Being safe and responsible when you need to move during these unusual and unpredictable times is a true challenge. Moving during COVID-19 requires that you and your family deal with all the typical stresses of moving house, while also needing to adhere to shelter-in-place policies and procedures. This is all on top of needing to take care of your health and well being, and needing to be super aware of how you interact with each person–from those on your moving team, to new neighbors to any other human you pass in your new neighborhood. 

In particular, given the need to social distance and sanitizing everything around you, there will most certainly be angst about how such requirements should  be upheld.. If you are unsure about protocols for moving during the COVID-19 lockdown, you’re certainly not alone! But don’t fret–we’re here to help. 

You may be wondering what the authorities are saying. In general, we agree with them that if possible, postponing  your move until after the shelter in place ordinance expires would be the most prudent course of action.. According to the most recent  ordinance shared by a number of Bay Area county public health departments, “Individuals may move residences only if it is not possible to wait until the Order expires, such as if a move is already planned or if it is necessary for safety or habitability.” 

Be that as it may, not everyone will be able to postpone for a variety of reasons. What do you do now? This article hopes to give some guidance to those who qualify for moving services as an ‘essential service need

 1. Contact your moving company. Under the current mandate, individual business owners have been permitted to take the order into consideration and decide if they qualify as an essential service for the community. While most moving companies we are in touch with have decided to remain open throughout the ordinance,   we still recommend that everyone contact their moving company as soon as possible to inquire if their operations have been impacted in any way. For example, will they have different hours? Will the size of the moving team change? What is the possibility that they will cancel your move? All of these things may impact your planning.   

2. Be inquisitive about their safety measures to keep you safe (and open about how you will keep them safe). Be sure to notify your moving company  if anyone at your home has shown any symptoms of the virus or has tested positive for COVID-19 (this is the right thing to do). Also be sure to ask what safety measures they will be taking to protect you and your family. Knowing what their policies and procedures are ahead of time will save a lot of time and stress on the day of your move.  

3. Get organized and prepare for packing. One advantage of the current shelter-in-place mandate is that you can now focus on getting everything organized for the move in your home before your move.  Most likely, where you are moving will has similar ordinates in place, so finding companies help to organize your home (i.e., packing, unpacking) will be difficult, if not discouraged.  Plan to pack and unpack without outside help, at least in the interim, and make choices to keep yourself safe. Using old or recycled moving boxes from outside your home is potentially quite dangerous as COVID-19 can live on old cardboard for as long as 24 hours. You may opt to leave the boxes in the sun for a couple days to help decontaminate them. U Haul and other supply stores where you can find packing materials remain open in most cases, and you can find prepackaged and unused boxes there that may not have been touched by others recently–but you will need to be careful of how you interact with employees in the store and maintain social distance. Regardless, be sure to visit the CDC website or the WHO website to see the best way to handle boxes. 

4. Decide what to take and what to toss. Start preparing for your move by first selecting the items that you want to take to the new home. If you already know the layout of your new home, label the items by their destination room. Next, consolidate all of the items you no longer want to bring with you. From our experience, there is a lot of stuff that you might not take with you, that you might want to sell, donate, or dispose of. This is where companies that can (safely) move and remove old items for you can be very helpful. Remoov is a one-stop solution for all, and we will take care of the items you’d like to sell, donate, or dispose of prior to your move. The reason a one-stop solution is great during these times is because selling items via traditional marketplaces requires a lot of face-to-face and “transaction interaction”. This is highly discouraged at this time, and most donation companies are on pause during the quarantine. Remoov can take away this hassle, and safely reroute the things you are not taking with you. You can also consider self-storage solutions (please refer to our storage partners).

While Remoov has temporarily  suspended in-home consultation for the safety of our customers and staff, you are still able to receive a pickup estimate for the items you want to sell, donate or dispose by uploading photos on our website or texting them to 415-857-2791 in San Francisco or xxx-xxx-xxxx in Phoenix We remain  open for during the ordinance for clients for whom the service is essential and unable to wait for the ordinance to expire.

5. Moving Day–staying safe. During the move, please make sure to keep your social distance from others of at least 6 feet.  Assign one point of contact person from your household and have everyone else in a separate room from the movers. If you can, wear a mask or cover your face with a fabric or bandana. MMoves can sometimes take a couple of hours, so prepare ahead of time to have some snacks or games for the kids. You can communicate with the person in charge of the moving team about how you will enact social distancing–always better to have a plan ahead of time!   In your new home, be sure that any new visitors wear masks, gloves and shoe covers. If you can, have soap and disinfectant for the moving team available. Once the moving team has finished, put on gloves and disinfect your shelves, door knobs, rails and any other surface that might have been exposed during the pickup with Lysol or some other type of disinfectant. Go to the CDC website for more advise on disinfecting.

6. Paying for the move. In keeping with social distance guidelines, Remoov will be invoicing all customers instead of collecting payment on site. See if your moving company can do contactless payments either ahead of time or after the fact!

It is a stressful time for all, and adding a  move to that only increases stress levels. But remember all of this is temporary, and you are at more of an advantage if you have time to prepare and not be rushed. 

Stay safe and remember—Remoov is here to help!