While many people are staying home here in Berks County, the reality is that some people have to move due to predetermined closing dates. Moving to a new home is a part of life that just sometimes can't be avoided.

Moving into a new home can be stressful enough, but now that we have a pandemic to deal with, it's even more stressful. There are so many objects that need to be touched by more than one person, so it can be easy to spread the virus if precautions are not taken. What are some steps you can take to protect yourself during your move?

Get familiar with virology

There is certainly much we don't know about COVID-19. But we do know how viruses spread. This virus spreads through human-to-human contact and through respiratory droplets in the air. Research published by the New England Journal of Medicine says that the virus may live for up to three days on surfaces.

This means that during your move, you need to pratice as much social distancing as you can. If you have to meet in person with the movers or to pick up supplies, try to keep at least 6 feet away from anyone you meet.

Consider delaying move-in

If possible, you may want to delay moving into your new home by three days or longer to give you more time to move in and reduce your exposure.

You may also be able to have your real estate agent negotiate with the seller for early access to the home. Then you can deep clean the home before you move all of your stuff in. Your agent may also be able to coordinate staggered closings, depending upon the other parties involved (sellers, lenders, title agents, and so on).

Stock up on supplies

Make sure to buy enough cleaning supplies before you move, and keep them handy. If you can find hand sanitizer, make sure you have some ready along with antibacterial wipes, sprays, cleaning soaps, and hand soaps. Just buy enough for what you need so that others can buy what they need.

Communicate moving expectations

If you're working with professional movers, feel free to make your standards clear before your move in regards to preventing infection. They should at least wear gloves and masks, as they no doubt want to stay safe as well.

You should also check into their truck sanitizing procedures, along with how they clean blankets and moving pads.

If you rent a truck, you should sanitize it as well. Check to see when the truck was last used. If it's been less than 3 days prior, then you should take extra steps to sanitize it. Use antibacterial wipes on all cab surfaces, and ask about acceptable cleaning practices for the cargo area. 

Leave doors open

Keep your doors open and lights on as much as you can during the move in. Having fresh air circulate through your home can only help. Plus it will limit how many times the doorknobs and light switches are touched.

No matter what you do, make sure to use caution and common sense during your move. The fewer people involved, the better. The less you touch and the further you stay from other people, the more you can protect yourself and your loved ones.

Visit our blog every week for more real estate articles and local Berks County articles. We can help you find the perfect home for sale in Reading and the surrounding communities of Blandon, Boyertown, Douglassville, Exeter Township, Fleetwood, Kutztown, and Oley with our powerful property search tool.