Move Planning

A Handy Guide to Tipping Movers

After weeks or months of planning, packing, and decluttering, moving day has finally arrived. You’ve got all your boxes organized and you have a team of helpful professional movers to help with your relocation. If they’ve made your life easier, you might be wondering if it’s okay to tip the movers and how much you should provide. After all, they moved everything for you from your furniture to your fragile items. So what’s the tipping etiquette and how do you make sure the moving crew knows you are satisfied?

Should You Tip?

So long as the movers did their job, you should provide a tip. It’s a great way to show your satisfaction with the job and appreciation for the efforts of the crew. How much you tip depends on you. In general though, you should tip around $4-$5 per person per hour. So if there are two crew members who work a total of 5 hours, you should tip each person around $20-$25 or around 10% of the total split between each person.

Of course, you can tip more if you felt they provided excellent service. Conversely, if the movers were rude or damaged a lot of your items, you can lower or forgo the tip entirely. You should plan to provide some kind of tip so make sure to work that into your moving budget. Set aside more than you think for the tip. If you don’t end up using it all, you can put the rest towards fun home stuff.

Calculating Your Tip

Quality movers provide ongoing training to their employees as well as custom services to their customers to stand apart from their competitors. That should hopefully translate to a good minimum level of service. Still, there are a few factors you should consider when deciding tip amount:

  • Professionalism – did the crew arrive on time? If they did not, did they contact you beforehand to let you know? Were they friendly to you and your neighbors?
  • Weather conditions – are your movers dealing with super hot temperatures? Or are they dealing with heavy snow, ice, rain, etc? You might want to tip more if they’re working in challenging conditions
  • Number of hours – An average move for a 3-bedroom house could take between 7-10 hours. Did your move take much longer than expected or did they finish early/on-time?
  • Oversized items – if you’re moving a lot of heavy and large items such as pianos, antique cabinets, pool tables, boxes of books, etc.
  • Tricky navigation – does your house or apartment have narrow hallways? Or perhaps the movers have to navigate up and down several flights of stairs?
  • Damage – always check your items before and after a move for any damages to the items. You should also check your old and new home to make sure nothing got scuffed.
  • Extra services – some moving companies offer free services with your basic moving service so long as you ask. This could include dismounting your TV, uninstalling your air conditioner, disassembling and reassembling basic furniture, and some packing of items like TVs, glass countertops, etc.

From there, you can increase or decrease your tip amount based on their job performance, amount of time they took, professionalism, and so on. Make sure you’re fair in your assessment. If they took longer than they expected but it was because you weren’t organized, then that shouldn’t be seen as an issue with the moving team.

Tipping Etiquette

While tipping your movers isn’t complicated, you’ll still need to do a bit of preparation beforehand. In general, most movers prefer their tip in cash so make sure to withdraw some money the day before your move. Keep this amount in a separate envelope labeled moving tip and put it in an easily accessible location like your purse, backpack, or wallet. Some movers do accept credit card tips so if you forget to take out cash, you can include the tip on the total. Just make sure to confirm with the moving company first and let them know that you want the tip divided equally.

For local moves you should tip after the crew has unloaded everything from their truck and you have made sure nothing is damaged or missing. Divide the tip evenly between all the crew members. Do NOT give it to the foreman to distribute as the total might just end up in their pocket. By giving each crew member their tip, you can ensure everyone is getting their share. If the movers try to haggle with you over the tip, call the moving company immediately to mediate the situation.

Cross-country moves are a bit trickier as you might be dealing with different people that are driving your belongings to your new home. If this is the case, it might make sense to tip your movers a set amount for each team beforehand instead of tipping just the final crew. If you’re unsure who is handling your items, ask the moving company and see how you can distribute your tips accordingly.

And while tipping is customary, it is okay to withhold a tip if the service was not up to par. Remember, a tip is meant to be a reward for a job well done and is NOT guaranteed. If the movers are unprofessional and generally did a poor job, you don’t need to tip. You should explain why you are not tipping and you should also call the moving company to explain the situation and mediate if necessary.

Other Considerations

The people you hire are moving professionals, but that doesn’t mean they’re superhuman! If anything, they appreciate it when customers show a bit of kindness towards them during the move. It doesn’t have to be a big gesture, but things like providing cold bottled water during the summer or hot beverages in the winter can go a long way. You could even have some snacks on hand to give the movers a boost of energy. Don’t offer any alcoholic beverages as most companies do not allow workers to drink on the job.

