When it comes time to move, ensuring your belongings are packed and hauled safely is paramount. Now that we’re in the midst of a global pandemic, we also have to think about protecting our loved ones and ourselves. Can it be done? By following a few simple safety measures, it is possible to minimize the risk of your family contracting the virus when moving to a new home during COVID.
Is It Possible to Move Safely During the Coronavirus Pandemic?
Life goes on with or without the pandemic. Fortunately, humans are very adaptable, and with a little more care, you can successfully move from one home to another. Maybe you’ve only had a virtual tour of your new residence? Or you’re unsure of how much storage space you’re going to have? The important thing is to plan in advance. Pack and move what you can by yourself. For items that require help, make sure those lending a hand follow the guidelines for wearing face masks and social distancing.
Take furniture and boxes to your new home a few days before it’s time to unpack. When taking them a few days ahead of time isn’t an option, find storage facilities near your new location that take precautionary measures and cleaning to new levels. Store boxes and furniture until it’s time to disinfect and unpack. According to the CDC, the virus survives on surfaces for up to 72 hours.
Top 5 Precautions to Take When Moving During COVID
Whether you’re using professional movers or doing it yourself with help from family and friends, follow these simple guidelines to reduce the chance of anyone falling ill:
- Make sure everyone wears a face mask
- Follow CDC guidelines for social distancing
- Ask those moving your belongings to wear gloves when handling boxes and furniture
- Provide hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes for hand cleaning
- If you’re not feeling well on moving day, put off the move until the symptoms pass
What About Appraisals and Home Inspections?
It is still possible to get an appraisal and home inspection during the pandemic, even if your state is still in lockdown. The Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA) has authorized a number of alternative appraisal methods including exterior only appraisals and even virtual appraisals. If an appraiser does have to come to your home, be sure to wear a facemask and practice social distancing. It’s a good idea to turn on all lights and open all doors so the appraiser can walk through the entire home without touching anything.
How a home inspection is carried out will also depend greatly on any local requirements regarding lockdowns and possibly even mortgage company or realtor requirements. But, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself, your family, and your home inspector. If possible, make sure everyone is out of the home and let your realtor take care of the inspection. If you do have to stay home, be sure to practice social distancing, and wear a mask. Put hand sanitizer at your front door so the inspector can clean his hands the minute he enters your home, and make sure there are soap and clean towels or hand sanitizer at every sink.
How Are Moving Companies Responding to COVID?
Professional moving companies express concern for everyone involved in the moving process, including their employees and the families they’re relocating. They may offer virtual moving quotes. If this is the case, you and your moving company’s estimator will do a walk-through of your house via a video call. Check your phone or tablet is fully charged, that you have enough data available, and carry a tape measure to provide the consultant with sizes of furniture if necessary. Give everyone a good view by turning on all the lights and opening cupboards to show the contents.
Typically, moving companies are reducing the number of people in work crews to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Movers wear face masks and maintain at least 6 feet between themselves and the customer. Companies often provide disinfectant, hand sanitizer, and gloves in vehicles for staff members to use while on job sites. It’s becoming more common for these businesses to offer online booking and paying services to reduce contact or be entirely contact-free.
How Should You Prepare to Move During COVID?
Moving day is set and you’ve already scheduled help from friends and family or professional movers to pack and transport your belongings. When using a professional moving company, check what safety precautions their staff take to decrease the risk of disease spread. Stock up on plenty of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes that state they’re effective against coronavirus. Don’t forget to leave a bar or bottle of soap in the bathroom for times when a squirt of hand sanitizer won’t do.
How to Sanitize Boxes
It’s best to use completely new packing supplies if possible. Once packed, send boxes and furniture a few days before you intend to unpack them or find a storage facility nearby your new residence. By letting belongings sit in the home’s garage or placing them in storage for a few days, you lessen the odds of the virus making its way into your new home. When it’s time to empty cartons, use disinfectant spray or wipes according to their package directions on the tops and sides of boxes before taking them into the relevant room.
Unpack Belongings Safely
Once everything is out of your old home and either in the new one or in a nearby storage facility, it’s time to start unpacking. Clean the floors before bringing any boxes into the room. Sanitize boxes before opening and removing the contents. Before putting things away in closets, drawers, or cabinets, be sure to disinfect them. Get rid of the boxes when empty because there’s the chance they’ve become contaminated during the move.
Now that you know precautions to take and a few tips about moving during COVID safely, reach out to nearby storage experts to see how they can help make your relocation easy.