Tipping Movers: What to Know

Moving from one home to another is a very stressful process that’s often filled with lots of tough questions and uncertainties. Two of the most notable being:

  1. Should I tip my movers?
  2. How much do I tip my movers?

As difficult a topic as money is, so is how much you should tip. On one hand, you don’t want to look cheap or unappreciative of the work your movers did. On the other hand, you also don’t want to over-tip your movers, because, after all, moving is already a costly event. To learn more about tipping movers, continue reading.

Do you have to tip your movers?

First things first. There is no rule that says you have to tip your movers. This being said, you don’t have to feel obligated to do so. Based on the quality of your move, the professional attitude of your movers, as well as the number of items that remain intact at the end of the day, you – and you alone – are in charge of deciding whether or not to tip your moving crew. To help you decide whether your movers deserve to be tipped or not, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Did your packers and movers arrive on time?
  • Were your workers nice, friendly and sociable, or rude, cold and disrespectful?
  • Did your movers act in a professional manner from the moment they arrived?
  • Did your movers treat your possessions with care and attention?
  • Did your movers do everything necessary to avoid property damage?
  • Did your hired professionals work hard from start to finish? Or did they try to deliberately extend the time they needed to finish the job by using dishonest or disrespectful time-wasting tricks – frequent cigarette or bathroom breaks, for example.

How much do you tip movers?

When it comes to tipping your movers, it is entirely up to you as to how much you think they deserve based on their job performance. But there are some ways to go about it. Here is a universal tipping formula you can use for short-distance and long-distance moves:

Short-Distance Moves.

A short-distance move, or local move, is one that will typically only require one day’s service from professional movers. For this type of move, it is easiest to tip based on an hourly rate.

  • Big tips – $5-$8 per hour/mover – if they did an outstanding job or had to work under tough conditions – long flights of stairs, narrow corridors, heavy and huge furniture pieces, etc.
  • Standard tips – $4-$5 per hour/mover – if they did a good job protecting, carrying and loading your belongings with care.
  • No tip if they did a poor job, damaged your belongings, or had a rude or disrespectful attitude.

Considering moving jobs are typically only a few hours, this will average to around $40 a day – an appropriate and standard tip for movers.

Long-Distance Moves. For long-distance moves, you may want to consider tipping your movers based on a percentage of your final moving bill. According to the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA), the average moving cost of an interstate move is around $4,300. For movers that did a phenomenal job, you could pay them up to 20% of this total. Depending on the performance of your movers, you can adjust the percentage accordingly.

If percentages aren’t your thing, then you can use the universal tipping method as previously discussed.

When do you tip movers?

If you decide to tip your movers, it’s important to get the timing right. There are two ways to go about it.

  1. Encourage your moving crew to work harder by promising tips at the end of the move provided they do a good job. Along with this verbal assurance, you can take it an extra step by giving each worker $10 to let them know you are serious about tipping them.
  2. Tip your moving team after they’ve completed the job. This means after all boxes and furniture pieces have been delivered and taken inside your home. If you’ve tacked on extra services for unpacking, tips should be handed out after the task is done. Tipping movers after the job is completed is typically the safest – and most common – option because it allows you to ensure the job is done efficiently, because if it isn’t, you will be out money on an unnecessary tip.

If you opt for tipping method number 2, be sure all of your possessions are accounted for, and that they are all in good shape. Once you sign your final paperwork, you can then reward each mover individually.

Who do you tip?

Before you can tip your moving crew, you first need to know who to tip. Typically, you are expected to tip each individual mover according to their service, professional attitude and overall performance. A potentially big mistake to avoid is giving the entire sum of cash to the foreman or driver. If they end up being dishonest, they may simply forget to share the tipping money with the crew or keep the money entirely for themselves.

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Moving Costs: How Much Money Should You Save?

So, it’s time to move. Whether it’s for a job, because you don’t like your current landlord or neighbors, or just because you want a change, the prospect of moving can be quite appealing. But before you start picking out furniture for a new place you haven’t even found yet, it’s important to truly consider the many aspects that are involved in a move. One very important thing to consider before jumping into a commitment is whether you are emotionally ready to part with your old life and financially comfortable to afford a relocation. When moving house, costs add up quickly. You need to be able to cover these costs without difficulty in order to have a smooth, stress-free moving experience. But, how much money do you need to be prepared to move? It all depends on a number of things, such as:

  • The living costs in your new area;
  • The amount of items you’ll need to purchase for your new place; and
  • The size of your move, including the distance from your current to new home.

To figure out how much you will need to save in order to afford all of the moving expenses required, continue reading.

Housing

Housing expenses will typically be your largest financial challenge when moving to a new home.

Renting 

If you decide to rent an apartment or house, you will be required to provide several things, including:

Safety Net: Before you sign a lease for a new home, you are strongly encouraged to save enough money to cover at least three months’ rent – even more if you don’t have a steady income at the time of your move.

