Are You Supposed To Help Movers?

Tiffany Nichols
by Tiffany Nichols

Changing your location can be stressful. And most furniture is heavy. So, it helps to hire professional movers for some help. But what are you supposed to do while they’re in your house? And how much are you expected to tip, if anything?

Most movers don’t expect homeowners to help them pack or load items into the truck. That’s because they receive special training to handle large objects with care. They also carry liability insurance that dictates who can help. So, sit back and let pros do all the work. And if they need your assistance with something, they’ll probably ask.

Do You Need to Hire Movers?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

Do You Have to Prepare for Professional Movers?

Try to prepare your property before the movers arrive to shorten the process. This phase also helps movers organize belongings and prevent damages. So, get ready like this:

  • Pack Your Items in Boxes: Put small possessions in containers and label them right away.
  • Reserve Parking for the Moving Truck: Park your cars somewhere else for the day, and provide space to reach the door.
  • Entertain Pets and Children: Keep little ones away from the action to prevent injuries and accidents.
  • Measure Your Furniture: Make sure everything can fit through the door or disassemble items that can’t.
  • Grab Cash for Tips: Offer generous gratuity to professional movers for all their hard work and careful handling.

Don’t forget to call ahead to confirm your appointment. And ask for specific prep steps because each company is different. Also, note that some movers might help you disassemble large furniture if you don’t have the time or tools.

The Job Duties of Movers

Hired moving companies can handle most aspects of a relocation. They monitor on-site safety and provide help with unloading as well. Plus, they help keep track of your stuff with diligent record-keeping. However, each company offers different services. So, be sure to ask what your contract contains.

In general, this is the job description of a professional mover in most states:

  • Wrap Possessions in Protective Materials
  • Pack Items in Containers
  • Load Items into the Truck
  • Unload Items Upon Arrival
  • Place Furniture in Desired Areas
  • Assemble Disassembled Pieces
  • Take Inventory of Your Possessions

Imagine packing, loading, and unloading your property on the same day. Projects like that take a lot of work. So, expect your move to last several hours. But keep in mind that the duration depends on where you’re going and how prepared you were before the experts arrived.

Will Movers Move Things That Aren’t in Boxes?

In some cases, you might be able to move things that you don’t box. But most moving companies require you to box and label all your possessions. Unless you’re going a short distance or traveling abroad, get ready to pack and tape. Meanwhile, you can hire movers to fill containers for you. But the extra service could cost you more money.

DID YOU KNOW: The average price of a short-distance move ranges between $500 and $1,500, depending on how much stuff you have.

Are You Supposed to Help Movers?

As a general rule, let movers do their job. They do not need your assistance when lifting heavy objects, loading trucks, or filling dumpsters. So, you can relax while they handle your property and pack up your things. And if your helpers require a hand, they’ll ask. When movers ask for your help, it’s usually regarding something you didn’t prepare. That means you should go over the pre-move checklist they provide to streamline the process.

NOTE: Some companies don’t provide a checklist unless you ask for one.

What to Do While Movers Move Your Stuff

You can relax while movers move your stuff. But try not to make their job more challenging. Offer a hand if it’s needed, and do the following things as you wait for them to finish:

#1. Put Small Items in Your Car

Some tiny objects can’t go in boxes because they’ll get broken. And you should keep personal items on you at all times. So, place small or crucial possessions in your vehicle for safekeeping.

#2. Offer Movers Some Refreshments

Your movers work hard to pack and load your things. And that means they can get thirsty and hungry. But offering drinks and snacks is a quick way to show thanks for their dedicated labor.

#3. Take Care of Children and Pets

Mind your kids and keep pets crated until you’re ready to leave. That way, nothing gets broken, and nobody gets hurt. And if you can’t keep little ones contained, hire a babysitter for the day.

#4. Be Present for Problems

Your movers might not need a lot of help, but they could ask questions. Plus, something could happen that might require your attention or permission. So, go over the expectations ahead of time.

#5. Finalize the Details

Sign your service contracts. Lock the doors and windows. Then shut off all the lights. You’re responsible for the condition of the property when you leave. Make sure everything is up to snuff.

TIP: Always review your service agreement before signing it. And check for property damage before you lock the doors.

Can You Leave Movers Alone?

You don’t have to be present when full-service movers are at your house. Some homeowners even travel to the new location instead of staying at the old place. However, you should ask the movers for their preferences because each situation is different. Plus, you’re still liable for damages if you’re somewhere else.

Moving companies usually have insurance to cover worker negligence. But you must prove their negligence with concrete evidence, or landlords will expect you to pay a bigger deposit. And proving fault can be a challenge. So, try to keep impeccable records.

Take pictures of your house before and after the move. Pay close attention to doorways, staircases, windows, and walls. Those areas usually take the biggest hit when you relocate. But doors, windows, and structural objects are expensive to repair or replace without insurance.

Is It OK to Not Tip Movers?

Professional movers don’t expect a tip for their work. However, they greatly appreciate it. But some companies won’t allow their movers to accept gratuity or refreshments from homeowners. So, always check the policies before making someone feel uncomfortable.

A decent tip for movers is around $20 per person. That means you should grab about $60 in cash for a three-person moving crew. Meanwhile, be mindful of the size of the job. Large projects may require a larger tip to avoid insulting the worker. If you’re curious about expectations and etiquette, contact the company’s customer service.

What Happens If You Don’t Move Out on Time?

Don’t worry that your movers won’t finish on time if you don’t help. They usually work on a tight schedule. So, they’re efficient when moving possessions and unloading your stuff. But if you have concerns about the timeline, don’t hesitate to ask. You could help shorten the process with a few simple tasks.

Related Questions

Do Movers Supply Boxes?

Many moving companies supply boxes for free. But others might charge you extra for supplies like bubble wrap. Either way, you can usually get moving boxes cheaper when you buy them from relocating businesses. Truck rental companies typically sell packing containers as well. But theirs are more expensive on average. Always ask an associate for more information.

Will Movers Move Clothes in Garbage Bags?

Most movers won’t touch items you packed in garbage bags. That’s because insecure property poses a liability for the company. So, your stuff has to be loaded into boxes and sealed. You must also tape those boxes shut unless the service includes packing and loading. Be sure to review your service contract first. And read your move-out checklist before the workers arrive.

Can You Leave Things Behind When Moving?

You shouldn’t leave items behind when moving because the next residents have to remove them. Instead, take your belongings with you or dispose of them after the move. And never abandon possessions at a rental property. Most likely, your lease agreement prohibits abandoned items. So, you could pay a bigger damage deposit as a result. As always, check your rental contract for more details.

How Heavy Is Too Heavy for Movers?

Try to take it easy on professional movers. Although they train to handle heavy objects, they’re still human. So, keep boxes around fifty pounds or less. That way, they can load and unload without getting hurt. Or request they use a dolly for transporting heavier objects. Usually, the moving company will supply their workers with the necessary tools to handle big projects.

Do You Need to Hire Movers?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

Get Settled in Your New Home

Move into a new house without worrying about your stuff. Hire movers to lift heavy objects and organize your belongings. Then relax while they handle the details because they probably won’t need your help. And if they do, make sure you’re nearby so they can ask.

Related Guides

Tiffany Nichols
Tiffany Nichols

Tiffany Nichols specializes in aesthetics, design, marketing, and manufacturing. She's a copywriter and editor for several home renovation companies in the U.S. and works alongside some of the biggest names in the industry. Her hobbies include architecture, art, mental health, and fashion.

More by Tiffany Nichols