As the coronavirus pandemic drags on with no clear-cut end is in sight, some aspects of life will inevitably go on. Moving homes is one of them. Whatever your situation might be, whether you just bought or sold a house, got evicted, or have to relocate for a family matter, you’ll find that professional moving truck services can be difficult or even impossible to lock down right now. This is because many moving companies have either streamlined their services or temporarily closed altogether to reduce the chances of their employees and customers getting sick.
Since April through September is by far the busiest time of year for people to relocate, the companies that are still operating are likely already booked through October, and the virus could not be spiking back up at a more inopportune time. You still have options, though, and you can use them to help you get through your move despite the current obstacles.
Rent Your Own Truck
U-Haul and many of their competitors offer truck rentals at reasonable prices, and they all have a ton of sizes available to meet all sort of moving needs. Knowing how to load a truck like a professional is very helpful in these cases, and it’ll keep you from renting one that’s too small or too large (which can result in items moving around and being damaged).
To rent the smallest truck possible and possibly save some money, consider moving only the essentials such as beds, linens, living room furniture, electronics, pots, pans, and dishes, and clothes. Stash the rest of your possessions that are seasonal or just “stuff” like old photos and other memorabilia in a cheap storage space near your final destination to pick up later. This is also a perfect opportunity to donate or dispose of items you don’t need or want.
Get a Little Help from Your Friends
Although you can’t exactly have a moving party with a bunch of friends, pizza, and beer, you can still ask people to help you move. Friends with trucks can simply pick up and move designated items on their own with the help of a family member who shares a home with them (just as long as they’re both wearing masks, of course). Just do your best to stagger the pickup and delivery schedules to ensure that different friends don’t arrive at the same time and accidentally come into close contact with one another.
Besides traditional storage units, there are now portable units you can set up in the yard or garage of your new home that don’t require direct human contact. The company delivers them without knocking on your door, and you fill them yourself afterwards. They’re competitively priced and offer the convenience of quickly accessing individual belongings whenever you need them. If you’re really strapped for cash, ask friends and relatives with empty garages or sheds if you can use them for short-term storage as a favor, offering to return it in whatever way you can.
Make It Easy On Yourself…and Others
Stage everything in the garage or yard. If people are helping you, divide the goods into groups that match the size and shape of the vehicle they’re being moved in. You should also schedule appointments for them to view their load prior to moving day, making sure no one visits at the same time if social distancing isn’t possible. When everyone knows exactly what they’re doing, it reduces stress across the board.
With some simple planning ahead and understandable communication, you can keep unnecessary contact to a minimum.
Like any job, having the right tools makes moving into a new place safer and simpler. Encourage everyone to wear back support belts to prevent back strain and other injuries, which can happen to people any age regardless of their health and level of physical strength. Other tools such as hand trucks, moving straps, and moving apps also help with both large and small items. Hand trucks and moving straps can usually be rented through most moving companies, and most moving apps are free to download on your smartphone.
Hand trucks or multi-use dollies significantly reduce the number of trips it takes to move boxes from the garage to the truck. They also eliminate the strain on your back that carrying those boxes incurs and make the loading and unloading tasks go a lot faster.
Moving straps make moving bulky items like mattresses and upholstered furniture a breeze. They might look really weird, but they distribute the weight of objects that weigh up to 700 pounds so well it’s amazing, not to mention a great tool for preventing back injuries and the dropping of oversized items.
Knowing exactly what each box holds is important, as you will undoubtedly pack something that you need, whether it’s a legal document, your kid’s favorite stuffed animal, or a spatula you use to flip eggs in the skillet. Here too, there are apps to help you gets things done easily and quickly, so when you unpack, you don’t have to aimlessly rifle every box labeled “Kitchen Stuff” or “Toys” to find what you need.