Moving Food Without Losing Your Mind

Moving?  Read This Guide To Moving (or Getting Rid of) Your Food.

moving food

It’s time to move houses and you booked a mover, packed the furniture and knick knacks, but what about moving your food?     Moving food is a pain!   There’s that awkward week or so before moving where you just don’t know what to do.

Fear not, you’re not alone.

We have tips to help you with moving that food!

Prioritize Your Food

empty fridge

Before you do anything, assess what you have and its value. That box of weird Japanese cookies that no one dares touch can probably go. The expensive balsamic vinegar your aunt gave you will be hard to replace, so keep that.

It doesn’t hurt to do an inventory of everything in your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Now, go over the list with an eye to value and portability. Obviously, if you’re moving across the country, transporting frozen steaks won’t give you that romantic dinner you hoped for upon arrival.   You can replace a half-empty box of cornflakes in a jiffy for a few bucks.

Items that you need to use or discard before your move include:

  • Frozen items
  • Refrigerated items
  • Opened condiments
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Items that expire within the next few days
  • As you look at all your food, you’ll have some items that you obviously want to keep. Set those aside. You can pack this food and move it, along with your furniture.

Once you figure out what is most valuable and needs to go with you, you’ll have food that is hard to transport. You’ll also find food that simply isn’t worth the effort. That’s what you’re going to be dealing with in the days leading up to the move and we’re here to tell you how.

Stop Buying Food

don't by groceries

This point may seem a little obvious, but you may purchase something small for lunch thinking it’s only one meal. That’s a bad idea, because each item you buy is one less thing you’re getting rid of at home.

Skip buying food for at least a week before leaving and use up what is in your pantry. It requires getting creative, but it’s worth it when you have less to deal with later. Meal planning is your friend at this point.

Use Up Perishables

use up perishables

Everything that is already opened or will go bad needs to be gone by moving day. Whether you eat it or toss it or give it away, get rid of these things. This includes pretty much everything in your fridge.

Since moving is rarely a surprise, you have time to do a little meal planning! Design your last meals in your home to use up those perishables.

To meal plan effectively, you need to know what you have on hand. Refer to the inventory list you took at the beginning of this article. Pair off the foods that go together to create meals. If you have open pasta sauce, cheese, and potatoes, you can make nacho baked potatoes. Frozen ground beef makes a hearty meal when added to the potatoes and a salad on the side makes for less to pack.

Make a simple calendar for the days until your move. Now add a meal you’ve come up with, using only pantry items, to the calendar. You’ll want one meal for each slot, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

For your last home-cooked meal before moving, try making soup. Heat broth and add everything that is still hanging around to it. My mother used to call this “clean the fridge soup” and it’s a great way to use up leftovers.

Throw a Party

throw a party

While you might not want to try this if you’re struggling to pack in time, a farewell party is a great way to use up food. Not only do you get some quality time with friends, you eliminate a problem.

Dig out the frozen and refrigerated food and dust off the grill. Meat, fish, and seafood can all create a tasty buffet that your friends and family will enjoy. Add in the remaining vegetables from the fridge. You instantly have a smorgasbord of great food that means no moving food that will perish.

This is the perfect time to offload anything you want other people to take home, as well. Let them know in the invitation that they’ll be taking a can or box on their way home.

Donate, Donate, Donate

 

Take a good look at your pantry. Do you really want to lug all those cans and boxes with you? Probably not! Fortunately, there are tons of people who will take that food off your hands.

Food pantries and homeless shelters are often happy to receive non-perishable items. If you prefer, you can give the items directly to others. Talk to your local church about who might be in need of some extra nourishment. Some seniors may find it tough to get to the store, so you can save them a trip.

Contact your movers before you get too far into planning. If they’re part of Move For Hunger, they can actually take care of your extra food for you. It’s a good option if you prefer to let someone else handle the distribution.

Grab a Garbage Bag

So, you’ve eaten and donated as much as you can, now what? What do you do with the remaining odds and ends that no one wants?

You have two options. Pack the odds and ends and keep them kicking around your new house, or toss them. The second is your best option. Grab a sturdy garbage bag and dump everything that is leftover after packing and eating. This can all go to the garbage dump and you shouldn’t feel bad about it. After all, a new home is a fresh start and no one needs ten bags of food with half a serving left in them.

