While real estate agents report that far fewer people than normal have been moving during the COVID-19 pandemic, that may soon change. A recent Harris Poll found that nearly a third of U.S. adults living in urban areas are considering a move to less densely populated cities in the wake of the pandemic. Others may not be fleeing the pandemic but simply want or need to move, either for a job change or other reason.
If you find yourself preparing to move during these uncertain times, here are some tips to help it go more smoothly.
1. Make a checklist: Set a timeline for completing such tasks as packing, cleaning and registering the kids for school. Staying ahead of the process can help avoid last-minute headaches and make your to-do list seem more manageable. There are even free apps available to help.
2. Organize and purge: Moving is the perfect opportunity to decide what you really want and need in your new home. To lessen the load on moving day, hold a garage sale – following proper social distancing guidelines – or donate unwanted items to charity. You can make the unpacking process simpler by arranging similar items together and labeling each box accordingly, such as kitchen utensils with cups or clothing of a particular season. You can even label a box as “open me first” for items you’ll need immediately.
3. Notify those who need to know: Let your insurance agent know that you’re moving as soon as possible to be sure you’re covered. You’ll also want to discuss how your needs will change. For example, if this is your first time buying a house, you’ll need a homeowners policy versus renters insurance. On the other hand, if you’re downsizing from a house to an apartment, you’ll still want to ensure your belongings are covered, which you can do with renters insurance. Be sure to also call your utility providers to cancel or transfer service and fill out a change of address form with the United States Post Office. You’ll also want to update your address with your bank and credit card companies.
4. Consider what’s covered: You may want to consider moving insurance. Some companies, like Erie Insurance, will cover you during the move and say it’s usually not necessary to purchase an additional policy. Keep in mind there are limits for certain kinds of misplaced, lost or stolen personal property. Your insurance agent can walk through that with you.
5. DIY or hire a pro. While during “normal” times you might recruit family and friends to help you with the move, given ongoing social distancing guidelines, now may not be the right time to ask. If it’s a small move, you may be able to handle it on your own or with the help of just a few immediate family members. Otherwise, consider hiring moving professionals who know the proper safety protocols and will be better equipped to protect your possessions and make sure they’re transported safely.
While moving can seem overwhelming, a bit of prep and planning go a long way. By mastering your move, you’ll be sitting down and relaxing in your new home in no time. (StatePoint)