March 25, 2020 - Stay Safe: Tips for a successful move out during COVID-19

UC Berkeley Director of Residential Life, Glenn DeGuzman, and Executive Director of Housing, Events and Facilities Residential and Student Service Programs, Heidi Scribner, sent the following message to undergraduate and graduate students living in on-campus housing 03/25/2020:



As we enter the three-day weekend at the end of Spring Break, we anticipate a number of residents will move out due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Per the Berkeley Health Department, students and families are able to move out of on-campus housing during the shelter-in-place order, but you must follow social distancing practices as you do so. 

If you have already left campus, you are not permitted to return to physically reconnect with friends, only to collect your belongings. If you have already left campus but did not take your belongings, you can hire a moving company to pack your room up (see details below). To cancel your housing contract and be eligible for a prorated refund, you must move all your belongings out. If you have moved out and would like us to donate or dispose of the remainder of your belongings, we will follow up with details about fees and process soon. 

 If you are not moving out, we ask that you avoid congregating in hallways and avoid using the elevators to assist those who are moving out. You must also practice social distancing (see details below).

 Move out options

  • Move yourself - Please bring as few people as possible to help you move out, as strict social distancing protocols will be observed. Plan to be patient, it is very important that we keep people distant from each other and this will make the process of moving out slower than it would be otherwise. We have conducted a walk-through to see which rooms and buildings are still occupied. If you live in an area still densely occupied, we will provide more information by Thursday night about distancing and possibly staggering move out times. 

  • Have a friend or family member move your belongings - Arrangements must be made in advance through the housing front desk at your housing unit. You will be required to 1) put the request in writing using your email account of record, 2) include all roommates on the communication as they may still be on campus or returning so must be aware of the room being entered, 3) set up an appointment time and 4) provide the name/relationship of the person you are authorizing to retrieve your belongings. Appointment times are limited and all non-residents must be escorted by housing staff. You are also responsible for all moving supplies. Keys must be returned to the front desk upon move out so plan accordingly to ensure their return. If you need mailing addresses for the front desks, should you wish to mail keys to us, please call your front desk. We are not responsible for any keys not received so encourage you to use tracking if mailing keys.

  • Use a moving company (for a cost)

    • You may select and pay for a moving company on your own. You will need to set up an appointment time and they will need to be escorted; please follow the friend or family member directions above. 

    • The campus is currently making arrangements for a moving company who will offer preferred pricing options for packing, moving and/or storing your belongings. We will provide more details including pricing and logistics soon. If you select this option, you will be required to return your keys (can return via mail/shipping), sign a release of liability, and submit your cancellation/intent to vacate form at least five business days in advance of the movers moving your belongings. If you use this moving company, the first cancellation date (when you would be eligible for a refund) available is April 10 (assuming you follow all of the other requirements) regardless of what date the physical moving of your belongings takes place.

  • If none of these options work for you, please email to discuss how we may help you to meet your needs. Please be patient as we are receiving a lot of inquiries at this time. 


No matter what moving option you choose:

  • Return all keys to the front desk on your move-out date. If it’s after hours, please utilize the after-hours envelopes to return your keys. If you’ve already left campus, you can mail/ship them back.

  • You will still need to submit the appropriate form (undergraduate housing cancellation form, UVA Intent to Vacate form, single graduate student Intent to Vacate form) and select a cancellation date (at least five business days before you move out in the residential halls, or 10 days for graduate student and UVA housing). Important reminder: you must submit a form to receive a refund. Simply moving out of housing will not meet the criteria and you will not receive a refund. 


While moving out, it is vitally important you continue to practice social distancing so you don’t spread the virus to yourself, your hallmates, your families, or our staff. 

  • Keep 6 feet away from others at all times (aside from your family if they are helping you move and your immediate roommate(s) when you are in your room).

  • If you have masks and gloves, we encourage you to wear them while you are moving out. Unfortunately, we will not be able to provide these for you.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or with alcohol-based hand sanitizer (contains at least 60% alcohol) regularly - before packing your belongings, after moving your belongings into your car, after you arrive at your destination.

  • This is NOT a time for socializing. Collect your belongings and move out as quickly as possible. Do not hug each other or gather for photos. You can say goodbye via phone and video. We know it is disappointing to part this way, but adherence to these safety practices is critical to preventing the spread of the virus.

  • If you see someone in an elevator, wait for the next one to provide ample space between you and the other residents. Only enter the elevator with your family (if they are helping you move). If you are waiting for the elevator, wait 6 ft apart and make sure to keep 6 ft away from the stairwell and bathroom doors (you may need to wait in your room and verbally hold your place in line).

  • If you see someone in the stairwell, yield to the person going downstairs. If you are going upstairs, take the exit to the nearest floor and wait in the hallway until the person going down has passed. If you touch the railing, please make sure to wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Our custodial staff continues to focus on hourly cleaning of touchpoints throughout our facilities (e.g. building entrances and exits, elevator buttons, light switches, etc).

Have additional questions? Check out the Spring Move-Out page and Housing FAQ page for additional answers regarding our housing operations in light of COVID-19. 

Be well and stay healthy.