It might feel wasteful to throw food out. When you have already done all you can with the rest of the food, it’s best to cut your losses.

Moving Food You Still Want

moving bottles

You won’t want to get rid of everything, which means you need to pack it. Moving food can be tricky if the packages aren’t sturdy enough. For example, a bag of flour could burst if anything heavy is on top of it.

The simplest way to avoid issues is to put everything into hard plastic boxes. You can find these at any storage store and they work well to protect your food. The plastic will also prevent any spills from leaking to the other items in the moving truck.

If you must package food in cardboard boxes, make sure you seal everything first. This may require using zippered plastic bags to contain any leakage. Packing tape can also be helpful for keeping opened bags closed. Put tape over the tops of spice containers and salt and pepper shakers to stop spillage, as well.

Packing order is also important. Put your heaviest items at the bottom of the boxes. This prevents heavy items crushing the lighter and more delicate foods.

Keep in mind that glass bottles are more likely to break than plastic bottles. It’s best to skip them altogether, but you can wrap the bottles in newspaper if need be.

Your Last Supper

pizza for moving day

The final meal before a big move is usually a haphazard one. To make life a little simpler, plan to finish using up your perishables before this. Then, for your final meal, order takeout.

Takeout food lets you enjoy a fortifying meal without worrying about cooking. You’ll need your strength for moving the next day! It also allows you to pack up the last of your dishes and utensils. Everything you need comes with the meal.

When you are sick of leftovers and the pantry is empty, takeout will seem like a blessing.

Make Moving Day Easier

Moving food may actually be one of the toughest parts of moving (along with knowing how much to tip movers). It ranks right up there with sorting through your important papers, deciding which to keep.

If you have packed everything properly, you shouldn’t have too many issues with leaks and spills. However, be sure to label your food boxes in big letters. This makes it simple to sort them out so you can eat once you arrive in your new home. It also lets the movers know that the boxes contain food items.

Not going too far? If you are only moving across town, you can get away with taking a cooler along. Put that jar of opened caviar and a few condiments in it. We don’t recommend this for longer trips, of course. Make sure you add ice to the cooler!

Finally, be sure to have some packaged food and drinks on hand for moving day. You’ll get hungry at some point and it’s easy to grab a bag of peanuts or a granola bar to munch on. There’s no need to leave any of your regular food out. Just have a tote or small box with snacks to keep you going.

Once you’ve moved, it is time to unpack everything, including your food. If you’ve prepared well, you only moved the best food and are ready to start your new life with a clean pantry.

Prepare For A Smooth Start At Your Next Home

coffee on moving day

The first couple days after a move can stress even the calmest people out. You can plan ahead to make those first whirlwind days easier. Scout out new delivery restaurants by your new home on GrubHub, find some highly rated restaurants on TripAdvisor, and consider setting up food delivery if you can. If you’re a coffee lover/addict, consider a coffee subscription (Javaya is a good choice) and think about your home coffee brewing choices if you want to upgrade to a higher level off coffee happiness. For regular food delivery, check out InstaCart or Amazon Fresh to see if they service your area. Prep like this gives you one less thing to worry about after the move!

How Much To Tip Movers: The Ultimate Guide (advice from 20+ movers!)

Moving stresses out the best of us!   This is why most people hire movers to do the heavy lifting and careful packing. However, once the job is complete, you likely ask yourself, “how much do I tip the movers?  Is there a standard amount or percentage?  Do I tip at all?”

If your anxiety spikes thinking about tipping movers, you’re not alone!

moving

You’ll find yourself exhausted and distracted at the end of your moving day, the last thing you need is extra stress trying to figure out how much you should tip your movers, or if you should tip your movers at all.

To help you out, we asked the movers listed on MovingCompanyReviews.com to help.    More than twenty movers offered their advice!   We compiled their guidance and thoughts into this helpful guide.    Check out the appropriate chapter for your move to know exactly how much to tip your movers.

