The stress of everything going on in the world right now might seem like enough to deal with, but leases continue to end and people still need to downsize or upsize or move home for whatever reason.
Granted, it’s not the easiest time to do it, but there are still ways to reduce worries and stay within the rules while moving home.
Firstly, it’s worth noting that you are still allowed to move house during the pandemic – regardless of what tier you’re in.
In the earlier stages (such as viewings and follow-up meetings with agents) you’ll be asked by your agent or landlord to follow certain rules like wearing masks or ensuring distancing.
The hard part comes on moving day, when you need to get all your stuff from A to B while minimising contact. Here’s how to do just that from the removals experts at Space Station
Bring in the experts
As tempting as it is to recruit a couple of friends and family members to help you move house, hiring a removal service is a good investment. They are experts in this industry and can make the move as efficient as possible.
Removal experts will also have the correct equipment to move your house contents in a safe and secure way (along with insurance if something does go wrong).
When you book your removal, find out what Covid-secure measures they have in place. This might be in the form of no-contact service, extra PPE, or a focus on sanitising hands and furniture items.
Plan well in advance
If you are planning on using a removal company, in the current climate their operating procedures may have changed to ensure compliance with the various restrictions.
Contacting the company as early as you can beforehand to gauge whether they will be operating during the times you need is a vital place to start.
Clean your items thoroughly
You still have your own part to play in all of this, and so ensuring you and anyone you hire to help you are kept safe is a two-way street.
In order to make sure all parties are at the lowest risk, it is important to thoroughly clean all of your household items with domestic cleaning products before they are packed away and transported, so they are safe to be handled by people outside of your household.
All parties should be encouraged to wash their hands and apply hand sanitiser as often as possible.
Stay alert and keep your distance
If you are planning on using a different household or removal service to assist you, make sure you are sticking to the social distancing and hygiene rules where possible.
The process of loading up vans and lorries can be time consuming, and it’ll be likely numerous people will be in and out of your home frequently. It is therefore important to keep all internal doors open to keep air circulating, and do not offer drinks and refreshments to those outside your household.
That might seem harsh, but you can always buy them a cuppa from a cafe in the form of an extra tip or order something to be delivered that reduces contact and contamination.
Use what you have to keep costs down
Money is tight for everyone right now, so to keep packing material costs to a minimum, use items you already have to pack your contents securely and safely.
Wrapping glassware and china in large towels and securing with tape or string can ensure these items are transported safely, while also reducing the total number of boxes you have to move, which should bring removal costs down.
Triple check removal boxes are secure
Don’t risk your carefully packed contents getting broken or damaged because they fall through the bottom of a box during the move. It’s always worth reinforcing the bottom of any heavily packed boxes with a strong adhesive tape, to ensure that items won’t fall through.
Avoid using bin liners and plastic bags
We have all heard a horror story when it comes to moving house, one of the most frequent is somebody mistaking a bin liner packed with precious clothes for rubbish and throwing it out.
Not only is using cardboard or reusable plastic boxes better for the environment, it also reduces the likelihood of mistakes being made during the move and will better protect your belongings, as plastic bags can be easily snagged and damaged.
The aim here is to get you into your new home as quickly and safely as possible, and streamlining this process helps protect you and your treasured possessions.
Use vacuum storage bags
Your removal company will thank you (from afar) if you invest in vacuum storage ahead of your move, reducing bulky items like cushions and bedding down to half the size or less.
These bags are also waterproof, will prevent dust building up on your contents, and will prevent any snagging during the move. Using these products will ensure removal boxes can be saved for heavier goods, saving a massive amount of space in the removal van. What’s more, once the big move is complete, these bags can then continue to be used for storage in your new home.
Pack precious goods in a wheeled suitcase
When it comes to precious jewellery, photos, books and other items such as family heirlooms – wrap them carefully in bubble wrap or towels and secure with a strong adhesive tape.
It’s a great idea to pack such items in suitcases as opposed to boxes – this will ensure you can identify them easily during the move and if your suitcase has wheels, it will remove the need for lifting up and down, reducing the risks of a drop or fall.
Vlatka Lake, Marketing Manager at Space Station, commented: ‘Preparation and planning are the most important things movers can do when packing up their belongings ready for a move and this has become even more prominent with the tightening restrictions around the country, which can be a great source of stress and anxiety.
‘By planning ahead, you can make sure that this process remains exciting, as well as maintaining the safety of yourself and everyone involved.’
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