No one needs to tell you that the novel coronavirus pandemic has made a significant impact on virtually every sector of industry and society in both the U.S. and abroad. The spread of the virus and its accompanying disease (COVID-19) has ramped up in previous months, and while it appears that the spread could be trending down soon, even the world’s leading experts are not sure of what the next several months will entail.
What’s more, the CDC director, Robert Redfield, has recently warned that the coronavirus could return next winter alongside a flu epidemic. And a second wave of the coronavirus combined with the flu could prove even more dangerous than the circumstances we are experiencing now.
All this to say that there could be significant economic uncertainty well into 2021, and the impact that will have on businesses across the country is not hard to imagine. Already, all businesses deemed non-essential have been ordered to close their doors, forcing companies of all shapes and sizes to dramatically adjust their day-to-day operations or otherwise shut down completely.
So what does this mean for people who need to move to a different home? Fortunately, moving companies are considered essential businesses, meaning that most are allowed to keep their doors open, though some may choose not to. Here at T-N-T Moving Systems, we are open and fully operational, ready to serve Charlotte with its moving needs—long or short distance, planned in advance or suddenly.
Below we will discuss several factors concerning the moving process during the coronavirus pandemic. This will include Governor Roy Cooper’s COVID-19 executive order for businesses and residents of North Carolina, how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting moving services, and general moving advice for residents amid the coronavirus pandemic. Let’s get into the details concerning these factors:
THE EXECUTIVE ORDERS
North Carolina’s stay-at-home order and Mecklenburg County’s order both deem professional moving services a critical trade. This is largely due to the assistance that moving services provide for residents to shelter in place. After all, if you have no other option than to move, and you don’t have family or other household members to help, then you would be put in a precarious situation amid a worldwide pandemic.
Because moving services are considered a critical trade, companies are free to keep their doors open despite the stay-at-home orders. Nonetheless, T-N-T Moving Systems are following strict protocols so that we can serve customers effectively and safely.
CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC PROTOCOL
Some moving companies across the country, particularly smaller franchises, are choosing to close either temporarily or indefinitely. While we are taking this pandemic very seriously, we have opted to stay open so that we can continue to serve Charlotte and the surrounding areas. Because of this decision, we have adjusted our operations and customer service practices to help ourselves and our customers combat the ongoing spread of the virus.
For example, we are abiding by all federal and local guidelines when it comes to social distancing and sanitization. Not only are we practicing social distancing with customers, but we are also practicing it within our team as much as it is practical. Moreover, we are frequently disinfecting all of our company vehicles and equipment, along with keeping hand sanitizer and other preventive supplies (e.g., gloves, masks, etc.) on hand. If you have any questions about our coronavirus policy as a company, be sure to contact us directly so that we can answer those questions.
PREPARING FOR A MOVE
Even with the coronavirus pandemic in full swing, there are basic moving practices that can make your whole experience go much more smoothly. From estimating the costs of moving to packing efficiently to preparing your new home, here are some factors to consider as you are planning your move:
Determining Whether to Move
Though our company is fully operational, it’s important to be certain that moving is the right decision for you at this time. Ask yourself, ‘Is this move essential?” If your moving timeframe is flexible, it’s worth considering holding off on your relocation until there is more information available on the coronavirus and the spread is more controlled. This is especially the case if you are considered to be in a high-risk group.
However, a lot of people don’t have much choice. For instance, maybe your lease is ending or you have a closing date set in stone for a home you just sold or bought, among other possible scenarios. In that case, you will need reliable services to help you follow through with the move in a safe and timely manner.
Figuring Up the Costs
Before arranging your move, go over the costs associated with relocating to make sure you can budget appropriately. Along with professional moving fees, be sure to factor in the costs of packing supplies (e.g., boxes, tape, padding, etc.), cleaning supplies and/or services for your previous home, storage services, vehicle maintenance, and travel expenses (e.g., gas, food, lodging, etc.).
Additionally, it can help to create an emergency fund for unexpected incidents or accidents that could occur during the moving process. Having money set aside for such occurrences will help you to avoid additional financial stress in an already stressful situation.