Everyone knows that tipping is customary in industries like hospitality, tour guides, and taxis.  Yet for movers, it can become awkward when customers ask how much to tip them.   Movers do get paid for their service. However, like any service, when you feel as though a mover has done a good job (or in many cases, goes above and beyond), movers appreciate tips.

As Jill Ihly, Executive Vice President, Olympic Moving & Storage/Bekins Northwest states:

A tip for a mover is just like a waiter. It’s nice to get a little something, but the more difficult the job, the more TLC the crew gives, and how far above and beyond they go should all contribute to the tip amount.

Before diving into the guide, ask yourself these questions when determining your tip:

  • Did the movers show a high level of professionalism?
  • Did the movers demonstrate a good attitude?
  • How well did the movers treat your belongings?
  • How hard did the movers work?  For example, did they need to move items up and down long flights of stairs?  Did they have to carefully move large items down narrow hallways?
  • What external factors did they deal with?   Was the day extremely warm or cold?  Did it rain?

To help guide you during your next move, we have created the ultimate tipping guide.   Read the guide below to feel more confident in the tip you provide and avoid stress and confusion at the end of your moving day.

Let’s get started!

Table of contents

Dive into the following seven chapters to understand everything you need to know about tipping.   Keep in mind all of the challenges that your movers face and remember no move goes perfectly.   The tips from the movers give some fantastic advice, we hope you find it useful!

Chapter One: How much to tip long distance movers

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When you eat out at a restaurant, you may tip 15 percent — which is fairly standard.   However, we don’t recommend you follow this rule of thumb for long distance moves.

The American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) writes that when moving interstate the average cost sets you back around $4,300.  If you planned on paying  20% in a tip to each mover your entire moving budget would blow up.    Remember, you may work with two sets of movers — one that helps you pack the truck and one that helps you unload at your new address.

In these cases, you’re better off tipping per hour. If your movers do a good job, consider tipping $5-$6/hour per mover.  Others prefer to just round up and provide x-amount for a hard day’s work, such as $40 per mover. If you have some extra cash and the movers do a flawless job, consider giving each mover a little extra.

Everyone likes to feel appreciated, especially when they put forth extra effort.  Make sure that you tip each mover individually for their work, including the supervisor.  Give the supervisor a bit more than the other movers, as his/her job requires management and coordination in addition to moving.   This is not only proper tipping etiquette but also shows your true appreciation on a more personal level.

We asked our movers to provide feedback, read below to hear it straight from the source:

Most of the time on a long distance job, the driver is going to be the only duplicate person at the time of loading & delivering. He is most likely a contractor. So tipping will most likely not be shared equally amongst everyone. Normally a good rule of thumb is 5%.

- Frank from Family Moving & Storage in Palm Bay, FL (website).

 

The tipping circumstances on long distance moves can be quite unique and present their own challenge. It is not always the same crew that is at the pick up location and at the delivery location. As such, you should strive to tip the crew after the load, and then again after the unload. There may also be an advantage, as you may get a better unloading crew if the movers are aware you are a "good tipper". You can apply similar math to that of local moves when calculating how much to tip, somewhere between $6 and $10 per hour per mover for the labor. If the delivery was prompt and the communication from the driver excellent it will be appreciated if you tip the driver or foreman extra, depending on how long the drive was.

- Paul from Go to Moving & Storage in Staten Island, NY (website)

 

First, if your movers ask for a tip, then most likely they do not deserve it. Second, if you see that your movers have treated your belongings with care and respect then please, show them your appreciation. (Only you know how much your belongings are worth) Third, movers shouldn't be tipped before your items have arrived at your destination, instead, tip them well once the whole job has been completed. 10% of your total charges is the average tip for the whole crew. If you are extremely satisfied, then 20 to 25 % is what people usually tip us. If your total moving charges are $2000 then a $200 tip for the crew will show them that their work has been appreciated. Our guys usually receive a 20% average because of our higher than average provided service.

- Luis from Movers on Duty in Gaithersburg, MD (website)

 

How much to tip varies widely based on many factors – i.e. the size of the shipment, the nature of the belongings, the nature of access (stairs, long carries, challenging parking, complex logistics), the preparedness of the customer, and any special handling or services provided among other things. $50 to $500 depending on factors listed above

- Eric from Hansen Brothers Moving and Storage in Seattle, WA (website)

 

It can range from $0 to about $200. The reason for the variance is because it is all based on customer service, timelines, and did they do what they said they were going to do.

