Found your next home and getting ready to move this summer? We have tips on best practices for moving in the summer, and at TNT Moving Systems, we know just how to make accommodations for the blazing hot and often humid, but gorgeous summer days here in Charlotte, NC.
Are you planning to move between May 15th and August 31st?
Did you know that 70% of all residential moving takes place between May and September? The estimated peak season for moving in the U.S. falls between May 15th and August 31st.
Summer is the most popular season to move, and for good reason! Not only are the highest number of homes for sale during the summer, but it’s usually the best time for families to move, as kids are out of school and if needed, can transition into a new school district at the start of the year more easily. Buyers may also prefer the summer months for moving into a new home, simply because the weather tends to be nicer and more reliable.
However, even though the benefits of peak season attract buyers and sellers, there are some constraints to consider, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic looming over moves this summer.
Social distancing is still the best method for preventing the spread of coronavirus, but the CDC recommends that masks are worn in places where social distancing isn’t possible. Should you wear a mask while moving?
In short, the answer is yes. If you plan on hiring a moving company, the movers will likely via company policies be wearing masks, or if you informally find friends to help you move, you should all wear masks as much as possible. Moving into a new home will mean that you’re all in a very close-contact environment and conducting strenuous physical activity. With any close-contact physical activity right now, it’s important to respect the shared space by wearing a mask and limited the spread of COVID-19.
Obviously, the more activity you’re partaking in, the more your breathing will increase, and the more you’re breathing, the greater chance that you will spread the virus if you have it or are carrying it. When everyone involved wears masks together, it is far more effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19.
What should I look for in a mask for moving?
The most important thing to look for in a mask is proper fit that keeps the mouth and nose consistently covered. You do not want to constantly adjust the mask and touch your face, and if the mask is too tight on the ears causing you to pull the mask down due to discomfort or too loose around the face, then wearing a mask isn’t useful.
You will also want to find a mask made of materials that wick moisture away from the wearer. Certain mask materials can get wet and begin to touch and stick to your face, meaning particles from outside the mask can begin to seep into your mouth and nose.
Breathability and air-flow
The element of breathability is the most important of all, especially as you’re experiencing physical activity in often very hot environments. Unfortunately, the breathability of a mask is often a trade-off when it comes to protection. If you use an N-95 mask, which is known for its ability to catch 95% of particles, then this optimization for protection is a trade-off for its limited breathability. N95 masks have very strong filters that for those not used to wearing masks, and when you’re breathing heavily it can make it seem much more difficult to breathe.
If you aren’t used to wearing an N95 mask, medical professionals recommend that you make a transition into wearing a mask, such as wearing a mask in short increments while exercising or packing things around the house just to gain an increased level of awareness with how you normalize your breathing and regulate your body temperature. Covering your nose and mouth with a mask can make it more difficult for air and heat to leave the body, so checking in on how you feel and adjusting your flow while moving may include taking more breaks, drinking more water, or ensuring that the air conditioning and fans are on to increase airflow in the house.
Alternatively, if you want a better balance between breathability and protection, your best bet may be masks that are 100% cotton. The best cotton masks will provide two layers of protection and the option to include a filter. Masks that are the pleated masks, muzzle-shaped, and provide a nose wire for a closer fit to your face provide the best protection. It is also recommended that you use a mask with elastic earpieces that aren’t too tight or too loose, and rest securely against your skin. Tie masks are less effective since they come loose more easily, and aren’t as easy to remove when you are needing a break outside.
If you have medical concerns about wearing a mask during the exercise of moving, you may want to talk to your doctor about whether it’s safe for you to do so, and plan ahead of time how you might accommodate your mask-wearing on your move day.
Where can I buy a mask that would be good to wear while moving?
There are plenty of options on where to purchase a breathable, elastic mask, and we’ve got you…covered! Check out some of these options (not sponsored, availability subject to change).
Etsy has numerous sellers with a variety of types of masks and fabrics. Most shops selling masks are available to ship within three days, and you can also read reviews to find a high quality, reputable seller. Here are just a few sellers we found
- 100% Cotton, 3 layers washable adult fabric mask with filterWashable Filter Face Mask
- Mask with nose wire and filter pockets
If you want to support local creators, many people are selling handmade masks on Facebook Marketplace right in your neighborhood. You may also be able to find people selling in bulk the more difficult-to-find N95’s or surgical masks as well.
