Moving Etiquette 101: 6 Tips for Getting Along With Your Movers

Barbara Bellesi Zito
Updated April 28, 2022
Professional movers bringing in new furniture in house
Photo: miodrag ignjatovic / E+ / Getty Images

Highlights

  • Follow the golden rule of treating your movers how you would want to be treated.

  • Remember to pack and label your items before the movers arrive.

  • Offer refreshments to movers and tip them at the end of the job.

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When you’re getting ready to move, your mind is laser-focused on all the tasks and packing that needs to get done—if you can find where you put that roll of packing tape, that is. 

If you’ve hired movers, then you can breathe a bit easier knowing that you’ve delegated the heavy lifting to the pros. Your movers might have clocked countless moves, but they will certainly appreciate a client who does everything to ensure a drama-free experience. Here’s how to prepare for a moving day that’s a win-win for you and your movers.

1. Make Your Home Accessible

Perhaps it's as easy as opening your front door to let the movers in. But what if there’s a password or secret handshake needed to enter the security gate at your apartment complex? Whatever the case may be at your current home, you can save time on moving day if everything is prearranged so your movers can easily access your home. Movers usually allow extra time for issues like road traffic that are out of anyone’s control, but don’t contribute to the traffic jam yourself by forgetting to clear the access points for your movers.

2. Pack and Label Your Belongings

This tip sounds like a no-brainer until you find yourself caught up in the stress of moving and still packing boxes when movers ring your doorbell. Time is money, so to avoid having the movers waiting on you, pack and label the moving boxes so they’re ready for the movers when they get there. 

Any delay that prevents movers from working as quickly as possible could add up to a higher bill. Unless you’ve already booked them for an all-day move, movers typically have another job to go to after yours. They could charge extra for staying over the allotted time, or you might even have to hire them to come back to finish the job, which would cause scheduling issues for you and the new occupants of your old space.

3. Keep Extra Packing Supplies Handy

Moving company worker packing cardboard boxes
Photo: Motortion / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

The movers will likely have extra packing supplies on the moving truck, but it helps to have things like extra bubble wrap, packing paper, and packing tape available if a box has to be repacked or reinforced before loading. If you want the movers to bring things like wardrobe boxes or other specialty moving supplies, be sure to confirm that request when you book them, so there’s no confusion or delay on the day of your move.

4. Offer Refreshments to the Movers

Moving is a cardio workout on a good day, but it turns into a pulse-pounding sweat session when the temperature rises. Regardless of the season, you'll win major points with your movers if you have a cool beverage on hand for them. Bottled water is the easy and inexpensive way to go, but you could also offer sports beverages or hot tea and coffee, depending on the weather. If it’s going to be an all-day move and the movers will be taking a lunch break, you may want to consider purchasing the movers’ lunch, though this is not a requirement. 

5. Give a Tip for a Job Well Done

A tip is customary for any service done well. When tipping movers, aim to give a 10% to 20% tip, depending on the cost of the job. Have cash on hand to split between the movers, or ask if you can include the tip with your payment instead. If it’s a multi-day move, you may want to tip at the end of each day to avoid overlooking any team members.

6. Leave an Online Review for the Movers

If you’re satisfied with how the move turned out, the local movers would likely appreciate an online review saying so. You’ll not only be commending them as professionals, but you’ll be giving them a much-coveted referral for future clients. You don’t have to write a novel—a few lines that touch on their level of courtesy and care when transporting your items will do the trick.

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