How to Move Safely During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Apr 27
News/Blog Photo

Two people holding cardboard moving boxes in front of their faces, alongside a green leafy plant.

The prospect of moving is as exciting as it is stressful —  a necessary but sometimes overwhelming step towards living your best life, in your dream apartment. The COVID-19 pandemic may have intensified the already nerve-racking ordeal of moving your life from one place to another, but it doesn't need to stifle your plans. 


Canadians have continued to move in high numbers despite, and sometimes due to, the pandemic: one study conducted last summer found that 1 in 10 Canadians have altered their living situation in the midst of the COVID-19. As we enter peak moving season from April to September, we encourage you to review the below recommendations to ensure your move is as safe and seamless as possible.

 

Organize, Organize, Organize

If you take organizing seriously, the most critical factors involved in ensuring a smooth move will be taken care before the big day even begins. That starts with ordering the materials you'll need to pack up your life well in advance of your moving date to avoid any last minute store runs. You can even use a packing calculator to help assess the amount of boxes you'll need to properly transport all your belongings! 

When packing, create a "staging" space in which to relegate all of your packed belongings, preferably near the front of your home. On moving day, those assisting you with your move will be able to limit the amount of time spent on your home, keeping the process streamlined and limiting any close contact. 

If you're moving from an apartment building, be sure to communicate your plans to nearby neighbours so they can arrange accordingly around day-of commotion in shared hallways.

Actively Communicate With Your Movers

For previous moves, coordinating with a moving company may have been restricted to a simple conversation setting a date and time, and not much more. Moving in 2021 requires a more in-depth discussion in order to ensure you and your movers can conduct business as safely as possible. 

When selecting a moving company, be sure to inquire about the safety precautions they are taking, in order to ensure their COVID-19 policy adheres to public health standards. Don't be afraid to call your movers on the day of your move in order to confirm that those assisting you will be masked, distanced, and actively sanitizing throughout the process. 

If you've chosen to forgo professional movers and use your personal network to assist you, be sure to apply the same clearly communicated hygiene and distancing standards you would expect from professional movers.

 

Don't Cut Cleaning Corners

Everyday, we know a little bit more about the nature of COVID-19 transmission and how to properly protect ourselves against it. Even with proper masking and social distancing, coordinating the transportation of your belongings with people who aren't members of your household can create anxiety. Combat this stress by taking extra precautions: open your windows during the move to create fresh airflow, wear a double mask, and clean high-contact areas like doorknobs or light switches with a Health Canada approved hard-surface disinfectant. 


Increasingly, scientists believe that transmission of the virus through surfaces is very low compared to air-borne transmission via contact with droplets and aerosols. While the risk of surface transmission is low, it's still a good idea to thoroughly clean your home as you pack and focus on keeping high-touch surfaces disinfected on the day of the move. If you plan on selling or donating any of your belongings, contact your target organization to confirm they are accepting donations beforehand, and thoroughly clean each piece before passing it along to its new owner.

 

Coordinate Moving In and Out

Before the big day, there are a few logistical concerns that, if sorted out beforehand, can make your life (and your landlord's) a lot easier. Be sure to identify if and where you can park your moving vehicle, especially if it's a large truck on a residential street, or if you need to acquire a permit for temporary overnight parking. Talk to your current and future property manager or landlord about booking an elevator for the period of time you intend on moving in, and clarify where to drop off and pick up your respective sets of keys. Check in on both ends about cleaning expectations and best practices for disposing of garbage accumulated over your move, as each building has unique guidelines for managing large pieces of waste. Finally, don't forget to forward your mail to your new address, so no important communications end up in the wrong hands.

 

If You're Feeling Sick, Stay Put 

Most importantly, if you begin to feel ill in the days leading up to your scheduled move or have reason to believe you have been exposed to the virus, get tested and isolate in your home immediately. No plans, however carefully constructed, are worth risking your health or the health of those around you.