Moving During The Pandemic?

Harrington Movers has taken a hard stance against protecting our employees and clients from the beginning.

1. We have gone paperless. All foreman have tablets and all documents are emailed/txt to you on site during the move. No dirty papers for you to handle.

2. All employees temperatures are checked upon arrival at our facility.

3. All trucks are sprayed in the cab where the men sit and in the Moving Van where your belongings will go.

4. All deliveries into our facility from mail to moving supplies are sprayed and sit for 1 to 2 days prior to being handled.

5. All our men wear masks and we supply new masks everyday.

The novel coronavirus has forced Americans and everyone across the globe to change their daily routines. This global pandemic has also left people uncertain about the future. Across the country, many businesses have completely shut down, while only a handful remain open. Cities and states in the U.S are enacting their policies and regulations based on specific local factors, and circumstances are changing daily!

And while social distancing remains a key component of the COVID-19 prevention measures, moves are not always something that you can postpone. The activities involved in searching for and moving into a new location are different at the moment simply because property agents and other moving professionals have modified how they work to minimize the risk from COVID-19.

So, are moving services still available? If so, how do they work?

As moving experts in the industry, we are here to provide answers to some of your common queries regarding moving during the coronavirus pandemic. We hope this post will you enjoy a smooth and stress-free moving experience as possible. What's more, we'll round up the article by sharing some of the tips offered by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), WHO (World Health Organization) as well as the New Jersey Warehousemen and Movers Association on how to enhance your safety even as you relocate!

So, what is Covid-19?

According to the CDC, COVID-19 is a highly infectious respiratory disease. It is caused by the most recently identified strain of coronavirus. It is imperative to note that before the outbreak of the disease, which was first reported in Wuhan, China, in Dec 2019, this new virus and disease were totally unknown.

COVID-19 is just the latest strain in the current group of coronaviruses that can infect both humans and animals alike. As previously noted, it is incredibly infectious and is transmitted from one individual to another via droplets from either your mouth or nose. And this is the reason why social distancing protocols are extremely important. At the time of writing, there were a total of 19.9 million cases and 344, 000 fatalities of COVID-19 in America.

So, does the term social distancing refers to?

Also referred to as physical distancing, social distancing is among the proven ways to curb the spread of COVID-19. According to the CDC, proper physical distancing requires you:

  • Stay away from crowded places and mass gatherings.

  • Always stay at least 1.5 meters from other people, apart from the people you live with.

  • Don't gather in groups.

Reducing your close contact with people out of your immediate family significantly helps minimize your risk of contracting this deadly virus. And because a significant number of COVID-19 carriers are asymptomatic, the chances are only high that they may be spreading the virus without their knowledge. And this is why social distancing measures are extremely important as far as the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 is concerned.

Is moving an essential service?

For most of us, a moving date is not always flexible. However, if you have just bought or sold a property, or have an ending lease with an upcoming closing date, you must access essential services that may help facilitate your relocation process. Even though most states and cities within the United States have declared a temporary closure of the so-called non-essential businesses, it's imperative to note that moving is generally regarded to be an essential service and movers are currently working in all states.

And if you are flexible enough in your moving date, it may be worth considering putting your moving on hold, particularly if you are in the high-risk category. On the other hand, if it is impossible to postpone your move but you are highly concerned about contracting the diseases, a great option would be to move using your vehicle, provided you can safely lift, carry, load, and unload your stuff!

Note that the closure of non-essential establishments may vary by date, or even city or county. This simply implies that the orders may be different in your area, so you'll have to conduct your research. However, in places cities, or states, where there are active lock-down orders, moving service providers, are currently considered to be essential.

Are moving services still being offered?

Yes, they are available. This is because most established moving companies have not shut down their services. With that in mind, decisions regarding closures may be left in the hands of franchise owners. If you are yet to hear from your moving company even after scheduling for a move, just assume that the company is still offering services unless told otherwise. Of course, you'll also need to contact them for clarification. Harrington Movers is ready to move you to your new location.

And if you are planning for a potential future move yet you are worried about your safety during the pandemic, it is nearly impossible to speculate what will and will not be happening in the near future. At this point, continue searching for companies and don't hesitate to ask what procedures need to be taken during a move.

Most of the safety and prevention measures of Covid-19 have impacted the customer experience, including regular handwashing among the movers themselves and lack of physical contact between customers and the moving personnel.

