You may be wondering how you can make a scheduled move during a global pandemic that has quarantined much of the world. The first thing you have to do is decide whether the move can be postponed until the worst of the crisis has subsided. If not, you have to determine what protective measures you can take before, during, and after the move to keep you and everyone else you come in contact with safe.
You will have to clean your old house thoroughly to make sure the new occupants don’t come into contact with the virus. In addition, you have to feel confident that the moving company is scrupulous about making sure they are following a strict protocol. Once you arrive at your destination, you won’t be able to rest easy until your new home has been thoroughly and completely disinfected.
The CDC has developed very specific guidelines for households to follow when it comes to cleaning different types of surfaces. Some of them include:
Hard Surfaces (Non-porous)
- Use gloves when cleaning. Throw them away after each use.
- For dirty surfaces, wash with soap and water before disinfecting.
- Most household disinfectants are effective. They must be EPA registered.
- Diluted household bleach can be used if appropriate. Never mix bleach with any other cleanser or ammonia. Make sure the bleach is within the expiration date.
- Let the disinfectant sit for at least 1 minute after application allowing for adequate ventilation during and after use.
Soft Surfaces (Porous)
- Remove any visible contamination on soft surfaces like rugs, drapes, and carpet.
- Launder surfaces according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Use the warmest water setting appropriate for the surfaces and dry thoroughly.
- Remove any visible contamination from electronics like keyboards, cell phones, touch screens, and remote controls.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfecting.
- Consider using wipeable covers for electronics.
- Alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing a minimum of 70% alcohol are effective. Dry thoroughly to avoid pooling.
Linens and Clothing (items you launder)
- If gloves are used, don’t use them for any other disinfecting purposes.
- If no gloves are used, wash hands after handling dirty laundry.
- Clean and disinfect clothes hampers and laundry baskets.
How are Moving Companies Responding to the Pandemic?
- Following social distancing and sanitation guidelines sanctioned by federal and local government
- Wearing gloves and masks
- Stocking trucks with hand sanitizer
- Sanitizing trucks and equipment
- Practicing social distancing among moving teams and with customers
- Providing estimates with the use of virtual surveys rather than in-person surveys
If you feel at a loss when it comes to preparing for your move, you’re not alone. The AMSA has developed guidelines to help families prepare safely.
Tips for Making a Move in the Wake of the Coronavirus
- Make movers aware if anyone in the house is infected with the virus. The movers may still work with but will want to put extra protocols in place for the safety of their moving teams.
- Provide movers with hygiene products. Make it easy for the movers to follow recommended hygiene practices by leaving soap and paper towels by the sink and hand sanitizer at the door.
- Don’t use moving boxes that are recycled or free. This isn’t the time to pull discarded boxes out of dumpsters or get them from recycling centers. The coronavirus can live on cardboard for 24 hours. It’s a much better idea to buy new ones, and go through the self-checkout when you purchase them.
- Cancel your move if you’re in a high-risk group. If you’re over 60 or have underlying medical conditions that make you more vulnerable to COVID-19, seriously consider putting off your move until a later date. Moving is not worth risking your life.
5. Plan ahead if you are traveling for your move. If you have to fly for your move or are planning to stay at a hotel, make sure the companies you’re working with offer free cancellations and refundable reservations.