If your move has been planned for months, a downpour on the big day can come as a surprise.
“I’ve had the unfortunate experience of moving in the rain,” recalls Katie Trudeau, founder of Cor Domum and a wellness advocate. “We did not have the option to delay the move and wait for better weather.”
Fortunately with some care, plans can carry on.
Follow along to learn the best strategies to keep belongings dry and move everything safely to the new destination.
1. Grab Garbage Bags.
“Plastic trash bags have always been my go-to rainy move day tip,” says Jenna Weinerman, marketing director at Updater. They can be put over a stack of clothes on hangers. Poke a hole in the top of the bags for the hooks.
Paper items and books can be placed in plastic bags and then packed in a container. Smaller goods can also be protected from the rain inside a bag.
2. Wrap Everything You Can.
“Since moving blankets are not waterproof, you should consider plastic covers like shrink wrapping,” advises Lauren Haynes, a home organizing expert at Star Domestic Cleaners.
Shrink wrapping larger pieces such as furniture, wood shelves and mattresses will keep them dry and clean.
Seal boxes with heavy-duty tape and then wrap them to keep moisture out.
3. Shorten Distances.
“Move all of your boxes into one room such as the living room or even the garage,” suggests Trudeau. “This cuts back on the need to traipse through the house all wet.”
Also if you can, back the moving truck as close to the house or apartment building as possible.
4. Head For Cover.
Look for ways to set up a temporary cover over where you will be walking, suggests Marcion Albert, who used to help his father flip homes. “Whether that’s using a popup tent between the home door and the truck, or simply hanging a tarp over the path, you may be able to offset a lot of the rain.”
5. Use Makeshift Mats.
To help prevent slipping, lay sheets of cardboard in the entryway and also along the path between the door and the truck.
Place old sheets, rugs or carpets on floors of the home where helpers will be walking.
6. Prioritize Items.
“If you cannot wait for a break in the rain, try to start with plastic tubs or other plastic items first,” notes Trudeau. “Hopefully by the time you need to move fragile items or items without boxes the rain will lessen.”
After wrapping appliances and electronic equipment, wait until the rain stops to transport them or make sure they are well covered and away from water during the shift.
7. Set Up an Assembly Line.
If you have family members and friends helping, select some to stay inside the home, others to remain in the truck, and several to make the trek between the house and the truck. This will minimize the amount of dirt and mud that will need to be cleaned up later.
8. Dry As You Go.
If you packed all of your towels, take several out and place them in the moving truck. After loading a box or piece of furniture, wipe it off to help remove excess moisture.
9. Remove Items Upon Arrival.
“Unpack quickly,” advises Albert. “If the box has been compromised, the sooner the items can be removed the better.”
Then look through the stack of boxes. Get rid of the ones you won’t need again, as keeping wet cardboard could lead to mold or mildew.
“If you plan to reuse the box, leave it on a porch or patio to fully dry before putting it up,” adds Albert.