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Tips for Moving During COVID

Planning to move or relocate soon? Some of your plans may need to change. But we’re here to provide you with up-to-date information so that you can still successfully plan your move and stay safe and healthy. Moving during COVID takes good planning ahead.

Most moving companies and furnishing services are still operational.

The good news is that most moving companies and most supply chain services are still operational. The reason Furnishr is still operational is because our furniture suppliers and delivery partners are part of the Supply Chain sector. Their warehouses are available to ship and receive products. That said, they have moved all non-essential staff to work from home so there is bound to be some communication delay. Warehouses are also restricting hours, so they are requiring all logistics providers to route their shipments more efficiently.

We at Furnishr also continue to help those who need to move by providing regular design services and restricting our time spent at customers’ homes during the home services.

a clip art image of someone carrying a box and wearing gloves doing a delivery while moving during covid

CHECKLIST: PLANNING YOUR MOVE

  1. Start by asking your old & new buildings about move in/move out policies.
  2. Check with your moving or furnishing company about availability and protocols.
  3. Find a floor plan for your new place to help the movers.
  4. Write any special notes about furniture assembly / disassembly.
  5. Add any info about pets or kids on site, and parking and disposal of moving materials.
  6. Set aside some hand sanitizer or soap for your movers to use.
  7. Pack up as much as you can beforehand and clearly label all boxes.
  8. If you’re moving to the U.S. from overseas, start with this article to get prepared.

CHECKLIST: ON THE DELIVERY DAY

  1. Have a copy of your floor plan out and available for the movers, if possible.
  2. Set out the hand sanitizer and soap.
  3. Practice social distancing by staying 6 feet away from the moving team.
  4. You may wish to give your phone # to the team lead. This way, they can text you with any questions rather than needing to speak to you face-to-face.
  5. Keep a garbage bin out for movers to dispose of masks, gloves, and other materials.
  6. If you’re doing an absentee move, check in with your property manager before and after.
  7. Hydrate!

CHECKLIST: AFTER DELIVERY

  1. Wash your hands and sanitize doorknobs and other highly trafficked surfaces.
  2. Spritz your furniture with a 70%+ alcohol spray. There shouldn’t be anything there, since your movers were wearing gloves and masks, but it can put your mind at ease.
  3. Confirm with your property manager that you’re all moved in.
  4. Tidy up – here’s how to clean your whole place in 30 minutes.
  5. Send a thank you note to your delivery team.

Now that you know COVID-19 restrictions don’t apply to essential services, we can get to planning. Most moving and furnishing companies have implemented very strict sanitization and social distancing protocols. 

So while this epidemic may slightly alter your upcoming plans, you should still be able to make your move if you plan ahead and communicate. Just expect some delays because of the added restrictions to normal operations, and you’re ready to start planning.

Did we answer all your questions?

Here are answers to other frequently asked questions about moving during COVID. 


HEALTH AND SAFETY

a woman wearing safety glasses and orange gloves smiles in a warehouse

Q: How are moving & delivery companies adapting their services to protect my health?

A. Each company is responding to this crisis differently. Many moving companies are scaling back their operations and adjusting to the circumstances with new protocols to protect their clients’ and employees’ health. Some companies are asking their movers to practicing social distancing. Others are sending hand sanitizer, gloves, and masks onsite with their employees. If you are planning a move, make sure to ask your movers beforehand what additional health and safety precautions they are taking.

For Furnishr customers expecting a furniture delivery, we will ask our delivery team to assemble as much as possible at the warehouse prior to delivery. On the delivery day, we will blanket wrap each item and move in each piece to each room. Our goal is to limit the number of hours we spend at customers’ home. (Normally, we would assemble everything at customers’ home after we arrive.)

While our team is on site, we ask customers to keep a 6-feet distance from our team members. When each room is completely set up, we ask customers to walk through the home before we leave.

Q: What’s an example of a health & safety protocol that moving companies are taking?

A: To understand how moving companies have responded to the crisis, we reached out to Oz Moving & Storage to learn how they are implementing increased health and safety measures. Oz is following social distancing by instructing all their non-essential employees to work from home. They are also adjusting how they set up their moving crews. Their movers are now working in small teams, which means each mover works with the same group of people, equipment and trucks on every job. This practice limits unnecessary contact and reduces the risk of contamination. 

When it comes to the safety of the movers, Oz is monitoring and screening the health of their staff. They are advising their workers to strictly monitor their own health and to stay home if any symptoms appear. Oz movers are wearing masks, gloves and booties as needed. 

