Here at Fresh Start Transitions, we have experienced many ups and downs and survived them all. However, we have never experienced anything like COVID-19 before. When this virus first came to visit, we had many clients already on our schedule. Their sales were closing, and they had to clean out their homes and move safely to their new homes. Therefore, we had to come up with new systems to help our employees and clients get to their destinations as safely as possible. I am proud that ALL of our clients have emptied their homes and moved into their new residences. To-date, not one has contracted COVID-19 during this transition! So, let me share with you a few things I have learned about how to move more safely along the way:
Masks and Hand Sanitizer
I recommend that all professionals (movers, packers, realtors, handymen etc.) entering your home wear masks over mouths and noses at all times. Allow workers time to go outside and take some mask breaks when needed. All lunch breaks should be taken outside as well so as not to spread the virus in your home. It is helpful to discuss your expectations over the phone when scheduling these appointments, so everyone is clear. You could also set up a small table at your front door with a basket of masks, a bottle of sanitizer and a sign asking all who enter to sanitize and wear a mask. I truly believe these masks allow you to move more safely, even in these worrying times.
Charity and Donations
Since everyone is spending more time inside their homes, charities have been overwhelmed with donations. When this happens, they close their doors and do not take donations for a few days. I highly suggest you schedule a donation pick up before you start your project. Estimate what you think you will want them to pick up. You can always go back and change your content later. If charities do stop taking donations in the midst of your project, don’t panic. They typically open back up in a few days.
Electronics and Devices
If you are savvy with a cell phone or tablet, these are great devices to help you move more safely. To sort through things with family or friends, arrange a video call and walk through your house with them. You can also take pictures of items you would like to sell and send them via text or email to consignment stores and auction houses to see if they will accept them. We have even been able to prepare a few floorplans this way as well. If you are not comfortable using electronic devices, call a friend, grandchild or move manager to come help.
Organizing and Downsizing
With the isolation of the pandemic, everyone has more time than ever to get things ready to move more safely. I have never before seen our clients so well prepared as they are now. Turn off the TV and use your energy to clean out the furniture pieces you plan to take with you. Ask yourself the last time you used each item and whether you think you will use it again. One trick is to place blue painters’ tape on all items you wish to move to your new home. We can seize this extra time we are spending in our homes to give our favorite spaces a “fresh start”!
This is a great time to move to a community with friends to check on you and staff to help with shopping, food, entertainment and health needs. Housing inventory is extremely low, so houses are selling quickly. And moving can be done more safely now than ever as our new systems have become our “new normal.”
Guest Blogger Adele Mahan is the owner of Fresh Start Transitions a “Move Management company” with 22 employees. They have been helping seniors move and downsize for over 15 years, offering packing, unpacking and estate sale services.