- Nicholas from Car Shipping Carriers in Tampa, FL (website).

 

Most customers we have provided service for are unsure whether they need to tip movers. We have been asked that question many times over our 48 years in business. As far as we are concerned, the simple answer is: Tipping is NOT required. However, if a customer is happy with the movers and wants to tip the movers, it is entirely up to them how much to tip. The secret for movers getting tips is for them to provide good service, great communication and to make sure the customer is satisfied with the work. It's that simple!   We have seen our movers get tips from $5.00 each to $150.00 each on local and intrastate moves. Mostly, the size of the job does not matter either. Some shippers have even provided meals during loading or unloading and some of those gave tips on top of that.  We have heard of movers that, upon arrival on the job, want to discuss tipping with the customer BEFORE they even begin to do any work. That is outrageous! To the customer, it may seem as though the workers will define how well their move is going to go based on the tip amount they will give to the crew. At our company, our movers are not allowed to mention tipping at any time - before, during or after any services provided.

- Robert from Tomball Moving & Storage in Tomball, TX (website)

The long distance movers I know have said that 10% gratuity is the going rate. That can get pretty high on large-size and longer-distance moves, so there's probably a cap of around $500 that would be considered "average" for an expensive move.

- Eric from Soda City Movers in Columbia, SC (website).

 

Chapter two: How much to tip local movers

local-movers

When moving locally, the same variables apply.  Movers who move you two blocks over still deserve the same recognition as movers who help  move long distance.  Depending on what they help you move (and what they pack or unpack), they can easily put in a harder day’s work than long distance movers.

Our movers mentioned three tipping strategies:

  • Percentage based: 5%-10% of the move
  • Hourly: $5/hour per mover is fairly standard
  • Per day: $10 – $40 per mover per hour

For example, if a crew of movers work for 4 hours, some customers will pay each mover anywhere from $10-$40 for their service.   This depends on how smooth the move went, how personable the movers were, and how comfortable they made you feel in terms of your personal belongings.

In addition to tipping, consider some nice small things to provide the movers –  bottled water, leaving the AC on during hot days, and even ordering the moving crew some pizza for lunch.   Moving is back-breaking work and to support their efforts, it’s nice to go above and beyond as a client. This extra thoughtfulness goes a long way with your moving crew.

Check out what our movers told us about tipping for local moves below:

Actually, tipping the movers IS customary and highly appreciated! During the summer in Arizona, people don't move themselves because it's so hot out. The movers highly appreciate it when getting a tip. It lets them know you did a great job! Our movers tips really vary but typically it's 15% or more.

- Don from Frontier Apartment Movers in Phoenix, AZ (website).

 

If you don't want to tip, you can always ask what they'd like for lunch. Another thing they appreciate is that you do NOT turn off the air conditioning in 110 degree heat. Our movers are courteous about not leaving the door wide open so it doesn't save you anything by turning it off. It actually makes the movers work in a hot, stuffy environment that isn't helpful.

- Lynette from All Star Movers in Glendale, AZ (website)

 

Moving is considered to be in the service industry, and tipping should be treated accordingly. 15% on the total bill is a good landmark and should be split between the crew members, not given 15% per mover.

- Luke's A+ Moving Service in Hurst, TX (website)

 

We encourage 10% of the move cost

- Frank from Family Moving & Storage in Palm Bay, FL (website)

 

From the perspective of a moving company owner, DO NOT TIP movers that did a bad job, especially if you intend on going back to the company to ask for concessions based on mover performance. It really muddies the waters when we go back to analyze a job and see that the movers were tipped (well), as we are assessing any concessions. It does not help make your case when you do this. Tips are appreciated but not mandatory - tip based on good service, not out of obligation.

