If the cleaning supply aisle in the grocery store is any indication, the disinfection of surfaces has become a high priority for us all. Our job as home stagers involves placing furniture in homes, begging the obvious question of what steps we need to take to keep us and our clients safe. Maintaining a clean warehouse and inventory is always important, but the coronavirus pandemic has made sanitizing every surface a concern. This blog will teach you how to disinfect your home staging inventory.
There is still a lot that we don't know about the COVID-19 virus, but there is also a lot that we do know. First, according to the CDC, the most common way COVID-19 infection spreads is person-to-person and "happens most frequently among close contacts (within about 6 feet). This type of transmission occurs via respiratory droplets. On the other hand, transmission of novel coronavirus to persons from surfaces contaminated with the virus has not been documented."1
This means that while evidence suggests that the virus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces, there are no known cases of transmission this way.
Researchers have estimates that are all over the map regarding how long the virus lives on surfaces - anywhere from 3 hours to 9 days, depending on the study, the type of surface, and environmental conditions like temperature and humidity. It seems to live longer in low temperatures and high humidity; less time in higher temperatures and lower humidity.
A study by the New England Journal of Medicine found that the coronavirus can be viable on different surfaces:
-Copper up to 4 hours
-Cardboard up to 24 hours
-Plastic and steel up to 72 hours
We still want to do our part to keep our client's concerns met and our communities safe by disinfecting our inventory to the best of our ability. So, what does that look like?
The CDC recommends that community members practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks) with household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants that are appropriate for the surface, following label instructions.
The guidelines for households where someone is isolated, who is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, are a different matter and that level of precaution does not need to be taken for the community at large. You can learn more about those recommended measures here.
We all have several types of surfaces in our inventory from upholstered sofas, glass accessories, to a flokati throw. Even with differing information about how long the novel coronavirus can survive on each type of surface, here are several precautions to take:
Our staging company, BY Design Home Staging, does not put our inventory into occupied homes --only vacant homes-- which greatly lessens the exposure. This is our business model, but we know a lot of successful stagers that do place their items in occupied homes. The beauty of owning your own company is that you get to decide what suits you best! However, during the current coronavirus pandemic, you may consider adjusting your practices to only having inventory in vacant homes and limiting occupied staging to e-consultations.
Let’s be smart and make informed decisions about COVID-19. Take heart, we will get through this!!
Staging Studio has created many resources for home stagers, designers, and real estate agents during this pandemic. For all of the information, go here: www.stagingstudio.com/coronavirus
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This is the beginning of a beautiful journey together into the world of staging and design.