Moreover, movers are working diligently with buildings that have implemented additional precautionary measures to ensure that they can safely complete moves during this time. 

clip art showing hand sanitizer bottles on a purple background

PREPARING FOR THE MOVE

Q: What information will the moving company need from me in advance? 

A: To address clients’ concerns, clients should provide as much information as possible regarding the details of their move beforehand. Be prepared for last minute changes in your plans. Before the scheduled move, clients should ask their movers as many questions as possible to ensure every step is well communicated. You should discuss the anticipated schedule, vehicle parking and permits, disposal of materials, presence of pets or small children, allergies, and responsibility for any damages. Make sure that your contact information and address are up to date. Check that you have a floor plan available if the movers will be helping you at your new place.

Q: How can I prepare my furniture & personal items to make it easier and safer for movers?  

To prepare for your move, please have everything packed and ready for when the movers arrive. If you’re moving during COVID, please practice social distancing during the move. Leave soap and water (or hand sanitizer) for movers to wash their hands. 

Another popular alternative is to work with a design & furnishing company. Rather than packing up all your old furniture and paying big money to move it, design-and-furnish is a model where you start totally from scratch. You collaborate virtually with a professional interior designer. Together, you choose furniture that works with your new floor plan and your lifestyle needs. Many of these furnishing companies work with delivery & assembly partners. So, your new place will be furnished from top-to-bottom without paying any moving fees. A slightly different model is rental furniture. These companies do utilize sanitization protocols between rentals, but during a public health crisis it’s not something we would recommend. 

Overall, design-and-furnish can actually be a surprisingly affordable and efficient solution to relocating, especially during a pandemic. 

HOW TO LIMIT IN-PERSON CONTACT

a pair of hands holding a box that says 'contactless delivery' on a yellow background

Q: In my new place, will I need to be onsite with movers so they know where everything goes?

A: You will need someone who can let the movers into your space. But it’s not always necessary for you to be onsite yourself all day. You should provide a comprehensive floor-plan for the movers, instructing them how to arrange your personal items. Send this to them before the day of your move. Inform the movers about specifics regarding the layout of the new house. How should all they arrange the furniture? Provide information about assembly and disassembly of furniture. Moving is an intimate process, so providing movers with this information beforehand helps limit contact between movers and customers, to further reduce unnecessary risks. 

If clients need to schedule an absentee move, in that they have already left the unit, but did not have time to retrieve their belongings, they can arrange for movers to have access to these units and perform this move. 

Q: What is an absentee move, and what health & safety benefits does it have?

A: If you’re moving during COVID, you may prefer to schedule an absentee move to reduce contact. In these situations, you can request movers to facilitate a full-packing service and pack your belongings for you. Those who need this service must provide as much information as possible regarding the assembling and disassembling of furniture. The key in all of these situations is communication, which reduces unnecessary risks. The goal is to help both clients and movers work in as safe of an environment as possible. 

CANCELLATIONS AND DELAYS

a city scape at dusk by a large lake

Q: What if my building isn’t allowing people to move in or out because of COVID-19?

A: In these situations, moving companies should work with the building to make an exception or re-schedule the move. If this means a sooner date or attempting to coordinate with the building, moving companies will adjust for that. Moving during COVID requires flexibility from all parties. If the move cannot be completed at this time, moving companies can provide a solution for you. Many moving companies have fully operable storage facilities. They can transfer your belongings into a safe and sanitized storage unit until the situation improves and movers can gain access to the building. 

Q: If I have to cancel my move last minute, will I be charged cancellation fees by movers?

A: There are many operational challenges that have arisen throughout this crisis. A major challenge is the unpredictability of this situation. During this time, most companies understand that people might need to cancel or postpone their move without much notice. As a result, professional movers are responding to this crisis and providing customers with increased flexibility. At present, many moving companies are waiving any cancellation and rescheduling fees. To reduce uncertainty, companies encourage clients to schedule any future moves as early as possible. The situation is changing daily, and moving companies want to ensure that clients are able to safely complete their move. Moving during COVID will naturally be more complicated than moving at any other time, so be prepared to be flexible.

MAKING NEW PLANS

a busy airport scene with people and their suitcases

Q: What are some temporary housing options that are still available?

A: There are still some hotels and Airbnbs that are accepting reservations. You’ll need to research local options, and communicate directly with the front desk or property manager. It’s important to consider what safety and cleaning protocols they have in place. For instance, an Airbnb in a mother-in-law unit might see less traffic than a hotel. Many Airbnb hosts are experiencing lost revenue, due to a new policy that allows guests to cancel reservations without a penalty fee. 

