How to Move in Bad Weather Without Ruining All of Your Things

While there are plenty of things you can plan for on moving day, the weather isn’t always one of them. Rain, wind, sleet, and snow can all wreak havoc on an otherwise perfectly coordinated moving day. That’s why it’s important to prepare for the worst-case scenario ahead of time.

Depending on the location of your move, those planning a relocation during the cold weather months will need to be especially careful to preempt winter storms and icy roads. Likewise, those moving in the summer heat will need to consider the elements ahead of time.

It can be really hard to move when the weather isn’t on your side. For some people, however, changing your move date can be near impossible if it’s connected to your new work schedule. Other complicating factors can include needing to be out of your old house or apartment or the risk of losing your deposit if you need to reschedule with your moving company.

Here are a few pieces of advice for moving in the midst of heat, rain, snow, and every other tricky weather condition. Best of luck and stay dry!

Preparing for the move

From spontaneous summer rain showers to unexpected winter storms, there’s only so much you can predict when it comes to your local forecast. This means your number one job is to prepare for whatever the day may bring.

If you’re moving during the summertime, you need to take the heat and humidity into consideration. If you’re moving during the late fall or winter, you and your family should plan for a blustery, cold day. It’s always a good idea to discuss what conditions the moving company can (and won’t) move your stuff in, plus a backup date, just in case the weather conditions make it impossible to move.

Also, don’t forget to call your utility provider to arrange a date and time to set up electricity, as well as heat and air conditioning in your new home. If you can get the heat and air conditioning up and running a day or two before the move-in date, you’ll save yourself from headaches (and cold feet and hands!) later on.

Here are a few other items you’ll need to properly prepare for the move:

  • Moving on a summer day? Make sure to lather yourself with plenty of sunscreen. Also, wear a hat to protect your head and face from the sun.
  • Bottled water for hot days; coffee for cold days
  • Rain jacket and ponchos for yourself and the movers
  • Extra umbrellas on-hand
  • Winter hats and gloves
  • Rain boots, extra socks and sneakers
  • Hand warmers
  • Extra towels on-hand
  • Durable, waterproof trash bags
  • Plastic bins
  • Plastic wrap
  • Waterproof tarps
  • Shovels for snow
  • Salt for sidewalks, driveways and doorstep

How to Move in Bad Weather Without Ruining All of Your Things

Protecting your belongings

Protecting your belongings from water damage should be one of your biggest priorities when packing. After all, arriving at your new house with ruined electronics will inevitably ruin your day as well. To protect your items, we recommend:

  • Placing small electronics, cords and cables in sealed, waterproof plastic bags before packing them in boxes.
  • Having your moving company professionally wrap and pack your larger electronics, such as toaster ovens, TVs and more.
  • Packing as much as possible (especially paper items) in plastic, waterproof bins. Water can easily seep in through cardboard boxes, ruining whatever books, photos or pillows happen to be inside.
  • Wrapping wooden furniture, appliances, artwork and mirrors in heavy plastic wrap, heavy towels or blankets.
  • Shrinkwrapping your items, such as clothing, before packing them. Not only will this protect your belongings from water damage, but it will also help to save space.

Remember: One advantage to hiring a qualified moving company is that your movers have the skills and tools to keep your precious belongings dry and safe during a move. To find a professional mover near you, check’s network of licensed and insured moving companies.

Transporting your belongings

Planning for your transportation is especially important to those moving during the winter months. You’ll want to make sure your car is in tip-top condition, and properly prepared for whatever journey lies ahead. If you’re driving a large moving truck yourself, you’ll need to consider the best route to take in case of deteriorating road conditions. Here are a few pieces of advice for hitting the road on moving day:

  • Service your car ahead of time. Avoid having your car overheat or break down in bad weather by servicing it ahead of time. If there’s a chance you’ll be driving on icy roads that day, check to make sure the car’s tires are in great shape and prepared for snowy conditions.
  • Plan a route for best-case scenario weather and a route for worst-case scenario weather. While taking back roads may be a smart way to save time on a typical moving day, they will only slow you down in treacherous driving conditions. Tip: Stick to main roads and highways, which are typically cleared of snow and ice first.
  • Bring a snow shovel, snowblower and salt for sidewalks, if moving during the winter.

Protecting your new house

Finally, after you’ve properly packed and prepared your items for the move, you should think about how to protect your new house. Whether it’s rain, snow, ice, or sleet, you’ll want to try your hardest to keep your new home water-damage-free. With movers walking in and out the front door, you could end up with mud or snowy slush trudged throughout your new home. Here are a few tips for keeping your new digs clean and tidy, despite a bad weather day.

  • First and foremost, protect your entryway floors. The last thing you want to clean up on moving day is snow, salt or mud tracked through your home. We recommend placing towels and large blankets in the doorways, and on the doorsteps, entryway and hallway. Make sure you and the movers have a designated spot to wipe off shoes and boots before entering the house.
  • Those with wood floors should be especially careful to protect them from water damage, as this can cause floors to warp, swell and crack. We recommend bringing a waterproof tarp to cover hardwood floors in your home’s entry space.
  • If your new house is piled high with soaking-wet cardboard boxes, you should unpack them as quickly as possible to avoid water damage. Recycle all cardboard boxes immediately after the move, since they’re no longer salvageable.
  • The last thing you want happening on moving day is either you or your movers slipping and falling at the new house. If it’s snowing, icing or raining, you’ll want to make sure the driveway, sidewalks, and front doorsteps are all clear and safe to walk on.

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Additional tips for moving in bad weather

  • Wait for a break in the weather. Bad weather like rain or snow might pass in a few hours. If you and your moving company can swing it, try to wait it out.
  • Check your moving vehicle for leaks. Before you pack up your moving truck (or your car), check it for leaks. Small leaks can be temporarily fixed with duct tape; larger leaks can be covered with a DIY temporary patch using duct tape and plastic wrap.
  • Check for appropriate footwear. Make sure everyone helping during the move is wearing boots or all-weather sneakers. The slippery ground can make it dangerous when carrying boxes and furniture.
  • Set up an assembly line. If anyone is helping with the move set up an inside-outside assembly line. One person can stand inside and hand boxes to another person or people outside who will be packing the car or the moving truck. You can do the same at your new house. This might save some time and help protect the floors.

Frequently asked questions about moving in bad weather

  • When is the best time to move to avoid bad weather?
    It depends on your moving needs and preferences, budget, location, work flexibility, and family circumstances. Depending on your location, spring and summer might offer better weather. In terms of your budget, the window between late September to April is considered off-season, so the demand for movers is lower and so are the rates. However, you might encounter cold, rain and snow.
  • Will the movers move me in the rain?
    It depends on the severity of the rain. Light rain is typically not considered a serious obstacle and the movers can still do their job. However, a heavy rainstorm — the kind that brings damaging winds and severe flooding — might cause to you reschedule.
  • Is it a good idea to move in the winter?
    Every season has its moving advantages and disadvantages, and winter is no exception. The weather might present a challenge. Frigid temps, ice, snow, and rain are deterrents for many when it comes to moving in the winter. However, you might want to take advantage of winter’s lower moving rates and scheduling flexibility. Just follow our advice and take some extra steps in the moving process, like waterproofing your belongings.

Ready to move?

Once you’ve decided to move, start looking for movers using’s extensive network of reputable and reliable moving companies. All movers in our network are licensed and insured, so you can rest assured that your move will be in good hands. Best of luck and happy moving!

How to Move in Bad Weather Without Ruining All of Your Things
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