Moving in itself can already be so stressful. But with the COVID-19 outbreak happening right now that targets the respiratory system, you can’t take any chances in hygiene and safety measures. To help you make your move safer, here are seven tips you should follow to lessen the risk of getting the virus.
Wash (or Sanitize) Your Hands Frequently
The entire moving process involves lots of close contact with other people involved in the task, such as the movers, and touching surfaces and tools. So, it’s important to maintain the cleanliness of your hands throughout your moving day. Doing so can lessen the chance to introduce the virus into your system.
Practice proper and frequent handwashing all day. If you can’t do that, at least keep a bottle of hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol) with you that you can quickly reach. Also, try your best not to touch your face.
Buy New Boxes
One of the first things you need to do when moving out and into a new home is getting boxes to store your things. According to hospitalist and internist Dr. Matthew G. Heinz of the Tucson Medical Center, it’s safest to purchase new boxes and other moving supplies from the store. You can also ask your moving company if they can offer no-contact delivery of supplies you’ll need for packing.
Schedule Your Move When it’s Not That Busy
The timing of your actual move can also be a big factor—especially considering the number of people you might encounter during the process. Transporting and handling your things at a busy time of the day might cause you to lose one of the major protective measures you can do right now: keeping your distance from other people.
If you can be flexible with your schedule, set your move on a weekday morning. Since people are currently sheltering in place, this might lessen the number of people you encounter.
Wear a Face Mask or Cloth Face Covering
Aside from protecting yourself, moving safely also involves trying not to transmit the virus to other people. One can still unknowingly spread the coronavirus even without symptoms.
If you can’t maintain a safe 6-foot distance from people in public, the CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering for those over the age of 2. Even though homemade masks and face covers don’t have the same level of protection as N-95s or surgical masks, it can still be effective in reducing the number of droplets that come from your mouth when sneezing, coughing, or talking. You can also ask people you’ll be working with to do the same.
Pack Up and Unpack Everything Yourself
There are moving companies that offer packing services for clients. However, with the nature of our current situation, experts suggest doing the packing and unpacking yourself. That way, the movers would just have to touch the boxes and furniture, while you’re the only one who gets to touch everything that’s inside.
Wrap Up Soft-Surfaced or Fabric Furniture
Experts believe that the virus doesn’t survive that long on soft surfaces, but it won’t hurt to be extra careful. You might want to play it safe and just cover furniture and mattresses with plastic or clear vinyl furniture protection. Once you have settled in, remove and dispose of the wrapping immediately. Make sure to wash your hands right after.
Wipe Down Things Before Using Them
The virus can be on anything that you may touch during the move. Before using any tool or equipment, make sure to wipe them down using disinfectant wipes or disinfectant spray. It’s better to use Environmental Protection Agency-approved (EPA) disinfectants. If it’s not realistic to sanitize everything, just make sure to wash your hands after touching the tools.