Dan from All American Moving & Storage in Columbus, OH (website)

 

I usually recommend $5 per mover per hour as a good tip. This applies to all moves - big and small. If it's a 2 hour studio apartment, that's a $20 tip overall - $10 per mover. Say if it's an 8 hour move with 3 movers, that's $40 per mover, or $120 total. It goes without saying that tips are never expected, and we always tell our customers who ask about tipping that you should do it if you feel like our team went above and beyond the call of duty and exceeded your expectations.

- Eric from Soda City Movers in Columbia, SC (website)

 

The general rule of thumb is somewhere between 15%-25% for local moves, which translates to roughly $6-$10/hr per man, depending on how happy you are with the service. By using these guidelines in tandem you can be confident you are being courteous to your crew without spending too much.

- Paul from Go to Moving & Storage in Staten Island, NY (website)

 

$20 to $150 based on the move factors

- Eric from Hansen Brothers Moving and Storage in Seattle, WA (website)

Chapter three: How much to tip movers in New York City, Chicago, and other cities

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Movers in certain cities, such as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles tend to report higher tips, as moves cost more there.

For higher income cities like New York, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, etc. some movers report tips in the $50-$100 range.   Regardless of the city, the fundamentals remain the same — tip more for a great customer experience.

If you are really unsure what to tip in your area. You can always reach out to the company ahead of time and inquire about average tipping. That way, you do not put any movers on-the-spot, as this can be an uncomfortable situation.

Check out what our movers told us about tipping in more expensive cities:

Our large metro area is Seattle. The tipping amount doesn't really change, but we do see more people giving tips. On average (we have 10 locations across the state of WA), less than 50% of customers tip, but closer to 75% do in Seattle.

- Sommer from Bekins Moving and Storage in Mountlake-Terrace, WA (website).

 

We mostly serve the Washington DC metropolitan area. Our movers' average tip is 20% from the total bill. Although we always tell our clients that tipping is not mandatory. But they usually are so impressed with our movers' work that they feel they must tip them. (And our movers always, greatly appreciate their kindness)

- Luis from Movers on Duty in Gaithersburg, MD (website)

 

Generally, 10-20 % of the bill would be considered good to excellent amount for a job well done. If you were not happy with the way the movers worked and want to tip less, or if your job was particularly easy, it is understandable. Ultimately, what you want to give the workers on top of the bill is at your discretion

- Vlad from 1st Moving in Howell, NJ (website).

Chapter four: How much to tip movers for 2-hour jobs (and other short jobs)

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On average, most movers agree that a 2-hour job typically results in a $5-$20 tip.   That depends on the overall size of the shipment, the nature of the belongings, how difficult access is (i.e. tight spaces or challenging parking), and whether or not the mover handled special items.

Within a 2-hour span, movers may experience some highly stressful, challenging situations. If you feel as though a mover did a fantastic job, focus less on the timespan and more on what they achieved.

Read the feedback our movers sent us below about tipping for short jobs:

For 2-hour jobs, the average tip is $5 per hour per mover, and/or based on individual performance.

- Tommy from American Top Moving in Miami, FL (website).

 

Even for the very short jobs, you really should not be tipping less than $15 per person. $20 is usually the golden standard.

- Paul from Go to Moving & Storage in Staten Island, NY (website).

 

For 2 hours or less, $10 per mover is considered appropriate. If items are extra heavy or difficult to move, consider adding and extra $5 per mover.

- Ben from Olde World Movers in Euless, TX (website)

 

$10 - $20 dollars per mover

- Frank from Family Moving & Storage in Palm Bay, FL (website)

 

Generally no tip is given, but it's common for the customer to buy lunch, breakfast, dinner, or even drinks for the crew.

- Sommer from Bekins Moving and Storage in Mountlake-Terrace, WA (website)

 

If your move is a multiple day job it’s always nice to tip your movers at the end of each day. This is always appreciated by the movers and gives them incentive to do a good job for you the following day. We typically see tips around 15% of the total bill.
- Luke's A+ Moving Services in Hurst, TX (website)

Chapter five: How much to tip movers when they just pack

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Many movers and company supervisors agree that on average, movers who simply pack do not get tipped. However, this varies highly from city to city, job to job. Packing can pose equally hard work, especially when movers deal with valuable or fragile items — it’s stressful work!

