Moving from one home to another can be an arduous task for anyone, but, when you have asthma and allergies, it brings the challenge to a new level!
I thought I'd post a little about my recent moving experience–always a learning experience–but, I made it through to the other side of pretty well, and I want to share a few things that I think really helped me succeed.
I moved from an older duplex into a brand new manufactured home. Wherever you move to–it is good to meditate on the challenges the new place may bring before committing to it, and come up with a plan that takes your allergies and or asthma triggers into consideration. I researched, and knew going in, that with a NEW new home, I would significantly reduce mold and pet dander issues–my main triggers. I am SO allergic to pet dander and know that it can take 6 months to clear out of a home even after deep cleaning, and just did not even want to risk that because I am highly sensitive.
A new manufactured home (double-wide) was in my price range, built to Florida hurricane standards, energy-efficient, good insulation–sold me. I like that I also was able to choose no carpeting, to reduce allergen levels indoors (instead I use a few washable small rugs and a low-pile area rug for the living room). But new manufactured homes do come with formeldyhyde risks due to outgassing–so I allowed time for the home to breathe both at the factory as it was being built, and once delivered on to the property, and, during the 3 months it sat on the property as they were finishing installation, I started working on the indoor air quality by adding allergy-friendly/formeldyhyde- and voc-reducing houseplants, and odor-reducing charcoal bamboo bags (Moso brand) which really helped clear that new-manufactured-home-smell. For a few weeks I would visit the home, water the plants, and open all the windows to air out the home (during low-pollen times and in our best outdoor season in Florida: Dec-March). Then I did the cleaning in the home over a few weeks once construction was done while awaiting inspections… I used Hyla water-baaed and/or HEPA filtered- vaccuum and air purifiers, ran the the ac with filters, used green cleaning products that dont bother my lungs as much, and cleaned everything. And that was the basically the prep at the new home.
As for packing the old home up, I started early as well. 2-3 months prior to moving I started boxing things and labelling things I used less frequently, and storing those boxes in rooms I didnt much, while keeping my sleeping soace as clutter-free and dust-free as possible. Anything fabric I stored in plastic bins or bags that could seal and protect them from dust and humidity. Also anything I thought Id keep in a plastic bin I bought bins for, but things that unpack and stay on shelves, I used boxes for. My mom works at a grocery store so she was able to get me gently used, dry, relatively dust-free boxes for free and bring over a few at a time so I could pack them and then ask fir more. It made packing less overwhelming.
I struggle with fatigue, so by starting early I could pack a little each day, so as to not arouse too much dust at once. A lot of times I wore a mask, and cleaned/wiped things as I packed them (like picture-frames and decorations), and labelled them by the room I thought I'd want them in at the new house. I totally did slow and steady–that way I never wore myself out or irritated my lungs too much.
I also drew out on grid paper where each big furniture piece would go in advance–it took me a few trips of imagining–but I didnt want to bring anything from the old place that wouldn't fit into the new. It also helped because I could easily direct the movers where each piece would go.
I did pre-move some things on my own the weekend before the move–One TV and video game system and TV stand all set up for my small child to be entertained on so that on moving day he was safe in one spot. I also moved some foid andcwater and the coffee-maker so that was set up (I really needed that coffee after the movers left on moving day just to have energy to make up my bed). I had one suitcase packed of 3 days of clothes as well.
As moving day neared I bought plastic silverware and cups and paper plates, and had saved my Sunday newspapers to wrap up and box my dishes. I used giant black garbage bags for my pillows and blankets on my bed, and left my hung clothes on hangars and wrapped the bag under them and tied them at the top in big bundles. My drawers I left clothing in (anything unbreakable can stay in the drawers of your dressers) I washed all rugs and had them bagged up or rolled up. Doing my own packing saved money and helped me stay organized so I liked that. But the thought of loading a truck and all that was too overwhelming for me. I hired out.
I hired 2 Men and a Truck moving company (licensed and insured professionals) to actually move the stuff and load the truck, and I waited outside as they did it so as to not be around the dust stirred up from the move. Even though it rained a little on moving day during the morning, they were able to avoid anything getting wet by backing right up to my carport. They also had shrink wrap and cut fabric and mattress bags so that my furniture was protected. And they know how to load a LOT into that truck with stacking and placing items, using dolly's and with three of them, they got us loaded on a few hours–it was money well-spent.
The unload was a little tougher because I had to help direct them. I had wiped the furniture beforehand so it wasnt too dusty coming in, so this part I was inside for helping to direct placement. They reassembled one of my beds that was easy, but another bad I had family help take apart and put together (to save on houly rate of movers).
I did have my rescue inhaler in my pocket, and my nebulizer and meds (and an extra inhaler) packed with me in my car so that it would be easy access if I had any issues. I used my rescue inhaler but did not need a nebulizer and did not have any major attack.
I slept well last night (my first night, yesterday was tbe miving truck day). All boxes on my room are in closets and so its not too dusty in here, and my hepa purifier is right next to me. I am a little stuffed up but not bad considering all I was around yesterday and I was too tired to vacuum or shower before bed–so a little stuffy nose is no big deal. Today I will shower, start unboxing more , and I will vacuum, and I will be even better tomorrow.
I am really sensitive, very allergic, and my asthma can get flared pretty easily, so I feel like tbe move a big success. I hope others can learn from the post, and/or add things to it as that they learned from moving.