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Tips and Considerations for Moving During The Coronavirus Pandemic


Deciding when and where to move can be a lengthy and challenging process under the best of circumstances but it is particularly more difficult in the midst of a pandemic. To simplify the process and make it safer, we compiled a list of considerations and moving guidance. Whether you’re moving across the country or merely to a different town in the same state, you’ll want to keep these lists handy!

Considerations for Deciding Where to Live and When to Move

Rural v Urban or Suburban

According to research pulled from a 2015 paper in Infection Ecology and Epidemiology, rural and exurban areas definitely have reported fewer cases than cities with larger cities with large airports, but that doesn’t necessarily make them more of a Coronavirus safe-haven. For example, rural residents typically reside further from hospitals, whereas suburban and urban residents enjoy better access to specialized doctors. Cities like New York or San Francisco can easily convert sports stadiums into hospitals while a rural hospital can’t be built overnight. Overall, while people in rural areas are less likely to become infected by the Coronavirus, they also usually have fewer means to treat it. So, if you are considering moving to a rural area mainly to feel safer from the Coronavirus or other potential future epidemics but would rather live in a city, consider the aforementioned information before making this decision. Reading our article, Is Your Area Prepared for Coronavirus can also help you determine whether or not the area you're considering moving to is prepared for what lays ahead in terms of the Coronavirus trajectory.

The health of yourself and your family

While moving can be an important part of life and overall happiness, it’s prudent to consider the risks associated with taking this step during a pandemic.  It’s also important to take extra precautions to ensure a safe transition, and to remain nimble to change your plans if necessary to keep you and your family safe. If you are in a high-risk group (have pre-existing conditions, compromised immunity, or are over 60), it may be smart to plan for your move to take place after the pandemic is abated in order to minimize the health risks.

Tips for Preparing to Move and the Moving Process

Selectively choose moving vendors that limit human contact 

 As many are aware, health experts such as the WHO and CDC inform that social distancing is one of the most effective ways to avoid spreading or catching the virus. Moving containers such as PODS enable you to completely control your move while avoiding any physical contact or interaction with others. With PODS, drivers use customer instructions provided via their online portal or phone when they deliver containers. You will provide your own lock and key and being present for delivery or pick-up is not necessary. If you choose to work with a traditional moving service, ask which sanitation precautions their movers are following to mitigate risks and make prior arrangements online or by phone. 

Consider planning to use built-in storage as a backup plan 

Move-in and move-out dates can change frequently even with routine moves. Keeping this in mind, you may want to consider using a portable container with built-in storage options. This could be one that is located on your property or at a secure storage center to keep your belongings safe should a delay occur. If this isn’t an option, inquire whether or not your movers provide storage. Be sure to ask about costs and access to your belongings during storage if this is an offering they have. 

Ask about your mover’s policies for cancellations, refunds, and schedule changes during the pandemic 

During this rapidly-evolving time, the fluid market conditions may require you to adapt cancellations or delays.  For this reason, flexibility is key.  Some helpful questions as you vet movers include: 

  • If we need to cancel our move, will we receive a full refund?
  • Do we need to make a deposit? If so, how much?
  • How easy -or difficult - is it to change our moving date(s)? 
     

Employ additional sanitation precautions during your move

Regardless of what type of moving service you choose, here are some health and safety tips:

Disinfect boxes and items prior to moving. Use disinfecting wipes to clean surfaces of boxes, furniture, and various other items before loading. This process will lessen the risk of transferring germs to your new home. 

Under normal  times, it is a good idea to reuse others' boxes to minimize the environmental impact.   In these unusual times, however, health concerns dictate liberal use of your own boxes because Coronavirus can live on surfaces such as cardboard. If you have boxes on hand, you can put those to use, or try purchasing new boxes from or PODBOXES.com, which offers free delivery. 

Offer your moving helpers  hand-washing supplies and  sanitizer. Ensuring that everyone has access to water, soap, and hand sanitizer is important whether or not you have professional movers or family and friends assisting you. If you can, provide disposable gloves too. 

Above all else, if you or someone in your family is displaying symptoms of the virus, delay your move until a doctor clears you. Even though it will be unfortunate if this is the case, it’s key for the health and safety of everyone involved and the community at large. 

Resources On Our Website to Help You With This Process

  • For a general list of the best cities to relocate in to in the U.S., check out our article, The Best Cities to Relocate to in America.
  • Due to the fact that these trying times make us think even more about the importance of overall good health, you may be considering moving to a city that better supports the overall health and wellness of you and your family members. To learn more about this topic, try reading our article, California Shines, Ohio Aches in Battle for Healthiest Cities.
  • With unemployment rates soaring and hour cuts becoming the norm for many, a majority of us are thinking more and more about how important managing our finances and saving money can be. If you want to make sure you have the means to live with the amenities you have been enjoying in your potential new city, we recommend utilizing our 2020 Cost of Living Calculator.
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