Moving days can be plagued by bad weather, just like any other occasion. If you find yourself moving in the rain, however, it’s definitely not the end of the world.
To salvage the moving day, follow our tips for moving in the rain.
1. Make the trip from truck to home as short as possible
When moving into a new place, you might be anxious to get every item in its perfect position right away. On a rainy day, however, things are a bit more urgent.
To keep your furniture protected from the rain, make every effort to shorten the distance between the truck and the eventual spot for your pieces. If you can, consider moving everything into the garage, entryway or easily accessible room, as well as parking your moving truck as close to the entrance of your home as possible.
If you’re taking on a DIY move, you won’t have a professional there to help you maneuver the truck. It’s important to have a spotter when moving a large vehicle. U-Haul offers some advice for tricky reversals:
“Remember, the side mirrors only allow you to see the side of the truck, and nothing behind the truck. Have the spotter stand on the side of the truck near the rear. Consider creating and reviewing common hand signals with the person who is helping you to keep communication clear and concise.”
2. Don’t trust a moving blanket
Moving blankets are an essential tool for any move, but they can’t be trusted to be waterproof. For protecting your furniture when moving in the rain, you’ll need to choose some sort of plastic protection.
This could be stretch wrap applied to your furniture or even plastic garbage bags draped over a set of hanging clothes. You could even check into specialized, reusable waterproof furniture wraps like this one from Amazon.
3. Make a dry path
Part of the hassle of moving in the rain goes beyond damaging your furniture. It could potentially be dangerous. If your move involves crossing any kind of unpaved terrain like a lawn or apartment complex landscaping, you must be cautious of slipping.
One practice you might find useful is to create an artificial path to help avoid slips. This can be as simple as laying down some cardboard boxes for better traction. This also works for inside the house so no one tracks in dirt or debris.
4. Create a “safe zone”
Unloading a moving truck rarely goes as planned. You can try your best to put the items to be unloaded first at the back, but the reality is you’ll likely have to pull certain pieces out to get access to items deeper in the truck.
To make this easiest and to keep your furniture safe from the rain, put up a pop-up canopy adjacent to the moving truck. That way, if you have to expose anything to the elements in order to get deeper into the truck, your furniture is protected in the interim. If you don’t already have a pop-up canopy, you can probably find one for around $50 at your local hardware or camping supply store.
5. Plan carefully and don’t rush
When moving furniture in the rain, planning is perhaps the most important step you can take. Obviously, you can’t predict the weather, but if you have even a day or two of time to prepare for a potentially rainy moving day, you can save yourself a lot of hassle in the end.
In addition to planning for rain, being careful and cautious on the day is another hugely important aspect. Rushing through moving furniture in the rain will not only put your personal belongings at risk. It puts your safety at risk, as well. That means following a few cardinal rules of moving safety.
- Use a dolly
- Don’t overpack boxes — moving.com recommends no more than 50 pounds in a small box, 65 pounds in a medium box, and 70 pounds in a large box
- Dress appropriately
- Stretch throughout the move
- Follow proper lifting techniques
6. Don’t worry if the move isn’t perfect
You’ll obviously want to take every precaution possible, but the reality is that accidents can happen. When moving furniture in the rain, don’t freak out if something accidentally gets wet. Keep a calm demeanor and handle it as efficiently as possible.
There are a number of options available to you to restore water-damaged wood and upholstered furniture at home. If a box gets damaged by the rain, be sure to unpack it and dry the individual items as soon as possible. If any cardboard is severely water-damaged, remember to throw it out to avoid mold and mildew.
Whether moving yourself or hiring a company, it’s always important that you pay close attention to any highly-valuable or irreplaceable items.
Moving in the rain isn’t the death of your move
In many parts of the U.S., it simply isn’t reasonable to wait for a non-rainy day to move. Many movers and DIY-ers before you have done it — and you can, too.
The only way a rainy day can actually end your move is if conditions become unsafe to move, in which you should use your own judgment and the professional judgment of movers to determine.