How to move house during COVID-19

Source: REIWA

April 16, 2020

 

Moving house is one of life’s most tedious tasks and doing it during a health pandemic, when we are being advised to stay at home, doesn’t make it easier.

 

Lucky for those who have moving plans, removal companies are still considered an essential service. We spoke with the reputable removals company, Kent Removals and Storage, about what they are doing to help make moving house as seamless as possible for West Australians during the health crisis.

 

Here are their six-step guide to moving house during COVID-19 restrictions.

 

Step one: Check state/territory guidance and restrictions

 

While the general advice is to delay any house moves until restrictions are eased or lifted, it is also understood that due to contractual obligations this won’t always be possible.

Each state/territory has different guidelines regarding this, and in some cases, some restrictions or special requirements may apply. For example, Western Australia has imposed restrictions on regional (intrastate) travel, which require an exemption to be granted in advance.

 

Removal companies such as Kent fall under transport and logistics services, which are currently automatically exempted from any restrictions on local, regional, or interstate travel. But this does not apply to you or your family.

 

Step two: Contact a reputable removals company

 

With them categorised as an essential service, and therefore being exempted from most travel and movement restrictions, using a reputable removals company such as Kent Removals and Storage is highly recommended while any form of restrictions are in place.

 

Make sure the removal company is not only aware of all restrictions and requirements relating to local and interstate house moves, but have also adapted their services to ensure they meet or exceed any recommendations for keeping you, your family and their team of expert removalists safe during this time.

 

Step three: Arrange disconnections and new connections

 

Arranging the disconnection of your current services and utilities and scheduling new connections for the home you are moving, to are usually done within two weeks of your move date. However, while all essential services are meant to continue during any stage of COVID-19 related restrictions, many service providers could be operating with a reduced staff complement or shortened working hours.

 

So, scheduling these as soon as you have confirmed your move date is critical. Doing this well in advance of any major move preparations gives you sufficient opportunity to reschedule your move if any utilities or essential services can’t be connected in time due to limited operational capacity.

 

Step four: Organise new moving boxes and packing materials

 

Your good health should be a priority, now more than ever. There are many aspects of COVID-19 that experts remain unsure of, particularly when it comes to how long the virus lasts on different surfaces.

 

With this in mind, it is wise to only use new moving boxes and packing materials to pack all your belongings, instead of recycled or discarded boxes which applies to both DIY or self-moves and moves using a removals company.

 

Make sure the removals company you go with is following the recommended guidelines relating to combating the spread of COVID-19 which applies to keeping boxes and packing materials free from any possible contamination.

 

Step five: Prepare and pack your belongings

 

Kent also provides moving house checklists which are broken down into steps up to two months ahead of your actual move day and a great resource for helping you to prepare for your move. Using these checklists will not only help guide you on when and how to pack different household items, they also remind you of crucial steps and actions you need to follow to make your move as stress-free as possible.

 

Kent’s professional packing and valet services are also still available during this time, but you should contact your move consultant to learn more about how these services will operate during any stage of COVID-19 restrictions in place in WA.

 

Step six: Moving day

 

Limiting interaction is encouraged at the moment, so while you can still expect the same level of customer service from the removalists at Kent, you can also expect some small changes. These include staff refraining from shaking hands and maintaining a safe distance from you and others throughout the move, in accordance with recommended social distancing practices. Kent removalists use hand sanitiser throughout each move, in addition to using essential personal protective equipment such as gloves and face masks.

 

Other steps you can take, which are not required but may make the process a little easier, include:

 

  • Limiting the number of people in the house on move day, ideally to just one responsible person, aside from the removalists.
  • Having your own pen close at hand for any documentation you may need to sign.
  • Providing the removalists with access to a washroom or bathroom, so that they can regularly wash their hands throughout the move, in addition to using the hand sanitiser they all travel with.
  • Either move all boxes into a single room close to the entrance the removalists will use or moving them into a single space within each room. This helps speed up the actual move, while also limiting unnecessary movement through your home.
  • Provide the removalists with floor plans for each room in your new home, showing where they should place the boxes or specific furniture items when offloading your belongings.
  • Alternatively, if you aren’t making use of the valet services, you could also tape off sections of the floor in your new home indicating where items should be placed.