Tips on Moving during the Covid-19 pandemic

While it’s not ideal to move during a global pandemic, circumstances change, and life goes on. Whether you are moving locally or internationally there are some basic safety precautions that can help protect you and your family.

Do your research

If you’re moving overseas there are plenty of online resources to monitor infection rates in your new country. You may have taken a new job at a Covid-19 hot spot. You could go on ahead and leave the family at home until there is an improvement in local conditions. Alternatively, you can get everything packed and stored at home, while assessing things in your new country.

Getting your quotation

Most national movers have a digital (contactless) assessment option to assist them to prepare a quotation. It still pays to have a proper consultation (by phone or zoom) before accepting a quote as there may be conditions, rules or regulations you are unaware of.

If you prefer a physical in-home visit there are precautions, you can take. Before the moving company assessor enters your home ask if they are in good health, not running a temperature and to wear a mask. Offer hand sanitizer and wear a mask yourself. Preferably, be alone in the house, otherwise keep other family members in the general areas of your home.

During the assessor’s walk through keep a distance and don’t move into confined spaces together. Don’t offer cups of tea or coffee and ask specific questions as you walk around to avoid a structured sit-down consultation. Keep it brief and to the point.

Moving with an ‘at risk’ family

If you have elderly or at risk family members, it’s important to take precautions. The ideal situation is to limit their contact and physical interactions with real estate agents, property buyers, movers, cleaners, property inspectors etc.

For those moving into a retirement home we recommend a family member co-ordinate the delivery, unpacking and placement of furniture. In most instances the work area will be tight and restricted which makes physical distancing more difficult. There can be a lot of trial and error over furniture placement, given this is generally a downsizing exercise. It is ideal to complete the delivery and then completely sanitise the home and all surfaces with disinfectant sprays and wipes.

Moving Overseas or Long Distance

We suggest you choose a mover who can quickly adapt, in the event of lockdowns, delays and cancellations. International moving delays are common due to supply chain pressures. You need a mover who has the forward bookings and volumes to co-load your freight and access new slots on the next sailings. For domestic moving, make sure your mover has quality storage facilities at destination, so your effects will still be safely under their control in the event of a sudden lock-down.

Getting Booked In

If you have an expiring lease or firm dates on a sale and purchase agreement, we recommend you put a few extra days into your plans. The ideal situation is to move into a property that has been vacated and thoroughly cleaned before you take possession. When you move out the same applies in reverse.

Once you’ve decided on your timing, get your move booked in as quickly as possible. In this Covid-19 environment movers are under pressure and can be booked out several months in advance. You are best protected from a sudden lockdown or bottleneck in supply, by getting in early with a firm booking.

Getting Packed and Moving Out

Before the movers arrive make sure you have disposed of unwanted items, separated what’s going from what’s not going and have essential papers, passports etc. kept elsewhere. The more organised you are the less chance of things going wrong.

Movers will generally be at your residence for several days. If possible, be the only person on site when the movers arrive and are working. Everyone should be masked and observe social distancing protocols. Disposable gloves are not practical for packing and loading furniture so have a special area for movers to wash and sanitize their hands. Don’t share pens, tool-boxes or provide cups of tea and coffee.

We recommend you and your family stay off site while the house is being packed out. Between pack days you may wish to wipe down the hard surfaces, door handles and light switches. Leave plenty of time for loading out and don’t have overlaps with cleaners, property inspections or the new owners/tenants waiting to move in.

Packing Yourself

If you are concerned about covid and are self-packing, have everything ready the day before the movers arrive. Make sure you use high quality packing materials so your cartons don’t split open, need repacking or crush. Have them stored in a closed room or garage. When the movers arrive wear a mask and stay as far away as possible. The self-pack option is not recommended as your furniture still needs to be prepared and handled by the moving crew.

Getting Delivered

If you are taking a delivery internationally or within New Zealand it’s important to understand the local risks and covid-19 infection rates. The bigger the risk the more careful you need to be.

Firstly, make sure you are moving into an empty home, ensure it is cleaned and sanitized before delivery day. If you are overseas, you could contact the delivery company to check on their Covid-19 procedures and confirm their crew will have a good supply of PPE equipment. In some countries it wouldn’t be unreasonable to request a fully vaccinated delivery crew. Have as few people as possible (at residence) when the delivery is taking place.

For an international move you will probably need a full unpack and set up. Insist the movers take away all the used packing materials and debris. For a domestic delivery you can minimise contact by having a basic set up and assembly, without the unpacking of boxes. These could be placed in the garage and unpacked at your leisure. The movers should be able to return and collect the cartons.

For anyone moving into an apartment we recommend a full unpack, set up and the removal of packing materials and debris. There will be limited space for the storage and eventual disposal of used materials. Once the movers depart (and before your family arrive) we recommend you wipe down or disinfect all surfaces and contact points at your new residence.

We hope you have found these tips about moving during the Covid-19 pandemic useful. If you are planning to move across town, around the country or around the world please contact us for an obligation free quotation, either submit a form online or call us on: 0800 36 22 36. We look forward to being of service.

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