COVID-19 Affected 61% of Americans Who Moved This Year

Trevor Wheelwright
Nov 18, 2020
Icon Time To Read2 min read

There have been many people who have decided to pack up a truck and move during the pandemic. We surveyed 700 Americans who moved this year to find their biggest challenges, mistakes, and more to find out what would make people’s move easier.

According to our survey, 75% of Americans said moving is stressful or gives them anxiety—and that’s without considering COVID-19. As many as 22% of Americans moved or knew someone who did during the pandemic,1 but 32% of respondents said they weren’t planning on moving this year.

So what extra challenges did Americans face during their moves in 2020?

Taking precautions like wearing masks and gloves, using hand sanitizer, avoiding large groups of people, and social distancing can add extra stress during your move. (Although some people experience discomfort and their breathing is heavier while moving, masks don’t reduce oxygen levels.2)

But on top of health considerations, our working lives were disrupted by COVID-19. Customers and companies alike faced high unemployment, reduced income, fluctuating hours of operation, and a shortage of supplies.

Americans who moved this year experienced the following COVID-19 related issues:

  • 62% said there was limited availability in moving services during COVID-19.
  • 55% said they had difficulty finding packing materials in preparation for their move as a result of COVID-19.
  • 53% had difficulty ordering new furniture and appliances due to COVID-19.
  • 55% had difficulty donating items because of COVID-19.

But even before COVID-19’s impact, moving came with challenges.

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Common moving mistakes

For those looking for a fresh start in a new home, the last thing you want is to lose or break something sentimental or expensive. You don’t want to dig around boxes to find your charger, masks, clothes, deodorant, or kitchen tools, as this can severely delay your plans.

These are the most common challenges Americans faced during a move:

  • 40% said the biggest challenge of moving was losing their belongings.
  • 38% broke or damaged personal items during the move.
  • 29% failed to find basic living essentials while unpacking.
  • 32% poorly scheduled the time it would take to move.

The best way to prepare for your move is to make a moving checklist to keep track of everything before, during, and after your move. When you prepare in advance and stay organized along the way, you’ll save a lot of time, money, and worry.

What movers would do differently

Aside from being more organized ahead of time, many people said they would prefer to hire moving help if they were to move again.

  • 48% of movers would plan ahead and be more organized if they had to move again.
  • 40% would start the moving process sooner if they had to move again.
  • 35% would hire a professional mover to pack their belongings if they had to move again.
  • 37% would hire a professional moving company to transport their belongings.
  • 32% would buy more packing material.

Of course, you can still hire moving companies for both local moves and long-distance moves. Each company provides different service levels, ranging from packing and prep supplies to lifting furniture, transporting it, setting it up in your home, and more.

Not packing up everything, but don’t want to deal with closed donation centers or fluctuating hours and lines for the landfill? Some companies include junk removal too.

By giving yourself the time to organize and plan, you can still enjoy moving to a new home despite the impact of COVID-19.


We conducted a Pollfish survey with 700 Americans who moved in 2020. We then used the stratified results based on US demographics to make our report.


  1. D’Vera Cohn, Pew Research Center, “About a Fifth of U.S. Adults Moved Due to COVID-19 or Know Someone Who Did,” July 6, 2020. Accessed November 5. 2020.
  2. Sarah Watts, Discover Magazine, “Why It Feels like You Can't Breathe inside Your Face Mask — and What to Do About It,” July 6, 2020. Accessed November 5. 2020.
Trevor Wheelwright
Written by
Trevor Wheelwright
Trevor’s written about home products and services for over six years across editorial publications and retail/eCommerce sites. His work's been featured on Forbes, RealSimple, USA Today, MSN, BusinessInsider, Entrepreneur, PCMag, and CNN. When he’s not researching and writing, you can find him around Salt Lake City, Utah, snapping photos of mountains and architecture or seeking out some good tunes and friendly faces.