What about the availability of storage services?

Just like their moving counterparts, major providers of services continue to offer their services. However, you'll realize that there have been major changes in how their work, such as reduced hours of accessibility and perhaps a reduction in the number of clients who can access their facilities at any given time.

It is also imperative to note that storage companies are required to adhere to the laid down safety protocols, such as the sanitization of access pads as well as the obligatory six feet or more of physical distance between customer and employee and customer and customer.

Can you still rent a moving truck?

Because they provide essential personal mobility and transportation needs, rental truck companies continue to render their services. Again, the difference may only be felt in the experience, because major storage providers such as Penske and U-Haul have their social distancing regulations. This implies that both your pick-up and unloading locations may not be at the branch offices. What's more, it means that you may be forced to make your reservation either over the phone or online.

Is it advisable to move during the pandemic?

Even though much of normal life has either ceased or changed, some things must or should go on, including moving. Maybe you were already in the process of moving out of NJ and can't put that plan to a halt. Maybe your lease is up. Whatever the reason, you may have to brave this vast life change under difficult situations.

However, as earlier said, if you have a flexible moving date, it would be better to wait until the physical distancing measures have been removed. On the other hand, if there is little or no flexibility on your side, you'll inevitably have to move but you'll need to work closely with your moving firm to learn what they are doing differently to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

How will I get a moving quote from my moving company?

Harrington Movers now offers virtual surveys as opposed to at-home surveys to issue you with a moving quote via zoom, WhatsApp, Facetime. We have found this change as a great success for our clients. We also have a state of the art program in which you can click on the furniture you would like moved and we will email you a written cost of services. This program is fast and easy.

I have a scheduled move, will it proceed as planned?

If you have a scheduled move that should happen soon, just know it will happen as previously planned unless you are informed of any changes by your moving service provider. Of course, you may also have to give them a call just to seek clarification. Contact them as soon as possible to provide you the details of your move and inform you about the safety measures they'll be putting in place.

And if you find out that the company has shut down its operations but you still need to move at a pre-scheduled date, reach out to other moving firms to check their availability. You can also explore the possibility of renting a moving truck and conducting the whole moving process yourself.

How can I access my moving service provider's Covid-19 policy?

To know more regarding your moving company's policy, visit its official website. You can also give them a direct call. It is worth noting that essential businesses, including moving companies, can enact their regulations to govern how they work during a pandemic. Regardless, you will definitely see protocols put into place around sanitization and social distancing. Don't hesitate to call your moving company for clarification regarding their covid-19 policy!

I want to cancel my move, what should I do?

If you are forced to cancel your moving plans, call your moving provider as soon as possible. Moving contracts are mainly non-binding, and this implies you can cancel them without any financial penalty up to the set time before your service. And if you deposited some upfront cash, go through your contract to ascertain whether you can ask for a return or not. Kindly note that even if your deposit was not a refundable one, the chances are still high that your moving company will make a refund perhaps due to the unfamiliar covid-19 circumstances.

My health is not good, what should I do?

Because your safety, as well as that of your movers, is paramount, you'll need to inform your moving company about your illness. This is to ensure they know and understand all the potential risks for their employees, so that they may be able to adjust their physical distancing as well as sanitization protocols accordingly.

During this pandemic, we all need to be transparent to ensure we all remain safe. And in most instances, your moving provider will still go ahead and work with you. Besides informing them about your health situation, you'll also have to tell them if you are currently self-isolating to limit exposure because similar risk reduction steps should be adopted.

Make sure you put on your gloves and face mask while packing. Also, sanitize all items your movers will physically handle. Make an effort to ensure all the items are properly packaged at least a day before your movers arrive, and keep the boxes in a closed room. And when the movers finally arrive, continue putting both your gloves and face mask on, staying as far away as possible!

I'll be moving by myself, what do I need to do differently?

Much hasn't changed regarding a DIY move, except that now you'll have to go about the whole process without a few of your trusted friends. Of course, you'll also want to have hand sanitizer, soap as well as paper towels at your disposal. What's more, you'll need to draft a detailed plan for your departure and arrival.

And if you lived in a rental, contact your landlord to enquire how you'll safely drop off keys, and take your deposit. What's more, discuss with your new landlord about how to move in safely without violating any covid-19 protocol even as you move into your home.

