Moving is tough in any weather. Moving in hot weather is exhausting, but moving in the rain has its own set of challenges.
Avoid moving in the rain, if possible. If you can’t avoid it, these steps will help. We’ll start with getting things ready at the place you’re moving from, and continue on to your destination.
With any move, you’re going to need supplies. These include sturdy cardboard moving boxes, strong packing tape, rope or moving straps, a hand truck and possibly a four-wheel dolly, bubble wrap or packing paper, and a rental truck. For a move in the rain, we recommend adding a couple dozen moving blankets, strong plastic garbage bags, plastic stretch wrap, extra sheets, blankets, or tarp, and extra sheets of cardboard. If you can afford it, purchase plastic bins to replace some of the cardboard boxes.
Make sure to call friends and relatives who are in good physical shape and ask for their help. Moving in the rain is definitely a team effort! Your helpers should have boots or sports shoes with good grip to help them avoid slipping, as well as raincoats.
After you pack each cardboard box, seal it well with plenty of packing tape. Depending on how heavy the rain is, consider putting each cardboard box, after packed, in a plastic bag. If you get plastic bins, make sure they’re airtight so that no water can leak in.Cover furniture with moving pads, and tape them in place. Wrap large works of art in plastic stretch wrap and tape it securely. Make sure they are completely covered.
For your clothes, consider using plastic vacuum bags. These will not only protect your clothing from the rain, they will temporarily compact them and make them easier to carry.
As you pack your boxes, stack them in your garage, near the large door, or in your living room near the front door. The idea is to make the process of going from the house to the truck as fast and painless as possible. Place furniture and other items near the door as well.
Park the truck as close to your home as you can.
To avoid tracking water and mud into the building and truck, have a couple of people inside the house, a couple in the truck, and the others moving between the two. Those in the house will hand off boxes and such to the movers in between. They, in turn, will carry or cart the items to the truck. There, they can move them up the ramp or hand them to the movers in the truck, who then put everything in place and strap or tie furniture to the walls.
Keep a few towels on the floor in the entrance to the house, and a few on the floor at the back of the truck, to catch excess water.Once the truck is packed and the house empty, it’s time to go to your new home.
At your new place, the process of getting things from the truck into the building are basically the same as getting things to the truck. Have one or two people remain in the truck, one or two just inside the house, and the rest move items from the truck to the house. If the new place has a garage, we recommend bringing the items there first. In fact, you may be able to back the truck right up to the garage. Otherwise, take them to the living room.
The people inside the house should check the cardboard boxes. If any are wet, unpack them first, as soon as everything is in. Wet cardboard boxes can easily grow mold or mildew, and you don’t want that getting on your clothes or other items. If you want to use the boxes again, and the weather changes, you can leave them out in the sun for the day to make sure they dry out. Otherwise, tear them down and recycle them.
With towels, dry off your boxes, bins, and wrapped items, including the furniture. Dry the floor and, if necessary, mop it, then proceed with unpacking your items.
What can you do if the rain is especially heavy? Whether you’re moving items from the first house to the truck, or the truck to your new place, this may be time for a sort of triage. If you have time, you can wait out the worst of the rain and hope that it calms down. If not, bring in the most heavily protected items first, such as plastic bins and boxes you’ve put into large garbage bags. By the time you get to furniture and such, hopefully the rain will have lessened.
Inside the buildings, consider taping some tarp or mats to the floor where people will need to walk. This is, of course, to catch any mud or moisture. The purpose of taping them down is to prevent them the tarps or mats from slipping.
We hope you don’t end up having to move in the rain, but if you do, follow our guidelines, and watch your step.