How much to tip movers?

Moving Tips - November 10, 2018

Moving is stressful, there is no doubt about that. In fact, that is one of the most stressful things you will ever go through in your life according to some studies. You are about to move your whole house or apartment somewhere else. This means that you are leaving your home, which can be, more often than not, very emotional. There is also, the whole moving process to go through. Packing, wrapping, counting, throwing things away, it can all be quite overwhelming. That is why you should look for all the help you can get. Parents, siblings, and friends, in theory at least, are there to help you with all that. Still, without movers, any move would probably be in vain. They are doing the hardest part – carrying your things. So, the answer we are looking for here is, after they finish, how much to tip movers?

Let’s think about this for a moment

You have all these people there who you have never met before putting your trust and your life (figuratively) in their hands. So, your books, your dear mementos like photos and gifts from your loved ones, expensive stuff like crystal glasses etc will be carried by them – people you probably didn’t even meet directly are going to be carrying the whole of your life. This is actually a very interesting situation.

Four labelled boxes - tip movers for a packing job well done.
You can also get packing tips from certain companies

People who have never met you before will be helping you move to your new home. This should, of course, go without saying, but just in case, we will say it nonetheless – You have to strive to be nice and respectful to them at all times. They are the people whose job is very hard and, paradoxically, not very rewarding.

What type and amount of work will they be doing?

Moving is a complicated affair, and anyone who says it is not so is lying. There are many obstacles to overcome until you are done with the packing, moving and unpacking. That is why all that help is needed, which is why hiring a movers company is a must. Let’s say you are moving from your hometown to Chicago. You are going to need some quality local movers Chicago offers. They will have to plan the whole process, and then obviously execute it. And what if you are moving across the continent?

That is all very hard, so bear in mind through what troubles your movers will be going through. Some companies even offer the packing service. What this is is basically them, sending a crew of professionals to help you pack. You can get all sorts of tips and advice on how to pack in a most efficient way.

A clock on a table
How long did the move take can help you decide how to tip movers

There are three basic considerations that can help you gauge how satisfied you should be with the job done:

  • The first one how complex the move is. So, take into consideration how vast is your old house and how numerous and bulky are your possessions. How many movers and packers are involved in the job, and how many staircases will they have to cover. And finally how many days did the move take?
  • The second one is the quality of service. Were they nice to you? That is very important. Were they punctual? How carefully did they treat your items? The third one is the complete moving cost. Did you have to pay for packing as well as for moving services? Did they use two trunks? And lastly, did the way they handled the whole moving process satisfy your expectations?

Should you tip movers?

It is very important here to be aware of the fact that giving tips to movers is not obligatory. Still, as the majority of services go, giving tips is how you, as the customer show your appreciation for the job done. The amount of money that you should tip movers with is not pre-determined.

However, there is a generally accepted idea of how much a tip should be. This unwritten rule says that the tip should somewhere between 5% of the overall bill to $20 dollars per man. Depending on the situation, the company’s policy concerning this etc, this may vary though. Still, if you decide to follow this rule, you won’t be wrong.

Is there a specific way to tip?

Next, the way how you tip does also matter very much. You shouldn’t give all the tips to the moving supervisor. What you should do is to tip movers individually. This is a sign of respect and appreciation for their respective personal efforts. Also, if for any reason you feel that a particular worker or two has done better than the others, you can, of course, tip them a bit extra.

Two movers packing belongings.
Moving is hard, so be kind to movers


Furthermore, it is possible that the crew overall does an amazing job and exceeds all the expectations. This may make you feel like they deserve a more generous tip. It is up to you to notice such things, and it is up to you to decide if and by how much will you be increasing their tip.

Here are some ideas on which situations might earn them a greater tip:

  • Taking a shorter time than planned to finish the move
  • Moving some exceptionally complicated and/or hard pieces of furniture
  • Succeeding in those despite long distance walking, or if the building is without the elevator

There are other ways for tipping movers

Before you decide anything, don’t forget that there are other ways how you can tip movers. You can always prepare water and some soda for them. Also, you can prepare food (sandwiches will do just fine) or buy them lunch. Pizza is usually the prime choice for the majority of people. Next, what you could do is to offer them to take some of the things that you don’t need. Moving is a great opportunity for getting rid of things you don’t need. So, why not offer things that you don’t need to your movers?

You might have something they need, and you don’t, so tipping them this was is surely a good idea. Bear in mind that companies in certain cities or areas may have different policies towards tipping, for example, moving services Chicago moving companies offer may have their own calculations on how much a tip should be.

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