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5 Things You Shouldn’t Do When Moving Across the Country in a Pandemic (and 5 You Should)

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Could there be an easier way to move during the pandemic?

Moving is generally stressful. Moving in a pandemic? Multiply that stress by 100 as you try to make the right decision in the most responsible manner. There are so many different ways to move, and not every method works for everyone. With some helpful tips and tricks, you can reduce your cortisol levels by planning ahead now.

Don’t Take Everything You Own

An inevitable moment during the moving process is the realization that you own a lot of stuff. Even if you live in a small space, the volume of miscellaneous things you own may surprise or overwhelm you. Instead of seeing this as an obstacle, look at it as an opportunity to downsize. Take a note out of Marie Kondo’s book and practice letting go of what doesn’t serve you. This will save you money down the road as every box needs to find a home.

Do Check Out New Pads Virtually

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Recommended Fodor’s Video

If you’re moving during the pandemic, chances are that you won’t be able to look at apartments or houses in person. If you see a place that you like online, don’t be afraid to request a video walkthrough with your potential landlord. They’re eager to fill up properties and these video walkthroughs are becoming the norm.

Don’t Just Drop off Donations

So you took the opportunity to re-evaluate your belongings and now have bags full of donations? While the protocol pre-pandemic might have been to drop it off at any donation center, things have changed. Many donation centers have changed their requirements during the pandemic, so call ahead to check if they’re taking donations before hauling everything to your local donation center.

Do Compare All Your Moving Options

How do you actually move your stuff? There are SO. MANY. WAYS. The first step is to evaluate how much you’re moving and whether or not it’s fragile. For items that aren’t easily damaged, shipping boxes and pods can be a convenient way to send your belongings to your final destination. If you don’t have many belongings and enjoy a road trip, a small moving van may work better. A moving truck works best for those who have big items to transport, such as furniture.

Don’t Forget to Check Costs From Different Locations

Pre-pandemic moving was already expensive. Now, the costs add up even more as demand has increased. When shopping around for a moving van, try adjusting your pickup and drop off locations. This can totally change the difference in your rental estimate.

Do Read Rental Car Insurance Details

Rental car insurance may not be a big deal if you’re driving around the city for a day, but a big move is a different beast altogether. Read the fine lines of the insurance before attempting a cross-country drive in a rental car. Is your car fully protected in case of an accident? What about if you get a flat tire or a crack in the windshield? Many inconvenient but very plausible situations like these aren’t covered in regular rental car insurance.

Don’t Assume COVID Restrictions Are All the Same

Traveling through the United States during a pandemic can be an eye-opening experience as you see just how differently the situation is handled from one county to another. Not every city that you drive through will require masks, but you can lower your risk by planning your rest stops accordingly. Check where there are peaks in cases to know where to be extra careful.

Do Check Moving Company Protocols

Every moving company has different protocols when it comes to staying safe. Feel free to call the different companies and ask them about their regulations when requesting a quote. This will help spare you any unnecessarily awkward encounters when the movers show up without masks or physical distancing procedures. Things will go a lot smoother if you’re on the same page as the movers.

Don’t Go to Any Old Gas Station

We’ve already established that moving is expensive. If you’re taking your car or a moving van across the country, download an app like GasBuddy that shows where the cheapest gas stations are. A price difference as small as 5 cents can be significant when you’re filling up a big tank.

Do Think About Storage Units

So you’ve gone through all your things and there’s still too much to take with you? Consider renting out a storage unit. Not everything has to move with you right now and having a storage unit can reduce the stress of moving without forcing you to make a decision about letting things go. Who knows, maybe after a few months apart you’ll realize it really is time to say goodbye to that old futon from your college years. 

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