Moving on a Rainy Day

When moving plans get drenched

You started planning your move months ago and did everything right. Your belongings are packed and labeled. The moving equipment is ready, and you’ve even picked some great music to sing along with while loading. 

Then, moving day arrives, and you hear the pitter-patter of raindrops outside — and it’s not the playlist you had in mind. What can you do?  

First, don’t worry! It’s possible to have a successful move even when Mother Nature rains on your plans.  

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


How to move in the rain

Before panicking, tune into the local weather channel or open your favorite app to check the forecast. If the rain is short-lived, delaying loading by a few hours might be all that’s needed to get moving.  

However, if there’s hail, lightning or strong winds, it’s best to wait for everyone’s safety. If you must postpone, use the extra time for last-minute cleaning or packing. 

If you’re only dealing with light rain and can’t change your plans, follow the tips below to protect things and keep everyone safe and (mostly) dry. 

Tips for moving in the rain 

Follow this professional advice for a successful move in wet conditions: 

1. Gather supplies

You’ll need a few things to help everything stay dry.  

  • Boots, ponchos and raincoats (umbrellas aren’t much help while moving) 
  • Towels or blankets and washable rugs 
  • Plastic wrap 
  • Cardboard 
  • Tents or tarps 
  • Tape 

2. Set up dry staging areas (if possible) 

One of the best ways to help keep water out of your home is to set up dry staging areas inside and outside. Having things in one location inside means you won’t have to track water through the house. Outside staging areas are helpful for waiting out sudden downpours and drying boxes before loading them into the moving equipment. 

For the inside staging area, use the garage or a front room to hold items ready to be loaded.  

Outside, set up portable tents or tarps (if you have them) near the moving equipment. Place more in front of the door for extra protection from the rain.  

If the equipment is parked close to the home, you might be able to cover the whole loading path with tents and tarps. 

3. Protect floors 

With any move, protecting the floors is important. And for a rainy-day move, it’s essential for everyone’s safety. You don’t want someone to slip and fall, and tracking mud and water onto floors you’ll have to clean is no fun, either. 

Place heavy rugs outside the doors to the home (and the moving equipment) to catch mud and water before they make a mess or become dangerous inside.  

You can tape down scrap pieces of cardboard inside the door to absorb any remaining messes as people walk in. Avoid using lightweight rugs or towels since they can be a tripping hazard. 

If you’re using carpet film to protect floors from dirty shoes, use caution since it becomes slippery if water pools on top. 

4. Waterproof belongings 

You don’t want things damaged from excess moisture while in transit. Even with dry staging areas, some water might make it through. It’s a good idea to make sure everything is waterproofed before exposing it to the elements. 


Drape large appliances (refrigerators, washers, dryers) with moving blankets and seal with plastic stretch wrap to keep moisture out. Small appliances should be packed in boxes.   

Note: If you’re moving a dryer, keep it hooked up (if possible) to dry wet clothing, and then load it last.


Light rain won't harm heavy or wax-coated cardboard boxes if you dry them before loading. Cover the boxes with plastic stretch wrap, trash bags, or disposable painting tarps for an extra moisture barrier. Seal seams with packing tape for a water-resistant finish.  

Dry waterproofed items before stacking them in moving equipment to prevent slipping. 


Light rain or mist is unlikely to harm furniture with proper drying, but too much might cause damage like mold or mildew. It’s best to keep furniture as dry as possible. 

Here’s how to protect different types of furniture from the weather: 

  • Cloth: Cover upholstered items with plastic stretch wrap to keep them dry during heavy rain. A moving blanket will help in light rain or mist. 
  • Leather or Wood: Real or synthetic leather and wood pieces should be covered in a moving blanket followed by plastic stretch wrap for the best protection. 
  • Mattresses: If you’ve already packed your mattress in a plastic carrying bag, you’re good to go. If not, a plastic mattress bag from a home improvement or discount store is the best defense for moving a mattress in the rain. You can find them at most home improvement stores or large discount retailers. 
  • Metal or plastic: Any prep you’ve done to protect this furniture for moving should be fine in the rain since these pieces are typically waterproof. 

Check out our packing tips to protect everything during your move. 

5. Have inside and outside crews 

If you have multiple people helping, station one crew inside and the other outside to limit the amount of water tracked into the home. Have the insiders hand off items to the outsiders for loading. Consider switching out the teams at the halfway point so no one’s stuck in the rain the whole time. 

6. Load safely

Take your time to safely load everything in the moving equipment. Expect delays when there’s bad weather since you’ll need extra time to gather supplies and wait out heavy downpours. Being in too much of a hurry might cause someone to get injured or damage belongings.

7. Enjoy the day

Try to enjoy moving day, whether it’s a coffee or cocoa break or taking time to dance in the rain. Take everything in stride and focus on the upcoming positives. Soon, you’ll be able to set up a new home and explore a different town.

U-Pack can help you weather the storm

When you move long distance with U-Pack®, we’re prepared with plans for battling the elements and other unique moving circumstances. U-Pack allows up to three business days to load, so you’ll have time to wait out the rain. If the weather just won’t cooperate and you need more time, give us a call at 844-362-5303844-594-3077, and we’ll work with you to find a solution.  

Still planning the move? Get a free quote online or call to speak with a moving consultant.