How To Move While Maintaining Social Distancing

Maintaining Social Distancing With A Moving Company

As America faces the second year of the coronavirus pandemic, many find that safety protocols are still making some aspects of life more complicated than they used to be. Despite COVID-19, many areas continue to experience a solid real estate market, leaving many to wonder how to move while maintaining social distancing. By choosing a moving company that is committed to the safety of their employees and customers, especially amidst a pandemic, moving can still be a safe and manageable experience for all.

Social Distancing Recommendations

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is recommending that Americans practice social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19. The premise of social distancing, sometimes referred to as physical distancing, is keeping a safe distance between one person and other individuals who are not a part of their regular household.

The suggested amount of social distancing is considered to be a minimum of six feet. This means that people observing social distancing should have roughly two arm lengths of space between themselves and others that are not from the same household.

As more states open back up amidst the coronavirus pandemic, many health professionals are still urging the public to observe social distancing in both indoor and outdoor environments since it is believed to slow the spread of coronavirus.

How to Move While Maintaining Social Distancing

Due to the nature of moving, keeping that six feet of recommended social distancing can be challenging at times, but there are some things you can do to stay safe during the moving process, including:

Keep doors and some windows open while the movers are present for good air flow.

Regularly disinfect commonly touched surfaces in the home.

Ensure that you are wearing a proper mask when movers are in the home.

Aim to keep six feet away from the movers if possible.

Wash your hands with soap and water frequently.

Have one or more bottles of hand sanitizer that are easily accessible.

Keep your own pen available for signing receipts and moving documents.

Consider rescheduling if you are not feeling well.

How Moving Companies Are Operating Amidst Social Distancing

Many moving companies are adopting special protocols to ensure the safety of their clients and employees. When hiring a moving company, be sure to find one that observes most of the below procedures for added peace of mind:

Offer safe, in-home moving quotes.

In-home quotes should be offered for the most accurate estimate, and the company should follow all safety protocols.

Wear gloves at all times.

This can help movers keep from getting germs on their hands or transferring germs to an object.

Wear proper masks unless eating or drinking.

This should be done while movers are riding in the van together as well as when working with a customer.

Maintain approximately six feet of distance between themselves and customers.

This must be done as much as possible in an effort to observe the CDC’s social distancing recommendations to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Provide each moving truck with paper towels, trash bags, and hand sanitizer.

Movers can immediately and properly dispose of trash and have easy access to hand sanitizer to minimize the spread of germs.

In addition to the above, a reputable moving company will also:

  • Practice good hygiene regularly
  • Require employees to alert management if they are having any symptoms that could be associated with coronavirus
  • Review coronavirus symptoms and safety protocol with employees
  • Ask employees to let management know if they have been exposed to someone who recently tested positive for coronavirus
  • Ask employees to stay home if they are not feeling well
  • Perform temperature checks on active employees before they report for a job

Don’t let the coronavirus pandemic hold you back from moving into a new home. By working together with a highly regarded moving company who is dedicated to the health and safety of their own employees and clients, moving while maintaining social distancing does not have to be an issue.

Renting a Storage Unit Before You Move

Renting a storage unit before you move has many benefits. Store boats, cars, lawn equipment, and furnishings you are not currently using or things you might want to put up for sale rather than move. Also, placing things in storage while planning for job relocation helps relieve the stress, particularly when you are unsure of the time-frame involved with move. Renting a storing unit before you move presents a few other advantages: military discounts, friend referral discounts, and move-in specials, depending upon locality.

Movers want to locate storage units convenient to their home and choose a size fitting for the items they wish to store.

Renting a storing space before a cross-country move or job relocation keeps worry to a minimum. The idea of leaving or misplacing treasured items is something most people think about throughout the process. When moving, things can end up cluttered and creating stress. If you are not experienced, keeping track of things is very difficult.

A Storage Unit Provides:

Storing unused items allows you to take a step back, to visualize your space a little better. Less clutter also helps show your home better when potential buyers come calling.

Most people begin thinking about the idea of moving months before the actual moving date. Using storage unit allows you to pack items early, reducing the cost and stress of moving.

