Dos and Don’ts of Moving During COVID-19

Last week, my family and I made our 1,102 mile move, driving from Charlotte, NC to Dallas, TX.  We sold our house (that we loved so much) in Charlotte and we’re now under contract on a house in Dallas.  Things happened faster than we had anticipated where by the beginning of April, we were packing and making moving arrangements while house-hunting virtually.

This is such a weird time to sell/buy a house.  I didn’t know what to expect, but the process was quite easy and flawless.  Because our agent posted a virtual tour of our house on the listing, many potential buyers were able to take a tour without physically stepping inside of our house.  The few in-person showing appointments were a bit tricky, since there weren’t any cafes of businesses open that we can go to so that we can leave the house.  We ended up taking rides down to grocery stores a bit out of our way to kill time, and we took some walks in nearby neighborhoods.  But we ended up accepting an offer just six days after our listing went live, so the inconvenience of leaving the house, coming back and sanitizing everything wasn’t too exhausting.

Anyway, I did mention in my blog last week that I was going to let you know how our move in the midst of COVID-19 went, so in addition to that, I will share with you the Dos and Don’ts of moving during a world pandemic.

    1. DO start purging items that you won’t need in your new place.
      My daughter and I tend to be more emotionally attached to things than my husband does, but we actually did pretty well in this area!  We started donating and selling a lot of clothes that we haven’t worn in over a year… and even after that, we were still left with a lot of clothes!
    2. DO start packing items that you won’t need for the next few months.
      We knew we would be in our new home before the winter, so we packed up our Christmas decor and other holiday home decor in boxes as well as winter clothes.  We also have tons of books that are yet to be read… and if I’m being honest, I probably won’t be getting to them in the next few months (so they got packed as well).
    3. DO make a checklist of places you’ll need to make address changes for.
      This includes USPS, credit card companies, subscriptions, etc.  I did a permanent address change to our temporary place; once we move into our house (in 18 days!), I will do another permanent address change.
    4. DO create a preliminary time frame and an itinerary of transition plans.
      I love checklists.  I used an Excel spreadsheet to make time frame plan, driving itinerary, and a checklist of companies we would need to contact to stop/transfer service.
    5. DO start selling things that you will not be taking with you.
      In my experience, I learned that my favorite furniture may look good in my old house, but it doesn’t mean that it will match my new house; so we sold almost all of our furniture except for my piano (which is technically an instrument, not furniture) and one table that dissembles nicely (we bought it at a yard sale, and it is such a high quality, unique piece that I knew I can use in our new house).  If you do sell your dining room furniture, I would recommend that you sell it last so that you actually have a place to sit during your last week of your move.
    1. DON’T overprice the items that you’re selling.
      We listed items reasonably cheap, so they sold very quickly.  We used CashApp to receive payments from people to practice social distancing, and my husband wore gloves and a mask when helping people carry the heavier/bulkier items to their cars.
    2. DON’T underestimate the size/space of the moving vehicle that you will need when you make the reservation.
      We ran out of space in the moving container quickly.  We had to discard about 90% of our kitchenware and appliances, and the 10% got put in storage in Charlotte… so I’m not sure if I will be seeing my favorite air fryer anytime soon.  One of the things that helped me not get upset about this is reminding myself that all of these things are replaceable.
    3. DON’T wait until the last day to pack up your kitchen.
      Because we waited until the day before our move to start packing up the kitchen, my brain was completely on empty which means my organizational/packing abilities were all gone.  It’s pretty insane how many knives, platters, pots and pans I had, not to mention all the silverware!  We mad the decision to donate all of our pots, pans, dishware and glasses.  In hindsight, I should’ve packed up every kitchen item a week earlier that I wasn’t going to need for that following week.
    4. DON’T try to sell items while trying to pack.
      I used to love Facebook online yard sale group pages; Now I loathe them.  I know my hatred for these pages will soon be gone, but while I was listing items, I was also trying to pack.  My mind was constantly divided and I found myself getting stressed out trying to manage selling, pick-up arrangements and dealing with no-shows while trying to pack up the leftover items so that we can play Tetris with the little space that was left in the moving container.
    5. DON’T leave your house dirty.
      I’m so grateful for my husband.  Even though we were mentally, emotionally and physically tired after moving everything out of the house, he and his best friend (thank you, Anthony) spent hours cleaning the house to make sure it’s ready for the new homeowners.

The drive itself wasn’t too bad.  We have driven to Texas from North Carolina many times in the past four and a half years that we lived in Charlotte, so we knew what to expect.  What I didn’t expect is the challenge of remembering that we were still in the middle of a pandemic because it was absolutely BEAUTIFUL: The trees were green, the mountains were green, the weather was great (we hit just a little rain in Memphis).  Other than that there were less cars on the road and we didn’t do our usual lunch stops, the drive felt the way it did before the pandemic.

I’ve now been back in Texas for five days, and it still doesn’t feel real that we have moved back.  I’ll check in next Monday to let you know if that feeling has changed yet.

With Gratitude,
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