Wednesday 8 July 2020
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newtimes - 1 month ago

Tips for moving house amid Covid-19

A month ago, Irebe found herself living alone after her roommate moved back into her parents’ house. She had lost her job to the current pandemic and could no longer afford the independence they had shared for almost two years. Because the house they were living in was a bit expensive, it was hard for her to maintain it alone, and so she was forced to move. House hunting, however, was hectic at such a time when accessing transport means was hard, she says, revealing that she had to endure walking long distances and braving the scorching sun for her to get to the place she wanted. Moving has never been an easy feat. Getting the perfect house, dealing with commissioners, as well as house owners, is all part of the hustle that one has to go through. And now, the current pandemic has presented this with even more challenges for those who want to relocate. Even though it might seem complex to decide to move during such a time, there could be compelling reasons to do it. Here are a few guidelines on how to go about it and most importantly, how to keep safe and healthy throughout the entire process. Go virtual When house hunting, an individual in most cases prefers to physically visit sample houses before he or she makes a choice, but this is too much exposure. Marc Semuhungu, a commissioner, says he always advises his clients to agree to virtual tours other than tour houses on-site. This, he says, prevents potential exposure to the virus but also makes work easier. “Through videos and photos, we share with some of our customers the choice of houses they can pick from. Then they can choose one to visit before they make a final choice,” he says. Theo Nsabimana, a commissioner as well, says if people insist on physically viewing properties, they should avoid touching surfaces and limit the number of people for the visit. “The number of people selected to visit should be minimised to only those that absolutely have to be there.” Prioritise caution Regardless of the ease on lockdown, there is still much needed vigilance when it comes to adhering to preventive measures. Semuhungu says when helping his clients with shifting or house tours, he also ensures ample distancing between each other and use of hand sanitisers is a must. “We are still in the midst of a pandemic and this means we still have to be really careful,” he says. Limit aides when moving When planning to move during this pandemic, it is important to keep in mind that big gatherings are still prohibited. As a way of abiding by the social distancing guidelines, you may want to select only a few people to offer a helping hand. This might mean, making more trips or worse moving all day, but it’s safer to limit the number of people than risking infection just to get work done. Plan ahead When planning to move with the current situation, it is important to start planning and packing as early as possible. Quantify the amount of items you will have to move with, this will help you know the size of track you will need for shifting, and the amount to be charged. If possible, take important items only and leave the disposable ones behind. It’s possible that only a few people might be around (because of social distancing) to help with the packing and unpacking, so moving with a lighter load will simplify the process. Clean everything When moving, you need to open all doors for proper air circulation. Ensure that you clean surfaces such as door handles every now and then. You also need to disinfect your new place before you start unpacking and settling into your new home. Avoid cash transactions Before the spread of coronavirus, there was a lot paperwork and cash payments when it came to moving. However, with the current situation, the country has been encouraged to embrace cashless payments, these would limit money exchanging hands, and prevent transmission of the virus. Similar caution should be taken when making payments during your move, ensure to go cashless.

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