Ontario continues to be in a stay-at-home order to battle another coronavirus wave and people are advised to stay inside as much as possible to limit the spread of the virus. Over the course of the pandemic, many people have had to postpone or cancel certain events in order to abide with COVID-19 safety protocols. However, there are some things that can’t be put off, like a move for example. Moving during COVID-19 can be a very daunting task and there are a lot of questions associated with a pandemic move:
- Am I even allowed to move?
- Can I hire a moving company?
- Where do I get moving supplies?
- What safety precautions should I consider while moving?
These are all important questions to ask, and we’ll go over all of them and more to make sure that you are fully prepared to keep yourself and your family safe while you move during this difficult time.
Looking for a new home during COVID-19
Before we talk about moving into your new home, we have to discuss how you’re going to find one. In the past, if you were shopping for a new home or selling your home in Toronto or the GTA, you would have to set up and attend several open houses. However, in person open houses are no longer allowed due to COVID-19 restrictions and many real estate agents have transitioned over to virtual open houses.
In many ways, a virtual open house has certain advantages over an in-person open house. For one, you do not have to interact with other potential buyers which could lead to some awkward situations. Many virtual open houses are recorded, so you will be able to go back and study the footage later while you are making your decision without having to go back and view the house again. During the virtual house tour, make sure to ask the real estate agent any questions you may have. If the agent is going too fast or if there is an area that you want to take a better look at, make sure to be vocal and let them know. It can be difficult to accurately assess a property through a virtual open house, so you must be especially vigilant and observant to ensure that you have all the information you need before making a final decision about buying a home.
Doing a home inspection during a pandemic
COVID-19 has changed a lot of things in the home buying and selling process, and home inspections are no different. Home inspections were deemed an essential service in Ontario and should be done before you decide to buy your new home. Before bringing in an inspector, you should make sure that the house has been properly sanitised, and all surfaces cleaned with disinfectant. Try and limit the number of people in the home while the inspection is happening, and make sure everyone in the house is following proper social distancing protocols.
Use self-storage to store excess clutter
If you are also selling your property and plan on staging your home to make it more appealing to your buyers, you will likely need a place to store your excess furniture or clutter, and self storage can be the perfect solution. Having some of your items n storage will also make moving day a lot easier, especially considering that you won’t be able to have many people helping you due to social distancing. Storwell Self Storage has facilities in Etobicoke, Mississauga, and Scarborough with a variety of sizes that can help you during your move. You can call or visit a facility in person to demo a unit.
Planning your moving during COVID-19
Once you have found a new place, you must start planning your move. While in the past, you could easily call as many friends over, order a pizza and move your items together, COVID-19 lockdowns have virtually eliminated this option. If you have a lot of items to move, it may be good idea to hire a moving company.
If you are moving into an apartment building, make sure to check with your building’s moving rules. Some buildings have designated times of the day when you can move. It might also be a good idea to give your neighbours a heads up when you plan on moving in as a courtesy to account for heavier traffic in the hallways and common areas.
Buy all of your packing supplies at once
With most stores limited to curbside pick up only, you should look to get all the moving supplies in one go. You might be able to find free used cardboard boxes at some grocery or liquor stores, but buying brand new moving supplies will make sure that none of the surfaces have been contaminated. You can buy cardboard boxes, tape, bubble wrap and any other packing supplies you need online, and do curb pickup or have the packing supplies delivered to your home for minimal contact with other people.
Using a mobile storage unit for moving during COVID-19
If you have too much stuff for a single rental van, or if you are moving a longer distance, a good solution might be to rent a mobile storage unit. These storage units are brought to your house, you fill them up at your own pace and then they are taken to your new house where you can unload them. This is a great option because it limits your contact with movers, but it still takes the pressure off you having to drive your stuff yourself to the new location. Generally, renting a mobile storage unit costs less than hiring a full moving service so this is a good alternative if you are looking to save some money during your move.
How to choose a moving company during Covid-19
Now more than ever it’s important that you choose a reputable moving company. You must do your research and choose a company that adheres to strict COVID 19 safety precautions. Some of the things that you should look for in a moving company are:
- The company uses small crews, less than 5 people
- All movers have their temperatures checked regularly and do safety checks
- Movers and clients must follow social distancing rules, at least 2 meters apart
- Wear gloves and masks at all times
- Wash hands regularly with soap and water
- Disinfect surfaces of homes and trucks
- Require clients and movers to report if they are ill or have been in contact with anyone who has been ill or recently travelled outside of Canada
Getting your house ready for the move
- Pack all your items beforehand, at least 24 hours before the movers are set to be there.
- Pack all your items tightly, covering them with paper or bubble wrap.
- Clean all your items while you are packing them.
- Pack a small group of essential items and move them separately to everything else
- Label all the boxes clearly, keep the box with the cleaning supplies and disinfectants on hand so that you can use them once you get to your new home.
- Open all the doors and windows in your home when the movers arrive to improve ventilation.
Things to consider the day of the move
On the day of the move, make sure you give yourself extra time, as social distancing requirements may make the moving process more time than it would have before. It’s best that you keep all of your boxes packed as close to the front of your house as possible or even on your front porch to make it easier for the movers to take the boxes while spending as little time in your home. It is also a good idea to give movers access to the bathroom so that they can wash their hands with soap regularly. Another thing to consider when it comes to movers regards tipping. Movers already have a difficult job, and COVID-19 has only made it more difficult, so tip them accordingly.
Things to consider after moving day
Once you arrive at your new home, make sure to give all of the surfaces a thorough cleaning. For those that want to be extra secure, you can choose to have the movers unload your items into a storage space like your garage and you can keep them there for 24 hours while only unpacking essentials. Even after the move, if you start to feel sick, get yourself tested as soon as possible and let the moving company know so that they can take the proper precautions with their staff as to limit the spread further.