Based on the movers we spoke to, some stated that $0 was customary, whereas others typically receive a $20 tip for packing only.    Packing is not as physically demanding, but it takes A LOT of skill to effectively and properly pack a full house or apartment.

Let’s see what our movers told us about how to tip for packing-only jobs:

Packing is actually harder than moving. Although it might not be so physically challenging, it still takes a lot of skill to properly pack a house or an apartment. If your movers, actually care about your belongings and they make sure every single box they pack is correctly packed and labeled, then they do deserve some love!

- Luis from Movers on Duty in Gaithersburg, MD (website)

 

I tell customers that tips are not assumed but instead earned. We would love it if all our crews received amazing tips for their hard work, but it is completely discretionary. When customers push, We usually tell them between $50 - $100 per man per day whether it is packing or moving and regardless of the area.

- Stephen from Molloy Bros Moving and Storage in Harrison, NJ (website)

 

Packing is hard work too, albeit in a completely different way. I think packers should be tipped $20-$30 per person.

- Eric from Soda City Movers in Columbia, SC (website).

 

Normally they don’t get tipped

- Frank from Family Moving & Storage in Palm Bay, FL (website)

Chapter six: How much to tip movers per day

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When movers spend a full day on one job, it challenges them both mentally- and physically.    Based on the input from movers across the country, the standard tip falls anywhere between $20-$100 per day. This appears to be customary regardless of the location, and whether or not movers were packing or physically moving items.

For multi-day jobs Luke’s Moving told us that it’s always nice to tip movers at the end of each day. This not only rewards a job well-done, but provides an extra incentive to push hard the following day.

Let’s see what our movers told us about how much to tip per day:

I would say 95% of our jobs fall within the $20-$100 range for one day.


- Paul from Go to Moving & Storage in Staten Island, NY (website)

 

For longer jobs, you can tip up to $100/per mover. Food and drink are also commonly expected for jobs longer than a couple of hours, and for a full day's job, a decent meal is not out of the question.

- Rachel from Transit Systems Inc. (TSI) in Wayne, PA (website)

 

I never pressure any customer to tip and if they ask how much I just say, “whatever you feel comfortable with.” Personally, I believe Movers should get tipped the same as waiters and waitresses - 15 to 20%.

- Chad from Movers with Manners in Venice, FL (website)

 

The biggest tip I ever received in cash as a mover was $200. We had just finished an understaffed 20 hour local move. Tips can take all forms. Sometimes customers will buy you lunch and some may give you things (I was given a coin collection recently).

- David from Around Town Movers in Sterling, VA (website)

 

Tipping depends on how well the crew did their job. If they were efficient and courteous I would say $3 - $5 per hour is appropriate. I have seen a customer tip each packer/mover $20 at the beginning of the day and then another $20 at the end. I thought this was very smart because the crew went out of their way for the customer all day long.

- Bryan from Move It Once in Pocatello, ID (website)

 

$20-$50 depending on the move cost and performance

- Frank from Family Moving & Storage in Palm Bay, FL (website)

Chapter seven: How much to tip piano movers

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First things first – never move a piano yourself!   Always hire a professional.

When hiring piano movers ask about the company’s moving trucks, as air-ride suspension and climate control are two variables that can make or break piano move.

Consumers often overlook piano movers and appreciate them less than other movers.  Piano moving charges tend to cost a pretty penny, which leads many customers to believe that tipping is not necessary.

Our movers recommended that you tip around $20 per person.  Depending on some the shape and size of some pianos, the job may require anywhere from three to seven movers.

Read the tips our movers sent in about tipping piano movers:

 

First, never do it yourself. Hire a professional. Make sure they have trucks/trailers that are climate controlled and air-ride suspension equipped. Tips for long distance movers average $20-$60 per person and for local moves, $0-$20 per person.

- Christopher from Modern Piano in Sullivan, MO (website)

 

Piano movers should get $20 each if it's upright piano. For baby grand $30-$40 each, and if the piano is moved upstairs, movers should be tipped at least $50 each.

- Roi from Above and Beyond Movers in Anthem, AZ (website)

 

It depends on the type of piano and if stairs/elevators were being used. If you stick to the classic 10-15% you should be OK. The main thing is that you only give what you can afford. Never feel its a demand but a reward for good work.