Numerous things require consideration before acquiring public storage for a move:

Storage Unit Security

The environment of a unit involves more than the building and its size. The safety of the location is important. It may be important to visit your unit at night or odd hours of the morning. For this reason, the question of security needs to be a part of your rental discussion.


The cost of a storing unit can easily become excessive if a budget is not considered. Ask yourself, what is the best storage option for your budget.

Delivery/Pickup options

If you choose a pod unit, consider the reliability of the company related to protecting your items, including insurability.


Consider times you might need to access the facility. Would you need after-hour access, or are regular business hours the best time to use a storage unit?


Think about the size of the unit you want to use and the number of moving boxes and furniture you will be storing. Will you need the unit to store heavy equipment, furnishing, or household boxes? Also, consider how you will access items while they are in the unit. To help reach items, leave isle access by packing items by categories and stack things safely, bedroom stuff, kitchen things, yard tools, etc., while leaving a walking space.


Keep an accurate list of items placed in storage and the cost for insurance purposes. If merchandise is lost, stolen, or damaged, you will have an accurate record of your belongings. Also, taking pictures of these items would be good documentation.

However, insurance covers only if storage space is purchased before placing things in storage. Recovery from the storage facility is only possible if the gate is left unsecured or if negligence is proven. Theft can happen, so protecting your items is your responsibility.

Everyday Items Placed in Self-Storage Units:

  • Antiques/Furniture
  • Photos
  • Clothes
  • Artwork
  • Instruments
  • Electronic equipment
  • Appliances

Things You Cannot Place in Public Storage

Flammable items are not safe to store, for you or your neighbors. Food and hazardous materials are out of the question. Some things are simply not for storage; long term or temporary.

Packing for a Move Utilizing Temporary Storage

If you are searching for a home or trying to sell your home before a move, temporary storage in a public facility helps clear out excess furniture while letting you keep items to showcase the home. This sales technique might assist with additional funds to offset the cost of moving.

Every item in your home is not meant for public view, and any sign of clutter might deter a buyer. Temporary storage lets you relocate things you love in a dry, secure environment, so pack it up before the move and store it away.

Self-Storage lets you get a head start on things whether you utilize public storage or pods. These units offer access to hand trucks that help with heavy lifting and offer surfaces that make moving things simpler.

If you’re planning a long-distance move many self-storage facilities sell boxes and other moving supplies to help with the cost of moving cross-country.

Johnnie T. Melia Moving & Storage Moves Lily’s Toy Box for Free

HOUSTON, TX – When moving day came for local nonprofit Lily’s Toy Box, Houston’s Johnnie T. Melia Moving & Storage did the move for free. “Lily, the amazing young lady who made it her mission to see that children enduring difficult situations can enjoy the simple pleasure of a toy, needed to move to a bigger space better equipped to serve her family and nonprofit,” said Brandon Melia, President of Johnnie T. Melia Moving & Storage. “When we heard about Lily’s heart for helping others, we wanted to give back to her.”

Lily’s Toy Box is in good hands with Johnnie T. Melia Moving & Storage being rated multiple times as one of the top three moving companies in the city. The family-owned business has been serving the Houston community for over fifty years and has no plans to slow down anytime soon. “We work hard at what we do to be the best, and we want to honor those like Lily who do the same to make the world we live in a better place,” continued Melia.

Over the last four years or so Lily’s nonprofit has given more than 2,000 toys away to an estimated 500 children in Texas. “We are fortunate to be in a position to serve those who serve others, and for us, that is one of the best parts of the job.” Melia concluded.

About Johnnie T. Melia Moving & Storage

An accredited BBB business since 1982, Johnnie T. Melia Moving & Storage has an excellent reputation throughout the greater Houston area and all of Texas. Located at 2527 Fairway Park Dr. in Houston, the company offers moving services throughout the Houston area, including Katy, Sugar Land, The Woodlands, Conroe, Cypress, Humble, Kingwood and Spring. For more information, call Brandon Melia at (713) 683-8585 or visit

Moving Services For Lilys Toy Box

Media Contact Information:
Beth Guide

Using a Packing List Streamlines Your Move

packing list

Whether you’re packing yourself or relying on professional packers before your long distance movers arrive, a packing list is a handy document to govern your cross country relocation.

