America is special in many ways. One thing that makes us different from most other countries is how we handle gratuity. We tip in many contexts and situations that are just not customary elsewhere. It can be confusing and awkward. Most of us have googled whether tipping various workers is expected, and what percentages are in the normal gratuity range.
If you’ve hired a moving company, this question will come up. Waiting until the last minute of your move, and then doing an internet search for “do you tip movers” or “how much are you supposed to tip movers” will be awkward and stress you out. So we’ll just tell you: Tipping movers is not mandatory, and not quite as common as tipping waitstaff or hairdressers, but it is very common nevertheless. So if your movers work hard and do a good job, they’re probably hoping for some amount of gratuity.
So the next question is how much? That depends on a number of factors.
RULES OF THUMB
If the movers are finishing up at your house, and they did a good job, and you have to pay them right now, and you don’t have time to read any fine details, here are two simple ways you can handle this:
Easy Method A:
Tip 10% of the total moving costs, divided between the movers.
Ex: If the moving cost is $1,000 and there were four movers, the tip will be $100, or $25 per mover.
Easy Method B:
Tip $4 or $5 per hour, per mover.
This is a pretty common formula, but it can get really out of hand if you’re moving long-distance.
Another drawback is that you’re tipping them less if they work faster and more efficiently, so keep that in mind. You don’t want them to take all day if they don’t have to, so consider the convenience they provided you by moving your stuff quickly. The sooner they’re done, the sooner you can do your part of the process, and eventually relax.
If you’re not pressed for time right now and want to put some real thought into your gratuity rate, see the following considerations detailed below.
If you have all your stuff packed sensibly, and your boxes sorted and labeled before the movers arrive, that makes the job a lot easier. If the boxes aren’t labeled and the movers take extra time to consult with you and get them in the right rooms, you might want to tip them a little more for their troubles. Remember to box your stuff securely. Try to avoid packing heavy objects into large boxes, and don’t pack a ton of books into a large box. This is not only unwieldy; the weight can cause the box to open up during the moving process.
Moving is harder in rough weather. Rain and snow can certainly make driving the truck more challenging. They can make the whole job harder and more time-consuming, as all your furniture and many of your items will need to be protected from the elements. Extreme temperatures make the job a lot less pleasant, so keep that in mind too. Ice on the ground means your movers have to be super careful not to slip and fall.
Storeys and Stairs
Moving furniture and boxes can become a lot more work when stairs are involved. Taking large or heavy items upstairs is obviously a lot of work, but taking a heavy chest of drawers or a glass top table down a narrow stairway can be even harder, depending on measurements involved.
Big and Heavy Items
According to an estimate from Zillow, the contents of a 1,000 square foot apartment weigh more than 5,000 pounds on average. If your house is 3,000 square feet, your stuff could easily weigh over 15,000 pounds. That’s a lot of weight. The size and shape of your furniture items is a significant factor too, making maneuvering through your house more difficult.
Pay attention to all the other factors that can make a move difficult:
Were there pets and toddlers that the movers had to worry about not stepping on or letting out of the house?
Is the driveway steep?
Were there terrible traffic or construction delays on the highway? (This is Texas, after all.)
Was there any construction or remodeling going on at either house that they had to work around?
How easy is the front entrance? Are there stairs? Did they have to use the back entrance for some things?
And of course, pay attention to everything these guys get right. Are they extra careful with that fine China that belonged to your grandmother, or those paintings you adore?
Were they super nice to your kids or your pets?
Were they careful to not track a lot of dirt into your home?
Did they answer your questions and address any concerns you had during the moving process?
All these factors matter. Good movers take great pride in their work, and that should be rewarded.
There are additional ways that people reward good movers. Some people will buy pizza and/or have drinks available. Moving is hard work, and sometimes movers are so focused on getting the job done that they don’t take the time to get lunch or drinks for themselves. And if you receive superior service, make sure to pass this along to the company, and leave a favorable review online. This can really help the movers and the moving company, and it costs you nothing.
If you’re getting ready for a move, call Firefighting’s Finest Moving & Storage. We are dedicated to providing efficient, safe, and professional commercial and home moving services, as the moving partner you can rely on. Founded in 2001 by two off-duty firefighters, we’ve grown to serve not only the Dallas/Fort Worth area, but also Houston and Austin as well. A locally-owned-and-operated business, we exceed all state and federal requirements for a moving company and can handle all of your moving needs. Call 844-715-6625 or visit our website for an estimate.