Whether you’re in the beginning phases of preparing for a move or deep in the throes of packing, nothing throws a wrench in your plans like having your move postponed or having to postpone your move for reasons beyond your control. Illness, a change in job opportunity, problems with housing, or a pandemic can all force your moving plans to grind to a halt, adding even more anxiety to an already immensely stressful situation.
Regardless of the reason, if your upcoming move has been postponed you may be left wondering how best to move forward, especially if you’ve already given notice to your landlord, closed the sale of your house, or left your current job with plans to relocate for a new one.
To help you navigate this difficult time, we’ve put together a list of steps you can take:
1. Reschedule or cancel your move
If you’ve already booked movers, the first thing on the agenda should be to contact your moving team to let them know you won’t need their help, that you may need it at a later date, or that you might need them to move your belongings into temporary storage rather than into your new home.
- If you know your new moving date or will need their services to move your things into storage, provide your movers with any relevant information, such as the address of your storage unit.
- If you’re not sure of a date yet, cancel for now and let them know you will call back when you have a better handle on the timing of your move. Your moving company may also be able to make alternative arrangements, such as storage-in-transit or rescheduling with a two or three-day window.
If you haven’t booked movers and are still in the early planning stages of a move, it may be best to postpone or cancel till circumstances are more certain, especially if you are planning a long distance move. This will save you the hassle of coordinating the many complicated aspects of moving, such as searching for a new property, exchanging contracts, securing financing, and of course, packing up and moving your belongings.
2. Figure out where you are going to stay
With a postponed move, figuring out where you are going to reside can be trickier than anticipated. Obviously, staying in your home is the easiest option, but this isn’t always possible. If your lease is up, your place has been rented, or your home has been sold, you may need to look into securing temporary residence elsewhere.
Here are the best options:
- Stay in your current home: First, you may want to try to work out an agreement with the landlord, realtor, and/or new tenants—they may be in the same boat and not interested in relocating to a new home or finding new tenants right now.
- Friends or family: If you know your move will only be postponed for a short period of time, your best option might be to stay with friends or family in the meanwhile. However, staying at the home of friends or family has become increasingly complicated during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially if you have kids or elderly loved ones, or you work outside the home. Staying with friends and family may not work for longer-term stays if your move has been postponed indefinitely.
- Motel: Look into hotels or motels that have “extended stay” options with kitchenettes, laundry facilities on premises, and lower rates for stays that are longer than a week.
- Short-term rentals: To save on costs, you could also try finding a furnished short-term rental with enough necessities to support you until you can complete your move. A short-term rental may also be the best option if you are moving long distance for a new job and aren’t able to search for a permanent home. In this case, you may want to consider moving your belongings into storage for the time being.
TSI TIP: If you have pets, you may also need to secure lodging for your furry friends. They may be able to join you at a short-term rental, but if you’re staying with friends or family or at a motel, you may need to arrange for them to stay at a kennel temporarily.
3. Unpack the items you need and arrange storage for the rest
If you took the time to separate out and label the boxes and suitcases containing items you would need immediately after moving, kudos. This will make your life a little bit easier as you deal with rescheduling your move—simply unpack the appropriate boxes and any moving day kits you created, or bring these items with you to your temporary housing.
If you didn’t have time to do this earlier, you may be in for a slightly more frustrating unpacking experience. However, it’s a good idea to take the time now to get organized. Open your boxes to check what’s inside, label them, and indicate whether they are going to storage, where they should go in the home once you do finally move, and what they contain.
To save yourself from repacking more than you need to, unpack only the boxes and belongings you need, such as:
- Some kitchen cutlery, plates, pots and pans, etc.
- Changes of clothes
- Toys, food, and necessary items for kids and pets
- Anything necessary for work, especially if you’re working from home
For the rest of your belongings, portable storage may be an ideal solution. Instead of requiring you to pay for movers twice to move your stuff in and out of self-storage, your stuff will be held in a portable storage container that can be kept in a climate-controlled facility till you’re ready to complete your move. Your things will only be touched twice—when the movers load the container, and when they unload it at your new home.
TSI TIP: If you are able to store your stuff with your moving company, make sure you can access your belongings while they’re in storage in case you need them at any point.
4. Inform anyone who needs to be made aware of your postponed move
If your move is delayed significantly or you don’t know your new moving date, you should make people aware that your address isn’t changing—in addition to ensuring the people you love can contact you, you don’t want any important mail going to the wrong address and never winding up at your door.
In addition to your moving company, landlord, or real estate agent, other important people to update can include:
- Family and friends
- Your place of work or school
- Insurance providers
- Utility companies
- Banking institutions and credit card providers
When your move is unavoidably postponed, it’s hard to know where to start getting things organized and in place. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to smooth the process and make your life a little easier:
- Reschedule or cancel your movers
- Figure out where you are going to stay
- Unpack the items you need and put the rest in storage if necessary
- Inform important contacts your move has been postponed
Read our newest emergency preparedness resources for more advice on how to prepare for COVID-19.
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