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How to Move Safely During the COVID-19 Outbreak

[Updated: Nov 17, 2020] Mar 22, 2020 by Maurie Backman
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Moving is a stressful prospect in itself. Moving during a global health crisis? Even more so.

If you have the option to delay your move and stay in your current home until the COVID-19 outbreak subsides, that's probably your best bet. But if you have no choice but to move -- say, the home you rent has been sold or you've closed on your current home already and need to vacate it to move to another one -- then it pays to do so as safely as possible. Here are some steps you can take to do just that.

1. Vet your movers carefully

If you'll be hiring movers to transfer your belongings from your current home to your new one, it pays to ask a lot of questions about safety measures -- not just with regard to being careful with your breakables, but with regard to COVID-19. Before you hire movers, make sure they're willing to handle your belongings with gloves and that they'll be transporting your furniture and boxes in a truck that's been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.

At the same time, talk to the owner of the moving company you're looking to hire and ask what's being done to vet employees to make sure they're not sick or exhibiting worrisome symptoms. The last thing you want is a worker who's ill showing up and sneezing or coughing all over your stuff, not to mention your new home.

2. Prepare to thoroughly clean your new home

Chances are, your new home will be in reasonably clean condition by the time you arrive there. But you never know what germs the person who just vacated that property may have left behind, so rather than take chances, prepare to give that space a thorough clean.

Of course, under normal circumstances, hiring a cleaning crew could save you the time and hassle, but unfortunately, given the situation we're in, it may not be safe to hire cleaners because you don't know what germs they could be harboring. As such, load up on rags, cloths, and supplies, and prepare to clean every surface of your new home before unpacking.

3. Wipe down your furniture...and moving boxes, too

Even if you trust that your movers have taken every precaution to keep you and your belongings safe, the scary thing about COVID-19 is that it's possible to spread it while being asymptomatic. As such, it could be that one or more of your movers is, in fact, a carrier, and unknowingly sneezed or coughed on something he or she transported. To play it safe, give your boxes and furniture a good cleaning once they're situated, and make sure to thoroughly wash your own hands after handling those items.

Right now is quite possibly the worst time imaginable to move, but if that's the situation you're in, do your part to stay safe throughout the process. With any luck, you'll enjoy your new living space -- even if you don't enjoy being confined to it for weeks on end.

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