Moving During the Coronavirus Outbreak

According to the United States Census Bureau, 32 million people in the US moved in 2018 – that is roughly 10.1% of the country’s population. To many Americans, this likely comes as no surprise, given the vast amount of moving trucks seen on the highways regularly. However, in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, US highways are nearly empty.

With the country coming to a halt, many American’s are left wondering what this means for their moving plans. For those who do not have the option to delay their move, it is advised to do so as carefully as possible. In an interview, the vice president and general manager of North American Moving Services, Kevin Murphy, provided a series of tips for homeowners executing moves during these trying times.

Proceed With Caution

Murphy warns to treat the moving process with caution, just as you would any other outing during these times. If you have gone to the grocery store, you have likely noticed the level of attentiveness and caution that has been exercised by other consumers; apply that same level of awareness and prudence to your move.

Social Distancing

Pre-COVID, it was common for homeowners to have a number of people coming in and out of their home during the move-in process. Unfortunately, for those who are having to undergo a move at this time, the traditional “housewarming party” must be placed on the back burner.

Murphy explains that while traditionally he would have a minimum of three crew members, he is now allowing a maximum of two individuals to interact with the homeowners while on the job. In addition, to reduce the number of individuals making direct contact with crew members, he is asking customers to limit the number of people in the home to only those necessary. For those who must be at the home at the same time as the movers, they are advised to distance themself as much as possible and avoid any physical contact.

In addition, homeowners are advised to provide crew members with hand sanitizer or access to an area to wash their hands, gloves, and facemasks; or they should inquire into the protocol employed by the crew and require that they take all the precautions mentioned above.

Avoid Paperwork

Traditionally, documents are passed around and signed by all of the parties involved. As most things, this process has begun to change, and surveys and paperwork are now being offered virtually to limit any unnecessary person-to-person contact. Before hiring a moving company, ask if they allow for the completion of all documentation virtually.

Assess Your Movers Carefully

 Prior to hiring movers, be sure to inquire about the safety measures that they are practicing for coronavirus purposes. Ask whether they wear gloves while moving customers’ belongings and how often they sanitize their moving trucks. Also, speak with the moving crew’s supervisor to find out what the company is doing to ensure that employees are not reporting to work sick or exhibiting any troubling symptoms.

Have a Plan in Place

Traditionally, the movers would unpack the customers belongings for them. However, at this time, homeowners may wish to unpack their belongings themselves. Murphy explained that the majority of homeowners have opted to perform the task of unpacking on their own in response to the coronavirus – simply wiping down the boxes with disinfectant prior to opening a box. Others have requested that movers place all of the boxes and furniture in the garage, allowing it to sit for a few days before unpacking. This process of “shipment quarantining” is thought to reduce the likelihood of belongings being exposed to the virus.

Key Takeaway

For many, moving is a stressful venture in and of itself. Add the current coronavirus health crisis to the mix and the stress of moving is enhanced that much more. For those that do not have the option to postpone a move, try to remain calm and practice the recommended CDC safety precautions as well as the above-mentioned tips on moving during the coronavirus outbreak.

Contact an Attorney

If you wish to know your rights to delay a move and remain in your current residence contact our experienced landlord/tenant attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Our attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC have the knowledge and skill to assist you in discussing your options. Call our lawyers at (704) 370-2828 to evaluate your options, or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville, and Monroe.