As much as we would like to make it otherwise, relocations are usually not very sterile occasions. There are always several hands at work, too many different materials involved, and dust that keeps appearing from nowhere, no matter how much you clean. Still, it is essential to stick to at least some of the basic hygiene rules, especially during these dangerous pandemic times. For that reason, we bring you these simple yet practical tips for cleaning and sanitizing during a move.
1. The secret is in preparation
Although we will be primarily dealing with cleaning and sanitizing during a move in this article, we would like to emphasize how critical preparation is. In fact, preparation is the stage where most of your relocation is happening. Whether you decide to hire professional movers, additional cleaning services, or you are staying honest to your good old DIY habits- all this can make a lot of difference before your move even commences.
Here are some examples of your planning aspects that can make or break your cleaning goals:
- The early bird catches the worm– Make sure you start packing on time to disinfect everything before movers arrive. Also, schedule your move timely to give everyone enough space to plan. Rushed usually means sloppy.
- Create a schedule– Detailed schedule with some buffer time for unpredicted scenarios is a must. If you don’t have time for vital tasks, you won’t have time for sanitizing either.
- Clean and sanitize all your items before packing them– Clean the house thoroughly before your moving help arrives. Even if you are relocating all by yourself, keep your boxes disinfected for the road.
2. Limit all the contacts
At least nowadays, all the stages of your move, from hiring a moving company to the arrival of your belongings to the new home, can be contactless. Even once your movers or your helping friends arrive, make sure you keep the door open and limit touching. Once these two conditions are assured, your cleaning and sanitizing workload will be significantly reduced. Furthermore, you could divide responsibilities among the team, so each box is handled by one person only. This way, the spread of germs will be minimal.
3. Frequent cleaning of floors and most active surfaces
There is no way around this. You have to, repeatedly, clean all your floors and the most active surfaces. Your workstations, couches, tables, and kitchen tops belong in this category. It is in most peoples’ habit to use those while working. Even if you think that, since you have all the boxes neatly arranged in one corner, you won’t be using those, the power of habit is stronger. You will unintentionally throw your keys or phone on one of these surfaces, and then you are back to square one. However, by keeping everything perfectly clean and disinfected at all times, you are reducing the risks of contamination.
4. Packing supplies play a significant role in cleaning and sanitizing during a move
Next, come your packing supplies. Clean all the boxes and packing supplies thoroughly, especially if you are using recycled ones. Since those will be in direct contact with your skin, try not to use very harsh disinfectants. Some pharmaceutical alcohol or even vinegar should do. Ideally, you could choose packing materials that will keep your items clean. New materials, or quality wooden crates that are much more practical to sanitize than regular boxes, will significantly ease your work. As for the wrapping material, always opt for brand new ones since they will be wrapped tight around your personal items.
5. Keep the disinfectants handy at all times
This is a very well-known psychological trick. The more something is in front of your eyes, the greater the chance you will reach for it. So, if a disinfectant bottle is always visible, most likely, everyone in the vicinity will use it, at one point or another. Therefore, leave one larger disinfectant in the center of the living room or several smaller ones scattered around. People will be disinfecting their hands and objects all over the place, saving you a lot of effort.
6. Nothing beats frequent hands washing
All the hygiene experts and doctors agree on one thing- nothing beats frequent hand washing. No matter if you are using gloves or not, spraying alcohol, or using sanitizing gels, you still need to wash your hands. Since its invention, soap has been the cheapest, safest, and most efficient way of removing unwanted particles from your hands. And if your hands are clean, everything you touch around will remain unsullied too.
7. Remember, you should be doing both cleaning and sanitizing during a move
People often get confused with cleaning and sanitizing during a move. Some even perceive it as the same thing. However, there is a significant difference between these two.
- Cleaning is a decontaminating process in which one removes dirt from objects. You can clean with pure hot water, different kinds of soaps, solutions, or chemicals which do not have disinfecting features. So cleaning is actually removing the soils or stains.
- On the other hand, sanitizing or disinfecting is a process in which different kinds of chemicals or solutions with antibacterial or antiviral properties are used. This way, one does not only wipe away the bacteria and viruses but kills them.
During a move, it is essential to use both of these methods. Only a carefully clean and disinfected house, along with clean and disinfected individual objects and hands, can assure you a safe relocation.
A final word on cleaning and sanitizing during a move
Finally, germs are all around us. Some are good, some are bad, and some are absolutely necessary for our normal functioning. The COVID-19 pandemic has made us all slightly more aware of their presence and danger. Cleaning and sanitizing are, indeed, vital for our safety and better life quality. When moving your house or office, this is true even more. However, as with everything else in life, a good measure and balance matter. Obsessing about cleaning and sanitizing during a move and exaggeration of any kind could bring you more damage than benefits. So, take your time, make a few strategies, and ease the things, as much as possible, for yourself. Happy cleaning!