Whether you’re hiring professionals or rounding up a band of willing friends, moving day is stressful and difficult for everyone involved. You can make the day easier for everyone by taking good care of the people who are doing the heavy lifting. Here are five ways you can treat your movers right.
Be friendly and polite.
It seems like a no-brainer, but the old axiom is true: You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Paid and unpaid movers are moving your stuff, so it’s incumbent on you to be polite and friendly – no matter how stressed out or tired you’re feeling.
Introduce your movers to the friends and family who are at your house that day, and make an effort to learn the movers’ names. It seems like a small thing, but it will be appreciated. If you’re bringing in friends to help you move, make sure everyone is introduced to each other.
Be ready for your movers. Organize boxes by room, and clearly label them with that room’s name. Mark which boxes are fragile, and note which end is up on boxes. This information helps your movers prioritize your items and sort them on the other end of your move. It also protects your stuff from damage. Fragile boxes will be carried and placed with extra care.
Know the weather for the day of your move. If it’s going to be snowy or slippery, treat your walkway and driveways with salt to prevent slips and falls. If there is going to be rain, provide ponchos or towels.
If you’re in an apartment, ask building management if you can reserve an elevator for a block of time. It will save you a lot of time waiting.
The day of your move, be on time! The movers are on the clock, and if the move goes overtime because you were late, you could face additional charges and fees.
Offer food and drink.
Moving is hard work, no matter what shape your movers are in or what the weather is. A cooler or fridge full of cold water, soda, and sports drinks will be appreciated. Coffee first thing in the morning is always appreciated, and on cold days, you might want to make sure there is coffee or hot chocolate available all day. On hot days, have even more cold water available.
Do you need to feed your movers? No, but offering a light lunch is appreciated. Remember that most people order pizza, so your movers might be sick of pizza. Provide something else.
Keep communication open.
Following tip No. 1 – be friendly and polite – will let your movers know they can approach you with questions or problems. This protects your belongings, reduces errors, and makes the whole day smoother.
Like other service industries, it is customary to tip your professional movers. Experts vary on how much; some say 5 percent of the cost of your move divided between the movers. Others say to give each mover a flat amount, suggesting $10 each for a 4-hour half day and $20 each for an 8-hour whole day. You’ll want to tip more if the day is longer than 8 hours or if there is something particularly challenging about your move, such as a lot of heavy items or a narrow staircase. Make sure you have enough cash for the tips.
Movers tell Moving.com that you should give the tip to each mover individually rather than giving a lump sum to the foreman. First, you can individually thank each mover personally. Second, not all foreman are upstanding; some will keep the whole amount for themselves.
If your friends and family are helping you move, it’s important to thank them, too! A meal the day of your move is one of the most popular ways to thank unpaid movers, but you might also want to consider thank you gifts life gift cards or a favorite bottle of wine.