The Dos and Don’ts of Dealing with Movers

Since today was our last (of 3) day with the movers I thought I would put together a list of what I’ve learned over our various moves with professional movers. While it may be easier than moving yourself, there is definitely an art to making your move run smoothly. Here are some Dos and Don’ts I’ve learned when dealing with movers-


Ask Them to Come Back– My dear husband did this during our first move with movers/packers. We were terribly under prepared and as his office was getting packed and he asked the packer to come back to this room later. The look on her face was hilarious and I had to intervene. Don’t ask your packers or movers to come back. They are there to do there job and do it quickly.

Beg Them To Pack Prohibited Items– All movers are different. Some will pack candles and food while others follow the rules to a “T”. Ask once to see where they stand on the rules and then leave it at that. Don’t cause a fuss begging them to break the rules and pack items you knew weren’t allowed in the first place.

Have A Complicated Packing System– I see all these posts around the web advising people to use multicolored tape, patterned scrap book paper, detailed packing lists, etc. When I read these bits of advice I imagine chasing down movers with my sharpie pen and getting frustrated when a packer puts the wrong purple zebra-striped tape on my kitchen box when I clearly designated that design to the bathroom boxes. Basically, take a chill pill. If you have a simple fool-proof plan, then go for it. But try not to overwhelm yourself or your movers with a super complicated packing system.

Have A Bunch of People Around– Kids, Pets, and friends are better off somewhere else while your pack-out is commencing. There will be A LOT of people in your house, packing, cataloging, and moving. No need to add to the mayhem and living in fear of your cat getting out or your toddler wandering away.

Micro-manage– Supervising is ok and encouraged. These are your things and you will want to make sure everything is packed correctly and gets on the truck. Do not, however, micro-manage. Like any job, it’s important to feel empowered. These people are professionals and if you start to nit-pick they will pack even faster to get out of there and sometimes faster can mean a sloppy and hastily done job.


Have a Plan– Plan way in advance what your approach will look like on pack-out day. Have a “Do Not Pack” room already established with everything you plan to carry with you during the move already placed inside. You don’t want to be running around looking for you PCS Binder only to find out its already been packed. Be prepared and everything will go much smoothly.

Wake Up Early– Movers are notorious for showing up earlier than expected. Rise early to ensure you have time to get dressed and have some coffee before the madness begins.

Tip Before They Begin– Tipping your movers before they begin gives you a better chance they will go above and beyond to protect your things and do a good job.

Learn Everyone’s Name– This is just good manners. Treat your movers and packers like the people they are. Everyone does a better job when they aren’t treated like help.

Speak Kindly– Make an attempt not to get bossy. This goes along with the names thing. Be a kind respectful human being. As the old saying goes, “you get more flies with honey than vinegar.”

Provide Refreshments– Don’t want your movers starting and stopping all day long, wasting their own time and yours? Provide refreshments. Start the day off with coffee, water, and bagels. Offer to order pizza or grab sandwiches once lunchtime rolls around. The movers are sure to appreciate it and it will ensure you get a spare moment to eat too.

I think it really just boils down to being a good customer. Anyone who has worked in customer service understands that working with the public can be pretty nasty and we have all heard those stories of the nightmare customers. Don’t be the nightmare customer. Ever.


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