Getting the Necessary Supplies
Having the right supplies on hand is essential to conducting a smooth relocation. Here are some items that you will want to be sure to acquire:
- Boxes of various sizes
- Bubble wrap
- Packing paper or linens
- Packing tape
- Box cutters
- Permanent marker
Typically, it’s a good idea to look for free packing supplies on sites like Craigslist or groups like Freecycle. However, considering the current pandemic, this is not advisable. This is primarily because the coronavirus can live on cardboard for up to 24 hours. Instead, look for new boxes and other supplies from retailers. If you can order the supplies, that’s the best option; but if you need to visit a store in person, try to use self-checkout when you purchase.
While we would love to have your business, we still think it’s important for each customer to research their options and make an informed decision about who to hire. Look for online reviews of various moving services in the area, confirm that any company you’re considering is licensed in the state you are traveling, and make sure to review each company’s insurance policies. We are confident about what you will find when you look up T-N-T Moving Systems, and we are even more confident about the top-notch services we can offer you!
Enlisting the Help of Family Members
Getting help from others for your move is critical, even if you are using a professional moving service. From packing belongings to lifting or moving furniture, from watching the kids or pets to unpacking and arranging items in the new home, help from others can prove invaluable. Under normal circumstances, it would be advisable to enlist the help of all the family members, friends, and acquaintances that you can for a relocation. However, these are obviously not normal circumstances. If possible, try to limit those who help you with the move to only the people in your household.
Mapping Out the New Home
If you know the dimensions and layout of your new home, make the most of them. If possible, study them before you pack up all your belongings for the move, and draw up a plan for where you will put your belongings and how you will arrange everything. This will not only help you know how to pack more efficiently, but it will also help you to avoid keeping items that you won’t be able to use or unloading heavy furniture in your new home and realizing that you can’t put it where you want it.
Getting Your New Home Ready for the Move
As early as possible in the process, try to inspect your new home for any repairs, upgrades, or other types of improvements that will be necessary. That way, you can come up with a plan for fixing them in a timely manner. If you will have access to the new home before you need to leave your previous home, use the time to make the changes so that you don’t have to deal with it while you’re unpacking. But even if you have to wait until you move in, having a plan of attack will help the process feel less overwhelming.
Labeling Boxes and Cleaning As You Go
One way to save tons of time and energy when packing is to label each box thoroughly. Nothing can make unpacking annoying quite as fast as not knowing where a particular item is and having to search through boxes until you find it. Not only will labeling help you, but it will also help anyone who is helping you unpack.
Furthermore, as you’re packing, clean and disinfect each item as you go. This will make the moving experience safer for everyone involved and reduce the likelihood of taking the virus to your new home.
Designating Essential Items
Finally, think about which items you will be using the most when you arrive at your new home. Then, place those items in the moving vehicle where they will be the first you can unload. For example, you don’t want to have to unload your out-of-season clothes and seldom-used kitchen appliances before you can get to your bed and other essential items. Also, put together a travel kit with items that you might need while in transit. This kit could include things like toiletries, an extra set of clothes, medications, and so on.
ADDITIONAL PRECAUTIONS TO CONSIDER
There are a few more precautions to think about when moving during the coronavirus pandemic. For instance, be sure to contact your moving service if you need to cancel your arrangements, and try to give them as much notice as possible. If you are planning to move, then contact your movers ahead of time to discuss what the process will look like on moving day, including the protocols that the company will be implementing as well as the ones they expect you to implement.
Also, if you or anyone in your household are having coronavirus symptoms, it’s essential to let the movers know. Lastly, try to finish all your packing at least 24 hours before your movers are scheduled to arrive. Even though the movers will be following a safety protocol, this will ensure that none of the boxes or other items have the virus on them. And it’s also a good idea to leave out some disinfectant wipes/spray and hand sanitizer for the movers.
The coronavirus outbreak doesn’t stop people from needing to move. Fortunately, here at T-N-T Moving Systems, we are able to keep our doors open and are fully operational. Whether you need to move long-distance or locally, and whether you plan well in advance or need to move in a hurry, our company would love to serve you. Just give us a call at (704) 523-1455 to discuss arrangements, and remember to consider the moving tips mentioned above.