So, what is being done differently by the moving providers?

Just like any other sector, the moving industry is taking the covid-19 pandemic very seriously! If you didn't know, moving firms across the country have put in place a variety of protocols intended to protect both their workers and clients, including:

  • Adhering to both the local and federal regulations regarding sanitization and physical distancing.

  • Wearing gloves and face masks.

  • Ensuring trucks have sufficient hand sanitizers.

  • Regularly sanitizing equipment and trucks.

  • Practicing social distancing with clients and among moving crew as much as possible.

  • Conducting online surveys as opposed to in-home surveys to provide quotes.

As you already know, these measures are designed to enhance everyone's safety during the pandemic, and moving services remain accessible in the safest way possible. For instance, a virtual moving estimate ensures you get the same quote you would expect each time you hire a moving company without having to interact with anyone physically.

Practical moving steps:

Moving is usually a stressful adventure. And moving during the coronavirus pandemic is even more stressful due to the added level of preventive measures that we have to adhere to. As such, you have to prepare earlier enough to ensure you have the right and adequate supplies and also ensure that you have a sufficient amount of time to pack before you call your moving professionals. Below are a few practical and proven tips to help you have a successful move during the coronavirus pandemic:

  • Give your movers a call: This not only allows you to verify your reservation, but to talk about best moving practices during the actual moving day. All companies are making lots of safety efforts to help guarantee the safety of both their workers and clients. As such, it's imperative to comply with these regulations.

  • Stock all your essential supplies at once: You must buy all the things you'll need during your move with a single trip to your local store. Buy extra when in doubt.

  • Clean and disinfect: This is your best chance to clean and sanitize all your items and belongings using an effective cleaning agent.

  • Finish packing at least a day prior to your moving date! If you were not aware, it has been established that the coronavirus can stay active on surfaces for an extended period, including a whole day on cardboard boxes! Even though your movers will put on their gloves and masks, having your boxes packed 24 hours before their arrival will help enhance their safety even further!

Essential moving tips during a covid-19 pandemic:

Besides the safety recommendations offered by the CDC and WHO, AMSA also provides a variety of useful tips that may help make your moving experience a great one during this pandemic. Below are important takeaways:

  • Offer hygiene products to your moving experts: To enhance the overall safety of your movers, make sure they have essential safety items such as soap, hand sanitizers, and paper towels. These items should be placed in key areas within your home, particularly closer to your sink and doors.

  • Don't use either recycled or free boxes: As already explained, the coronavirus can survive on cardboard for a day, and so it's not the time to be collecting free moving essentials from various recycling points. If there are a few boxes in your home, you can use them. However, if you'll need additional boxes, go to your local store and purchase them new!

  • If possible, don't proceed with your move if you are in the high-risk class: It is important to note that those with underlying cardiovascular and respiratory health complications and individuals aged sixty and above are highly likely to develop life-threatening symptoms! So, don't risk your life. If you have complete control over when or if you should move, don't hesitate to postpone it until things improve.

  • If your move involves distant traveling, plan appropriately: If you'll need to book hotels or flights, only work with movers that provide free cancelations. You also want to enquire about cancelation policies to ensure you don't waste unnecessary amounts of money later.

  • If forced to put a halt to your moving plans, do so as soon as possible: Simply put, the earlier you can inform your moving provider about your cancelation plans, the better. And if you aren't canceling your move just yet but want to know in advance what procedures are involved during the cancelation of your contract, contact the company to explain all the details to you.

  • If either you or anyone within your family is exhibiting any covid-19 symptoms, inform your movers about this! This is the time when we all need to show our transparency. And as earlier stated, most companies will still render their services to you. However, they will certainly put extra safety rules to enhance the safety of their employees. Besides informing them about your illness or that of your family member, also inform them whether you are self-isolating, bearing in mind that the same risk reduction measures should be taken.

As you may have realized, it is very possible to move during this global pandemic. However, you'll have to stick to all the standard rules that govern moving. In this regard, sanitization and physical distancing requirements should be followed during any move.

On a positive note, social distancing allows you to perhaps devote lots of your time to discarding some of the items you no longer require and organize your home. And if you'll be giving out items such as furniture, linens, or clothing, among others, contact the facility you would like to donate to earlier enough to know more about their policies to ensure you don't violate any of their coronavirus protocols.