Lighten the load

Before packing your belongings—or better still, letting our pro movers tackle that task for you—why not lighten the load by getting rid of a few things?

You’ll pay less for your cross country move (since weight is the biggest factor in the cost of a long distance move). Plus, you’ll have less to pack and fewer items to unpack during moving-in day.

A great way to drop that weight is by holding a garage sale before you start packing. You might consider hiring a college student to help clean the garage or basement before hosting a tag sale/garage sale/rummage sale. That undergrad might locate items you no longer need.

Prepare a packing list

As we’ve said before, you can hire professional movers to tackle your packing chores. They’re expert packers. If you opt to do it yourself, we recommend the following to make your DIY project go EZ.

Keep a packing list of “things to do.” Spiral notebooks are made for this job. Keep the notebook in a highly visible, easy-to-grab location so every family member uses the same list. Placing it in a common area reminds everybody about the upcoming move. That notebook also might generate some competition to push ahead and mark completed tasks off the packing list quicker.


When it comes to labeling your containers, always mark them on the side, not the top. Your pro movers eventually will stack those boxes. Writing on the top prevents you from seeing the contents list or intended room location during moving-in day.

Colored file-folder labels or stickers allow you to quickly separate items to be sent to your new home from belongings headed for storage.

“Seam seal” boxes by running packing-tape strips along side seams on box tops and bottoms, plus the center of the flaps. This reinforces the container so it’s able to hold up during the rigors of a cross country move.

Take your time

Remember: Moving wasn’t built in a day. Take your time with your packing project by planning ahead and organizing. Attempt prepping a little daily. Make it a goal to accomplish one difficult task per day.

Begin early by packing seldom-used or seasonal items. Starting the packing process well in advance of moving day decreases stress, zaps clutter and boosts your home’s “sellability” factor.

To spare your muscles, remember:

  • The heavier an item, the smaller the box.
  • Bend at the knees when moving boxes or furniture.
  • Don’t lift with your back.

Don’t forget to take advantage of what you already have. Try using linens as packing material. Use dishcloths and towels rather than packing paper. DYK? Socks are great wrapping material—particularly for knick-knacks. Got spare suitcases? Load them up with soft goods (and label them just as you would a carton).

Packing power

When possible, pack electronic items in original cartons using formed Styrofoam. Jot model and serial numbers on the carton. You’ll have an easier time when installing these items in your new home by using stick-on labels to color-code cables and connectors. Taking snapshots of your connections before dismantling everything is super-helpful.

Ziploc bags are ideal for packing similar items in desk drawers. As long as the bags aren’t heavy and have captured enough air cushion to protect contents, you can put them in drawers.

Wardrobe cartons are designed to pack hanging clothes. But you still can pack small, lightweight items (think pillows) in the bottom. Ensure they’re secure because movement might dislodge and wrinkle the hanging clothes during your long distance move.

Separately wrap each shoe in a pair so they don’t scuff by rubbing against each other.

Trusted for 50+ Years

JT Melia Moving & Storage is the top trusted Houston moving company for over 50 years. Being a family-owned and -operated moving company means pride in all we do. We’re Houston strong and treat every client like family. We handle and load your household items with great care—just like we would our own. We only use hand-picked employees (never contractors) so you can rest assured about the people you’re allowing in your home.  Contact us today for a FREE honest and accurate moving quote: 713.683.8585.

Our Social Distance-approved Cost of Moving Calculators Go the Distance

virtual estimate

“Social distancing.” “The new normal.” These coronavirus-era catchphrases testify to the global pandemic’s isolating effect and impact on day-to-day life. Here’s another term to know: virtual estimates.

Despite difficult circumstances, people still want or need to move—whether to a neighboring state or across the country—even as COVID-19 persists. That’s why virtual estimates are essential during this masked and touch-free time.


Calculating the cost of moving traditionally had involved inviting an individual inside your home. This professional would walk from the kitchen to the dining room to the living room to the bedrooms, all the while estimating the price of your move. That was then. This is now.

