air circulation.

What happens if I need to cancel my move?

If you need to cancel your moving company, don’t worry. In most cases, booking a moving company is non-binding, allowing you the freedom to cancel at any point prior to your move, without penalty.

However, if your moving company collected a deposit prior to your move, it may be non-refundable. Contact your moving company about your deposit—many reputable moving companies will be flexible or make an exception considering the pandemic. They may refund your deposit or provide credit for a future move.

I don’t feel comfortable with others touching my stuff. What are my options?

– You can move using your own vehicle. This is the safest option.
– You can rent a truck.
– You can rent a container–it’s contactless and you can pack everything yourself.

I want to rent a truck and do it myself. What should I do to ensure my safety?

If you rent a truck, be sure to wear gloves and disinfect the truck’s “hotspots” before getting behind the wheel: the steering wheel, the keys, the door handles (outside and inside), the seats and seatbelts, the gear shifter/selector, knobs and buttons on the dashboard and console, and touch screens.

Related to Disinfecting Belongings

How do I make sure my things aren’t infected? My boxes, my stuff, my furniture, etc.

This is a great question because it seems nearly impossible to disinfect every item in every box.

If you don’t have to move in right away, move your belongings first and then move your self/family into the house 72-96 hours later. The New England Journal of Medicine published a study that tested how long the virus can remain stable on various surfaces—they found it was still detectable on cardboard for up to 24 hours and on plastic and steel for up to 72 hours.

If you’re moving at the same time as your belongings, pack an “open first” box or two. When you get to the new home, drop your “open first” boxes in a safe place, and place the rest of your boxes away from your “open first boxes” (cover it in colorful tape or use colored markers to make sure it doesn’t get swallowed up in a sea of other brown boxes). Prepare to disinfect the box and the items inside the box.

Here are some items to include:

– For the kitchen: disinfectant spray, water bottle, plastic cups, non-perishable snacks, paper towels
– For the bathroom: hand soap, body soap, shampoo, conditioner, toilet paper, shower curtain, shower liner, towel, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant
– For the bedroom: sheet set, blanket, pillow, t-shirt, phone charger
– For the next day: change of clothes, instant coffee or cold brew

When/how should I clean the new home properly?

Be sure to deep clean and sanitize your new home before you move into it. Here are a few resources and tips to help:

CDC’s recommendations on how to clean and sanitize your home

EPA’s list of disinfectants that meet the criteria to fight COVID-19. When purchasing any product, check if its EPA registration number (located on the product label) is included in this list. The products on this list may be marketed and sold under different brand names, but if they have the same EPA registration number, they are the same product.

– Use disinfectant wipes for quick cleanings over the most high-touch areas—doorknobs, sinks, cabinet pulls, refrigerators, etc.

– Use disinfectant sprays for areas that can’t be wiped clean. You can use Lysol, for example, on your couches and mattresses which will touch many surfaces during a move (the ground, the inside of a truck, etc.).

– Use this CDC bleach mixture recommendation on your new tile floors. Use a disinfecting wet mop cloth on your hardwood floors.

– As you unpack, be sure to also disinfect your computer and accessories (keyboards can get pretty gross), your television remote controls, credit cards, wallet, and more.

Other Considerations

Is it safe for installation teams to come into my home?

Many television and internet providers now offer self-service solutions for installing new equipment like routers, DVRs, etc. so if you’re healthy and capable, that’s your best option. Regardless of installation technique, you need to prioritize your internet setup— your internet connection is your connection to your work, family and friends. There have been one- to two-hour call wait times, as more and more people call to increase speeds and bandwidth. You can’t bank on getting an appointment as easily as you have in the past. Additionally, you may also want to consider a high bandwidth plan to account for changes in working from home, video calls, multi-device streaming, etc.

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