How to Overcome the Challenges of a COVID-Era Winter Move

In the best of times, moving can feel like a herculean task. Throw the unpredictability of winter — not to mention a global pandemic — into the mix and it’s something else entirely. If you’re planning to relocate in the months ahead, know you’re not alone.

Over 15.9 million people have moved during the coronavirus, according to USPS data. Compared to last year, when 15, 372,771 address changes were filed, 2020 saw a 4% increase in total moves, a 2% increase in permanent moves and a 27% increase in the number of temporary moves.


According to a recent Pew Research Center study, roughly one in five Americans relocated during the pandemic or know someone who has. And 28% who opted to move did so specifically because they feared getting COVID-19 if they remained in their current location.


Understandably, there is a lot of uncertainty and concern these days. Times have changed with the onset of remote work, leading many Americans to reconsider their place of residency. Wherever you decide to live and whatever the reason, Handled takes the hassle and stress out of the experience by tackling the tough stuff, offering contactless quotes and booking, and liaising with your crew so you don’t have to. That’s helpful any time of year, and regardless of virus concerns but, we realize, especially now. 


All that said, in advance of a wintertime move, some preparedness on your part is key. It’ll ensure things go smoothly for you — and your crew. Plus, it’ll minimize potential worry and frustration throughout your move.


COVID-19 Considerations as You Prepare to Move

  1. Make sure you have enough packing materials — and leave extra time for them to arrive, whether it’s an online purchase or to procure out-of-stock items in store. The last thing you need to worry about in the middle of a COVID-era snowstorm is scrambling for what you need — or not having it at all, as supply chain challenges have made in-stock availability less of a sure thing.
  2. Use curbside pickup for supplies whenever possible, remembering it may take additional time for your items to arrive.
  3. As you’re sorting through your belongings, donating items will likely come into play. Remember to check the regulations at your local donation center, such as Goodwill or Salvation Army. These days, lines tend to be longer than usual, and you’ll no doubt be expected to remain in your vehicle. In the event you interact with volunteers, remember to practice social distancing and wear a mask.
  4. Only work with movers who commit to wearing PPE and practicing social distancing throughout your move. (Handled only works with background-checked movers, who uphold these standards and screen their employees in order to keep you — and those around you — safe.) We encourage you to wear a mask as well — it’ll make the experience easier, and healthier, for everyone involved. 
  5. Given the sludgy mix of snow, ice and mud on the ground during winter, walking outdoors in the winter can be a messy affair. To avoid tracking gunk into your home, tape a few pieces of heavy cardboard or plastic sheeting to the floors in high traffic areas. It’ll save you cleaning time and frustration in the end. Note that when you book a move with Handled, you can count on the fact that your movers will use floor coverings for you.
  6. Have plenty of hand sanitizer available. Remember to have hand soap on hand as well. Someone, throughout the course of the move, will likely need to use the bathroom. Ensuring you have what you need minimizes unnecessary interactions between you and your crew.
  7. Cut yourself some slack. Everything is harder — and seems to take longer — during the pandemic. Don’t be surprised if you feel down when you’re sorting through pictures of pre-COVID times or when you see makeup, clothes and shoes you haven’t worn in months. Busy as moving may be, it’s also a time to practice self care.
  8. Make sure your utilities are set up and in working order at your new place at least two days before you move in. It would be awful to show up and find there’s no heat, electricity or hot water when it’s bitterly cold. What’s more, because winter days are shorter, there’s less daylight to work with on move-in day. (Pro tip: get our one-stop guide to setting up your utilities on the Handled Home app. It’s available for download at Google Play and the Apple store.)


General Considerations During a Winter Move

When you’re in the throes of preparing for a move, it can feel like the big day will never come. Hard as it may be, don’t procrastinate, as you need to be fully prepared when your crew arrives.

  1. Clear driveway and sidewalks of snow and ice. Make sure the street in front of your property is clear as well. Then, salt the area. Doing so will save time and money by expediting the process. It will also help your movers be sure footed in the work they do. Remember that the same rules apply at your new address.
  2. Be fully packed and ready before your designated move time. If you’re still rushing to the finish line when your crew arrives, it’s easy to forget things. Plus, it’s hard to practice social distancing when you’re running around as if your “hair is on fire.” (You can always make things easier on yourself by hiring your move crew to pack for you the day before your move. On top of doing the  heavy lifting from start to finish, they’ll bring their own packing supplies.)
  3. Protect your belongings from moisture, particularly if snow is on the horizon. Shrink wrap works wonders when this is the case.
  4. Make sure your moving crew has enough space to socially distance. Clearly labeling and grouping your items together helps movers quickly get in and out, shortening the amount of time spent on the move. It will also give them room to get the job done efficiently, with safety top of mind.
  5. Bundle up. Dress in layers so you can shed or add clothing with ease. And have gloves with a good grip in the event you have to transfer valuables to your vehicle.
  6. Upon arriving at your new residence, note that LCD TVs need at least 30 minutes to acclimate during cold weather — before you turn them on. They are sensitive to extreme temperatures and can be damaged if you don’t wait.

Have moving questions? Or tips that you learned along the way? We’d love to hear. Give us a shout on social media. And be sure to check out our blog for moving how-tos and ways to make your new house feel like a home. 


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