Do I Need to be Present During my Move?

Being present at the move is important to answer questions and make sure everything is going fine, however, you may wish to be absent for precautionary reasons. Here’s what you need to know.

Yes, even if you’ll be moving during the Covid-19 pandemic you’ll probably need to be present during your move.

Of course, the best way to minimize the risk of transmission is by postponing your move until the situation stabilizes.

Unfortunately for those relocating for work or due to sudden changes in finances or family situations, that may not be possible.

Thankfully there are ways to protect yourself and your family, and in some instances staying outside the home during a “no presence” move may be an option.

That said, the importance of hiring movers you can trust can’t be overstated, especially if you’re considering giving them free rein of your home.

Minimizing the Risk of Transmission During a Full-Service Move

There’s no better way to ensure your move goes smoothly than to be present when the packing and moving crews are working on-site.

Throughout the day they’ll have questions that only you can answer and as such you’ll need to be there.

But there are a number of things you can do to minimize contact and risk, including:

  • Setting yourself (and family) up in a room that’s off-limits to the movers
  • Hanging out on the patio or in the garage if the weather’s nice
  • Adhering to social distancing guidelines
  • Having everyone wear facemasks and use hand sanitizer periodically
  • Avoiding physical contact like shaking hands and hugging

Again, under adverse conditions like these, being prepared, organized, and hiring a reputable mover is even more paramount than usual.

Insider’s Tip: The Covid-19 pandemic has created the perfect conditions for some nefarious movers to take unsuspecting customers to the cleaners – don’t let this happen to you…

Common Moving Scams You Can Avoid

“No Presence” Moves

To limit exposure and lessen the likelihood of transmission, some moving companies are now offering “no presence” move options.

This means that customers concerned about Coronavirus can leave their homes while crews are working.

This obviously opens up a number of theft and liability issues, and in addition, the incidence of miscommunication increases exponentially when customers aren’t present.

However, they’re often risks worth taking to protect the health and wellbeing of your family.

If you do choose a “no presence” move, the following suggestions will help –

  • Always use a mover you’ve thoroughly vetted
  • Carefully consider what your crew will and will not have access to
  • Lock valuable items in a room, closet safe, or take them with you
  • Document the condition of your home and furniture with a camera or video recorder prior to the crew’s arrival
  • Check in with the crew leader multiple times and make sure he or she has your phone number
  • Conduct pre and post-move walk-throughs while the crew waits outside or in the truck
  • Don’t be pressured into signing documents until you’ve read them carefully

Did You Know?

Many movers now offer “virtual” estimates, and some have handy apps that allow customers to inventory their own items.

Are Moving Services Still Available?

To date, most moving companies are working much as they did before the onset of the pandemic.

Many have instituted new protocols to protect their workers and customers from transmitting and contracting Coronavirus.

However, the choice to stay open or close temporarily is largely up to individual business owners and van line agents since most are independently owned.

Many movers list their protocols on their websites to give customers peace of mind, but if that’s not the case they should still give you something in writing – but if they can’t it may be best to cross them off your list.

Before scheduling virtual or in-home estimates, ask each company you’re considering about their policy.

Insider’s Tip: There’s no way to tell whether the Covid-19 situation will worsen or improve in the future, so weigh the pros and cons of waiting versus going ahead with your move carefully before making a decision.

Consider Your Moving Options

Though full-service movers can be expensive, there’s definitely something to be said for having trained professionals handle every aspect of your relocation.

On the downside, all that interaction can put you and your family at risk.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID Data Tracker

In other words, you’ll not only be exposed to your estimator, packers, and movers but potentially all the customers they’ve come into contact with in previous weeks and months.

The good news is that many less traditional moving options are cheaper and significantly limit outside contact, but you’ll need to take care of packing and finding labor for loading and unloading on your own.

Let’s look at a few popular alternatives to full-service movers.

1. Container Moving Companies

Since container moving companies are hybrid DIY options, you won’t need to worry about unnecessary contact or driving a clunky rental truck.

Container moving companies are:

  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Flexible
  • Available for local and interstate moves (in most cases)
  • Suitable for storage

The downsides?

You’ll need to do the packing and moving yourself.

2. Rent a Truck

Renting a truck and doing your move yourself may not be feasible for large families with busy schedules, but for young professionals, minimalists, and those intent on doing some serious downsizing, they’re great ways to save money and limit your exposure to Covid-19.

Just remember, in some instances the true cost of renting a truck. for a long-distance move is much higher than expected, especially if you’re moving from California to Texas.

3. Freight Companies

In recent years freight moving companies have become popular “do-it-yourself” options for families moving from one state to another.

They offer many of the benefits of renting a truck without the hassle and danger of driving a moving truck cross-country.

They also have:

  • Reasonable prices
  • Extensive national coverage areas
  • Less seasonal availability issues and price increases than most movers

Insider’s Tip: Most freight trailers have stout spring-ride suspensions made for items like clothes, canned goods, and lumber – not fragile household goods.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

1. Is it safe to move during covid?

Health professionals recommend putting off moving if possible, but thousands of families have moved safely in recent months.

The fewer people you come into contact with the less likely you and your family are of contracting Covid-19, which is especially true for high-risk groups like the elderly and those with:

  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular and respiratory disease
  • Cancer

2. What if I have to cancel my move?

Policies vary from mover to mover, but even if you cancel your move at the last minute there shouldn’t be a penalty unless you’ve signed a contract that includes a cancellation clause.

Most reputable movers will make exceptions due to the Covid-19 situation, but get everything in writing and avoid deposits if possible.

3. How are moving companies dealing with Covid-19?

Like most companies, movers are taking the current pandemic seriously, and many have put strict protocols into place to protect both employees and customers.

They include:

  • Adhering to social distancing standards
  • Following sanitization guidelines for staff, equipment, and facilities
  • Offering virtual surveys and “no presence” moves

Though there are no rock-solid guarantees, these practices greatly reduce the risk of transmission and contraction.

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