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Moving Day Etiquette: 10 Things Movers Want you to Know

Chances are, whatever your profession in life you have some experience working with others. The public, your clients, whatever it may be — there are likely things you wish they knew that would make it easier for you to do your job well.  


When you’re hiring a moving company, they feel the same way. Here are ten things your movers wish they could tell you that will make moving day go that much more smoothly.

  1. Let them do their job
    Of course, you have lots of opinions and thoughts on the moving process, but you hired full service movers for a reason. They are trained professionals who’ve moved many couches, boxes, and fragile things, so if you step aside and let them do their work it will likely go more quickly.  You’ll feel less stressed, and they won’t feel micromanaged.
  1. Finish packing before moving day
    It makes everything easier on the movers if they arrive at a house that is completely ready to be put on the truck. They can assess the load, make a plan for how they’re going to pack it in the truck, and get started. If they need to wait for you to finish packing it’s costing their time — which translates into costing you more money.
  1. Don’t pack cash, jewelry, or prescription medications
    Your movers don’t want to be worried about keeping track of your valuables on moving day when they’ve already got so many other things to consider, and they’d like to steer clear of the possibility of false accusations if anything goes missing. Moving your entire house is an all-consuming process and things are likely to get misplaced — they don’t want any fingers pointed at them.
  1. Label the boxes with their intended destination
    If your movers are tasked with unloading all of your belongings and boxes to their intended rooms, it’s important to label each box well and clearly. That will remove you from the role of traffic director, and help them to be more efficient while unloading. If you’re paying them by the hour, this is especially important.
  1. Always tell the movers or label the box clearly if something is fragile
    They wish they were psychic, but they’re not. They need to know clearly and ahead of time if a certain box has a necessary “this side up”, or if something needs to be handled with utmost care because the chair leg is broken.
  1. Please know where your movers can park the truck, how they can best access your apartment, and if there are any time limitations on parking or moving hours
    Your movers arrive with the assumption that you’ve researched these things, and finding out that their moving truck needs to be relocated or, worse, has been ticketed, is one sure way to put a damper on moving day.
  1. Don’t pack heavy items in large boxes
    It might seem like a good idea to put all of your books in one place, but that box becomes nearly impossible for the movers to lift and stands a good chance of having a blowout during the moving process. Then your movers are stuck trying to repack your belongings on the go, and that takes time and money. If you find yourself needing some extra boxes to make up the difference, here are our recommendations for finding free moving boxes around town.
  1. Empty your drawers, armoires, and desks
    Not only does it make the item heavier for your movers, but it can create a dangerous situation with sliding drawers and shifting content. As a result, most movers won’t handle furniture or filing cabinets that still have things in them… which means you’ll be packing up those contents in a hurry on moving day.
  1. Don’t disappear on your movers
    They need you to stay out of the way, but they can’t be left to do it all on their own either. Be nearby enough that they can find you if they have any questions or need clarification on where things go, what not to move, etc. Moving etiquette says to definitely stay around the house, and let your movers know where to find you if you decide to escape to the garden to pull up those last heirloom flowers.
  1. Not sure how much to tip movers?
    The standard is generally, $25-$50 per mover, depending on how long the move took, how many awkward staircases they had to navigate, and how pleased you are with the process. Providing snacks and drinks throughout the day is also highly recommended as it will keep your moving team energized and moving quickly and efficiently. You can also check out our How much to tip movers guide.


Bonus: make moving day a little more fun with our Ultimate Moving Playlist. Your movers will thank you — at least, if they have good taste in music…