Finally, remember that circumstances can change last-minute. You may think you have a reservation, but any hotel chain or Airbnb host may decide last minute to close down. If you’re moving during COVID, always have a backup plan. This could be a friend or family member who might allow you to stay over. Be sure to practice safe protocols wherever you go, including sanitizing regularly touched surfaces, washing hands regularly, and covering your nose and mouth. Some experts recommend changing your clothing and mask as soon as you enter the building. 

Q: When will this all be over, so I know when to schedule my move?

A: Experts are predicting a wide range of dates. Some think that restrictive measures will lift as early as June. They estimate the peak will occur in mid to late April, depending on your location. Historically, we have seen other pandemics last between 12 – 36 months. Vaccines take between 12 – 18 months to develop, so that is likely when full relief will come. Summer may be a time of reduced infection, as the virus can’t survive as long in hot weather. Plenty of moving and furnishing companies have already adapted their policies. So, you may still be able to schedule your move very soon. Depending on how close or far your new destination is, you may wish to wait until flights are running regularly. You may also wish to reschedule for when your new workplace begins to resume in-person office hours. 

Overall, our society is more prepared to combat the spread of COVID-19 than at any other time in history. 3D printers and collaborative manufacturing initiatives are uniting people around the country to help flatten the curve and reduce risk. It is probable that restrictions will lift gradually, as we develop systems to protect vulnerable people while industry resumes. Because moving is considered an essential service, you should be able to continue with any planned relocation if absolutely necessary.

a woman sits smiling at her laptop

We hope this guide to moving during COVID answered your questions! Please reach out if you have lingering concerns about relocating, and we’ll do our best to help you find a solution.

If you’d like to start your home design process with a free 15 minute video consultation, sign up to chat with one of our designers today.

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Furnishing 101

Moving in Winter: 4 Tips to Save You Stress and Ensure Success

1. Plan Ahead Like a Boss

Moving as a family with boxes at home

If you’re moving in the winter, there are two major things you should consider planning around: the weather will be unpredictable, and you’ll have fewer hours of daylight. So, check the weather reports religiously, but make a moving plan that is flexible! For instance, a sitter for your kids and board your pets. Schedule your move for a few days before you actually need to be out. And schedule it early, so you make the best use of daylight hours. Make sure the utilities will be turned on in your new place, so you don’t arrive in the cold and dark. Have a strong flashlight or headlamp if you know you’ll need to move into the night.

2. Bundle Up Your Stuff

Did you know that in cold weather, certain materials become more brittle and vulnerable to breaking? Therefore, if you’re moving quite a long distance, you should pay extra attention to these objects because they’ll likely be exposed to the cold for hours at a time. What kind of objects? Dishes and glassware are especially vulnerable in the cold. You can double wrap these items in bubble wrap or blankets for extra protection. Musical instruments, especially string instruments and wooden instruments, are also vulnerable to warping in rapid temperature changes. Wrap these carefully with insulated blankets.

3. Prepare Your House for Slush

Before moving day, spend a few hours preparing the inside and outside of your house for a wet move-out process. Start with the inside. You can buy plastic tarps from the hardware store, or you can buy some shower curtains from the dollar store. While you’re out, grab some coffee or apple cider to keep you warm on moving day. 

At home, lay down your plastic sheeting and secure it with tape. Make sure there’s a protected path all the way from your front door to the kitchen and the bathroom. If you’re keeping hydrated on your winter moving day (which you should be!), you don’t want to find yourself negotiating a sudden urge to pee with the need to protect your security deposit. Make it easy to leave messy shoes on and still use the necessary. Keep a stack of old towels by the front door, to sop up puddles and to protect items from damp weather on their trip from your home to the van.

4. Work with Movers

We definitely recommend hiring a professional moving company if you’re moving in the winter. Good companies will have trained their employees in safe moving procedures for slippery conditions. Plus, many companies have different rates for winter and summer. In other words, moving in the winter means that you’re more likely to get a lower rate as well as your preferred date, since demand is lower in the winter. However, keep in mind that tipping is especially appreciated in wintertime. Why? Companies don’t always pass their rates down to employees. Winter can be a miserable and even dangerous time to lift heavy boxes and drive a big moving van. Numb fingers, biting wind, and icy roads are all hazards of the job that deserve extra compensation!

That’s all!

Moving to a new city? Check out these tips for making your new city feel like home.
Furnishing a new place? Look at this post on furnishing in order.
Do you have cats? Make sure you read our tips for moving with cats.
Planning a move across the country? Start with our comprehensive moving checklist.

