Moving as it is is already a complicated process. So complicated in fact, that it is considered one of the most stressful events you can be involved in – believe it or not.
At the risk of sounding cliché, Covid-19 has interrupted the normal flow of everyday life as we know it.
Our routines have, in one way or another, changed as a result – whether it’s avoiding crowded places like the cinema or bar, ordering in versus eating out, maintaining social distance everywhere we go, avoiding places of worship and what-not.
Despite all the inconvenience and tweaks to our routines, life has to go on.
That includes pressing ahead with the plan for anyone who had a move in the offing. Interestingly, plenty of people found themselves relocating at the height of the pandemic earlier in 2020.
While some of the moves had been planned in advance, other moves were the after-effect of the health crisis that led to loss of jobs or lack of a flowing income stream for millions of people, forcing them to look for more affordable options.
For instance, thousands of New Yorkers relocated to suburbs north of the city and on Long Island where life is considerably cheaper compared to the city.
Others even opted for moves out of state to places like Philadelphia where a dollar stretches much further than it does in the Big Apple, not to mention the promise of more job opportunities.
Thing is, though, relocating during Covid-19 calls for extra protective measures to keep yourself and your loved ones safe at a time when daily cases have been rising sharply.
Here are some things to consider when hiring a mover during this treacherous period.
Before you even think of settling for any one mover, find out how the coronavirus pandemic has forced them to adjust their protocol.
How frequently do they test and monitor the health of their moving crews? What supplies are they furnishing their teams with on a daily basis – gloves, face masks, hand sanitizers etc.?
A responsible company is one that stays on top of things with regard to the health of its employees, as well as ensuring they are also not risking the same people in the line of work.
That means screening their staff for symptoms and continually monitoring their health, and at the same time reaching to customers ahead of the move to find out if anyone in the household being moved has been exposed to someone with the virus – whether they are exhibiting symptoms or awaiting the virus test results.
This is not the time to throw caution to the wind, particularly if you have family. So, it’s understandable when you have to take that extra step by requesting transparency from the mover in relation to their Covid-19 protocols.
Anyone who has hired the services of a moving company before knows how much paperwork can be involved (and the passing around of pens!).
At this time, it is best to keep the paperwork to a minimum. Whether it’s estimates or invoices, the best way to go about things is to do what can be done virtually.
Speaking of estimates…
Request virtual quotes
The process of evaluating moving companies starts with comparing quotes once you have earmarked a few potential movers.
Moving estimates are normally provided either in person (in-house estimates) or virtually which can be either through video or voice calls.
The idea right now is to minimize interaction with outside parties – whether they are adhering to Covid-19 health measures or not.
Therefore, while in-house estimates tend to produce the most accurate quotes, video isn’t a bad option in these times. We really don’t need four or so different teams walking into our homes to assess the scope of items being moved.
Be clear on the process of rescheduling your move
The imposing and lifting of lockdowns as coronavirus cases swing either way has made these uncertain times to operate in.
This in mind, it is important to confirm with your moving company about their flexibility in the event you decide to postpone your move.
This is something you can do when requesting your moving estimate. Go ahead and ask them about their refund and/or deposit policies. A lot of reputable movers will factor in the volatile circumstances and won’t have an issue accommodating your needs.
But you need to know this in advance.
Before the pandemic, welcoming multiple movers into your home to speed things up was not an issue.
At this point in time, however, it would be best to limit the number of people in your home interacting with the moving crew. You can achieve this by, for example, ensuring household members stay as far away from the moving team as possible, particularly the vulnerable members.
Handshakes should be avoided and always maintain a considerable distance between you and the movers.
You should also provide a place for the movers to easily wash their hands should they request to do so. That is in addition to bringing their own sanitizers and other supplies such as gloves.
When it comes to tipping, ask if you could do it via credit card as you pay for the service, whether that comes before or after the move.