For most of us, thoughts of moving apartments manifest immediate brow sweat, and conjure up dread. Even during the best of circumstances, fleeting thoughts of loading heavy boxes onto a truck, spending hours organizing trinkets, and reassembling furniture for the tenth time can mar an otherwise exciting relocation opportunity. When you add a global pandemic, social distancing, and rapidly changing rules to the mix, the thought of moving apartments during COVID-19 can send even the most seasoned apartment dweller into a tailspin. Luckily, Chicago rental management giant Beal Properties has provided apartment dwellers with tips and tricks to successfully navigate a relocation during these unprecedented times.
Finding an Apartment
Prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, the traditional method of finding an apartment relied on in-person tours of a potential space. Thus, the concept of choosing an apartment via any alternative medium may seem unnatural. However, the professionals at Beal Properties remind the general public that savvy apartment hunters moving across state lines (or even across the country) have relied on the powers of the internet for years!
Today’s robust technology allows apartment hunters to view plenty of photos of potential apartment spaces, as well as video walk-throughs. Servicing the evolving need of Chicagoland’s renters for over thirty years, Beal Properties has continuously implemented tech-based consumer services that have enabled potential renters to digitally complete most of the rental process. With digital services spanning from online rental applications to an online tenant portal, and extensive communication methods throughout, the entire apartment hunt process can be completed digitally. According to Beal, who offers digital walk-throughs for many properties, getting in touch with a property manager to answer any outstanding questions is a proactive way to ensure any remaining nerves are settled when relocating during the pandemic. Property managers want to ensure a successful transition, and are more than happy to provide services that may be outside of the norm, such as FaceTime walk-throughs of units.
As many states change their bespoke requirements for business operations, it is important to frequently check the status of rules pertaining to rental trucks, moving services, and even the availability of moving materials. The professionals at Beal Properties suggest proactively checking the status of these service providers, or making other arrangements safely, such as borrowing a pick-up truck from a trusted relative for in-town moves. For those renting a moving truck, Beal suggests filling out as many of the forms digitally as possible to further reduce in-person contact, and bringing necessary materials to wipe down all commonly used truck parts (door handles, steering wheel, etc.) upon receiving the moving truck.
For those who are considering the assistance of a moving company for manual labor purposes, Beal Properties’ management suggests proactively discussing day-of-service planning with the company, including ways that staff will adhere to social distancing regulations, and any protective gear that will be worn by staff members. To protect the safety of movers, packing boxes a minimum of 24 hours prior to the arrival of moving professionals will minimize risks for all personnel handling boxes.
In order to limit interaction, families can also consider independently pursuing the physical aspects of moving, or gaining assistance from other individuals with whom they are comfortable. For families with limited furniture, or apartment dwellers in small spaces, independently moving without assistance can be a wonderful teamwork activity! In all scenarios, social distancing rules apply, and must be taken into consideration for operational purposes.
Disinfecting and Mitigating Risks
During these unprecedented times, it is important to consider proactive ways to minimize the risk of coming into contact with potentially infected materials. In addition to disinfecting commonly used surfaces, and ensuring that all parties involved are adhering to guidelines, it is also important to proactively minimize other risks. For example, purchasing new moving boxes, rather than garnering previously used boxes thrown out by the local supermarket, decreases risks of those boxes having come into contact with the novel Coronavirus. To minimize frequency of deliveries, Beal Properties suggests taking an estimate of needed boxes, and ordering all boxes at once to be delivered in a singular transaction.
When packing, use disinfectant wipes on commonly used surfaces prior to packing, ensuring that all items are packed in a clean space. Additionally, when possible, items for packing can be wiped down prior to being placed in respective boxes. This will ensure confidence in the items themselves, the surfaces of the boxes, and the workplace surfaces.
To mitigate future risks associated with having to handle materials mailed to a previous address, the experts at Beal Properties encourage all tenants to change their address well in advance of an anticipated move. No longer done in person at the local Post Office, address changes can be done virtually, but are often a forgotten part of relocating to a new address! Cumbersome prior to Coronavirus, this can now be risky. Thus, in order to avoid having to travel to pick up your old mail, or having it exchange hands more often than necessary, changing addresses is an essential task for anyone relocating during the pandemic.
While relocating during the pandemic can pose unique circumstances and considerations, it can also be done safely, sanely, and proactively. By implementing a few small tricks recommended by experts, like the experienced staff at Chicago’s Beal Properties, apartment moves during COVID-19 can be tactfully handled, and even exciting! Just remember to lift with your legs, not your back!