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5 Tips for Sanitizing Your Things During a Move

Moving during the Coronavirus pandemic? Fortunately, you don’t need to spend hours showering all of your household belongings in Purell in order to avoid catching the virus. In fact, preventing the spread of viral infections is something that can easily be done in seconds with the right sanitation methods and common-sense precautions.

According to the CDC, transmission of Covid-19 occurs most commonly through close contact with other people via respiratory droplets. However, evidence does suggest that the virus also remains “viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials.” Therefore, it is in your household’s best interest to clean and sanitize surfaces in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19. So, what exactly does cleaning and disinfecting mean? Per the CDC, cleaning means removing germs, dirt and impurities from surfaces. Disinfecting, on the other hand, means using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. By cleaning and disinfecting all surfaces during and after a move, you can dramatically lower the risk of spreading a viral illness, such as Coronavirus. Still nervous about moving during a pandemic? Here are 5 quick tips for sanitizing your things during a move.

Have cleaning materials on-hand during the move

During the novel Coronavirus crisis, it’s more important than ever to have the right cleaning supplies on-hand when moving to a new home. The CDC claims that Covid-19 is an “enveloped virus,” meaning it’s extremely easy to kill compared to other types of viruses. All you need to kill it are appropriate home cleaning products and materials. Common EPA-registered disinfectants that are capable of killing the virus on surfaces include CleanSmart, Germ Away, Lysol Disinfecting Wipes and Clorox Multi Surface Cleaner. If you’re unable to purchase these products, you can also create a disinfectant solution at home using alcohol or a diluted bleach solution. Other materials you may need on-hand include gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, hand soap, and paper towels or clean rags to wipe down surfaces.

Disinfect high-touch surfaces first

Once you’ve gathered all necessary cleaning materials and solutions, bring them with you to the new home. Be sure to clean and sanitize all high-touch surfaces in the household first. According to the CDC, this may include doorknobs, tables, chairs, light switches, phones, tablets, touch screens, floors, remote controls, keyboards, toilets and handles. When moving, this also includes moving boxes, bins, floors, stairways and staircase railings. After the move is finished, we recommend cleaning and disinfecting these surfaces before beginning your deep clean of the home.

Place hand sanitizer by the door

The CDC advises household members to clean hands often by washing them with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol can be used. In addition to keeping hand soap available in bathrooms and in the kitchen, we recommend putting a container of hand sanitizer in the entryway where it will be readily available to movers and your family on moving day.

Leave doors open for movers

When moving during the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to avoid touching surfaces that are repeatedly touched by others. So, ideally, you want the movers to touch as little as possible while they are in your new home. Unfortunately, given that movers must carry boxes and belongings into the home, this isn’t an easy thing to do. By leaving your front door (and other doors that movers must pass through) open, you’ll make it easier for movers to avoid touching doorknobs, one of the most common surfaces responsible for viral transmissions.

Wipe down cardboard boxes

The New England Journal of Medicine’s recent study found that the Coronavirus can remain stable and detectable on “cardboard for up to 24 hours, and on plastic and steel for up to 72 hours.” So, before opening your moving boxes, we recommend wiping down all cardboard surfaces and plastic bins with disinfectant wipes. This should help kill any germs and viral illnesses that happen to be sitting on these surfaces. Once you’ve finished unpacking the box, remove the cardboard from your home as soon as possible and wash your hands thoroughly.

How do I make a homemade disinfectant?

One of the best ways to avoid catching a viral illness during a move is by disinfecting high-touch surfaces and moving boxes before, during and after the move. Fortunately, if you’re without a disinfect spray, such as Lysol, you can easily whip up a DIY homemade solution. For hard, non-porous surfaces, the CDC recommends using a diluted household bleach solution by mixing 5 tablespoons bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water. Other easy-to-find household products that make excellent disinfectant solutions include hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol.

Are there other ways to avoid the Coronavirus while moving?

Washing your hands frequently, conducting a deep clean of the new home and wearing a mask during the moving process are all additional ways to avoid catching a viral illness during a move. Make sure to also ask your moving company about any and all precautions they plan to take when moving household belongings to the new home. For instance, do the movers plan to wear gloves or masks? Is it possible for them to wear slip-on booties over their shoes (or no shoes at all)? Do the movers plan to practice good hygiene (i.e. washing hands) on moving day? These are all important questions to ask before moving day arrives.

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