How to have a stress-free move during the pandemic
The best way to make any moving day go smoothly—pandemic or not—is to prepare in advance. Certain precautions are necessary in a context of social distancing.
Moving was more complicated for people who needed to relocate during the worst of the health crisis surrounding COVID-19 this spring, since they couldn’t ask friends or family to help out. Fortunately, confinement regulations have loosened up since those early days.
Call on the pros
Even now, hiring professional movers is recommended since they know and apply the safety measures required by the government. Maintaining a two-metre distance and limiting the number of people inside the home will allow the movers to work under optimal conditions.
To speed up the move and make it easier for people to get around, you can place furniture and boxes strategically near the door to reduce the comings and goings and avoid unnecessary contact.
Establish hygiene rules
If you’ve got friends or relatives willing to help you on moving day, they will also have to respect certain guidelines to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
There are a few simple rules to follow, in addition to two-metre distancing: avoid having several people in a room together, keep hands away from your face, wash hands regularly and cough into your elbow. And if anyone wakes up with COVID-19 symptoms, they should not come help you move.
Keep the government regulations in mind when establishing your game plan. Wearing a mask is strongly recommended, especially if the distance is difficult to maintain.
Clean, and clean again
In the days leading up to the move, prepare your boxes and place them in a way that allows everyone participating in the move to observe social distancing. Have an ample supply of cleaning products on hand to disinfect frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs and bannisters. It’s a good idea to talk to the current occupants of the place you’re moving into, to make plans so your paths don’t cross.
Once you arrive in your new home, you’ll have to clean everything again. Disinfect every room, paying special attention to high-contact surfaces and to bathrooms. The Société d’habitation du Québec (SHQ) also offers these tips: wait a minimum of 24 hours before getting rid of empty boxes; avoid shaking out dirty laundry; and wash all fabrics (sheets, towels and clothing) with hot water and laundry soap.
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the SHQ has published an overview of the recommendations provided by the public health department: COVID 19: Good Health Practices to Follow During a Move (brochure also available in 23 languages).