Your Guide to Moving to an Independent Living Community During COVID-19

Posted on: August 28, 2023

If you’re planning a move to an independent living community, you might be wondering if now is a good time. 

It’s always a good time to move to a senior living community. Many Otterbein residents have shared how happy they are to live in our communities during these uncertain times.

Although the world we live in has certainly changed in 2020, moves to Otterbein SeniorLife are still happening on a regular basis, and we have established protocols to keep you and anyone helping you move safely. Read on for tips on preparing, packing, and what to do on the big day. 

Can I Still Move During COVID-19? 

Yes! Moving during COVID-19 is certainly still possible. You’ll just need to follow some safety precautions – like wearing a mask and limiting the number of people helping with the move. At Otterbein, we also screen anyone moving into an independent living apartment, assisted living, or nursing suite before the move. And you may actually find that some moving companies are offering good deals during this time. 

Make sure you’re aware of any current safety guidelines pertaining to the state you’ll be moving to. You should also check in frequently with your new community to make sure there are no changes to know about. Your senior living community should be in touch with you regularly and make sure you’re informed prior to and during your move. 

A moving company, especially one experienced in helping seniors move or downsize, may be your best bet during this time. If you plan to enlist friends or family to help, you’ll need to make sure they abide by safety guidelines as well, which may be more difficult. 

Finding a Moving Company During COVID-19

If you’re going with a moving company, do some research and find one that’s offering a good deal. If they need to do an estimate of your home before preparing a quote, see if this can be arranged virtually rather than letting additional people into your home.

It’s important that you ask about and understand the company’s COVID-19 policies and the steps they’re taking to keep customers and employees safe.

Many companies now use precautions like screening employees for COVID-19 symptoms, asking customers if they’ve been exposed or are being tested, and requiring employees to wear masks and gloves when coming into contact with customers. 

Try to do everything that you can virtually, like signing paperwork or meeting with movers before the big day. Keep in mind that you also might not be able to have a large crew of helpers with you on moving day to protect both you and the workers.

Planning and Packing 

Everyone knows acquiring boxes is a key step in planning a move. Because some sources say the COVID-19 virus can live on cardboard for up to 24 hours, opt for new boxes if possible. If you must go with used ones, try to let them sit in your garage for a few days before packing. 

As you begin to pack, wash your hands frequently and think about who’s going to touch the outside of the boxes after you. Disinfect high-touch areas, and consider trying to finish packing at least 24 hours before the movers arrive to give the virus time to die off on the outside of boxes. 

During moving day, do your best to stay out of the movers’ way so you aren’t all congregating in one spot. Wear a mask to be considerate of the movers.

You might also plan to have a few boxes with essentials in one spot that you’ll move yourself. That way, you won’t have to dig through the other items and touch something that someone else has handled as soon as you move in. 

Once all the boxes and furniture have been removed, thoroughly clean your home, especially high-touch surfaces. These steps can help ensure the home’s next occupants stay safe as well as show courtesy. 

Moving In 

When your belongings arrive at your new home, you might consider having the movers put large pieces in place and allowing you to unpack the rest as needed. You could also have the items they’re moving arrive first and sit for a few days to minimize risk, suggests Good Housekeeping

If you’d like the movers to do most of the work, see if you can sanitize the outside of packages first before they get opened – that way any viruses on the outside aren’t getting transferred to the contents. 

Again, try to stay out of the movers’ way. This might be a good time to take a walk around the community and familiarize yourself with the layout while your items are unpacked, or have a quick call with the community’s move-in coordinator with any questions. 

When everything’s in place, do a thorough cleaning, focusing especially on countertops, light switches, handrails, bathroom fixtures, and doorknobs. Mop the floor and vacuum any carpet or upholstery. And now you’re in! 

Downsizing and Moving Guide

If you’re making the move to Otterbein SeniorLife now, rest assured that we’re doing everything possible to keep you, our other residents, and employees safe. We can also assist with every aspect of the moving process.

If you’re just getting started with the downsizing process, read our guide for information on why you should consider moving, how to get started, and when is the best time to make the move. 

Learn More aboutMoving During COVID