No one likes moving in the rain, but sometimes it’s a necessary evil. These tips will keep your belongings safe, dry, and damage-free.


Moving in the rain is not fun or recommended. However, there’s not much you can do to control the weather, especially when you’re planning a move months in advance. Even if you decide to avoid the rainy season, an unexpected downpour could hit at any time.

If you’re days out and notice the forecast calls for rain on moving day, there are some things you can do to prepare. You can find items you already have or buy a few low-cost items to make moving in the rain easier. There are some logistical things to consider as well. This advice will come in handy when you’re in a high-stress environment trying to scramble at the last minute.

Do moving companies move in the rain?

Typically speaking, moving companies can move in the rain without issue. They’re skilled at working in any weather condition and will have the experience to navigate a rainy move. However, depending on the severity of the storm, they may not be able to complete the move that day. Strong winds or flooding can accompany severe storms, making them dangerous.

1. Wrap Items In Plastic

While most of your items will be loaded in boxes, many people choose to move some items in other ways. Whether you plan to roll a garment rack hung with clothes or electronics that are easier to take as-is, when a downpour hits, plans like these need to be reconsidered. Anything that can become damaged when wet, like clothes or electronics, should be protected. One common solution is to wrap items without boxes in plastic.

When it comes to furniture, professional movers have shrink wrap on hand that can protect these pieces from the rain. However, if you are moving yourself or your movers charge extra for this service, consider implementing household items to protect furniture and other like-items. Remember that plastic repels water, but items like cotton sheets are less protective.

How to protect items when moving in the rain:

  • Toss clothes and paper items in trash bags. Keep each family member’s clothing separate, but don’t worry about keeping them folded at this point. If the clothes do happen to get wet, launder them right away to avoid mold or mildew growth.
  • Wrap art in plastic wrap. Anything that is on the small side but is usually moved outside a box can be wrapped in plastic wrap you can buy at the grocery store. Excess bubble wrap will work too.
  • Cover furniture in comforters. Sheets might be too thin to repel water, but some thicker comforters can protect furniture temporarily in light rain if you’re in a pinch. Lay the thick blanket around the furniture and use bungee cords to secure it in place.
  • Purchase shrink wrap. If you have time, the investment might be worthwhile if you are moving valuable items that should not get wet, like antiques or fine art.

Can movers move furniture with clothes in them?

While it might be tempting to leave clothes or items inside furniture during a rainy move, it’s not advisable. Empty furniture is much easier to move, and if the furniture is too heavy, it can be risky. If it’s rainy, you’re already facing a dangerous situation, so help the movers stay cautious by removing items from the furniture. 

Related Article: The Ultimate Moving Checklist

2 men moving in the rain loading furniture and boxes

2. Don’t Skimp on Rain Gear

The obvious first step when moving in the rain is to protect your belongings, but don’t forget to protect yourself. Moving in the rain makes everyone involved more prone to injury. Minimize your risk by finding non-slip shoes. Beyond that, pull out the following items to make the move less miserable.

Rain moving supplies:

  • Rain slickers and boots
  • Umbrellas
  • Baseball caps or hats
  • A change of clothes

3. Arrive at Your New Place Before the Movers

Carve out some time in your moving schedule to prep your new home for the movers to arrive, if possible. A few simple steps can make all the difference between an unorganized, chaotic moving day and one that runs smoothly.

Prep your home for rain:

  • Lay down a welcome mat. If you don’t have a mat, any cheap rug will do. Don’t lay down an expensive wool rug, but use your best judgment. If there are no rugs for people to wipe their feet on, purchase some inexpensive ones or use towels.
  • Crank up the heat. If your utilities are on, turn up the heat in the home. The furnace will work to remove moisture from the air, making it more comfortable overall.
  • Put out plenty of towels. Have towels on hand that you don’t mind getting potentially ruined. If the rain is heavy, movers must wipe their hands, face or even dry off the items they are moving.
  • Lay down dry cardboard boxes. If you have extra moving boxes, these create a somewhat anti-slip surface on the floor. Bare tiles and wood floors can get slippery when you go in and out with wet shoes, so these walkways are essential.

