Moving in the rain is a headache, but sometimes it can’t be avoided. A move that’s been planned for months can’t always be rescheduled at the last minute. What’s more, weather can be unpredictable. Rain storms swoop in occasionally even during the dry season. But whether you’re faced with drizzles or downpours, there are steps you can take to protect your home, belongings, and team when you’re stuck moving in the rain.
Check the Forecast and Dress Appropriately
Have a look at the forecast in the days leading up to your move. If rain is a possibility, make sure you’re prepared. Dress in layers to help stay warm. Keep ponchos or rain slickers where you can get to them easily. And make sure you and your family are wearing rubber-soled shoes with good grip. Even sturdy ground can be slippery when wet. Remember, the right wardrobe won’t just keep you dry; it’ll keep you safe.
Buy Plenty of Plastic Bags
Slip a plastic garbage bag over your cardboard boxes to keep them safe in the rain. For some items, like clothes, you’re better off placing them in plastic bags rather than a suitcase. Cutting a hole in the bottom of the bag lets you pull it over a hanger, so you can protect your clothes when you carry them out. Ziplocs are perfect for small items. They keep everything dry and organized.
Furniture is a bigger challenge. Instead of bags, use stretch wrap. It’s not only watertight, but also conforms exactly to the contours of your chairs, sofas, and tables. Use it with your electronics as well (computers, televisions, etc.). If you’re out of stretch wrap, quilts, comforters, and towels are an acceptable substitute ‒ the thicker the better. They won’t repel water, but they’ll prevent it from reaching your belongings during the trip out to the van.
Lay Down Cardboard
Standing water can damage your floors and turn hallways and stairs into slipping hazards. Laying down cardboard is a simple and effective solution. It absorbs moisture and provides a non-slick surface for people to walk on. Use tape to hold it in place. The last thing you want is the cardboard slipping out from beneath you while you’re carrying a heavy object.
Keep in mind you’ll need to lay down at least two sets of cardboard if you're moving in the rain: one at your old home and another at your new one. If you can, lay it down the day before, to prevent delays during the move. Get more cardboard than you think you’ll need. If your first set gets too soggy, you’ll want to swap it out for another one.
Designate a Collection Point
In order to minimize the amount of water tracked through your home, assemble as many of your belongings as possible in a single room near the front of your house. If you have one, a garage works just as well. You’ll also need an assembly area in your new home, where everything can be dropped off as it’s unloaded. Creating a drop-off point means less work for everyone. Your movers don’t have to walk as far with their boxes and you don’t have to lay down as much cardboard in order to protect them.
Create Indoor and Outdoor Teams
Keep your house as clean as possible by asking half your team to work outside, carrying items to and from the van, while the other half works inside, carrying them to the rooms in your house. While this places an extra burden on the outdoor crew, it prevents mud and water from being tracked all over your home.
Dry Items Immediately
Wipe down your belongings as soon as they’re brought inside. Water soaks into wood and fabric quickly, so the less exposure the better. Keep plenty of towels nearby so you can swap them out as they get soaked.
Even plastic-covered furniture and electronics should be dried before being unwrapped. Otherwise water might splash on them as the plastic’s pulled away. If you notice a box has been compromised, unpack it immediately. The longer it's in contact, the more damage water will cause.
Prioritize Sensitive Items
Rain rarely falls constantly throughout the day. The intensity will wax and wane periodically, so make sure you're ready. Paintings, electronics, and anything especially vulnerable to moisture should be prepped and left by the door, so they can be carried out as soon as you spot a lull in the weather.
Few of us like being out in the rain, so there’s always a temptation to rush in order to get back inside as soon as possible. However, rushing often leads to accidents, especially when the ground is wet and slippery. Take your time. Rest as needed. Don’t forget tired people are prone to mistakes.
Heating your entire house might be impractical during a move, so create a warm room instead, where people can go to get their strength back. Set up a space heater with a few chairs and have some warm drinks available. You can mix cider in a slow cooker and let it simmer all day long, so people can scoop out a cup whenever they need to.
Help Moving in the Rain
North American Moving Services has been helping homeowners in all kinds of weather for nearly 90 years. Whether it’s moving in the rain, wind, or snow ‒ our teams have the training, skills, and resources to get your belongings safely to your new home.
Source: northAmerican van lines