Security Deposit: When renting, you will be required to put down a security deposit at the time you sign your lease. Security deposits are typically the same amount as one month’s rent. One potential perk here is that you will be able to get your security deposit back after you move out. However, you will only get all of your money back if you leave the rental property in just as good of condition as when you moved in.

Management Fees: When renting a home, you will be charged for a background/credit check. This will add up to another $50 you will have to be able to hand out on the spot.

Buying

If you decide to buy a home, the initial costs are much, much more than that of renting. This being said, you will need to have a lot of dough saved before the idea of purchasing a home is even an option. To avoid extra fees like mortgage insurance, you will need to have saved 20% of the final cost of the home you are buying.

Whether you rent or buy, be sure the monthly rent or mortgage does not exceed 25%-30% of your disposable income. Otherwise, you run a dangerous risk of enduring serious financial difficulties.

Utilities

When you relocate to a new home, you will need to have all of the utilities turned on. These include gas, water, electricity, etc. If you like entertainment, you will also want to install extra utility services, like cable and internet. Utility costs depend on the area you live in as well as the size of your home. Also note that there are often extra connection and transfer fees you will be required to pay in order to have these services turned on.

It is a good idea to contact service providers in your future area before moving in order to get an estimate of what your monthly bills will be. In turn, you get a better idea of your total monthly expenses.

Moving Expenses

Moving house equals moving expenses – to hire movers, to buy packing supplies, and so on. These costs can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on the distance to your new home, the size of your move and the moving assistance you require.

DIY Move: A do-it-yourself move is definitely the cheapest option when moving house. But keep in mind that a DIY move is only possible if you rent a moving truck and have reliable friends and/or family to help you. It is also, usually, only possible when moving locally. If you do opt to move by yourself, you will still need to pay for several things, such as:

  • Rental truck (and fuel)
  • Vehicle insurance
  • Road tolls, parking fees, and meals and lodging, if applicable
  • Moving boxes, packing tape, packing paper, moving dollies, etc.

Professional Movers: Hiring professional movers may be more costly than a DIY move, but it is definitely the more worthwhile choice. Experienced movers have specialized moving equipment, plus the required know-how to perform an efficient and safe relocation. When moving locally, you will be charged on an hourly basis. For long-distance moves, relocation costs are based on the total weight of your items and the distance to your new home.

For a FREE price quote based on your moving needs, contact ABC Movers.

Importance of Creating a Moving Inventory List (Part 1 of 2)

Over the years, we acquire a lot of stuff, and keeping track of it all is definitely not easy. This is especially true in certain situations – like moving to a new house. Moving is a stressful event, and the only way to tone down the crazy and keep things under control is to be organized. One way to stay orderly during a move is by creating a detailed moving inventory list that contains all the household items and personal belongings you intend to take with you. Having a practical checklist like this to refer to when you’re feeling overwhelmed by your relocation will make your moving experience much more manageable. Continue reading to learn why creating a moving inventory list is vital to a safe, well-organized and stress-free move.

Why should I make a moving inventory list?

There are obvious benefits to having a personalized moving calendar – it prevents you from forgetting something important and helps you optimize every aspect of your move right down to the second the moving truck arrives at your door. But have you ever considered creating a moving inventory sheet, too? You may think it is not worth the time and effort, but believe us, once you start the actual moving preparations, you’ll quickly come to the conclusion that a home inventory list is indispensable. Not only will it help you stay organized and keep track of your possessions, it will also allow you to estimate the cost of your move and unpack quickly and easily after the relocation. Here are the top ways an inventory list will be of great help:

Visual representation. Most likely, you don’t realize how much stuff you actually possess – or what exactly it is. By creating a home inventory list, you will be provided with a visual representation of your belongings. It will also help you decide which items to take to your new home and which ones to get rid of prior to your move.

Estimate costs. Whether you ship your items or opt for a moving company, the cost of your move will depend on the total weight of your shipment. An inventory list will help you easily estimate the weight of your items and get an accurate idea of the final moving cost. It will also help provide your movers with all the information they require in order to assess how much time they will need to complete the job, what extra services will be necessary, etc. Knowing these specifics will allow your movers to come up with an accurate and final price of your move. It will also properly prepare them for your relocation so they can perform a safe and efficient move.

Packing supplies. Once you have a complete inventory of all items to be packed for your move, you will have a better understanding of the packing supplies you will need, the amount of time you will require to prepare your items for shipping, and the special handling requirements necessary to ensure the safety of your belongings.

Keep track of belongings. The amount of items you and your movers will be in charge of on moving day will be huge. The best way to keep track of your belongings is with a moving inventory list. As each box, household appliance, and piece of furniture is loaded onto the moving truck, you will be able to check off each item to ensure everything is taken on the road to your new home. This is just as important post-move, because you will be able to check your items against your inventory list upon delivery and immediately know if something is missing.

