Tips for moving on a rainy day

There is a superstition that moving on a rainy day brings bad luck, and though it may not be attributed to an invisible curse or force, there is a hint of truth to it because rain makes it a bit harder, and a bit more stressful.

If it turns out that your moving day and the sky gods don’t align, and you absolutely can’t change the date at the last minute, all is not lost! We have compiled some handy tips for those wet and grey ‘ole moving days.

Safety first – how much rain is too much rain?

If it truly is raining cats and dogs, and if you can re-schedule, it could be the conscientious option when it comes to the safety of you and your helpers, be they family or professional. Especially if there are strong winds or hail involved, and you don’t want to contend with flash flooding when you are trekking items around the streets.

Avoiding the unexpected and planning for the expected

Following the weather reports from as soon as you know when you’re moving date is a good idea.

When you’re planning your move, always have in the back of your mind that it could rain, so factor some extra wet weather items into your packing materials inventory and you will be prepared for the worst.

How can I minimize the impact of the weather on my move?

The forethought of where you may encounter stress can help your mitigation planning. Some of these might be:

  • Wearing appropriate attire for a wet move.
  • Stopping at times for heavy downpours.
  • Removalists being late from a previous job.
  • Slow traffic or flash flooding along the intended route.
  • Muddy tracks through the old place and the new place.
  • Packing your precious items to be water-resistant.
  • Having extra plastic in your packing materials, tarps, pop-up shelters, towels, moving blankets and boxes at your finger-tips.

Some general tips for moving in wet weather

Thongs are not the footwear to choose for this job! You will need sturdy (preferably waterproof) shoes or boots with good non-slip soles. You should also choose clothes that are warm enough if you need to be wet for periods of time, a raincoat or poncho can be helpful if it doesn’t get in your way and create an extra hazard.

Items will get slippery when wet so beware of this every time you move something, lift things correctly and make sure you have a good grip. Choosing good quality boxes will protect your packed items pretty well if they are made of sturdy cardboard, but you can take extra precautions by adding more tape to the creases and seals as these will be the most vulnerable parts of the box. If you need to, wrap the boxes in extra plastic wrap, if the boxes are small, put them into garbage bags and tape it up.

Keeps towels handy to wipe any water from furniture as you see it, and get your moving truck checked for inside leaks and also that rain isn’t pouring or being blown into the back of the truck while it is being loaded.

Avoiding potential water damage – packing and wrapping

In addition to keeping your boxes sealed and protected, making sure you are ‘on the ball’ with your awkward items is extra important. We have listed some ideas below to keep out the water and stave off the longer-term issue of mould and water staining.

  • Artwork is particularly vulnerable to the spoils of moisture. If you have purchased specialty moving boxes for your collection you are most of the way there, but you may like to add some more plastic and packing tape. You may also like to wrap the boxes in blankets or tarps for transit.
  • All heavy furniture, particularly if there is leather or upholstery to consider, could be covered by tarps, plastic wrap, and/or blankets depending on how much water is around.
  • The same goes, for appliances and electronics – wrap them well and preferably with water-resistant materials.
  • Mattresses will be your biggest challenge. If they get damp or the damp seeps deep you could end up with a mould issue later down the track. They are also bulky and heavy and notoriously hard to move even in good weather, if you can cover them with plastic and tarpaulins AND blankets you should be okay. Make sure that they have a dry surface to rest on inside the moving truck.
  • Presumably, you have already had the utilities connected at your new place, it could be a good idea to pack your heaters, hairdryers, and fans to be accessible in the event you need to dry items immediately on arrival.

Keeping Water and Mud Out of the House/s
Line entryways with sheets, tarps, blankets, towels, or collapsed cardboard boxes. This is particularly important if the floor is polished wood or carpet. If you can, tape it all down so it doesn’t create a trip hazard.

Lifting and Safety
Always lift boxes safely and support the bottom. If they are wrapped in plastic, they may become slippery when wet so always use extra caution in the rain.

Sort Your load
Using a garage or large room close to the entry of the dwelling, sort items that are most important to keep dry, items that should be loaded first, and form your priority list from there. If your load is grouped this may help with speeding up the loading when (or if) the weather breaks.

Assembly Lines Can Help
If you have enough people helping and the removalists are agreeable, an ‘assembly line’ situation can help prevent people from traipsing mud through the dwelling as well as provide a clear pathway from shelter to the truck.

Can you provide extra shelter?
Using a pop-up marquee or canopy near the truck can be helpful when things don’t go in the first time, they can be backed out and re-positioned without getting too wet.

Be Prepared for Things to Move Slower and Take Longer
That includes everything, the packing, the moving of belongings, the traffic will be slower the cleaning will take longer. And there is the possibility that your Removalists are running behind schedule from the last wet weather move job.

Are you liable if the removalist slips or sustains an injury during a rainy day move?

All professional removalists carry workers’ insurance, so if a removalist experiences injury on the job, it will be their company’s responsibility to work through it.

Will you be charged more for moving house in the rain?

If the time window blows out, they may start to charge an additional hourly rate.

Arrival at your new home.

Follow the same procedure that you had in place when loading the truck, but in reverse.

Ensure you have plenty of towels and floor coverings handy, and wipe down wet boxes and items before they come inside.

Have a mop and bucket at the ready for any muddy cleanups once all your items have been unloaded and placed in their respective rooms.

It’s a nice touch to have a warm drink and a bite to eat for all your helpers and removalists on hand.

Make sure your power and gas are connected so that you can have a warm shower before sitting down to that glass of wine and takeaway pizza you have ordered to be delivered.

Breathe and relax, unpacking is for tomorrow.

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