- Ward from A League of Extraordinary Movers in Fort Lauderdale, FL (website)

 

Piano movers are usually the least appreciated workers. When someone is only moving a piano, the moving charges are usually so high that people tend to believe that a tip isn't necessary. Depending on the type of piano being moved, you might need 3 or 7 movers. $20 per person for a successful local relocation is what we would recommend. If you are crossing state lines then make sure your movers are well taken care of, especially if they deliver your piano in the same condition they picked it up in.

- Luis from Movers on Duty in Gaithersburg, MD (website)

 

If the company charges the same hourly rate whether there is a piano or not, it is highly recommend to tip at least an extra $30 for each person involved in the process of moving a piano.

- Paul from Go to Moving & Storage in Staten Island, NY (website)

 

$20-$30 a man

- Frank from Family Moving & Storage in Palm Bay, FL (website)

Conclusion

At the end of the day, like any service-based industry, you’re NOT required to tip movers.   However, even though tipping a mover is not mandatory, movers welcome and appreciate tips for a job well done.

When tipping, consider the level of skill and patience required to be a mover.    Read the helpful tips provided by our movers for your type of move and tip based your own experience.  We hope this guide helps you in your move!   And if you’re moving soon  get a free moving quote from one of our  highly-rated movers.

How finding a great mover took me 3 years.

Moving sucks

Some research says moving counts as one of the top 5 most stressful things you can do.  I believe it.

I’d like tell you a story – a story of how I spent 3 years finding a great mover.

First, some background.  I moved more than 15 times in my life.  Early on, I would move myself.   As I acquired more stuff and got a bit older, I hired movers.    Every single time I tried to find a mover online, I thought to myself, “wow, moving is the industry the internet forgot about.”   Why could I not search movers?  Why could I not read verified reviews? Why could I not see photos of movers, or get any info on them at all?

When you search for other things online, reviews, prices, photos, and other great information guides you to an informed decision.   I wanted an Amazon, or Orbitz, or Tripadvisor, or Cars.com, or HomeFinder for moving.   Heck, I would have settled for a list of licensed movers in my area.    Instead, I constantly ran into a blind lead form – one that asked for all of my personal information, without showing me any of the movers that would contact me. You know what happened when I submitted that lead form?   I got called by not one, not two, but by SIX movers.  Argh!

Making it better

3 years ago, Shannon Cullins, then HomeFinder’s VP of Product, and I decided to change things.  We learned everything we could about moving, and decided to build an incredibly trustworthy, consumer friendly service to help consumers find great movers and experience happy moves.  We called it MovingCompanyReviews.com (MCR for short).  Shannon took over as General Manager, and we launched the site in February of 2013.   We launched with a few key features to guarantee we focus on helping people find the best movers:

  • We verify every review with either a moving receipt (called a Bill of Lading), or a move confirmed by a quality moving company
  • We prominently display each mover’s review rating
  • We prominently show every mover’s state and federal licensing information, links to their federal complaint history, and any other pertinent government information
  • We put caution badges on movers with suspect quality, or fraud complaints
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A mover listing on MovingCompanyReviews
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See the license requirements for your move type and confirm a mover meets them

Finding my mover on MovingCompanyReviews

Fast forward to today.   I moved last week, and found Olympia Moving through MovingCompanyReviews.  Interestingly enough, I chose a different mover than I thought going in.  Reading all of their verified reviews swayed me to them initially, and then their fantastic customer service during the quoting process won me over.

I am happy to report that Olympia made my move wonderful. They were, by a wide margin, the BEST movers I have ever used.   Their attention to detail stunned me.  They wrapped things meticulously, carried things extremely carefully, pointed out existing damage before wrapping or moving anything, and went way above and beyond what I expected.  For example, they expertly squeezed an huge armoir into a bedroom by taking some of it apart and putting it back together again.   Every other mover who moved that armoir just gave up, or damaged walls trying to shove it in.   The Olympia crew took such great care that we had no damage to any items, or any walls, other than a tiny smudge here and there.

The semi arrives (yes, a semi!)