Thanks to technological advances, customers now enjoy a choice of online, social distance-approved tools just as accurate as the old-fashioned method—only safer and far more convenient.

Zero contact

Are you a big DIY fan? Many National Van Lines agents offer ReloQuote (powered by Yembo)—a state-of-the-art estimating tool. Using your smartphone or tablet, YOU move room-to-room taking snapshots of your belongings. Average time to complete: 15 minutes. Plus, there are no appointments to make, keep,  cancel or reschedule with your national movers. That means you can get an estimate any time of day or night. How’s that for the utmost in convenience?


Do you enjoy face-to-face contact, but still want to remain in the virtual estimates world? FaceTime might be your best choice for receiving a highly accurate interstate-moving estimate. This telephony tool allows you to survey your home in real time to obtain a clear-cut idea of what it will cost to move across the country. Your moving-estimate expert will talk—and virtually walk—you through this easy-to-use process. If you have questions during your appointment, you can ask and obtain an answer in real time.

Safe moving

On top of our pledge to as a National Van Lines agent to Make Moving Easy, JT Melia Moving & Storage is working hard to help protect your health and well-being. We’ve adopted the preventive steps recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for containing the coronavirus.

This includes monitoring the health of our office employees, in-home estimators, drivers and moving crews. In addition, we’ve advised our team of long-distance moving agents to follow these same guidelines.

We’ll get through this as we navigate COVID–19 together. Rest assured, we’ll always do what’s best for our customers, whichever season you choose to move.

Trusted for 50+ Years

JT Melia Moving & Storage is the top trusted Houston moving company for over 50 years. Being a family-owned and -operated moving company means pride in all we do. We’re Houston strong and treat every client like family. We handle and load your household items with great care—just like we would our own. We only use hand-picked employees (never contractors) so you can rest assured about the people you’re allowing in your home.  Contact us today for a FREE honest and accurate moving quote: 713.683.8585.

Pandemic Procedures Protect You

Relocation is a high-contact/hands-on activity. There’s no two ways about it. Cross country movers must pack boxes, lift furniture and transport belongings. In plain lingo: Professional movers must touch your stuff.

procedures protect

During the pandemic, the idea of a pro movers knocking at your front door might seem at odds with shelter-at-home orders and social-distance guidelines. However, it’s probably the exact opposite. By choosing an interstate mover to help you, you’re lessening your contact with others and helping safeguard your family.

How can that be?

Safe and sound

A DIY move forces you to personally purchase packing paper, buy boxes and rent a truck. These activities increase the chances you’ll encounter contagious individuals and COVID-contaminated materials. Plus, you risk passing that exposure to friends and family who want to help you move for just the price of pizza and beverages.

But if you hire a member of the National Van Lines family of interstate-moving agents, such as JT Melia Moving & Storage, you not only lessen your physical burden, you leave packing, loading and unloading to relocation professionals trained to wear masks, use gloves, practice state-of-the-art hygiene and properly store materials, such as cardboard shipping boxes (capable of carrying coronavirus contamination for up to 24 hours). We’re making sure our pandemic procedures protect you.

Safely tucked away in your home until moving day, you’ve protected yourself and your family from unneeded risk.

Health homework

How do you know national moving companies are adhering to the current coronavirus-containing federal guidelines? Are all cross country moving companies practicing safe-moving techniques by following preventive practices as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention?

Search a company’s website, Facebook posts and tweets. Do they contain info about what steps that company has taken to protect you? Do their photos show drivers and moving-crew members masked and gloved? Is the company ready and willing to answer your safety questions? Are they offering pandemic procedures to protect you?

Virtually amazing

On top of our pledge as a National Van Lines interstate-moving agent to Make Moving Easy, JT Melia Moving & Storage is working hard to help protect your health and well-being. We’ve adopted CDC’s guidelines, including monitoring the health of our office employees, in-home estimators, drivers and moving crews. Our pandemic procedures protect you whether you move during autumn, winter, springtime or summer.

Trusted for 50+ Years

JT Melia Moving & Storage is the top trusted Houston moving company for over 50 years. Being a family-owned and -operated moving company means pride in all we do. We’re Houston strong and treat every client like family. We handle and load your household items with great care—just like we would our own. We only use hand-picked employees (never contractors) so you can rest assured about the people you’re allowing in your home.  Contact us today for a FREE honest and accurate moving quote: 713.683.8585.