And if you want a comprehensive cost breakdown of furnishing an apartment from scratch, this article’s got you covered.

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Furnishing 101

Moving Out Checklist: The Painful Furniture Decision

New expats, the soon-to-be-relocated — congrats on your upcoming adventure! Whether you have a relocation package, or you’re headed for a new adventure all on your own, your first task is to decide what to do with your furniture. You spent hard earned money on that couch, after all. And it would be nice to have something familiar in your new home, right? Maybe, maybe not.

Moving Out Checklist

It’s tricky, we get it. You don’t want to regret anything, but you also need to make fast decisions that save you time and money. It can be even more complicated if you have a partner or family joining you, too. If you and your plus-one need help to agree on a style, check out these great tips from design expert Elsie Larson.

So, here are Furnishr’s three key criteria for making furniture relocation decisions prior to your move. Once you know how you feel about these, it should be easy to make a decision. Remember: there’s no right answer, only the right answer for you.

1. PRICE & ENERGY FROM MOVING FURNITURE

Let’s face it, price is a major factor in decision-making here. Do you have fairly new, unique, and high-cost furniture? You may be imagining it in your new space already. Perhaps you saved up to buy it or acquired it recently before you knew you’d be relocating. You’re annoyed about dropping more cash on movers, but you really love all your furniture and you know it will fit perfectly in your new life. If this is you, get an estimate from a moving company. 

Decisions around moving can be stressful.

But on the other hand, maybe your furniture is mostly second-hand, or older. You didn’t spend much, but it’s served you well. You’re planning to shell out for movers because you worry about having to redecorate a new apartment entirely from scratch. You feel happier splashing out on movers and saving yourself the energy of hunting down new lamps and couches in your new city.

TIP: Compare the price of moving your furniture to the original amount you spent on that furniture.

Do you have a large budget for your relocation? If you originally spent $10,000 on new living room furniture, and it will cost $3,000 to move it, it might make sense to take it with you. But if you’re moving on a low budget, and you have a ragtag collection of items that’s worth less than the cost of moving… Well, you might think about selling your old stuff, and research Furnishr’s options for complete rooms.

furniture relocate

This move is your chance for a fresh start! Do you really want that old armchair in your new living room? Sure, bring along the items you’d never find at a store — trinkets from your travels, and the banker’s lamp from the flea market. But when it comes to furniture, buying a complete room from Furnishr will actually save you on mover’s fees, in addition to saving you the time and energy of stylishly furnishing a new place from scratch. Seek moving help from Furnishr so you don’t have to worry.

2. THE UNKNOWN & NOSTALGIA OF MOVING OUT

Feelings. Let’s talk about them. You’re half scared, half excited about your upcoming relocation. It’s obvious that moving affects your mental health and with so much uncertainty in your future, it’s understandable you want something to rely on! A comfortable and familiar home environment will work wonders for a newly relocated person. But now, some hard questions.

moving out checklist - girl looking out the airplane window

Do you know exactly where you’ll be living? If you’ve already seen new space in person, great! But are you certain your current furniture will fit in the new space? Consider physical fit as well as cultural fit. Have you seen a floor plan, and can you imagine where your couch and bedside table will go? Will any items look out of place in the architectural style? Do you have enough furniture to fill the new space, or will you need to supplement with new, matching items when you arrive?

Part of moving to a new city means adapting to a new culture, whether you’re moving abroad or just across the country. Furniture can either help or hinder your adjustment process — will your old furniture help or hinder you? Rather than trying to make old furniture work in a new space, it might be easier to get items that work specifically for your new floor plan.

TIP: Take stock of your emotional state. How can you best reduce the uncertainty during your transition?

By all means, keep that statue from your grandmother, and your favorite cooking utensils. But when it comes to bigger items like couches and desks and bed frames, consider that it might be more stressful to wind up with the wrong furniture than to not have any at all. Of course, the best solution would be furniture chosen specifically for your actual space. Furnishr provides moving help by handling interior design and one-day delivery. You get all the input without any of the sweat and tears. How’s that for reducing uncertainty?

