How Moving and Storage Companies Are Responding to the Coronavirus


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Both federal and state governments are implementing a variety of restrictions on travel and business operations in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. As of April 2, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports over 213,144 cases across the country, with the death toll eclipsing 4,513.

President Trump extended the social distancing mandate through the end of April, which prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people. Many states have ordered lockdowns of nonessential businesses, and many governors are ordering check-points at borders and self-quarantines for anyone coming in from another state.

These restrictions make moving during the coronavirus pandemic difficult, as health experts agree that staying home is crucial to slow the spread of COVID-19. So, what does this mean for your upcoming move?

You should only continue with a planned move if it’s absolutely essential. And for those who are at high risk of contracting COVID-19, including the elderly, moving during this time is strongly discouraged.

However, if your situation warrants moving forward with a relocation in the near future, find out what changes are in place for moving and storage companies and how they could impact your moving plans.

The White House issued guidelines in March for the coronavirus pandemic and refers to the Department of Homeland Security for defining the term “essential services.” These primarily include healthcare services, pharmaceutical services, and businesses involved with food supply.

The federal government also encourages states with community transmission of the disease in progress to close the following places:

  • Bars

  • Restaurants

  • Food courts

  • Gyms

  • Indoor and outdoor venues where people congregate


Many states have gone further, creating their own classifications of what businesses are considered essential. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo added the following industries to the list:

  • Telecommunication

  • Airports and transportation infrastructure

  • Services, including trash collection, mail, and shipping

  • News media


In Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker added charities, hardware supply stores, cannabis producers, and restaurants preparing food for off-site consumption to his list of essential businesses.

More often than not, moving companies can be lumped in with other broad categories — like transportation. Some states, such as Massachusetts, explicitly classify moving and storage services as essential. To determine if your state allows moving and storage companies to continue operating, you’ll have to check your state’s guidelines.

Keep in mind that these guidelines often change. To get the most up-to-date information, refer to the Wall Street Journal’s ongoing guide to state lockdowns.


As of now, moving companies are generally considered essential services. Here are the additional precautions top companies are implementing to help protect their customers and employees.


To read the full article written by Lauren Ward a full-time personal finance writer living in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains click here