I am so so excited to be moving into this new home. I know it’ll be so great for our family and I can’t wait to get there. But first–we have to pack and move.
I think pretty much everyone agrees moving isn’t exactly fun. Fortunately, after 8 moves in just as many years, I basically have moving down to a science, so it’s not usually something I stress over. But moving during a pandemic? Ehh I’m not going to lie–I’m more than a little stressed. I’m sure you can imagine.
Trying to think of every possible detail to keep contact to a minimum and keep everyone involved safe has been at the forefront of my mind since we chose a close date. The moving company we hired I’ve used before, and their website details the measures they are taking to keep their employees safe and trucks sanitized.
Needless to say it’s going to be a very busy 3-4 days from closing to moving to disinfecting and unpacking, but we know it will worth it in the end. If we could postpone it all til June 1, we would, but we can’t. We’ve also had to spend a bit more on things like packing materials and plastic covers–things I’ve never once bought for a move since movers typically provide it. But we are considering it a very worthwhile investment for our health and safety. I detail more below…
A couple of things working in our favor:
– the home we are buying is vacant so we have some access before close
– we are moving relatively close by which allows us to make multiples trips and move things ourselves
– we close on a Friday and movers come Sunday morning giving us most of Friday and all of Saturday to take stuff over ourselves – I share what we’ll be moving ourselves below
Here’s our plan:
1. Cardboard over plastic boxes
We bought this “large move set” of cardboard boxes from HomeDepot.com and had it shipped directly to our home although there is a “pick-up in store” option. The set comes with 48 boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, the works. Home Depot also sells a “small move set” and “medium” and “extra-large.” I hope the large is enough! We’re also using boxes that have arrived from Amazon and Freshly orders. We’ve been letting all boxed packages sit in our entryway for 24-48 hours before bringing into the house as it is.
We are going the cardboard box route for a couple of reasons.
If you’ve followed me for a while, you know I love and have always used the rentable plastic boxes (Chicago has RediBox – different cities have their own companies), and I cannot recommend this service enough! They make moving so so easy.
The only reason we did not go that route is because of COVID-19, and the fact that Clorox wipes were sold out long before we could stock up. They are sold out everywhere and Clorox and Lysol can’t produce enough fast enough based on what I’ve read. We only have two containers from back when Henry had HandFoot&Mouth so basically I don’t have enough wipes to wipe the plastic moving boxes down once they are delivered to our house and again after the movers move them–which is what I would want to do to completely disinfect them. I need to save what Clorox wipes we have to wipe down the furniture and fixtures of the new house post-move.
2. Leave the moving boxes in the garage at the new house for 24 hours
We plan to have the movers leave every single box in the garage at the new house, and we’ll let them sit there for 24 hours or longer since that is currently the expected time the virus can live on cardboard. Dan and I will then move them into the house ourselves after 24 hours.
3. Label every box with detail (not only with the room name but also what is in the box)
This will allow us to grab what we need when we need it, and we won’t open all 12 boxes that say “Kitchen” just to find the utensils are sitting at the bottom of the twelfth box. Instead, we’ll be able to grab the box that says “KITCHEN: utensils, cookie sheets, serving dishes” or whatever it is, and be done. Much easier.
4. Move all textile items to the new house ourselves the day before move
We plan to move anything that is fabric over ourselves to minimize contact with other people. This includes: all chair and sofa cushions, outdoor furniture cushions, Henry’s rocking lamb, Henry’s bean bag, bedding and pillows, small area rugs. We’ll put it all in the basement where movers won’t be going.
5. Move key kids’ toys over ourselves the day before the move
Things Henry and Charlie use a lot will be brought over on Saturday and set up in the basement for them to play with when we go the next morning. Henry’s basketball hoop, blocks, Charlie’s bouncer, playmat, etc.
6. Move all lamps and art ourselves
I actually already took a load of fragile items–all of our art and most of our lamps–over to my mom’s and loaded it all into her car (she stayed a good 10 feet away from me of course). When we start moving that Saturday, she’ll drive her car over, and Dan and I will unload it all. Again–no contact. Just need the vehicle! 🙂
I’ve always always moved art and lamps and fragile items (large vases) myself. It’s easier than trying to safely package all of it so this really isn’t different than my usual MO.