Insurance. Before you move, it is a very worthwhile idea to insure your belongings with a notable insurance company. It is also strongly recommended to note the estimated value of every single item you plan to entrust to your movers in your moving inventory list. This includes a clear statement of the condition of each item, along with photos, videos, warranties, maintenance receipts, authenticity receipts, etc. A moving inventory list will help you better determine the value of your belongings and the type of liability coverage that will best protect you. It will also help you file an insurance claim if any items get damaged or stolen during your relocation.

Now that you have learned the reasons why creating a moving inventory list is so important, move along to our next blog, which will provide you with step-by-step directions on how to make the ultimate inventory list.

The Complete Guide to Moving to a New State

No matter where you are moving, it’s never easy – especially when moving to a new state. The process is long, tedious and stressful – as well as exhausting. With so many things to do before moving to a new state, you are probably at a loss for where to even begin. Luckily, at ABC Movers, we are here to help you tackle your relocation and come out of it with a smile on your face. To keep yourself organized during all stages of your cross-country move, read on to gain access to our guide to moving to a new state.

What to Do Before You Move

  • If possible, visit your future city/state in advance to get an idea of what to expect.
  • Research the cost of living, housing costs and career opportunities in your new state – specifically your new city.
  • Explore renting and purchasing options, and secure a place to live.
  • Unless your job is the reason for your relocation, try to secure a job before your move.
  • Set a moving budget.
  • Research moving companies: read online reviews; ask friends, family, coworkers and neighbors for recommendations.
  • Contact moving companies and ask for an in-house cost estimation.
  • Hire a top-rated state-to-state moving company.
  • Look for ways to cut moving costs.
  • Discuss any additional moving services and costs with your chosen moving company.
  • Carefully review and compare any relocation offers, including additional services offered.
  • Request all moving-related paperwork in advance to avoid unpleasant moving day surprises.
  • Create a detailed home inventory of all items you will take with you and those you will leave behind.
  • Pack, pack, pack! – Be sure to prepare a few “open first” boxes to help you survive the first few post-move days (clothes, toiletries, phone charger, etc.).
  • If traveling with pets and plants, decide how you intend to transport them to your new location.
  • Gather any required documents/certificates from your family physician and vet. Also obtain your child(ren)’s school records.
  • Cancel all current subscriptions to utility providers and services before moving day. Arrange for the disconnection of main utilities, like water, electricity, gas, etc., and transfer them to your new home.
  • Change your address with the post office and have mail forwarded to your new address.
  • Decide how you will get your car to your new home – drive it or use a reputable auto transporter.
  • Discuss the upcoming move with your children and how it will impact their foreseeable future.
  • Finalize plans for moving day by calling and confirming appointments with movers, etc.

The Cost of Moving to a New State

Moving costs money, which, for most, is a big concern. This is perfectly understandable. There are several important points to be aware of when it comes to the average cost of moving to a new state. While the price of a local move is calculated on an hourly basis, the cost of moving cross country is estimated based on relocation parameters.

  • Move Distance – When relocating to a new state, there is a direct ratio between distance and price. This will stand as a set price because, as you know, you can’t shorten the distance of your move.
  • Items Transported – The factor that will have the greatest impact on the price of your move is the number and weight of your household items. To cut costs, it’s a good idea to seriously consider which belongings to bring with you and which to leave behind. The less you bring, the lower the price.
  • Additional Services – Extras rarely come without a price, so watch how many additional services you decide to tack on to your moving bill. Examples of add-on services include packing and unpacking, post-move disposal of packing supplies, disassembly and re-assembly of big furniture, etc.

Important Post-Move Tasks

Now that you’ve learned the main principles of how to move to a new state and potential cost factors you can focus your attention on preparing for some important post-move tasks. Here are the top five things to accomplish after you move to a new state:

Find a healthcare provider. Amongst the slew of things you’ll need to accomplish post move, you’ll also need to find yourself – and your family members – new healthcare providers. You’ll also need to find a veterinarian for any pets you may have. Begin your hunt with the help of recommendations from your former doctor or friends. Searching online is another idea, that will provide you with knowledgeable reviews from patients.

Register your car. Along with getting an updated driver’s license when moving to a new state, you will also need to register your car (neither of these things can be done online). Sometime during your busy post-move schedule, you will need to take a trip to the DMV to get these two things resolved. All states impose different deadlines for when these things are required to be taken care of, so be sure to find out how long your new state allows.

Unpack. A quick glance over the endless piles of boxes stacked high around your new home will show you how much you still have left to do to finish up your move. But, there is some good news – unpacking is usually a much faster process than packing. You can also do it on your own terms without a deadline looming over you.

Get to know your new home. Once you finally find yourself inside your new home, the new logistics and mountains of boxes may be overwhelming. To familiarize yourself with your new surroundings, it is wise to explore your new home. Locate your fuse box and main water valve in case of emergencies. Also look for signs of pre-existing damage or pest infestation, check for any potential problems, and make sure your home is secured against unauthorized access and forces of nature.

Moving to a new state can be stressful, but with this helpful guide, you are on your way to a successful move.