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Tips for moving house in the rain - do removalists still operate when it’s raining?

The answer is yes - removalists still operate when it's raining with a number of exceptions. We've added our tips and key things to consider when moving house in the rain below.

Tips for moving house in the rain - do removalists still operate when it’s raining?

There is a vague 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.

Let’s face it, light rain isn’t the problem here, we are talking about those days when it just wants to pour down in buckets. 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, especially if you are moving in a season known for inclement weather or unpredictable storms. The trick is to go back and keep checking because weather reporting becomes more accurate in the short-term forecasts, so you will have a much clearer idea of what the heavens will be doing on your big day.

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. It’s no different to keeping that umbrella in your car, you just never know when you will need it, but it’s nice that it’s on the backseat when you do!

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

Simply, it just comes down to common sense, some extra packing, presence of mind in the moment, and being flexible.

There will be things that you can’t control, so just let go of those things if you wake up on the day and it’s a wet day. Controlling the weather is a superpower we would all like to be able to wield, but there will be other X-factors too like timeframes being elongated, slower traffic and slippery surfaces!

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 rain coat 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 mold 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 mold 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.

The Logistics of a Wet Weather Move

While packing things tightly and waterproofing everything is one thing, there are some simple logistical processes you can implement up-front when working in the wet.

Keeping Water and Mud Out of the House/s
Line entry ways with muddy boot stoppers such as 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. Have a cleaner booked for a heavy-duty floor clean as soon after moving day as possible, just in case.

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. Have a line of people starting at the load and evenly spread to the truck. There will be wet and dry workers who can pass the items along the line, rather than having several wet people coming and going.

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.

What happens if the removalist you booked is running late or cancels?

The removalist should be keeping you in the loop if they’re running late, however, wet weather often slows down moving as the team will be moving as safely as possible - so a little proactive patience with the movers would be well received. If your removalist cancels due to delays or any other reason, get in contact with Muval as soon as possible so we can assist in finding an alternate solution.

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

No, 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. For more information on what is covered during your move check out our removals insurance blog.

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

It depends. Local moves are generally charged at a half-hourly rate so expect a slight increase in the cost. For interstate moves, removalists allow certain time windows to complete their pick-ups and deliveries depending on the volume of your move. If these time windows blow out, they may start to charge an additional hourly rate.

Is there any way to speed things up during a rain move?

Yes! There are many things you can do to help speed up your move and save money while moving in the rain. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Be prepared as early as possible.
  • Have a clear plan for how you will execute the move and make it as easy as possible for the removalists to load and unload your items.
  • Create a clear pathway through the rain. Is there a way of staying undercover for the majority of moving items from the property to the truck and visa versa?
  • Find a way to get the moving truck as close to the entry of the property as possible.
  • Sort your items. Label heavier boxes, fragile items and anything else the removalists should be aware of.
  • Take advantage of any break in the weather and move as much as possible during this time.

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