Moving on a Rainy Day

Don’t let rain dampen your moving day

You’ve packed your things, scheduled moving equipment and asked people to help — but now it’s raining. What are you supposed to do? First of all, don’t worry! While rain can cause some challenges, it’s still possible to move safely.

Black umbrella used to protect items when moving in the rain.


Start by checking the weather reports

Before you change all your plans, check the weather forecast. If dangerous conditions such as strong winds, hail and lightning are expected, it’s best to wait until the weather passes before you work outside. Ask helpers to arrive later and use this time to do any last-minute cleaning or packing! If it’s just raining and you feel safe working in it, the tips below will help you make the most of a rainy moving day.

Tips for moving in the rain

Use these tips to keep everyone and everything safe and dry!

Allow extra time

With rainy weather, expect delays. Not only can it take time to gather supplies and waterproof your things, but loading everything in the moving equipment can take longer than usual since you might have to wait out heavier downpours.

Gather supplies

Here are some helpful items to have during bad weather.

Rain gear

Rain gear is a great line of defense against mother nature. If possible, choose raincoats, ponchos and rain boots instead of umbrellas so your hands stay free to load. Waterproof gloves with extra grip are also good to help handle anything heavy or slippery.

Towels, blankets and rugs

Have plenty of towels or blankets on hand to dry people and things quickly, and rugs to line your doorways. If yours are already packed, ask a friend or neighbor for help. You can also use sheets or old clothing to help mop up water.

Pro tip: If you’re moving a dryer, leave it hooked up as long as possible so it can be used for wet clothing and towels.

Plastic wrap and cardboard

If you have extra plastic stretch wrap and cardboard from the packing process, it can be really helpful when moving in the rain. Plastic stretch wrap is a great way to keep boxes and other belongings dry, and cardboard can be used to shield furniture and flooring from water.

If you don’t have those supplies and can’t get more, shower liners, painter’s tarps and garden or contractors’ trash bags can be good substitutes.

Tents or tarps

These are great to keep large areas dry.

Protect floors

While protecting the floors is always a good idea, it’s especially important on a rainy day. You don’t want mud and water tracked all over the floor, and you don’t want someone to slip and get hurt.

Consider placing heavy rugs, towels or sheets near external doorways to catch mud and water. Inside, you can tape down cardboard (we recommend blue painter’s tape, if you have it) to help absorb any remaining messes as people walk in and out. On tile or hardwood floors, it’s best to avoid using lightweight rugs or towels since they can cause someone to trip.

Be careful with carpet film on rainy days — it can protect carpets from dirty shoes, but it becomes slippery if water pools on top.

Waterproof boxes

You can use plastic stretch wrap, trash bags or plastic sheets on your cardboard boxes for an extra barrier against the elements. Just cover your boxes with plastic and seal with packing tape to make them water resistant.

Cover your furniture

Can rain ruin furniture? In most cases, no. You can probably get away with moving furniture in light rain or mist as long as you dry it properly afterward. But too much water might cause mildew and damage, so it’s best to keep furniture as dry as possible if you’re moving during bad weather.

Here are some ways to protect different types of furniture from moisture:

  • Leather furniture: Leather (or synthetic leather) should be covered in a moving blanket first before using plastic stretch wrap to avoid damaging the piece.
  • Wooden furniture: Prevent wood and manufactured wood — especially pieces with veneer details — from warping by wrapping in moving blankets and covering with plastic stretch wrap.
  • Cloth furniture: It’s best to cover cloth furniture in plastic stretch wrap to keep it dry during heavy rain. A moving blanket will help keep the cloth dry in light rain.
  • Bedding: Plastic mattress bags keep your bed clean and dry during any move. You can find these online or in stores. Sheets, comforters and quilts not already packed can be kept dry in large trash bags or other waterproof containers.
  • Other furniture: Plastic or metal furniture might survive getting wet, but it’s still good to handle it gently. Any prep you’ve already done to protect this furniture for moving should be fine in the rain.

Coordinate your move

With some extra planning, your rainy-day move can go smoothly. Consider using one or both of these plans to help wash away your worries.

Designate inside and outside crews

If you have enough people, putting one crew inside and another outside is a good way to limit the amount of water tracked into your home. With this method, the inside crew would hand off items to the outside crew to get everything loaded. Consider switching out your crews at some point so no one has to be out in the rain the whole time!

Use a dry staging area

Choosing one place for ready-to-load items can also help keep water out of your home. You can set up portable tents or tarps at the back of the moving equipment and next to your door. This will help you (or your outside crew, if you have one) stay dry during loading. If you can park the moving equipment close enough to your loading area, one tent might be big enough to cover the gap and keep away the rain.

If you don’t have a tent or tarp, a garage or front room can make a great dry staging area.

Need to postpone your move due to rain?

If you're scheduled to move with U-Pack®, call us as soon as possible if you need to reschedule. We have solutions for many unique moving circumstances — including rainy days. We offer three business days to load and three more business days to unload, so if the weather isn’t favorable, there may be room for delays. For cases of prolonged inclement weather, we’ll work with you to make sure you have the time you need to move safely.  Call 844-362-5303844-594-3077 to talk with a moving consultant.


If you have questions about your move — rainy or not — let us know in the comments. We’re happy to help you weather any storm!