Your Guide To Moving During The Coronavirus Pandemic
Most of the country is currently holed up at home because of the coronavirus pandemic, but some people are choosing to move. It may seem difficult to move around during a global health crisis, but there are some compelling reasons to do so now.
For one, many Americans are now realizing that their current financial situation will not support their current rent or mortgage payments, especially if they have lost income due to the pandemic and lockdown. They may need to downsize or move to an area with a lower cost of living.
There are also non-financial reasons. “As people spend more time in their current homes, they are realizing that they may not live exactly where they want to be in the next chapter of their lives,” said Marisela Cotilla, executive director of sales at ALINA residences in Boca Raton, Florida.
Of course, these times pose unique challenges for the move. “There are two forms of risk of infection while moving: close contact with other people – whether they are professional moving companies or friends loyal enough to help – and touching contaminated surfaces,” said Brian Davis, director of education for SparkRental.
There are many ways for you to come into contact with or spread the coronavirus, whether you’re viewing new homes or touching rental equipment. But that doesn’t mean you have to choose between your health and a new home. How to protect yourself from COVID-19 if you have to move now.
Is it possible to view apartments and houses safely?
If you are in the early stages of moving, you may be wondering how to find a new apartment or house when there are social distancing orders.
Many brokers offer pre-recorded virtual apartment tours in lieu of home viewings. However, employees may not want to enter into a lease based solely on pictures or videos.
Karen Feldman, a licensed real estate agent for Triplemint, also hosts in-person virtual demonstrations with video chats with customers so she can virtually walk them around an entire room. “I will show all the details like water pressure, cabinets under the sinks so as not to show mold, and tell you what I hear or don’t hear in the building,” she said.
If you’re serious about a property and want to see it in person before making a commitment, there are some extra security measures you can take.
“I’ve ridden a Citi bike or on foot around Manhattan and ask my customers to do the same if possible,” Feldman said. “It avoids the use of public transport and carpooling.”
Feldman also wears a mask and gloves and carries hand sanitizer at all times. “When we get to the apartment, I offer to take a separate elevator or walk up the stairs a few moments before my client to keep social distance,” she said.
Should you hire professional moving companies?
When moving, you run the risk of coming into contact with contaminated cardboard boxes, rental equipment, and other items, said Mike Glanz, founder of Hire a helper.
But it is rare to move alone. It’s a lot of work and involves lifting heavy boxes and furniture that requires at least two people. This means working in close proximity to at least one other person, lifting objects and squeezing them through narrow doors and hallways.
“They’ll take the risk out of the equation because they’re trained to do it.”
– Mike Shine, hire a helper
You are at risk of exposure to COVID-19 throughout the moving process and you might think that avoiding a professional moving company will remove some of that risk. But social distancing recommendations argue against including friends and family in your move, Glanz said.
By hiring a company they can take responsibility for everyone’s safety and professional moving companies are incentivized to take precautionary measures such as: For example, wiping down all equipment, wearing face masks, and keeping a minimum of 6 feet between you and you.
“They’ll take risk out of the equation because they are trained and know how to do better, and they’ll bring all of the equipment and take care of it,” said Glanz.
It’s actually easier to stay at least three feet away from them, Davis said. “You can monitor them from outside your home, between the door and the moving truck, or from a safe place inside,” he said.
Important steps to protect yourself when moving
Whether or not you choose to hire professional moving companies (it can be quite expensive, after all), there are certain best practices you should follow during your move to protect yourself and others from exposure to coronavirus.
Wear masks. Everyone involved in the move should have one correct face mask always switched on. “Whether you are hiring professionals or you are making your friends, ask them beforehand to wear a mask,” said Davis. “While not perfect, it prevents pathogens from exploding shotgun when they sneeze or cough.”
Use only new boxes. Studies show that the coronavirus lives for up to 24 hours on cardboard. This has several effects on your move. “In normal times, I recommend getting free boxes for moving out of liquor stores or friends. But right now it’s worth spending the money on buying new boxes, ”said Davis.
Pack everything up – and firmly. It is important to be organized in your packaging and to ensure that each item is kept in a box and nothing is left loose. You should also tape all the boxes instead of leaving gaps in the box flaps, Davis said.
“No last-minute shuffling around or just throwing things in bags and boxes on moving day,” he said. “Your moving company should come to a house with nothing but furniture and boxes ready to be picked up and moved around. It’s common courtesy anyway, but it’s especially important right now. “
Don’t wait until the last minute. It’s also a good idea to have the packaging ready at least 24 hours in advance to make sure that there are no live viruses on your boxes by the day of your move.
“This is a time of paranoia, unnatural and uncomfortable as it may be for healthy people.”
– Brian Davis, SparkRental.
Communicate early and often. When hiring moving companies, it’s important to communicate with them beforehand and make sure they are taking reasonable precautions, Gloss said.
“Make sure you are communicating with the actual manager – the person who will actually be out there at work – and ask them what precautions they are taking and make sure you are comfortable,” he added added.
Unpack carefully. The same procedure that you follow when packing also applies after the move. “Wait at least 24 hours before unpacking boxes. By then, the virus will have died on the cardboard surfaces, ”said Davis.
You can put your most urgent and important items in a separate, labeled box and wipe them off as soon as they move in, so you can access the things you need while the rest are in quarantine.
Wipe off everything. In addition to wearing masks and washing hands, everyone involved in the exercise should regularly wipe surfaces.
“When you rent a van or truck, you wipe down key touch areas including door handles, seat belts and buckles, the steering wheel, keys, stereo, cup holders and armrests,” said Davis. After all, you don’t know who last drove that truck or if they followed the same precautions.
You should also wipe the door handles and other common surfaces in your new home. Make yourself familiar with that CDC guidelines for the proper disinfection of surfaces.
Moving is already a time-consuming and potentially expensive process, and the above seems to be a ton of additional issues. But when you need to move, “This is a time of paranoia, unnatural and uncomfortable as it may be for healthy people,” said Davis.
However, if you don’t have to move immediately, it might be better to wait until the pandemic is under control. “Our attitude towards the public in general right now is that if you can’t move, you’ll have to wait. Let’s be sure, ”said gloss.
The majority of apartment complexes, real estate companies, title companies and the like are okay with the situation, said gloss. You may be able to delay your closure or rent by the month until it is safe to move.
Moving services are considered an essential service, but we strongly encourage people to do whatever they can to be safe – and the most important thing you can do now to be safe is just wait for your state or county loosens the restrictions on social distancing, “said Shine.
Experts are still learning about the novel coronavirus. The information in this story is known or available at the time of going to press, but it is possible that guidelines on COVID-19 will change as scientists learn more about the virus. Consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the most up-to-date recommendations.
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