Even if you don’t have the money to provide these extras, one of the best things you can do is leave a positive review and recommend the company to friends and family. It’s a quick and free way to show your appreciation.


I’m relocating because of my job and I need to document all moving expenses. How do I get documentation of the tip I provided?

Your best bet is to see if you can pay the tip via credit card as you will then be able to track your tip via your credit card transaction. If the company doesn’t accept credit card for tips, ask the company to include the tip on the final bill and have them send it to you.

How can I calculate my tip before I get my final bill?

Use the quote the company provided and multiply by 10-20%. You can also ask the moving company how many people and how long it will take to move your home and then multiply that by $5.

I’m using a professional packing service through the moving company. Do I need to tip the packers separately?

You should ask the moving company if the packers are a separate team from the movers. If they are, you should tip them separately. If they are not, you can always increase your tip amount.

Moving Tips

Ultimate Packing Tips for a Smooth Cross Country Move

Whether you’re making a cross country move to or from Connecticut, you’re not alone. Thanks to shifting economies and the rise of remote work, more and more people are relocating to places that are affordable and offer more space. If you’re also planning a cross country move, you probably want to make sure all your belongings get to your new home in one piece.

Packing for long distance moves isn’t as easy as tossing your things into a box haphazardly. What you might have been able to get away with for local moves won’t cut if for longer distances. So before you start packing, read the tips below to make your next move across the country a little less painful.


Moving is the perfect opportunity to get rid of stuff you no longer use or need. In order to declutter successfully, you should set aside a good chunk of time to go through everything you own. And we mean everything. Depending on the size of your home and how much you own, this step could take you a few days or even a week! The biggest mistake you can make is trying to rush this step. Take it slow and be deliberate when choosing what items you take with you. Some of the more obvious items to get rid of are things that are broken or tattered clothes. As well, try to use up as many consumable items as possible. That includes:

  • Food
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Toiletries
  • Condiments
  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Bath and beauty supplies

But that’s not all you should get rid of. While going through everything you own, consider the last time you’ve used an object. If you haven’t used it in the past 6 months or so, you probably don’t need to take it with you. For more seasonal items, you should think back to the last year. Separate everything into piles: keep, donate/sell, trash. You’ll need to be ruthless during this process, but it will be worth it. Sell items that are in good conditions at a garage sale to boost your moving budget. If you have expensive things like camera or sound gear, sell these on eBay to get the best deal. Chances are you won’t be able to sell everything, so whatever is left over donate to your local goodwill store.

When done well, decluttering can save time and money. After all, you’ll have less stuff to pack which also means less moving supplies you’ll need. It might seem like a lot of work upfront, but you’ll be happy to have decluttered. After all, you’ll have to pack and unpack less stuff!

Plan Your Packing Process

Most people don’t really like packing. So unless you’re one of the few people who enjoy it, chances are you’d prefer leaving this part of the moving process to the last minute. However, that’s the worst thing you can do! Even if you live in a studio apartment, you want to set aside at least a few days dedicated to packing. When you don’t feel rushed, you’ll have more time to actually pack everything properly. This, in turn, means your belongings will have more protection for the long road ahead.

The very first thing you should do when planning is to choose color labels for your rooms and/or items. For example, you can assign orange to the living room, blue to the bedroom, and pink for the kitchen. Once you’ve come up with a labeling scheme, stick with it. You can always add extra colors to denote different things. For example, you can use red to also mark fragile items or maybe purple for things like seasonal items. The clearer you are with labeling, the easier unpacking will be.

For long distance moves, you don’t want to cheap out on things like packing materials and boxes. After all, your stuff will be in a moving vehicle for miles on end, which means constant vibrations and the occasional pot holes. With that said, if you have a tight budget, only buy the premium supplies for your expensive and/or fragile items. For non-breakable items try to reuse any old boxes you might have on hand or ask your friends, neighbors, family members, etc. if they have any they no longer need. While you’re at it, see if they have any packing tape. You don’t want to use duct tape or masking tape as both won’t properly stick onto cardboard boxes.

