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Moving During COVID-19: 10 Tips to Maintain Your Well-Being

Expenses, deadlines, and to-do lists help to ensure that every move is unique. Moving to a new home during a pandemic can add an additional layer of complication to the experience. But there’s nothing here you can’t handle, and you’ll land on the other side with an exciting new home and new places to explore.

Remember to prioritize your own care — keeping a focus on how to maintain your well-being will help you and your family stay focused and stress-free throughout this adventure. Here are our top 10 tips to stay safe, healthy, and centered as you head into your upcoming move.

1. Ensure everyone’s safety

Maintaining your well-being starts with your physical health. Make sure everyone is masked, keeping distant from one another whenever possible, and consistently washing hands and sanitizing. Temperature checks should also be part of your routine. Contactless forehead thermometers are inexpensive and easy to find, and you should get in the habit of checking everyone’s temperature — including on-site workers as well as your family — each day of the move.

2. Equip yourself and the family with your necessities

Fill a gallon-sized resealable freezer bag with essential personal supplies such as a disposable mask, a small container of hand sanitizer, a bottle of water, and a few snacks. Make a few of these and hand them out to your spouse, kids, friends, or movers who might be helping on move day. Don’t forget to make one for yourself!

3. Pack an “open first” box

Prepare for life after your move by packing an “open first” box. From non-perishable snacks to ward off hunger to necessities like toiletries and your phone charger, don’t find yourself in a panic looking for something you need. A clearly marked box with the things you know you’ll need from the get-go can go a long way toward alleviating post-move stressors.

4. Clean and disinfect frequently

Clean and disinfect as regularly as possible — before, during, and after the move at the very least. Clean any high-traffic areas and high-touch surfaces, including doorknobs, light switches, and countertops.

Consider hiring a cleaning company for a deeper clean. This can be especially helpful once the dust settles (perhaps literally) after your move. Many cleaning companies have specific COVID-related guidelines for safety; feel free to ask what those are to make sure you’re comfortable before allowing a cleaning crew into your home.

5. Manage your stress

The move is going to have challenges; allow yourself to admit that from the start. But recognize now that none of them will get the best of you.

You can help keep your stress level under control by getting plenty of sleep the night before the move, eating healthy meals, and keeping ready access to snacks (see the necessity bag above) to keep your blood sugar levels in check. Delegate tasks on the day of the move — it’ll keep your workload under control and keep any helpers occupied.

6. Schedule mindfulness breaks

Moving is already stressful. Having to navigate the precautions of the pandemic can take an even greater toll on your stress levels. Just a few minutes of mindfulness or meditation throughout the day can help keep you calm, centered, and better able to handle everything the move throws at you.

You can read a book like The Little Book of Mindfulness to learn the basics, or try a mobile app like Calm or Headspace to guide you through mini-meditations throughout the planning and moving process.

7. Use new moving boxes

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the virus that causes COVID-19 has the potential to survive on many kinds of surfaces for days. The risk might be low, but avoid re-using packing materials like cardboard boxes. Start fresh with new boxes and wrap. Use plastic moving boxes when it’s a practical option: Plastic is easier to wipe down than cardboard. It’s also more durable and reusable.

8. Map out your go-to shops and services in advance

Before moving day, learn the lay of the land in your new area. Where’s the closest grocery store, post office, and shipping service? Note the fast-food and delivery restaurants in your proximity, especially chains you like (as well as any local gems that catch your eye). If you figure out where the most important day-to-day stores and services are located, you won’t have to worry about it during the move if you urgently need something unexpected, like a bag of cat food for the kitty.

9. Find your new doctor and pharmacy

Just as with your daily essentials, it’s important to pin down your new doctor and pharmacy ahead of time. You can do this several weeks in advance of the move — having a new pharmacy at the ready comes in handy if you need to pick up a prescription right after the moving truck drives away.

10. Plan to order out

Rather than rushing to unpack the kitchen, take your time organizing everything and order takeout instead. Lean on a delivery service like Postmates, Grubhub, or Uber Eats to have food brought right to your door. You deserve it. Not forcing yourself to cook takes one thing off your plate while ensuring the actual plates stay full.

The pandemic makes moving more complicated — but far from impossible. Throughout the process, you’re in control. The trick is remembering how to maintain your well-being. You and your family are the most important part of any move; if you take care of yourself, everything else will fall into place.

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