When COVID-19 restrictions went into effect, many stores started limiting the number of customers allowed inside and offering free curbside pickup. Pickup options have been around for a while, most notable at grocery stores, but now it seems every store, restaurant, and library is offering curbside pickup to help reduce the amount of exposure people experience. More person-to-person contact, touching surfaces, and sneezing or coughing in small spaces increases the risk of an infected person transmitting COVID-19, so stores hope that this measure helps customers not only feel safe but actually stay healthier.
When it comes to picking up supplies for your next home project, it might seem a bit odd to have them brought out to you, but there are lots of benefits and not too many downsides to ordering online and having it brought to your car. Lowe’s, Tractor Supply, and Home Depot are all offering curbside pickup. Call your local hardware store to find out if they are too. It can’t hurt to give it a try!
Who Should Use Curbside Pickup?
Anyone can use curbside pickup, although it’s especially valuable for those considered to be at-risk for catching COVID-19 (or any other person-to-person transmitted illness). This includes people over the age of 65, the immunocompromised, and anyone with another serious underlying medical condition like asthma, heart trouble, or diabetes. Even if you don’t have one of these conditions but live with or frequently contact someone who does, it’s a good idea to limit your public exposure to protect their health.
How It Works
Curbside pickup is as easy as making a list of items, adding them to your online shopping cart, and checking out. Depending on the store, you’ll be able to choose your pickup time or else be given the next earliest time available. Most stores are getting on top of their systems and can have orders ready the same or next day.
Once your order is ready, you’ll usually get a confirmation email or text message letting you know that you can come to pick up. If something was out of stock, this message will let you know so that you can request another item in its place. When you get to the store, you’ll park in the designated area, call inside, and an employee will bring your order out and load it into your vehicle. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
Even if you’re not at high risk for catching COVID-19, here are some of the non-health-related benefits that might make you fall in love with curbside pickup:
● It can save time. If you’re a pro at online shopping, you may end up spending much less time than you would in the store, looking around for what you need.
● You don’t have to lift anything. If you struggle to lift heavy supplies, the store employee will be prepared to do the heavy lifting for you. You probably won’t even have to get out of your vehicle.
● You can send someone else. If you can’t get away from your project, you can find exactly what you need online and send someone else in the household to pick it up without trying to explain what they need to get and where to find it.
One of the benefits of picking up your order that can also be a downside is that it requires you to know what you need beforehand. You need to carefully plan dimensions, colors, and styles to make sure you order the right amounts of wood, mulch, screws, etc. Better planning usually means less waste, but for some people, it’s very difficult to plan unless you can see the supplies in front of you.
If you need to shop for colors or textures, curbside pickup might not be your best option. If you do need to go into the store, please follow the guidelines posted, which often include maintaining a 6-foot distance from other shoppers, wearing a mask, and sanitizing your hands frequently.
Curbside pickup is a great way to stay safe during these uncertain times. We love to hear from you. Have you tried curbside pickup? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments!