What to Do When Rainy Day = Moving Day
By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
Here's how to handle a rainy moving day like a pro...
When You See the Rain:
Set Aside Cleaning Supplies & Towels
The first thing you'll want to do is make sure your cleaning supplies and towels don't go into the truck too soon. Even though your professional movers will put down floor protection, you'll likely want to mop when the move is over and possibly during the day if there's enough mud or tracked-in puddles to deal with. So, have your mop and bucket ready to go and ready to throw last into the truck.
Towels are equally useful for other reasons. Towels can dry off lightly damp items when they get into the truck, wrap items to weather brief rain exposure, and mop up floor puddles should they occur. So, keep a few towels handy and don't be shy about quick-wash or quick-drying them during the day. Consider putting down towels preemptively over high-traffic walkways.
Back the Truck Right Up to Your Door
Next, do everything you can to limit the amount of time your stuff is being carried under the open rainy sky. Covered porches are great for extending your rain-protected walk if you have one. Either way, you'll want to back the truck up as close to your door as possible, considering the ramp length if necessary. This will minimize the number of raindrops that can fall on your items and moving team during the day.
Everyone Put on Non-Slip Shoes
Finally, ask all of your family and move-assisting friends to put on real shoes. Sneakers with rubber soles are best, and slippery sandals are the worst. Really, no one should be wearing sandals while moving anyway but also watch out for slippery urban sneaks like converse that can become dangerously slick in the rain. You may also want to hand out big plastic ponchos for the outside crew.
To Protect Your Stuff:
Covered Porches and Make-Shift Tarp Roofs
Try to create as much cover for your outside walking path as is possible. Use covered porches when you can and investigate the area for possible clever use of tarps. You might be able to string a tarp from the top of the truck to the edge of your porch, but then again maybe not. Don't go overboard but try to minimize the rain-exposed space between your door and the truck.
Wrap Furniture & Boxes for Rain Exposure
Next, think about how you'll transfer furniture and boxes from the door to the truck without getting them soaked. Tarps are great for this, as well, but you can also get creative and use items you already have. Large trash bags, for example, can wrap boxes or be laid over furniture as you go but have a greater risk of catching air and flying away than a heavy tarp.
Even blankets and towels can protect your items from a few feet of light drizzle if you move quickly.
Plastic Crates to and From the Truck
Consider picking up a few large plastic crates from a nearby home improvement store. These are very effective for transporting smaller items or boxes and can be used again and again. Use a closed plastic crate like a rain shield, putting items inside, then emptying the crate in the truck and returning for another protected load. This method may take a little longer but will keep your items dry.
Towel Everything Off in the Truck
And when items do make it to the truck, have someone inside with a stack of towels waiting to dry them off. A quick towel-off can make a big difference for lightly damp and even plastic-protected items and can also reduce the moisture inside the truck during the move.
Keep towels inside the house as well to towel off tarps, boxes, and plastic wrap that has done their job but got wet in the process.
To Protect Your Floors:
Floor Mats for Foot Wiping
If there's mud on the transport path, put down heavy-duty floor mats / welcome mats at any entrance being used. Encourage foot wiping for everyone and be prepared to bang out the mats to use anew halfway through the move. Put down towels to prevent puddles.
Bucket Brigade Across the Doorway
One excellent way to keep your floors clean during a rainy or muddy move is to work in a bucket-brigade fashion. Have one group of people indoors with clean shoes picking up boxes and furniture to take them to the front door, and another group with muddy shoes who take items from there to the truck. Use your tiled entryway or covered porch as the hand-off zone.
Towel-Up Puddles & Mud Slicks Quickly
Finally, keep those towels and mop-bucket handy to quickly clean up any messes that make it indoors. Mud can be put right back outside or mopped up and sluiced down the drain and puddles can be soaked up with towels. If your towels get too wet in the process, throw them in the dryer (if it's not already loaded on the moving van) or find places to hang them in rotation.
If all of this planning seems a little overwhelming, remember, when hiring professional movers, they will take the stress out of a rainy moving day by figuring out the logistics of everything for you in order to minimize the exposure to your items.
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