Big Box Stores: Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot
Pre-COVID, hardware stores or home-repair sections in stores were the easiest places to find masks. Check with your local store to see if they have masks in stock.
Pharmacies: Walgreens, CVS, etc.
Many local pharmacies have restocked masks supplies, and even offer curbside pickup.
Online clothing retailers & stores
Check out your favorite clothing store, and chances are on the homepage you’ll find an offer for a cloth facemask. For example, Madewell, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Forever 21, Rag & Bone have all started selling facemasks for a low cost and low shipping. Many other stores that sell home goods or bedding, and just businesses aiding in providing a new service during the pandemic, have also shifted to producing masks.
Moving in the heat, made easy!
The sweltering summer sun and high humidity in Charlotte can make a summer move difficult for those doing the heavy lifting. Keep these tricks in mind to keep your move cool:
Start early in the day
Trying to beat the heat? If you’re able to do so, start as early in the morning as possible. A move in the summer afternoon in a hot climate is not going to be pleasant; temperatures are at their highest between 11-3pm, with the sun’s intensity being greater and the UV rays being stronger. Not only will you avoid sunburn by starting earlier, but early mornings can mean a much cooler move. Most moving companies will also prefer to start earlier in the morning during the summer, rather than later in the day.
Apply sunscreen throughout the day
Whether you prefer lotion or spray sunscreen, ensure that you cover your entire body (don’t forget the face, neck and ears!) with a sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher and that is water-resistant. You’ll want to apply sunscreen 15 minutes before sun exposure, and reapply every 2 hours.
Aim for light, loose, and breathable fabrics
Dressing for a summer move is a breeze, especially with the popularity of athleisure. Look for lightweight fabrics like cotton or linen that absorb sweat and moisture, or wear athletic-style clothing that’s made to wick moisture away from your body. Avoid synthetic fabrics like rayon and polyester, and avoid dark colors that attract heat. Ensure that you wear a hat and bring sunglasses to protect your head and face from the sun.
Ensure that your utilities are turned on before Moving Day!
Cooling down your house a few days ahead of time is essential before a hot move on a summer’s day. Beyond that, you’ll want your water turned on as well to make sure that you have access to clean, running water for staying hydrated, using the facilities, and showering after a long sweaty day in your new home!
Move heat-sensitive items either first or last.
All of your belongings may not fare well in the heat, and the inside of a moving truck during the summer can reach temperatures of 120 degrees. Paper items and electronics are typically fine in the heat, but items like loose photos may start to emulsify and stick together if they aren’t in protected pages. Candles, cameras, shrink wrapped clothes may melt, warp, or ruin other items that they’re boxed with. Many plants cannot withstand extreme high or low temperatures for long, and should also plan to be moved carefully.
You can also take into consideration how long items are sitting in a truck; is it for days as you move states or take longer to unpack a track, or a few hours as you move across town? In either case, ensure that you keep valuables, sentimental items, and heat sensitive items are packed in your personal vehicle and brought into the air conditioning or a climate controlled room as soon as possible.
Setting up a couple of portable fans around the house, especially in the garage, and opening doorways and encouraging airflow will greatly benefit you during the moving process. These fans are typically inexpensive at around $10/piece, and can be found at any big box store. Coolers also come in handy, if you can fill a cooler with ice and keep damp washcloths inside to provide cold towels for everyone involved in the moving process. Exposure to high temperatures can be very dangerous, so remaining vigilant for signs of overheating and heat-related illness is essential. If someone shows symptoms of overheating or heat exhaustion, get them to rest in an air conditioned space as quickly as possible, and provide water and cold towels to cool down, and seek medical attention if needed.
Move with confidence this summer.
If you’re moving in the summer, you are automatically in increased competition with other buyers to find a reputable, reliable, and affordable moving company for your moving date. Moving companies during the peak moving season are in great demand; high demand for movers means that you will most likely be dealing with higher moving costs and limited availability. If you do not secure a highly rated moving company ahead of time, you may have to sacrifice the quality of services for your move.