Moving Homes During a Global Pandemic
Moving homes is always stressful. Finding a new home, selling the old one, waiting for surveys to be done and mortgages to be approved are all time-consuming and worrying. The move itself is physically demanding, and there’s always a lot more to do than you expect when you actually arrive. Very few people actually enjoy moving house, even if they are excited to start the next chapter of their lives in a new home.
At the moment, however, it’s even harder than usual. During COVID-19 lockdowns, many areas severely restricted our abilities to move. Sales were put on hold, applications weren’t processed, and even those of us that only needed to pick up the keys were forced to wait.
Whatever phase of your move you were in when coronavirus took hold, you may have been living through a worrying few months—waiting for news of when you could move, or when you could carry on with your search. None of us has really known what was going on, or what might come next, and putting something as big as a house move on hold might have caused you extra stress.
But, now things are changing. Of course, coronavirus is very much still with us. But, restrictions are being eased, and in most areas, moving house is once again possible. Like most other things, however, it isn’t quite normal. You can move, but there will be extra safety considerations, and you may have to do things a little differently. Here are some tips to help you successfully move house during a global pandemic.
Before You Move
Whether you have the keys and you are ready to move, or you are still searching, things will be a little different to normal, and you might need to take extra precautions. Here’s a look at some tips to help you to prepare for moving day.
Use Video as Much as Possible
Fortunately, nowadays we’ve got very useful tools to help us maintain social distancing. When it comes to home viewings, meetings with solicitors and realtors, and inspections and survey reports, use video call, instead of meeting face to face.
Find the Right Removals Team
Finding the right moving company is always essential, but at the moment it is more important than ever. Make sure the team that you pick is fully insured and able to complete your move. But, also that they have taken safety precautions to make their business COVID secure.
If you’ve got any concerns about social distancing, PPE, or health checks, get in touch before you move for a chat to put your mind at ease. Talk about what you are expecting of each other on moving day and any extra social distancing measures that you want to put in place.
Moves have been on hold for the last few months. This might mean that removal teams, realtors and solicitors are booked up as people rush to complete their move. Get in touch, and try to book as far in advance as you can. Moving on a weekday, or out of season might mean that there is greater availability.
Check Local Restrictions
You might be familiar with social distancing restrictions in your area, but if you are moving to a new area or even a different country, guidelines may be different. Check local restrictions for both your current and new home, and keep checking for any changes as your moving date gets closer.
On Moving Day
Moving day is always a mix of emotions. You may be excited, nervous, stressed out, and worried all at the same time. COVID-19 is bound to make all of this worse, especially if you’ve been spending most of your time at home on your own.
Limit The People Involved
When it comes to a move, we typically want as much help as we can possibly get. We call our friends and family in as well as the movers, to make the job easier and faster.
Things are different now. As we try to limit the spread of coronavirus, it’s important that we come into contact with as few people as possible, even when wearing PPE and keeping our distance.
So, limit the people involved to the essentials. This might mean sending kids to stay with other family members, or avoiding help and doing more on your own.
There’s limited research to suggest that wearing PPE is effective, but there’s no research to suggest that it could do you harm. You probably won’t want to go the whole hog with visors, aprons, and gloves but wearing masks, especially when you are indoors with people from outside of your household is a good idea.
Wash Hands and Carry Sanitizer
We all touch things far more than we think we do. So, make sure during the move you wash your hands regularly, but especially before eating, after going to the toilet, after touching a surface, and before and after coming into contact with another person.
You might not have access to handwashing facilities for the duration of your move, so carry hand sanitizer for cleaning on the go.
It can be hard to maintain distance during a move, but it’s essential for everyone’s well being that you do. Group into pairs, your movers, and you and your partner or a friend. Work within your pairs and don’t get within 2 meters of anyone else.
Put Things on Hold if You Feel Unwell
If you feel unwell, and especially if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, including a new cough or temperature, get in touch with everyone that was due to help as soon as you can. Self-isolate with your household for 14 days, organize a test, and delay your move until you get the all-clear.
Once You’ve Moved
Once the hard work of moving the day itself is behind you, there is still plenty that you need to do before you can start to enjoy life in your new home.
Say Hi to Your Neighbors
Most people are still feeling a little weary of the world, and if your neighbors have seen you moving in, they might not feel comfortable coming around to say hi as they usually would.
Try to make contact when you pass in the street or over your garden fence. Be friendly and introduce yourself but maintain a 2-meter distance.
Thoroughly Cleanse Your New House
Most of us clean the house that we are moving out of before we go. But, you don’t know who will have touched what. Wear PPE, and thoroughly clean your new home from top to bottom before you start to unpack your things.
If possible, do this before moving day to make life easier.
Find Local Shops
Check out your local area. You never know when lockdown might return, and when you may only have the facilities that are within walking distance to rely on. Find the best local stores, and check their social distancing guidelines.
Register with a Doctor
If you’ve moved to a new area, you should also find your new local doctor and register as soon as you can. Most surgeries are insisting on masks, and you should phone ahead instead of walking straight in.
Remember, this is all brand new. There are very few people alive who have seen this kind of pandemic, and we’re all learning how to live with it, and how to get back to some level of normal. Take your time, query, and concerns that you may have, and be as careful as possible.