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Moving Day Etiquette

We all know that moving is incredibly stressful. The to-do list that accompanies any move can be quite lengthy. By the time you’ve reached the moving day milestone, you’ve probably grown a few more grey hairs and have used more explicit words than you’re willing to admit. Understanding what you should, or shouldn’t do on moving day, can make or break the experience.

Be packed and ready when the movers arrive.

Scrambling to pack on the day of your move is a recipe for disaster. It is quite difficult for the moving crew to establish a plan for packing the truck safely when they can’t see the full scope of the job. Sometimes those little boxes are used to fill in the gaps when loading your furniture. Without the proper stabilization, your furniture can shift in transit and get damaged. It also means that the moving crew will likely be waiting around for you to finish and that influences the crew’s morale and your wallet.

Let the Professionals do what they do best.

When the crew arrives, the first thing they will do is a walkthrough of your home. This is the time for you to point out any items of concern or boxes that contain fragile items. After your walkthrough, let the professionals do what they do best. You may think that your plan is the most logical or easiest plan but there is a science to getting your items from point A to point B unharmed.

Make sure there is an easy access plan.

This includes parking, elevator reservations and safe entryway into the home. My crew recently brought to my attention a time-costing issue they’ve had with parking, and it was something that had never crossed my mind. Depending on the parking layout at apartment complexes, they would have to push and pull the loading ramp on and off the truck every time a neighbor was coming and going. You can imagine the number of times they needed to move the ramp when you consider that we begin moving at 8:00 AM and this is also the time that neighbors are leaving for work or headed to drop the kids off at school.

The moral of the story is, be considerate of your moving crew, your neighbors and of course, your wallet, and have a plan for parking. The customer is the only person on the job that knows what to expect with neighborhood traffic or HOA parking rules. Sometimes we don’t have control over when and how people use the shared trafficking space, and that’s okay. Just don’t leave your movers in the dark and let them know what to expect ahead of time.

The same goes for reserving elevators at large living complexes. Your property management will also thank you for giving them a heads up. And keep the entrances of your home safe for the movers going in and out with heavy furniture. This includes pets and children. We don’t want movers to fall and get hurt and we don’t want your precious little ones getting stepped on.

Don’t pack large, heavy boxes.

There is a simple way to tell if you’ve packed a box intended for Hulk himself to move; if you can’t tilt the box enough for a hand to get a grip on the bottom, then the box is too heavy. Packing the garage is a common place to underestimate box weight. If you have a large bulky item that requires a large box, compensate with adding cleaning towels or patio chair cushions.

Label boxes for their destination.

Labeling the boxes with the room their destined to be in will make unloading an easier task for the moving crew and yourself. Instead of directing the mover where to take every item coming off the truck, let them know which room is where in your new home and be available if the movers have a question about a particular item. This will make the delivery of your items more efficient and quicker, which is cost saving when you are paying by the hour.

Also, label your boxes on the sides and not just the top. It will be easier for you to locate the box you need when they are stacked on top of each other. The same goes for your movers when they are unloading the stacks of boxes on the moving truck.


Giving your movers a tip is not a requirement, but the question is often asked, do people usually tip the movers? And the answer is yes, most people do. There is no standard tipping amount like the 18% you’d probably give your server. Most tips are typically between $20-$50 a person for local moves and sometimes a little more for interstate moves. When deciding if or how much to tip your movers, consider the complexity of your move. Were there stairs involved? Any awkward hallways or tight spaces? Did you have unusually heavy items or a lot of furniture that needed to be broken down and reassembled?

Each move is unique and requires flexibility and communication between the moving crew and the customer. The Moving Day Etiquette is intended to educate customers on topics that movers wish their customers knew because from experience, the ones who do know are the customers who stress less and make the job easier for the moving crew. There are other ways to show your appreciation as well. Simple gestures like having extra bottles of water or Gatorade or a snack available can make a huge difference. It keeps your crew hydrated, energized and attentive. Most importantly, it means you see them as human beings who are helping you pull off a major life event.

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