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Moving house during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic

Posted by Bournes Moves - January 5, 2021

Can I move house during the Coronavirus pandemic?

Yes. The government has made it clear that people who wish to move home can continue to do so in all tiers, including during the national restrictions starting on the 5th of January 2021. This needs to be done safely and the process may be different to usual.

Can removal companies operate during Coronavirus?

Yes. The government have confirmed that removal firms can continue to work in all tiers including the national restrictions starting on the 5th of January 2021, providing they operate under Covid-19 secure guidelines. You can read the full government guidelines relating to moving house during the National Lockdown here. 

Are removal companies open? 

Many companies, like Bournes are remaining open for Removals in the UK as per the regulations. The Government and the British Association of Removers have  provided guidelines for businesses to ensure Covid-19 secure working. Whether removal companies are open or not may depend on if they can meet these guidelines and if they personally feel based on their own risk assessments that it is safe to do so.

What should I do if I need to move house soon?

Start planning early. Removal companies are experiencing very high demand becuase of the stamp duty holiday. 

If you've got a move coming up get ahead of the game by getting your pre-move survey done (video surveys are available) and getting your quote. This means you can do all your research and select the company you want to choose ahead of time so that when you do have a move date your removal company has the availability reserved for you. 

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You can also read more about the Government's advice on moving home during the Coronavirus Outbreak here. 

Making sure your house move is done safely during the Coronavirus pandemic

It's REALLY important that you ask your mover what they are doing to protect you and their own employees from the risks of Coronavirus. Here are some areas you should cover:

Questions to ask your removal company about Coronavirus:

  • Can you get a survey and quote remotely to reduce the need for someone to come to your home?
  • Will the crew practice social distancing, staying 2m+ from you and eachother? (both in your home and when travelling) 
  • What personal protective equipment (PPE) will the crew wear when 2m+ distance is not possible (i.e. items that need more than 1 person to lift).
  • What are you required to do? Do you need to wear a face mask, clean anything in advance, provide handwashing facilities etc?
  • What will the crew be doing to practice good hand and respiratory hygeine?
  • What training have crews had on Coronavirus safety? 
  • What are they doing to monitor the health of their crews for symptoms and what happens if you or anyone in your family becomes ill? 
  • What are they doing about cleaning and sanitising vehicles and equipment?

Safe mover code logo

At Bournes we have developed the 'Safe Mover Code' - a new set of amended operating procedures that we have developed to adapt our ways of working to protect our employees, our customers and our communities. The code covers all of the areas above and more and is based on the UK Governments Covid-19 secure working guidelines and the advice of the British Association of Removers. 

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If you were planning to move house recently or were hoping to in the coming months we know there have likely been delays already and understand that the movement restrictions may make arranging your move a challenge. 

Here are some things you can do to help get ahead of the game and ready to move just as soon as you are able.

1) Get your pre-move survey done (remotely)

video survey in room

Usually the first step in getting a quote is to have a Move Consultant visit your home to do a pre-move survey. This is where they make a list of everything to be moved and assess any access problems, unique challenges for your move (like fragile items) and talk to you to understand your plans and how you'd like the move to happen.

Many removal firms, like Bournes, can offer alternatives to an in-home consultation including:

  • Simple video survey via app on your smartphone / tablet (read more about how video home removal surveys work)
  • Online inventory forms to provide your own lists
  • Consultation by phone

This means we can still work to understand your requirements and provide a clear and accurate quote for your move without you having to have someone in your home. 

Book a video survey and get a quote now!

2. Compare quotes and choose your removal company

If you're getting multiple quotes then don't wait until you are ready to move to compare them and choose your mover. Now is a great time to make sure you thoroughly understand the quote and move plan to make sure it is the right option for you, and to negotiate with your mover of choice if anything needs adjusting. 

Check out our tips on comparing removals quotes to help you make the best decision for you. 

DONT FORGET to ask about how they will make sure your move is safe with our questions to ask your removal company about moving during Coronavirus conditions.  

3. Book early or ask about provisional non binding move dates 

Like we said earlier, we're expecting there to be lots of demand for moving services as restrictions are eased due to the numbers of people who had delayed moves AND the stamp duty holiday. Getting ahead of the game and booking early, or provisionally booking your move in for a later date could be key to avoiding any further delays once moves start happening again. 

If you need to move now: 

Many removal companies will be operating with limited capacity so confirm your booking as soon as possible. 

If you can delay your move but want to put arrangements in place: 

A provisional booking for a later date means your resources (crew, vehicle etc.) are reserved for when you're ready to move. Your move manager can work with you to reschedule the dates if anything changes by the time it arrives. Make sure you understand any timescales required for making changes without any charges. 

4. Get organised

Whilst you're waiting for move day there is lots you can do to make it run smoothly. Including:

  • Write a list of everyone you need to notify of your change of address. If you're super organise you could also note down how you'll let them know, for example the link to an online address change page for Utility companies or a pre-written email to your friends and family. Check out our guide to who to inform when you move house.
  • Declutter. If you have a bit more time on your hands use it to go through your belongings and sort out what is coming with you to the new house and what isn't. For things that aren't going sort into piles of what could be sold or donated, what could be recycled etc. Once that's done try to store them separately ready for action once restrictions on movement are lifted. Check out our decluttering for moving house tips. 
  • Plan where everything will go in your new house. This can really help on move day and in your packing. You can pack boxes and label them with the room they will go to in the new house to save trying to find everything when you get there. You could also draw a map of the new house marking up where key bits of furniture will go to help the movers speed things up when they are unloading.
  • E-window shopping. If you're going to need new items when you get to your new house now is a great time to get online and research your options. Need new curtains? Head to a few online retailers and have a think about styles, designs etc. and find out what information you'll need to gather (like sizes) to see if you can ask your vendors for any of this in advance so that once you're able to get to the shops again you already know what you're looking for. You might even be able to order online to avoid an un-necessary trip!

There are loads of other things you can do to get ready in advance, have a think through your move process and see if there is anything else you can get a head start on from the comfort of your sofa?

5. Get packing

If you've already got your moving boxes (or even some containers like suitcases or plastic storage tubs) you can get a head start with your packing if your moving company aren't doing that for you. 

Focus on the things you don't use regularly so they can be packed and stored away ready, but probably best to leave the kettle out for now!

Check out our house move packing videos for some top tips on packing safely and securely for your move.

Ready to start planning your move?

Contact us now on 01797 228000 or click below to get a quote.

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Note: As a company we wholeheartedly support the UK government's decision to restrict movement of people to slow the spread of the virus. During the initial lockdown we worked quickly with our teams to shut down our operations temporarily as soon as possible to help protect our employees, our customers and the communities in which we operate whilst we reviewed how we could come to work safely. As we reopened and continue to operate we are carefully monitoring safety arrangements and updating them regularly to continue to keep everyone safe. It goes without saying that the impact on moving house plans pales in comparison to the loss of loved ones all around the world from this horrible virus, and our thoughts are with all those people who have had their lives changed forever. We also recognise that those customers who were due to move or will be due to move in the coming months are now facing new challenges and uncertainty, and we want to help wherever we can. 

Topics: Coronavirus

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