Mover Etiquette 101: How to Treat Your Movers

Moving day is finally upon you! After weeks of packing, sorting, cleaning, organizing and coordinating, the day you’ve prepared for is officially here. The movers are knocking at your front door when a sense of panic suddenly ensues because you completely forgot about taking care of THEM. There’s no going back now and you don’t have any cash on hand for the tip, there’s not even a drop of drinkable water anywhere to be found, and the snacks can be found in the pantry box buried in the garage! If you’ve ever been faced with this gut wrenching reality, you’re not alone! There’s a lot of speculation regarding how much to tip, what to provide your movers, and sorting out the details, so, we’re here to provide the official etiquette ensuring you’re fully prepared!

Tipping

As a service professional who works exceedingly hard to move and manage your most prized possessions, proper etiquette absolutely suggests that you tip your moving crew. Here’s the “inside scoop” on tipping your movers:

  • Tipping amounts for movers vary, however, it should be based on the size project they’re managing for you. If you have a limited amount of goods and it only took a half day, around $10 per person is considered acceptable. However, if you have an extensive move with exceptionally large furniture, long walking distance to the truck, and it’s a full day move, then, $20 per person is recommended. Sources have also confirmed 5%-10% of the total moving bill is also a fair rate.
  • When tipping, be sure to present the tips to each individual, rather than giving them all to the foreman to distribute. It’s a sign of respect toward each person and their specialized role in your move. Having the tips organized in individual envelopes at the beginning of the day, helps you avoid scrambling last minute.
  • Always tip your movers in cash.
  • Something else to consider when tipping is the quality of the service they provided. Did they do a mediocre job and cut corners or did they do an AMAZING job and pay attention to all the details? This often will dictate just how generous you would like to be. Movers should be on time, treat your things like their own and be organized.
  • Tipping is almost always allowed by moving companies. However, just to be sure, check with the moving company ahead of time, to ensure you’re respecting their guidelines.

Food & Drinks

When it comes to food and drinks, it’s really up to the discretion of the homeowner, however, here are a few easy parameters to consider:

  • The general consensus is that at the very least, you are expected to provide your movers with cold, bottled water or a jug with plastic or paper cups, if you prefer. In addition to bottled water, it’s a nice courtesy to have additional cold drinks on hand like Gatorade or lemonade.
  • Some people prefer to purchase the moving crew lunch as their only “tip”, while others provide a monetary tip in addition to lunch! It’s important to note that if you do plan on providing lunch, be sure to provide them with a few different food choice options, rather than just assuming one or the other. Also be sure to ask if any of the crew members have specific allergies.
  • If you opt out of providing a full lunch, snacks for the crew members are a great alternative. Things like snack size cracker pouches, fresh grapes, orange slices, and granola bars are great options!
  • Always avoid giving beer or any other form of alcohol to the crew at the end of the day. Many companies have strict policies about drinking on the job and you are best off avoiding any potential liability issues.

Showing Appreciation & Respect

Showing appreciation for your movers doesn’t have to stop at a tip or providing food and drink. Simple kindness also goes a long way. Here’s some simple but thoughtful ways to express your gratitude:

  • Recognize them by name to their supervisor or even just saying a personal thank you goes a long way too.
  • Write an online review on Google or the company’s social media account, and mention specific crew member’s names who went above and beyond.
  • Offer for the movers to take your unwanted furniture. If you have old furniture you are disposing of or that won’t fit, offer for one of the movers to take it.
  • Offer them a place to rest during their breaks. This can be as simple as putting a few lawn chairs out in a shaded area of your lawn.
  • Point them to the restroom when they first arrive and be sure it’s stocked with liquid soap and paper towels.
  • Make yourself available. Be available to answer any questions, show them around and overall assist in making their job easier however you can!

Whether you’ve moved one time or ten, there’s one thing for sure, you don’t need added stress on moving day! Being prepared ahead of time takes the stress off of you, the movers and everyone involved. Use this guide and share it with your family and friends so you can count on an AMAZING and efficient moving day from this day forward!

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