6 Tips for Moving While Social Distancing
To update a famous saying, time and tide wait for no man–nor pandemic. If you’re buying a house, you may not have the luxury of waiting until things get back to “normal” or some semblance of it.
But social distancing doesn’t have to bring your plans for buying a house to a halt. Use these six tips for incorporating safe and healthy practices when you move.
- Ask About COVID-19 Policies
Moving companies have been declared essential businesses, but each one is responsible for creating and maintaining their own policies safeguarding employees and customers who are buying a house. At a minimum, movers should be using gloves, face masks, shoe coverings, and hand sanitizers. Don’t be afraid to ask specific questions about steps the company is taking to keep movers, trucks, and equipment germ-free. It’s also vital to clarify cancellation fees and refund policies if worse comes to worst, and you’re forced to postpone the move.
- Avoid Free Moving Supplies
When buying a house, packing with boxes recycled from stores, neighbors, or friends has traditionally been an economical and eco-friendly practice. Unfortunately, the spread of COVID-19 has made it too risky to use materials that have been handled by others. Stick to purchasing new boxes and supplies or using what you already have on hand.
- Clean and Re-Clean
One of the first tasks upon buying a house is sorting through possessions and deciding what to keep and what to toss. Now is not the time to indiscriminately pack items in a box and worry about them once you get to your new home. Many possessions have likely been in closets, cabinets, attics, and basements gathering dust. For best results, clean items thoroughly before packing and after unpacking. If you have items to donate or resell, contact the appropriate charity or business about their rules.
- Establish Ground Rules
Whether you use professional movers or go the family-and-friends route, it’s more important than ever to make sure everyone is on the same page. Before you begin, review the procedures everyone should follow and get agreement from all. Guidelines to cover include handwashing and sanitizing, maintaining a minimum physical distance, and using personal protective equipment.
- Minimize Contact
Social distancing has made us more aware of situations where germs and bacteria can be transmitted. Consider all the elements of moving and look for ways to minimize contact. Can paperwork and payment be completed online? What is the fewest number of people you need to complete the move? Is it feasible to transport your belongings with a storage pod? If this is your first time buying a house, get input from family and friends about situations you may not anticipate.
- Don’t Take Chances
After buying a house, the worst-case scenario would be if you were exposed to COVID-19 pre-move. If that happens, even if you’re asymptomatic, postpone the moving date if possible. If not, hire a full-service moving company to handle all packing, transportation, and unloading while you self-quarantine. This is also recommended if you’re sick or in a high-risk group, where both conditions lower your resistance.
Buying a house is rarely easy, and moving during a pandemic can up the uncertainty. Accept the fact that these are unusual times, plan your move with caution instead of fear and enjoy peace of mind in your new home.
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