The semi arrives (yes, a semi!)

Here’s the best part – they estimated 12 hours for the move, and it only took them 8, so we saved a bunch of money versus our quote.

I almost forgot the icing on top – I got a free pizza from MCR by leaving a voice review about my move.  Nothing tastes quite as good as a free pizza on move day.

My best move ever

It feels great building something that makes a difference.  Moving delivers loads of stress.   Having the fantastic movers from Olympia made this move much better and much less stressful than any other time I moved.    I’d like to thank the whole MovingCompanyReviews team for their work the last few years, you guys rock.

Planning to move soon? Find your mover and get free estimates at MovingCompanyReviews.com.

Insider Tips and Tricks for a Stress-Free Move

Moving can be a tough process, no matter if you’re moving out for the first time or settling into your “forever” home. We’ve compiled our top insider tips and tricks to create a stress-free move experience. Read more below!


MovingDayTips

 READ HERE: Top Ten Moving Day Tips


MovingWithKids

READ HERE: Ten Stress-Busting Tips for Moving With Kids


HappyMoveDay

READ HERE: Top Ten Happy Move Day Tips and Tricks

Top 10 Moving Day Tips

After weeks of coordination, prep and careful planning, it’s finally here. Moving Day! Keep these stress-buster tips in mind for a successful move.

10. Pack a first night kit

You have a long day ahead of you, and the last thing you want to root through boxes for is essentials at bedtime. Pack a bag, clear bin or box that’s easily accessible with everything you need for your first night in your new home: change of clothes, bedding, comfort items for kids, snacks etc.

9. Label your boxes

It’s common to label your boxes with what it contains, but be sure to also clearly mark which ROOM they’re designated for as well. Write or apply labels on all sides, that way you’ll be able to read them when boxes are stacked and easily direct the movers as they unload.

8. Take a pic of your electronics before disconnecting 

You might be in a hurry to get everything packed and loaded on the truck, but take a minute to snap a picture of the back of your TV, computer and any electronics with complicated wires and hook-ups. Now you’ll have a visual cheat sheet for how to hook everything back up at your new place.

7. Empty and defrost your fridge for 24 hours before you move

Remove everything from your fridge and give it a thorough cleaning before unplugging it at least a day before your move. The last thing you want to welcome into your new home is unpleasant smells.

6. Keep high value items with you, not in the moving truck

Even if you have move protection, you likely have precious heirlooms or sentimental items that are irreplaceable. Keep these with you and plan to transport them in your car so you don’t have to worry about potential damage or loss. This includes sensitive documents such as financial info.

5. Give yourself plenty of time to get the job done right 

This seems overly simple, but you can save yourself a lot of stress by starting your day early and leaving plenty of room for each critical step of the move process. Move day should be focused on moving out of your old home and into your new one. Don’t limit your time window by adding on extra coordination headaches, such as utility set up.

4. Know your inventory 

Your moving company will provide you with an inventory confirmation and Bill of Lading, which details everything that should be moved that day. Look over all paperwork carefully and don’t sign anything you don’t feel 100% about, it’s never too late to ask questions. It’s also a good idea to know how many boxes you’ve packed so you can make sure all your belongings arrive at your destination.

3. Keep cleaning supplies and garbage bags handy 

With lots of foot traffic in and out of the house, unpacking and potentially anything left behind by prior residents, it doesn’t hurt to have cleaning supplies handy to get your new digs move-in ready. Your kitchen and the bathrooms will probably be the most used throughout the day, so start there.

2. Clear any obstacles for your mover 

If you’re moving to a house, the moving truck can probably park out front. But if you live in an area with limited street parking and other regulations, make sure you have a spot for your movers to safely park and have secured proper permits if needed. Same goes for reserving an elevator if you live in a condo – the idea is to help your movers do their job. Efficiency will translate in cost savings for you, if the movers can finish on time or even before your estimated window.

1. Get FREE pizza on move day by reviewing your mover

The last thing you want to worry about today is putting food on the table. Haven’t unpacked your cookware yet? No problem! Get FREE Domino’s pizza today when you review your mover and provide a move receipt. Don’t worry, we’ll remind you 🙂