If you want something sturdier than boxes, consider getting heavy-duty plastic bins. Not only can they handle more stress, they are also easy to stack and you can see the contents inside if you use clear bins. Plus, you don’t need to mess around with tape. They’re also reusable and you can use them as storage containers around your new house. If you don’t want to buy plastic bins, many CT moving companies offer plastic bin rentals.

Keep a Detailed Inventory

When you’re moving long distance, there’s a greater chance of your items getting damaged or even lost in transit. While you can reduce the chances of your belongings being delivered to the wrong place by springing for the exclusive express long distance service, this option tends to cost a lot of money. That’s why many people go with the cheaper option – consolidated shipping – where multiple people share a single truck. While proper labeling can prevent potential mix-ups, there’s still a possibility it can happen.

A good inventory provides a comprehensive breakdown of everything in your home, what room they come from, their value, and even their condition. You can even add a column for the box number and color label you’re using when packing. That way, you can quickly see if a box is missing when the movers deliver your belongings.

It might seem tedious, but make sure to keep track of every single item and take pictures from every angle. You want to have a record of what everything looked like before the move. If anything gets damaged, you have visual proof that it was damaged in the move. Speaking of pictures, take some of your home entertainment system and home office setup before you start dismantling it. It can take up to 10 days for your belongings to arrive at your new home. By then, you might have forgotten what wires go where so you’ll be grateful that you had the foresight to take a picture.

Avoid Unnecessary Packing

Not everything needs to go in a box. Depending on what other storage items you own and how much stuff you have, you might be able to get away with fewer boxes than you think. For example, if you already have a lot of clothes in a dresser, don’t pack them into a separate box. Instead, shrink wrap the dresser tightly so the drawers don’t open during transport. For hanging clothes, keep the clothes on the hanger! Many moving companies provide 2-3 wardrobe boxes for free so take advantage of them.

If you have suitcases and backpacks, use them for essentials that you’ll need on day one such as change of clothes, toiletries, bedding and pillows, pet supplies (if you have any), kitchen supplies, and so on. The last thing you want to do after a big move is to rummage through a bunch of boxes to find what you need.

Most importantly, try to keep related items together. For example, keep all power cables, chargers, and peripherals together with the correct electronic device. That might mean putting all of the charging components in a bag and taping it to the device. If you disassemble your furniture, keep all the nuts, bolts, screws, etc. in a plastic bag and tape it securely to the largest piece. You’ll also want to tape the legs together and attach it to the piece of furniture. The same goes for anything else that requires reassembly at your home. Avoid packing related items separately as you don’t want to sift through all the boxes to find the right screws.

Hire Professional Packers

Not everyone has the time or ability to pack. If you have the money, many professional movers also offer packing services. You can work directly with the moving company to figure out your needs and choose the option that’s right for you. For example, if you have already started packing, but need extra help, you can choose the partial packing service and specify which rooms you need help with. Or you can go for the full-service option. It’s up to you!

There are several benefits of hiring professionals to pack for you:

  • They use quality moving supplies so you know your belongings will be safe during transport
  • They have years of experience and can pack quickly and efficiently
  • They know all the secrets to packing fragile items so they don’t get damaged during a move

Plus, if something that the packing crew packed gets damaged during the move, the insurance claim process will be that much faster. Of course, not everyone can afford this service, but if you can it can be a huge stress reliever. You can also hire the crew to unpack your belongings as well so you can get settled into your new home.

Get Ready for Your Cross Country Move

Making a cross country move can be anxiety-inducing, but it also can open you up to new experiences and adventure. If you’re ready to make the move, you’ll want to have a trusted moving company by your side. That’s where we come in! We are the movers CT residents trust and recommend as evidenced by our almost 5-star reviews on Yelp and Google. So give us a call or email us and we’ll walk you through the entire process.


What happens if I’m missing a box after delivery?

Call the moving company immediately and let them know. They might be able to locate your missing box and deliver it to you.

Are my belongings covered by any kind of insurance?

Reputable moving companies all provide free released valuation protection. This only protects your items for $0.60 per pound, per item. For long distance moves, movers can also offer you the option of full valuation protection, but you will need to pay extra for it. How much depends on the company so ask ahead of time.

Do I need to provide any moving supplies if I hire professional packers?

Nope! They will bring everything they need. All you need to do is provide them with your inventory list and be present while they are packing.