3. TIME & DISTANCE OF TRAVELING

You might be relocating temporarily, or maybe only a day’s drive away. With any kind of relocation, there are certain unavoidable costs. Whether you’re a pensioner, a relocating business person, a military family, an expat, or even a university student — everyone has to sort, pack, ship, and unpack. And the further and longer you go, the longer the packing process will take! Now, you’ve made the plan, so the time and distance of your journey are non-negotiable. All that’s left to decide now is how best to take care of your future self. You know, the future self that inspired all that hustle!

relocation, job

So, put yourself in the mindset of future-you. You’ve just arrived at your new apartment, travel weary and anxious about your new job. Are you excited about unboxing your old furniture after a long day? Do you want to coordinate the shipping and unpacking of your old stuff?

TIP: How much energy will your travel take out of you? Let future-you make your furniture decisions. 

The decisions you make today actually have a greater impact on future-you than on today-you. Moving is not just about picking up your life and plopping it down somewhere else. When it comes down to it, moving is really about moving towards a new version of yourself. And you owe the best to your future self on that first night in your new place, sitting alone with a slice of pizza and Skyping with a friend back home. 

It may seem obvious, but we believe that furniture and interior design have a major impact on your state of mind. Your environment can either set you up for success, or get in the way of it. It’s worth taking a moment to think deeply about how your furnishings can support you and your goals.

New city, relocate

The Furnishr team believes there is a better way to move. Don’t pay through the roof to drag all your old baggage into your new life! Lighten your load, and let us design a better space for you. Furnishr provides moving help when you need it. We’ll pick furniture personalized to your style, and measured specifically for your floor plan. We’ll deliver and install it, too. It just might give you the positive boost you need to start fresh in your new city

Take the quiz and see how easy your relocation could be. Your future self wants Furnishr.

>> Comment down below what frustrates you the most during moving, and read our next article on how to handle a cross-country move.

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Design Tips Furnishing 101

How to Adjust His Decorating Style to Fit Yours

Clashing Interior Design Styles

Couples that have different tastes in decorating style often have clashing opinions when it comes to moving in together.  Adjusting his style to fit yours is often complicated. Many of whom just want a space to display their belongings, making the home feel comfortable and familiar. Whilst others just want equal space in the closet and bathroom cupboards. Compromising and understanding the other person leads to a happier relationship and creates a space that happily reflects the two of you as a couple. Here are some tips on how to incorporate both partners decorating style in a shared space.

1. Compromise

When you become accustomed to living alone, you can adopt bad living habits that you didn’t realize were there. Now that you have a new roommate, it is time to understand that your partner might not be as understanding when you take up all the bookshelf space or sprawl out all your favorite magazines on the coffee table. He might want to display his favorite souvenirs or books in the room too. There are ways that you can have what you both want through compromising – if he wants his gaming console in the lounge then you are allowed to place a nice vase of flowers. This type of thinking allows you to prevent disagreements and allows each partner to display their own unique style.

Couple assembling furniture together
Couple Putting Together Self Assembly Furniture In New Home

Key Decorating Pieces

living spaces with decorating style

Choose a few key pieces to display that you can both agree on and that matches your combined style. This will allow you to each feel represented in the home equally, create comfort and openness. Try to be open-minded and understand why their piece is important to your partner.

Your Own Styled Space

living space decorating style - gray

Although having a shared space can be nice, everyone needs their own personal space. At the end of the day, we all have our own unique styles. Some are into contemporary design or mid-century modern styling, maybe an industrial style or rustic style, and others might enjoy a modern design or a French country vibe. We all have our own design elements or color palettes that we like to stick to.

Try to incorporate spaces within the house that are for you only, and the same goes for your partner. You can choose to have your own room, office, corner or it may be something as simple as a shelf in the bookcase. This your area to enjoy and style as you wish.

This can be a “man cave” or a relaxing room for a woman to enjoy her latest magazine with a coffee. Or it can be a bookcase either side of the TV that is for each of you to place belongings.

Shared Decorated Space

With main areas of the house such as the living room, dining and kitchen keep things that represent both of you. If one of you has the majority of furniture you can include your partner in the decision process of adjusting the placement of furniture. They could add soft furnishings of their choosing.

Airbnb Investment Property West Village NYC

Alternatively, you can go shopping together and select new furniture that you both agree upon. Flea markets are great places to thrift for ‘new’ furniture if you are looking for something cost-friendly. You can also consider picking neutral colors if you are having difficulties selecting furnishings.

Couple’s Room Equity

Bedroom decoration styleEnsure your partner has adequate space for their belongings as it makes them feel welcome and part of your life. This means sharing closet space, cabinet space in the bathroom, space in the kitchen for food and appliances. Additionally allowing space to be shared for larger furniture items.

>> Let us know down below your first experience moving-in with your partner. How did you handle conflicting decor styles and sharing personal space?