Related Article: How To Choose a Moving Company 

4. Set Up an Assembly Line

To efficiently load a moving truck in the rain, you need a system. In all weather, we recommend asking family or friends to help you move, designating one or two people to stay with the moving truck to work on packing it in an organized fashion. This tip holds even truer when it’s raining out.

In the rain, the fewer people have to move from A to B, the better. Keep some people stationed at the moving truck and set up an assembly line for the whole process.

For instance, have one person move boxes into the house from the garage or another dropoff point. You can then have other people unpack or clean. By setting up stations with specific tasks, you’ll have fewer people in the house and therefore have less water and prevent slipping and falling.

Moving tips for inclement weather:

  • Unload boxes in one area. If you have a garage, unload everything here first. If not, set up an area a few feet into the house for the majority of the items. Assign one person (with dry shoes) that can work on moving these items to the appropriate rooms.
  • Set up a pop-up tent. You can put up this drying station anywhere, but ideally, place it right at the end of the moving truck. This way, someone can have extra space to load and unload items.
  • Move only durable items during a heavy downpour. In most cases, there are lulls on a rainy day. However, you can’t wait for a break in the rain all day. Move the most durable items during periods of heavy rain. Once there’s a break, quickly switch gears and move electronics, mattresses, or the like.

How do you pack a moving truck in the rain?

Items are bound to get wet traveling from your house to the track, so lay cardboard boxes, plastic, or other floor coverage on the truck bed. This layer of protection will soak up moisture on anything that gets way to prevent items from sitting in water. As you organize items in the truck, place pieces that could get damaged from the rain deeper in the bed so nothing gets wet with the door open. 

wet cardboard box on the ground - moving in the rain

5. Manage Moisture ASAP

The more you can do to clean up rainwater while moving, the less you’ll have to clean up afterward. Plus, you reduce the risk of further water damage by letting it sit. If you have an extra person, designate water cleanup as their job for the day. Have them work to minimize the number of puddles that accumulate in both homes.

Ideas to manage excess water:

  • Wipe items down with towels. As soon as items come in the door, get them wiped off. Furniture and other items should not be left in standing water.
  • Unpack compromised boxes. Cardboard is resilient, but if it spends enough time in the rain, it can fall apart or damage the contents. Immediately unload these boxes and dry off anything inside so things aren’t irreversibly damaged.

Related Article: How to Store Clothes for Future Use

6. Practice Self-Care After the Move

Moving is stressful, even on the brightest of days. Add rainy weather and the need for a quick action plan only intensifies the stress. Plus, there are plenty of tasks post-moving day to keep you anxious. There are boxes to unpack, furniture to arrange, and an entire household to set up.

Plan some time to unwind before you rush into unpacking or other moving duties. Don’t get so wrapped up in what needs to be done that you cause yourself more stress in the long run.

This step might not come naturally if it’s hard for you to carve out time for yourself, which is why we are taking the time to mention it. Order take-out, watch a movie, take a bath, or do whatever you need to do to recoup from a rainy, exhausting day. You’ve earned it!

Moving in the rain might still be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. With these tips, you’re equipped to tackle a move in the rain a little bit easier.

This post originally appeared on the Life Storage Blog on 6/3/19 and was revised on 6/26/23 to provide new information.

About the Authors

Kate Fann

Kate Fann is an established SEO content writer with 10 years of experience, taking a specialized focus on home-related content. She has a Master's of Marketing degree from Southern New Hampshire University and her work has been featured in publications such as Angi, Broadband Now, and Love What Matters. Kate takes a keen interest in all things home from design and decor to remodeling and cleaning hacks.

Lauren Thomann

Lauren Thomann has written about self storage and moving since 2015, making her our storage expert. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in English and Linguistics and has published over 150 articles on moving, storage, and home organization. She is also a contributing writer at and Martha Stewart.

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