7. Cover upholstered furniture, mattresses, and rugs ourselves
Movers usually wrap your upholstered furniture, mattresses, and rugs in plastic as they’re moving things to prevent damages and staining, but to minimize contact w/ our textiles and anyone other than ourselves, I bought moving covers and plastic wrap so Dan and I will get everything covered the day before the movers come. We’ll also take all of the plastic off ourselves at the new house, dispose of it, and wash our hands immediately. This includes the sofa frames (remember, we are moving cushions separately), chairs, nursery gliders, and our bed.
I bought these sofa covers, 6 of these chair covers, mattress covers, crib mattress covers, and plastic wrap.
We will roll and wrap the rugs ourselves, too.
8. Putting my one million throw pillows and extra bedding into vacu-seal bags
This way the movers can just grab and move this without touching the actual pillows. Plus they take up a lot less room than shoving them into boxes.
9. Minimize people in the new house – have things installed before move date
We have the huge benefit that the house we’re buying is vacant. So we have asked for permission to have laundry units installed and internet installed before we even close to limit people coming into the house once we’ve moved in. I realize this is probably not an option for a lot of people, but if you can even have it done between close and move date, that also helps. The selling agent can usually let them in for you since you don’t have keys.
10. Labeling furniture with numbers and labeling each room with a corresponding number to guide the movers
Typically when I move, I am moving around, helping the movers with where to put everything. But I will be staying in the basement with the boys as the movers unload (we don’t need them to take anything down there). So when Dan and I go to drop stuff off the day before the move, I plan on hanging giant signs outside each room with room numbers and will have pieces of paper taped to the corresponding furniture with said number. So our dining table will have a giant 2 on it, and the dining room will also have a “ROOM 2” sign on it. Our master bedroom will read “ROOM 8” and our dresser will have an 8. Just using Henry’s giant roll of paper to make the room signs, and computer paper to tape to the furniture.
I was originally just going to do this with the bedrooms, but realized I need to to differentiate “dining room, formal living room, and family room.” I don’t care where they put stuff in any room; I just want to make sure the right stuff goes in each room. Dan and I can move it around from there.
11. Wearing masks and gloves, and minimizing contact with the movers
The plan is for me to leave the condo with the boys first thing in the morning on moving day and just head to the house. Dan and I will have taken over the essentials the day before. Dan will let the movers into our condo then wait outside for them to finish. Basically just giving them an “everything goes!” direction.
At the new house, I’ll likely stay in the basement with the boys while the movers unpack.
We have these organic cotton face masks for our family, and I bought this set of disposable gloves I’ll offer the movers, but the moving company we hired says they provide masks and gloves for their workers. I’ll also have hand soap and paper towels out at both homes for everyone to use.
12. Disinfect every piece of furniture, counter, doorknob, etc. as soon as the move is done
Once everything is in the house and the movers leave (remember though the cardboard boxes will be left in the garage), Dan and I will remove all plastic covers and discard outside. Wash our hands. Then I’ll set out Clorox wiping every piece of furniture and mirror and surface as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Dan will do the floors though I don’t think what we have is necessarily a disinfectant… :/ any advice on that would be appreciated!
13. Have “overnight” bags packed for ourselves and the boys
We are going to pack backpacks w/ the bare essentials of what we need immediately–clothes, pajamas, diapers, wipes, tooth brushes, brushes, toiletries, etc.–and move this ourselves on moving day.
14. Set up pack-n-plays in the basement for the boys to nap during the move
We’ll get these set up on Saturday day before movers so it’s ready to go when I get there with the boys in the morning.
15. Moving fresh food items ourselves
We have a large cooler that will allow us to move fresh food ourselves and get that unloaded in the new refrigerator. Will also move key food we need access to. Pantry essentials will get put in a box and we’ll either move it if we have room/time on Saturday, or we’ll have movers bring that.
16. Have hand soap, towels, toilet paper, water bottles, food, formula maker–anything we might need immediately while move is going on–ready to go at the new place
Ahh I think that’s everything?! And I hope it’s all clear. As you can see, we will be moving a lot ourselves that day prior to minimize contact.
Honestly – any advice at all is appreciated! I feel like I’m forgetting something but I’ll add if I remember or think of other things! And I hope this helps if you’re in a similar situation. Feel free to leave any comments or suggestions.
