4 Tips for Moving in the Rain

Checking the weather forecast for moving day is a good idea. If it promises rain and you can’t change the date, some cheap supplies and a little extra preparation should keep you and your belongings safe with minimal hassle. If you’ve hired someone for moving services, ask the moving company what kinds of precautions they take to counter water damage.

Moving Tip #1: Use plastic coverings when you pack and move


Before you pack away your camping or boating supplies, gather all your tarps. You’ll mostly use these to protect the floors in your old and new home against mud and water, but you can also use them to temporarily cover any items that may need to sit outside for a short while—or during the hopefully short trip from your moving van to the door. You can find tarps at most home supply stores. If you’re on a budget, visit the paint section and investigate drop cloths or plastic sheeting. There are 25-foot rolls of polyethylene or plastic sheeting available for $10 or less. Too much foot traffic may cause drop cloths to tear, so investing in an extra roll and definitely some duct tape, wouldn’t hurt. If you’ve hired moving services, ask your moving company what kind of protective supplies they offer.

Trash or leaf bags

Plastic bags are a quick and easy way to pack and gather belongings while also protecting them from the rain. Clothing on hangers can be gathered and tucked into a large leaf bag cinched around the neck of the hangers. While cardboard boxes are generally pretty strong for light exposure to rain, if you’re especially concerned about certain boxed items (for example, boxes of photos) you may want to put them inside a bag as well. Go ahead and buy some extra bags, in a pinch you can tear them to make temporary tarps, floor coverings, or even ponchos.

Duct or packing tape

Even though cardboard boxes are pretty durable, they may be worn thin in places or have holes and rips, especially if they’ve seen a few moves. Reinforce any of these areas with tape to be sure. If your boxes have handles you can reinforce them with tape as well. You’ll also need tape for tip #3. Tape is something most moving services will offer along with other supplies.

Moving Tip #2: Mark items that can’t get wet

Write “don’t get wet” (or some other label) clearly on boxes, wrapped items, or other items that will be especially susceptible to water damage.

Moving Tip #3: Protect your floors against rain and mud

As mentioned in #2, tarps, drop cloths, and plastic sheeting can work well—and in a real emergency, so can leaf bags—to protect the floors both in your former and new home. It’s very important in wet conditions to tape down the edges of whatever floor covering you’re using to avoid folds and ripples your friends, family, or moving company may trip over.

Moving Tip #4: Be careful when moving in the rain

As said in the last tip, make sure you tape down the edges of any floor coverings—also tape up any obvious rips to prevent slips and falls. As the day gets late, it’s easy to rush your move, which is when accidents often happen in wet conditions. If there are certain steps you can do later or another day this might be a good idea: for example, don’t feel you need to bring all the furniture into its respective rooms. Start with getting it out of the moving company van or truck and into the new house.

If you’re mentally prepared for rain or even snow, getting some extra supplies and preparations—as well as making safety first—will seem less like extra hassle and more like part of the process.

It’s important to think about all aspects of your move planning, even what happens when the elements don’t cooperate. If you don’t want to be bothered with these game-changing events, consider contacting Suddath® for a free moving estimate. We proactively think and plan for you so you don’t have to.