Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has uprooted many lives throughout the United States and completely changed the course of 2020 for everyone. It’s caused disruptions to everyday activities like eating at restaurants, grocery shopping, going to the gym, and seeing friends and family. Now, more people are opting for takeout, grocery deliveries, online workouts, and zoom calls. However, there are a few things that can’t be done digitally, including the act of moving. Unfortunately, for many people, moving is not something that can wait or be put off until COVID-19 is under control. If you need to relocate, here are some good tips for safely moving during COVID-19.
Safely Preparing for Your Move
While some people choose to move on their own, it can be a daunting task. Depending on the amount you own, you may or may not want to use professional movers. In the past, this was fairly straightforward. With COVID-19, hiring professional movers can cause stress or anxiety. However, companies are adapting and taking extra precautions to ensure that you receive a safe moving experience. For a better experience moving during COVID-19, take the time to prepare properly.
Choose a Company
If you decide to use a professional moving company, just be ready to ask questions and choose someone you feel comfortable with. Don’t be afraid to ask them about the precautions they’re using to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and what their protocol is if one of their employees or customers tests positive. Prepare yourself with a list of frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19 and if you don’t feel comfortable with their responses, find another company.
Be as Virtual as Possible
While it’s impossible for the move itself to be virtual, you can take precautions leading up to the big day. Many companies are now offering virtual quotes using an online walk through over video chat. Just make sure you have a tape measure available in case the company needs further specifications. Try to avoid in person interactions as much as possible and create a plan for the day of the big move.
Make a Back Up Plan
During uncertain times, it’s important to make a backup plan in case you need to reschedule. Ask about the refund/cancellation policy for worst case scenarios and what actions you would need to take if, for whatever reason, you need to make changes to your move. Since things have been uncertain for many people during this time, businesses have been fairly accommodating.
Clean and Disinfect
After you’ve confirmed all of the details with your moving company, take some time to clean and disinfect your home. While many people have chosen to hire professional companies to do this in the past, limiting your exposure to others is the best way to reduce your risk of transmission. Routinely clean high-touch areas and make sure you practice safe cleaning practices.
If you’re going to make the move on your own, talk to self storage facilities like The Lock Up Self Storage about purchasing moving and packing supplies alongside moving truck rentals. There are some great benefits to using short-term self storage during a move.
COVID-19 Moving Day Safety Tips
While most of the moving preparations can be been done far away from others, moving day is a little different. There will be movers coming in and out of your home, so take a few precautions, but be kind. Everyone is stressed right now, but it’s still important to be respectful. Just smile instead of shaking hands and let them do their jobs. Make sure that your work is done ahead of time and everything is packed and ready to go.
Keep Your Distance
If you’re paying professional movers, don’t feel like you need to help. In fact, refrain completely. It might feel weird to sit back and relax while movers are doing all of the heavy lifting, but it’s important to keep your distance. Maintain at least six feet in between you and others at all time and if possible, isolate kids, pets, or anyone in your family that has an underlying condition. It’s always better to take extra precautions and be safe, especially during unprecedented times.
Wash Hands Frequently
To help reduce the spread throughout the moving process, ask your movers to regularly wash their hands during the day. Make only one bathroom accessible for them and have a separate one for your family. To make things even cleaner, have disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer available for them to use as needed.
Follow CDC Guidelines
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have come out with numerous guidelines on how to reduce the spread of COVID-19—follow them. Make sure that members of your family in addition to all of the movers are wearing masks, don’t share food, wash hands regularly, and continue to disinfect high-touch areas throughout the day. Don’t be afraid to ask workers to wear their masks properly if you see them doing otherwise and if you’re having problems with this, contact the moving company.
Telling others if you’ve been diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19 is one of the harder aspects of this pandemic. Creating a social web of people that you’ve interacted with can be intimidating and unpleasant. However, to catch the spread before it gets too far, be transparent. Contact your mover and let them know if, at any point before, during, or immediately after your move you think you’ve been exposed.
Understand Pandemic Procedures
If you’re going to be donating things that you came across while packing, make sure that you double check the pandemic procedures at your location charities or donation sites. There are certain rules to both local and state donation centers, which you’ll want to be familiar with before going in.
Give Yourself Time
With all of the guidelines and safety procedures in place, it might take longer to complete the move. Don’t get frustrated with movers if you think things are going too slowly. Plan for a few extra hours to accommodate hand washing and fewer people on site to help. Everything is done for your safety, so try not to stress about slower moving days.
Post Move Safety Precautions
Once you’re done with the big day, it’s time to tackle the task of unpacking and settling into your new home. However, rather than jumping right into it, there are a few things you should consider.
One of the best ways to ensure that any lingering germs are killed is to simply wait. COVID-19 cannot live long on surfaces, so instead of going through your home and disinfecting each and every box, consider waiting 24-72 hours. While most germs will be killed in 24 hours, if you’re nervous you can wait longer. Be patient and make sure that you’re comfortable before unpacking. If this means waiting and disinfecting, that’s okay. You want to start out at your new home on the right foot so don’t feel like you have to rush.
Pack a Good Overnight Bag
To make waiting easier, pack a really good overnight bag (or weekend bag). Make sure that you have everything that you’ll need for at least 24 hours—longer if you’re waiting. This might include an air mattress, sheets, pajamas, toiletries, clothes, and anything else you’ll need. If you want to cook, have some appliances available that you move on your own. If you’re going to be ordering take out, keep some plates and utensils out so you don’t have to rely on disposable items.
Disinfect Your New Home
While you’re waiting for the germs on your boxes to slowly die, start disinfecting your new home. There’s no better feeling than unpacking into a clean, sanitized room and starting out on the right foot. Make sure that you have enough supplies, put on your favorite music, and get to work.
Safely moving during COVID-19 presents some unique challenges, but it’s not impossible. By taking the necessary precautions, you’ll greatly reduce the chances of transmission and spread through workers and among your family. Since things are changing daily, make sure that you stay updated and in communication with your moving company. If you’re downsizing your home, or want to start off with impeccable organization, consider renting a self storage unit from The Lock Up Self Storage. We have a variety of units to fit all size requirements and budgets and are taking precautions to help protect against the threat of COVID-19. The well-being of our customers is always our top priority. Feel free to call us for any questions or clarifications on what we’re doing to provide you with the best service possible while staying safe and healthy. All of our units are climate controlled and surrounded by top-of-the-line security features to keep your things safe and protected. To learn more about our self storage units at The Lock Up, give us a call today at 1-866-327-LOCK.