Mistakes to Avoid While Moving During a Pandemic
With the real estate market rebounding in May and June, one crucial part of buying and selling houses is moving. While it may not be everyone’s favorite task, it’s inevitable that both buyers and sellers will be doing lots of packing and unpacking as they clear out their old residence for the new owners. As we have seen a large increase in market activity in the Mid Hudson Valley & Catskill Region during the past two months of the pandemic, largely in part due to many people wanting to leave densely populated areas such as New York City, it’s important to not make these mistakes while moving. Not only will it draw out the moving process, but it could also put yourself in a higher risk health position, which is paramount to avoid during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve compiled some information on mistakes to avoid while moving during a pandemic. Read on for more!
Check both state and local regulations.
While the Northeast has seen drastic reductions in COVID-19 cases versus other parts of the country, such as the southeast, it is important that if you are moving to the Mid Hudson Valley & Catskill region from any of the harder hit areas, such as New York City or states experiencing increases of COVID-19, that you check both state and local regulations about their COVID-19 policies in place for people coming from highly impacted areas. While transportation has been deemed an essential business, make sure there are also no restrictions for moving companies coming from out of state, or from New York City. Even though trucks and movers may only be in the area for a short period of time, it is important that you are aware of the local rules so that there are no surprises upon arrival.
Assuming moving yourself is safer than professional movers.
While you might think that renting a truck and having friends and family help pack and move might be a safer option than professional movers, this is not always the case. It’s easier to be a little more relaxed with those who you have spent your quarantine time with, but as regulations have eased, and we are able to go out to more places, this puts us at a higher risk as we interact in the public sphere. Most professional movers would have strict healthy and safety measures in effect: sanitizing trucks between moves, having sanitizing products on hand, and would be required to wear gloves and masks.
If you still feel most comfortable moving yourself, make sure you take these precautions into consideration: If you rent a moving truck, go through your own sanitation measures before packing all your boxes into the truck. The COVID-19 virus has been known to be able to survive for 72 hours on steel, so it’s important to clean all surfaces before you start placing boxes and furniture into a rental truck. Ask friends and family to wear masks when packing, as you will likely be in much closer proximity to each other than the recommended six feet of social distancing, especially when lifting heavy boxes and moving furniture. Ensure that you also wipe down door knobs and light switches in your new property if it has not already been sanitized prior to move in.
Research your designated moving company.
If you choose to hire professional help, in addition to making sure they are fully insured and licensed, make sure you check out their website, or give them a call to speak with them about their health & safety policies they have put in place to help eliminate unnecessary contact and the potential spread of COVID-19. If you are having trouble getting a clear answer or cannot find any information regarding a COVID-19 policy, they might not be the best moving company to use. Speak with friends and family that might also be moving and if they have glowing recommendations of professional moving companies that safely and efficiently moved their personal belongings, reach out to those companies first. Look for signs such as offering virtual in home moving estimates versus in person, and no contact moving options.
Use caution when using recycled boxes.
While it is tempting to ask your local supermarket or liquor store for old cardboard boxes they may have to give out for free, keep in mind that the COVID-19 virus can remain on cardboard for 24 hours. If you do choose to use recycled boxes, make sure you spray and wipe them down with a disinfectant before using them. The safest option is to go to your local moving or packing store and buy new cardboard boxes and tape, as there is much less risk that these would have been in contact with the virus. Boxes and packing supplies that are already in your possession would also be a safe option, as well as plastic moving bins. If you are renting plastic bins, make sure you wipe them down before packing.
Prep for your movers.
An efficient and quick move will greatly reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Limiting your time and interactions with movers will help keep your move safe. Have boxes packed, labeled and either outside your residence, or in easy to pick up places for movers. This allows them to work quickly and not have to spend large amounts of time inside your home. If you prefer to have professional movers pack all your belongings, try to have everything organized and grouped together so that you do not have to be in the house while they pack and move boxes and furniture.
Deep clean your new residence.
Before you start unpacking all your belongings into your new house, have a cleaning crew come through and do a deep, sanitizing clean of your house. Likely there will have been movers and the old owners doing a lot of work packing prior to your arrival, and you can never be too careful during a pandemic. Having your new residence deep cleaned will help eliminate the spread of COVID-19, in case someone who was in the house previously was a carrier, or had come in contact with the virus. Since the virus can live on surfaces for 24-72 hours, sanitizing walls, counter tops, doors, floors, light switches and appliances will eliminate the risk of the virus being present in your new home.
For additional reading on moving during a pandemic, you can read this news article from the New York Times. Moving.com also has some additional information to consider when planning relocation during the current coronavirus that you can read here: Moving During the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19): What to Know. If you are looking to relocate out of the more urban areas into the Mid-Hudson Valley & Catskill Regions, you can contact us to connect with a REALTOR® to find the perfect new home for you!