Planning a Move During a Pandemic

Are you planning on moving during the pandemic? No matter the surrounding climate, some constants rarely change, one of which is people needing to buy and sell homes. It may not be convenient or recommended to move during challenging times like a pandemic, but it is vital for some buyers and sellers for one reason or another.

Moving during any time of the year is no easy feat, but throw in a virus-like COVID-19, and the checklist of things to worry about suddenly gets longer. Despite the added hurdles, moving during a pandemic is very doable so long as you are adequately prepared.

Being prepared means getting your address change done, finding your moving boxes, hiring a professional moving company, or renting from one of the best moving truck companies and doing the move yourself. All these things should be priorities among others, whether you are moving during a pandemic or not.

When going from one home to another it is always wise to have a moving checklist to follow.

Be Aware of Travel Restrictions and Rules

Moving During a Pandemic Be sure to check with the state you are moving to, from, and any you cross along the way for travel restrictions. This may include things like a 14-day quarantine period or a negative test presented before or after your move.

Depending upon those rules, you may want to plan ahead and be prepared to bring things like groceries and other essentials to have during your first two weeks in your new home. The CDC has a travel planner that allows you to enter a zip code to learn more about COVID-19 travel restrictions, provides guidance regarding additional limitations in that area, and offers other general resources about your destination.

If you have children, you will want to check and see what changes the local schools have made most recently in light of the virus. Some schools have in-person learning, others are remote, and some are a hybrid of the two. The status can often change in school districts, so be sure you are up to date. There are many considerations when selling a house during Covid-19.

Decide Whether You Will Hire a Moving Company

Many moving companies are still open during the pandemic and can help you with your move. In fact, some are even offering discounts. Do your research to ensure the company takes social distancing and safety precautions seriously before hiring.

Many moving companies are now offering virtual in-home estimates over Zoom or FaceTime. Consider getting quotes from multiple moving companies as some have fees depending on what you are moving. As always, be sure to look over the insurance options and contracts before signing! Ask the moving companies lots of questions to ensure you are making the right choice.

If you choose to employ movers, it is a good idea to provide the crew with access to hand sanitizer, a handwashing sink, soap, and paper towels throughout the move.

Be sure to maintain social distance around anyone, not in your immediate family or move group. According to the CDC, anyone who is around people who do not live in their household should wear a mask. This includes movers as well as those from your household around the movers.

Whether you only have a small number of items to move or you simply feel better about not having strangers touching your items right now, there is always the do-it-yourself method.

If you opt for this option, be sure to stock up on boxes, packing tape, packing paper, etc., all at once to avoid last-minute and unnecessary trips to the store.

Clean and Sanitize

Cleaning is essential, whether there is a pandemic or not! Leaving a clean and sanitized space for the new owners to enter is the courteous thing to do when moving out of a home. Likewise, one can only hope the previous owners of your new home did the same.

Whether or not the previous owners did a sanitization of their own, it is always a good idea to wipe everything down upon moving in. The CDC offers a complete list of disinfectants they have found to be most effective against COVID-19.

Depending on your comfort and risk level, you may want to consider having a professional disinfectant team come in and sanitize the home. If you opt for the latter, you should try to schedule an appointment ahead of time as disinfectant and cleaning crews are especially busy right now.

Donations and Junk Removal

If, upon boxing things up, you found yourself with piles of items you no longer want, consider either donating or calling a junk removal company. Many of the items you no longer want can likely be donated.

Community donation centers have been exceptionally in need of donations over the past year. Most donation centers are still open during the pandemic but may have different hours and drop-off rules, so be sure to call ahead and check-in first.

If the pile of unwanted items is mostly trash and unable to be donated, a junk removal company might be your best option. Junk Removal companies are also mostly still open right now, though again, there may be some limitations in operating hours or locations.

When You Should Delay Moving

Though the idea of delaying a move to your new home may be painful, in certain situations, it is the only option.

The CDC recommends you delay travel if:

  • You or a family member are sick with a fever, cough, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
  • You have recently tested positive for COVID-19 with a viral test.
  • You have had close contact with a person with COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
  • You are waiting for the results of a COVID-19 viral test.

Purchasing travel cancellation insurance may be a good idea if you must purchase a plane or train tickets to travel to your new home.

Cardinal Rule of 2020-2021

If you do not feel well or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should stay home and inform all those who have been in close contact with you, whether that be the moving company, junk removal company, cleaning services, etc. There is a chance that the health department may call you as well for further contact tracing.

Be Prepared When Moving During a Pandemic

Preparation is the name of the game when it comes to moving and selling a home amid a pandemic. So long as you do your research on current travel restrictions, follow CDC guidelines implemented in the areas you’re traveling to, from, and through, and plan ahead to make the overall process a smooth one, you should be all set to take the final step of moving into your new home!

Hopefully, you have found this guide for moving during a pandemic to be useful.

Anthony Lamacchia


About the author: The above article on moving during a pandemic was written by Anthony Lamacchia. Anthony is the Broker/Owner of Lamacchia Realty, Inc. and loves informing buyers, sellers, and Realtors alike of the latest market changes.