How much should you tip your movers?

Undergoing a relocation is a complicated, stressful, and strenuous endeavor. Most people choose to hire the services of a moving company for the occasion, as well as a few accompanying services such as bin storage NYC, to make things easier for them. The fact of the matter is that your moving professionals are going to be working really hard, however you look at it. You can think, “Well, yes, that is their job.” and you would be right. However, many professional moving crews go “above and beyond” what is normally required of them, perhaps hoping that they will get a tiny bit more for their effort. Ultimately, the decision to tip your movers is entirely up to you. In this article, we will elaborate a bit on the topic, providing you with something to think about.

Tip your movers – Why, when, and how much?

The decision to tip any professional that is doing you a service of any kind is an odd one. After all, they are just doing their job and they are already paid for it. Nonetheless, we are talking about human beings that are going to be performing a strenuous activity on account of someone else. Most of the time, they deserve a little bit extra for their effort. This does not pertain to moving crews only, either. For example, some storage companies that pick up provide a tip-worthy service as well. Ultimately, it is all about if you feel they deserve it. If you are considering whether to tip or not, and all the other nuances of tipping, here are the three things you will want to figure out:

  • Why tip in the first place?
  • When is the best time for the tip?
  • How much should I be tipping?

These three questions form the “crux” of the tipping process. If you want to make sure that you are doing everything “right”, then you will need to consider them accordingly. Let’s take a more in-depth look into each one of these questions.

person counting money
There are a few nuances to tipping.

Reasons why you might want to tip your movers

Tips are not mandatory. That is short and long of it. You are absolutely not required to put in a single dime extra than what it says on your moving contract. That is how Simplify Valet Storage & Moving NYC operates, and how most of the moving companies do. That being said, a general rule of thumb is that if you see your moving crew “busting their ass off”, you give them something extra. Simple as that, really. There are some other considerations you might want to take into account, such as:

How organized is the move – If your movers need to deal with unlabeled boxes and needing extra time to coordinate your relocation, a tip might be in order. Or if they need to work around the clock to find one of the perfect storage facilities Long Island City has for your move. The more your movers need to do for you,

Weather conditions – If your moving crew is operating under the sweltering heat, rain, or any other natural phenomena that makes relocation harder, they might deserve a bit more for their efforts.

a person walking on a rainy road
Harsh weather can make the job more difficult.

Extra packing services – While you are paying for the packing service itself, if you notice that your professionals are extra careful, that might warrant an additional tip.

Long working hours – If your relocation is on the longer side (say, 7-10 hours), and even has some complications along the way, it is always nice to show your appreciation by compensating your movers for their time away from their families.

Difficult conditions – While moving is hard on its own, there are numerous factors that may make the process even more difficult. Long flights of stairs, narrow corridors, small elevators, all of those things influence the process.

When do you give the tip?

The timing of actually giving the tip to your moving crew depends on a variety of factors. For example, if you are relocating across the country to the city of New York, the people that are packing and moving your belongings into the moving truck might not be the same that will be doing the unpacking. In those cases, you would want to tip appropriately at every “segment” of the move. That way, everyone gets rewarded according to their efforts.

When local relocations are concerned, it is fine to tip at any point of the process. You will most likely want to wait until the end of the day to sum up your experiences but you can freely tip if you see something extraordinary. Another common thing to do is to tip your movers at the start of the move, as it might provide additional motivation.

Do note that tips do not necessarily need to be in cash. Free meals and drinks are also considered tips, as your movers will not need to spend their own money on them.

a blank moving company van symbolizing that there is no "perfect" way to tip your movers
Timing of the tip can be important in some cases.

How much is “appropriate”?

There is no universal tip for every situation. That said, there are rules of thumb that you may choose to follow. People usually tip their waiters for around 15-20%, for example. When it comes to relocations, $4 to $5 per hour, per mover, serves a similar purpose. This is by no means expected of you, however. Another way of looking at it is to provide a tip for 5-10% of the total cost.

But those are just general guidelines. There is no set amount that is going to be applicable to every situation. It all depends on whether you found the service to be exemplary or not. You may also want to consult with your other family members, as tipping is all about perspective. Perhaps your movers helped you find one of the perfect storage units Manhattan has on offer? Or they may have helped your spouse with another issue. Either way, if they have done something right by you, you might want to do the same.

Wanting to tip your movers is a great sentiment, but it is not something you should do “just because”. If your movers are doing a great job, feel free to reward them. But don’t reward mediocrity for the sake of posterity.

What Our Customers Say

“Great service!”


I was beyond happy with my moving experience! They were efficient and also took great care of my property. Everything arrived in perfect condition! Would definitely choose them again for my next move.


- Miriam Neustadt


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