Transport Your Car Without Pushing the Gas Pedal

You can move your vehicle cross-country without touching the gas pedal. Sound impossible? Not only is it possible, it’s often the preferred way to transport your car, van, SUV or truck when relocating to a new home.

Moving Car

National movers trained in vehicle cross-country moves can make sure your automobile arrives safely at your destination. So, hardly a single mile will register on the odometer—no matter what time of the year you pick to move.

Reduce those rigors

Just because you’re moving hundreds of miles on your interstate move doesn’t mean you have to subject your car to the rigors of the road. That means no oil changes. No new tires. No wear and tear (that goes for your frame as well as the car’s). No long-distance driving on strange roads and highways. No getting lost. No breakdowns. No headaches. “No” to all of that rigamarole. “Yes” to a stress-free move. Plus, you’ll know exactly what to expect on moving day.

Moving from NYC to California with you at the wheel would put somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,800 miles on your car (and your family). Figure in around 50 hours driving time, too.

Even if your long-distance moving expedition is shorter than moving from NY to LA (say, moving from Texas to California or moving from Florida to Colorado), the same issues come into play (just on a somewhat smaller scale).

Triple threat

As a National Van Lines agent, JT Melia Moving & Storage works with three top-rated car-shipping services to offer a variety of options. Rest assured, as a full-service moving company, we wouldn’t place trust in our third-party automotive pro movers without a thorough vetting process. Plus, we offer convenience. With our coast-to-coast network of cross country moving companies, chances are we can answer “yes” when you ask, “Is there a moving company near me?”

Montway Auto Transport provides 24/7 customer service, 12,000 driver/carrier partners and 220 terminals nationwide. In addition, Montway can ship to destinations around the globe. Plus, this car mover offers a rental-car provision and a car-wash plan. Get this: If a shipment is delayed past the delivery spread, Montway provides a rental car—up to $30 daily—until your vehicle is delivered. Montway’s car-wash plan provides for an exterior car-wash reimbursement of up to $20 for vehicles delivered in “approved dirty condition.”

The other two car-moving companies—Advectus Transportation Services and Reindeer Auto Relocation—offer tremendous service and customer satisfaction, too.

In addition to cars, Advectus Transportation Services ships boats, motorcycles, RVs and heavy equipment to or from any U.S. or foreign destination. The company’s clients include Fortune 500 companies and dealerships.

Standing behind its tagline—“real.personal.service.”—Reindeer Auto Relocation provides 24/7 service. Plus, the company responds to last-minute changes with its same-day pickup service.

Prep time

How should you prepare your vehicle for the trip ahead when you hire cross country movers to move a car? Divide the process into several steps to get your vehicle in tip-top shape to ship.

Clean machine. Ensure your vehicle is clean inside and out. Wash the exterior. Rid the interior of clutter and personal items. Vacuum rugs. Notice damage? Photograph and document.

Top and bottom. Top off windshield wash, engine oil, transmission fluid and coolant/antifreeze. Reduce gas to about one-quarter of a tank. This safety measure reduces the risk of fire or explosion while still ensuring your vehicle’s fuel system isn’t damaged while in transit. Notify your mover about any fluid leaks to help in proper vehicle positioning.

Alarming situation. Reindeer Auto Relocation says to turn off alarms. Provide your mover with any special instructions for starting a vehicle or disarming an alarm.

Do the tighten-up. Remove specialty and/or aftermarket parts attached to your car, such as a spoiler or bug shields. Ditto for racks designed to transport luggage, bikes or skis. If possible, fold back your side-view mirrors and lower your antennae. Close all windows, moon roofs and convertible roofs. Holes, open seams or gaps in the windows? Cover with a tight-fitting tarp. This prevents air and moisture from damaging the car.

Document damage. Note your car’s damage (photos are indispensable) or operating issues. Tell your mover about any operational issues in case he needs to move your car during an emergency. Keep this documentation handy; you’ll need it when your car is delivered. Fully inspect your vehicle at delivery. Compare its condition to your documentation. Notify the mover of any issues you see before signing any documentation accepting delivery.

