2020 will go down in history as a year that changed life for good. Not since the 1918 flu pandemic dubbed the Spanish flu has the world had to contend with a health epidemic of that magnitude – and there have been several through the decades.
COVID-19 forced many people indoors as the federal and individual state governments moved to implement measures to curb the spread and devastating impact of the novel coronavirus.
You might be forgiven for thinking there was little movement in the moving sector as businesses were ordered shut and companies paused operations, forcing many to retreat at home.
Surprisingly, however, there has been a significant number of relocations across the country since the first case of Covid-19 was reported in early 2020.
According to data from Pew Research, about one in five Americans moved during the first six months of the pandemic or know someone who did, which amounts to more than 15.9 million moves.
While there was a fair share of temporary moves, there were millions others who sought permanent residency in different cities/states as they opted for more spacious homes that allowed for remote working, workout, and yard space for the family.
For example, long distance movers in New York City registered a surge in the number of New Yorkers fleeing the city for reasons ranging from job loss, to rising costs of living, and – more related to the pandemic – the fact that the city had become the country’s first epicenter of the virus.
Cities like Austin were the beneficiaries of these departures, enjoying twice as many out-of-town homebuyers in 2020 compared to the normal year that was 2019, according to research from real estate site Redfin.
So clearly, all was not quiet on the moving front.
However, moving companies and their customers alike have had to observe health safety measures in line with the recommendations of the CDC throughout the pandemic. At the time of writing, we’re in the midst of mass vaccination roll-out, so things are starting to look up a bit.
Thing is, though, while the vaccinations will certainly help, it doesn’t mean we’re completely out of the woods yet. It is still important to adhere to the health safety protocols and observe protective measures at a personal level during the course of moving, more so if you live with family members.
That said, here are some reminders to keep in mind when moving house in 2021.
Opt for virtual estimates
The good thing about in-house estimates – provided you’re dealing with a reputable mover – is that they provide the most accurate quote as a representative of the mover assesses the items being moved in person.
Since COVID happened, this has not been the best way to get moving estimates for obvious reasons.
Virtual estimates in the form of video can still give you an accurate quote, so opt for this type of estimate over in-person visits.
Make early preparations
Planning your move early in advance has always been a moving best practice.
This year, in addition to making the usual early preparations in line with a detailed moving checklist, consult with your mover as to any changes in normal operating procedures that you need to be aware of.
As well, keep in mind that while some states have already started rolling back COVID restrictions, others are yet to loosen theirs.
It never hurts to double-check if there are any requirements on persons moving in from out of state. The last thing you want is to overlook it and end up being inconvenienced in some way or the other.
Disinfect your new home
A thorough scrub of the premises is always advisable before you move into a “new” house, particularly if that house was already inhabited.
While cleaning, go one further and disinfect the entire place before you move in. This is easier if it’s a house located not too far from your current place.
But even in the case of a long-distance move, you can always make arrangements with the building manager to have the house cleaned and disinfected. Better yet, consider hiring professional cleaning services to do the work for you.
Do what you need to do to keep moving costs down
It’s not lost on anyone that things have been tough for many people since Covid-19 struck. Some lost their jobs, others were forced to close down businesses (a good number, unfortunately, for good) and plenty more had to contend with temporary pay cuts.
In other words, things have not been very rosy on the finance side of things for a lot of people.
That said, 2021 is not exactly the time you want to go splurging, especially considering this [moving] is just an added expense that forces you to spend on money that could otherwise have gone into something better – savings or investing, for example.
Therefore, explore ways you can keep your relocation costs as low as possible, as there are plenty of avenues to do that.
For instance, sourcing moving boxes for free or at a reduced price; doing the packing yourself; selling some items on the second-hand market to boost your moving kitty and/or reduce the moving bill, what with fewer items to move, etc.