Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, people are still moving to NYC in droves. In fact, in 2020, New York City was among the three most popular destinations for relocation behind Tampa and Phoenix. While restrictions have eased somewhat, it’s still important to take precautions for a safe NYC move. Most professional movers have procedures in place to follow necessary CDC guidelines.
However, there are a few moving safety tips you can follow to make your move safer and easier. The best part is that you can apply these tips even after the restrictions and pandemic end. Not only will it save you time, but it will also make your move less stressful. Below are a few moving tips on how you can say safe during COVID-19.
Confirm Moving Timeframe
Regardless of whether you’re moving during a pandemic or not, it’s important to know the timing of your move and whether your building has availability during that timeframe. This applies to both your pick-up and drop-off destination. Some buildings might only allow moving during certain hours to reduce contact with other tenants.
Once both buildings have confirmed the timing, the standard process kicks in. That means booking the service elevator if your building has one, hiring NYC movers, and arranging a Certificate of Insurance (COI). Speaking of COI, while you’re asking about the time frame of your move, make sure to check if either building needs a COI to access the building. In many cases, the building will need to receive the COI before they will book the service elevators.
Ask Movers About Their Safety Precautions
NYC moving companies are considered an essential service so they have been working throughout the pandemic. In order to ensure the safety of both the customers and employees, reliable moving companies go above and beyond the recommended CDC guidelines for COVID-19 safety. If you’re looking for reputable movers, make sure to ask them the following:
- Are the movers required to wear masks at all times during the move?
- How often do they sanitize their trucks?
- Does the moving company require health and temperature checks for all their workers on a daily basis?
- Do they offer contactless/contact-free moves?
- Do they follow appropriate social-distancing guidelines?
- Who can you contact if the movers do not follow these safety precautions?
Reduce Time Spent Outside
The more time you spend around other people, the higher your chances of contracting COVID-19. While you can’t avoid leaving your house completely, you are moving from one house to another, you can limit your exposure. A great way to do this is by having your packing supplies delivered. Instead of going from store to store to purchase supplies, buy them from the moving company you decide to use. They will deliver supplies to you during a time that fits your schedule. The packing materials you can purchase include:
- Packing paper
- Bubble wrap
- Rentable plastic bins
Since you’re already using movers to deliver your supplies, why not hire movers to do all the heavy lifting as well? While it might seem counterintuitive, hiring movers is actually safer than trying to do a DIY move. You’re spending less time going in and out of your building carrying your boxes, which means less opportunity to run into other people. Sure, you will have the movers coming in and out of your apartment, but they will all be following appropriate CDC guidelines for COVID-19 safety. That means wearing masks and gloves, daily temperature checks, and being vaccinated. You can further reduce your risk by keeping at least 6 feet away from movers at all times and wearing a mask yourself.
Be Vigilant About Disinfecting/Cleanliness
You don’t need to wash your hands obsessively, but it’s a good idea to continue the habit of keeping your hands clean anytime you touch something that has been exposed to common areas or elevators. You don’t know who in your building might be sick and it’s likely the elevator buttons and stair railings have been touched hundreds of times every day. Even if your building has a thorough cleaning staff, chances are these common areas are only cleaned once a day at most.
While you might not be able to control how often these areas get disinfected, you can manage your own cleanliness. Washing your hands is the most effective option, but if you can’t do that keep a bottle of sanitizer handy and avoid touching your face during your move. Only sanitize your hands after you have packed everything. From there, you can let the movers handle it. Make sure to also offer them some hand sanitizer before and after the move. Make sure to keep all sanitizers and disinfectants in easy-to-access locations. That way when you move into your new place, you can have hand sanitizers and disinfectants ready immediately upon move-in.
If possible, wait at least a day before you start unpacking. COVID-19 survives for about 24 hours on cardboard, so the longer you can leave it untouched, the lower your chances of contracting the virus. Once you do start unpacking, take the time to clean and/or disinfect as many items as possible. Opt for stronger options for items that are more exposed like bed frames and wardrobes.
Moving at any time is stressful, but it’s doubly so during a pandemic. However, if you work with a reputable moving company you can reduce your stress significantly. Just make sure that you follow these moving tips and you should be fine.
How far in advance do I need to book my move?
In general, you should book your movers at least a month in advance to ensure they have availability during your preferred dates and times.
What happens if I’m not vaccinated?
If you don’t have the vaccine you’ll want to reduce your risk of contracting the virus. That means wearing maks, staying socially distanced, and sanitizing your hands before and after the move. You should also confirm with the movers that the crew will wear masks at all times and follow appropriate cleaning measures.
What if I test positive for COVID or have come in contact with someone who has COVID?
Let the moving company know as soon as possible and they will reschedule for a later date. Some companies offer a contactless move where you do not have to be present for pick up or drop off. If you can only move on that particular day, ask if the company offers that option.