This sounds like a great and very thorough plan- I wish you well!
Thank you! 🙂 Stay safe!
Hi Alaina! Loved this post- and congrats on the move! I wanted to chime in that we have a Shark Steam Mop that we use to disinfect our floors. I believe they are over 99.5% effective at disinfecting because of the high temperature. We love ours and it’s very easy to use! Good luck with the move and stay safe!
Thank you! Yes – need to order one of these! Stay safe.
I want to add we have the Shark Steam Mop as well. Since we have a medically complex baby, we are obsessive about germs and it works great! We have nursing staff, medical supply/equipment people, and therapists (plus pets) in and out of our home. So anything that is easy, quick and disinfects is literally a lifesaver for our family. 🙂
P.s. When you’re wiping things down with wipes, don’t forget cell phones, keys, sunglasses, remotes (tv/garage etc) and faucet handles, these are often touched and get my but seldom thought of when wiping down stuff!
Wow!! So thorough and well planned!! What will you do with the boys on Saturday when you’re moving all the items yourself? Will you rent a moving van or take multiple trips?? Thank you for sharing!!
Wow thank you for sharing!! So thorough and interesting. What will you do with the boys on Saturday when you’re bringing stuff over? Will you rent a Moving van or Multiple trips in your car? Thank you!
Not exactly sure yet. A few options… we’ll either take turns making multiples trips to the house while one stays back with the boys, but more realistically, our parents will probably drive down in their cars, Dan and I will load up all of the car trunks (asking our parents to just stay seated in the car), and we’ll caravan to the new house together w/ the boys in tow in our own car. I’ll go inside w/ the boys while Dan unloads and I start loading the stuff he’s bringing in into the basement and closets. Will be good to show Henry the house then also! Does all that make sense? Again – no contact w/ our parents. We’ll ask them to just sit in the cars; we just need their storage space to minimize our trips back and forth!
I have this steam mop that sanitizes & kills 99.9% of germs. We have all hardwood & tile and it’s never been an issue for our floors. Just keep it moving and don’t leave it stationary while it’s on (you can for like 5-10 sec. to get a stubborn mess- use distilled water). Good luck with your move it sounds like it will be successful & will minimize any unwanted exposure.
Thank you! Ordering! 🙂
I have this one too which is handheld & good for other surfaces!
BISSELL 39N7A/39N71 Steam Shot Deluxe Hard-Surface Cleaner, Light Green https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001EYHAGS/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_QpsLEbRMSQCYN
Hi – good luck! Very well planned. We used cardboard boxes for a cross country move a year and a half ago. We did pay a small fee to the movers to pick up all the boxes once they were empty after we unpacked. So worth it. Our local waste disposal company wouldn’t pick up all the boxes to recycle as we had over a hundred. I would recommend getting rid of the extra empty boxes as soon as you can as they invite mice. Also keep out your step stool to unpack the kitchen! This was something we didn’t have for a few days and was definitely needed.
I don’t have any ideas about a floor disinfectant but you could always creat craft paper walk or plastic walk paths in the house that you could just throw away with the furniture plastic to minimize the areas being touched from the outside. I know it could take a lot of material, but maybe it’s viable? It sounds like you have a solid plan- it will go great! Good luck 🙂
Hi Alaina! Thats such a great plan as i’m also moving atm. I would recommend you use a spray bottle with bleach and water to disinfect floors, surfaces, knobs and handles etc and wipe them with a small hand towel soaked in bleach and water. also an old towel at the entrance door soaked in bleach and water to wipe shoes on could help. Hope this helps ☺️
This is so incredible, thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing! We are moving soon and have been stressing about the same things, and your post could not have been more helpful.
Will you be setting up cable/internet before you move in? We haven’t quite figured that one out yet. Also, are you painting or having fixtures/finishes changed before you move in?
Thank you so much again!
Great tips! We’ll be moving in August with a 2.5yr and like 3ish week newborn (like you from townhouse to real house with yard, that is empty). Luckily my husband is like Superman and so great at getting sh*t done. Is there anything you’d do differently now it’s behind you? Was that order of boxes big enough to pack what you needed? Did you have walls painted before moving? Thanks!!