Trusted for 50+ Years

JT Melia Moving & Storage is the top trusted Houston moving company for over 50 years. Being a family-owned and -operated moving company means pride in all we do. We’re Houston strong and treat every client like family. We handle and load your household items with great care—just like we would our own. We only use hand-picked employees (never contractors) so you can rest assured about the people you’re allowing in your home.  Contact us today for a FREE honest and accurate moving quote: 713.683.8585.

Concerned about COVID-19? Try our virtual move-estimate calculator, ReloQuote. It’s our social distance-approved/zero-contact way to get you moving fast. Or call 877.590.2810 for answers to your questions plus conduct a FREE online moving quote.

Enjoy the Freedom of a Springtime Relocation

Springtime brings showers and flowers—and quite possibly the best season to hire interstate movers.

You’ve got plans to move across the country and have the following questions:

  • “Is there such a thing as an ideal time to relocate?”
  • “Is there a moving company near me that can tackle the job?”

springtime move moving movers spring

It’s hard to describe a certain time of the year as a “perfect” time to move, but the spring season is a great time for several reasons.

‘Thaw-some’ time

Preparing for moving during “the thaw” enables you to conduct a spring clean. You can catch up on those home-value-boosting jobs you’ve been putting off during the colder months, such as touching up the paint, repairing rickety fences or resurfacing kitchen countertops. These efforts will put your house in top selling condition.

The most hectic time for cross-country moves is summer. Why is May through August traditionally the year’s busiest moving period? Simple. Reliable weather + no school = great combo. But the moving industry’s busy season isn’t perfect. In fact, scheduling an off-season cross-country move possibly offers more benefits, such as cheaper prices and more available supplies.

Trying to shoehorn into the packed summer season can prove problematic. Because movers’ schedules often are more open during the off-season, you’ll likely benefit from a lot more flexibility.

Stress reduction

Just like other cross country moving companies, JT Melia Moving & Storage rides this seasonal teeter-totter. That puts us in the driver’s seat when it comes to recommending the season that’s likely to work best for you.

Having national movers relocate you during spring means you’re already enjoying your new home in time for the warm-and-sunny season—without any of that summertime moving stress. JT Melia Moving & Storage is a moving agent for the company 1 million+ families have relied on to move them for more than 90 years: National Van Lines. That means we can help you relocate during spring (and year-round, of course).

Calculating the cost of moving cross-country is multifold, with financial considerations only part of the overall picture. Convenience, minimal stress and increased options all hold value, too. Whichever season you pick, JT Melia Moving & Storage will be ready to “spring” into action.

Plus, you should know about the various options for a truly touch-free moving estimate.

Trusted for 50+ Years

JT Melia Moving & Storage is the top trusted Houston moving company for over 50 years. Being a family-owned and -operated moving company means pride in all we do. We’re Houston strong and treat every client like family. We handle and load your household items with great care—just like we would our own. We only use hand-picked employees (never contractors) so you can rest assured about the people you’re allowing in your home.  Contact us today for a FREE honest and accurate moving quote: 713.683.8585.

Finding A Piano Mover In Houston

Residential Movers - JT Melia Moving Company In Houston, Texas
The house is sold, boxes are almost packed, but you still haven’t found the perfect piano mover in Houston. The truth is that not every company is willing to attempt moving such a heavy yet fragile instrument that is worth so much money. By the same token, a company willing to do so does not necessarily mean it is qualified. Pianos are stunning musical instruments that typically have rich family histories and hold special memories. Find a piano mover in Houston that values these instruments and pledges to protect them throughout the moving process.

Continue reading “Finding A Piano Mover In Houston”

How Local Moving Companies Can Help the Government in a Time of Crisis

Particularly in times of national and global crisis as demand for certain products sharply increases, companies are reliant on the trucking industry to move products quickly to prevent a wide scale shortage. But what happens when the time constraints are so great that there simply aren’t enough trucks to meet the demand? Local moving companies can help the government during times of crisis. Continue reading “How Local Moving Companies Can Help the Government in a Time of Crisis”