What should I know about hiring movers?


Moving is expensive and hiring professional movers is a major part of that expense. If you’re just moving across town, you maybe able to just rent a truck and do it yourself. But if you’re moving further, hiring a moving company is a good option.

I spent a lifetime moving house. Growing up, I never lived in the same house for more than four years and when I was a kid, my dad’s company (Alcan) always moved our family. We were always hiring movers.

During my university years and for about six months after I graduated, I worked as a mover. We moved people from one house or apartment to another, office furniture, set up and took down visiting bands; we even moved pianos. I liked the randomness of it. I liked showing up at the office every morning, not know where we would be going and what we would be moving.

Moving is an art. There is a method to loading the truck. There is a way for getting large pieces of furniture and appliances out of a house quickly and without getting stuck. Moving is a tough job. It’s heavy work but I always found it enjoyable. There is a starting point and an end. It is gratifying and always gives me a sense of accomplishment.


Here are some tips about moving and movers:

When you hire movers, always buy some water, Gatorade and Red Bull. Put them in a cooler full of ice and ask them to help themselves.

Packaged snacks like granola bars are good too. They’ll appreciate the gesture.

Introduce yourself to the movers – get to know their names. It’s gonna be a long day, and being familiar with people makes it easier.

Show them where the washroom is.

Talk about special consideration or potential problems up front – it will help the crew plan accordingly.

Try not to ask to frequently how long they have left – they are probably working pretty hard already.

Research your moving company online to find complaints.

Understand that moving is very stressful, and you might be in a different state of mind than you usually are. Don’t become a problem.

If you can’t afford movers, hire movers from your local men’s shelter. Check your insurance before you do this.

Tip your movers. They are likely working for minimum wage.

Don’t accept over the phone quotes. If you do, that price will change.

Hire them to show up first thing in the morning, first job of the day. You do not want a group of guys to move your stuff when its their third, or fourth move of the day. They’ll tired, grumpy, slower and take less care of your stuff.

Buy them lunch, (but not pizza or fried chicken – McDonalds is good, Subway is better).

Let the moving company know if you have a piano. Some movers don’t move pianos.

If you hire movers, and you have a nice selection of expensive breakables, pay the little bit extra for them to pack it. With 99% or moving companies, if you pack the box, they won’t insure it.

Most places won’t insure standing lamps as they have a tendency to not make a move well. You’re better off taking them in your own vehicle.

Wipe the grease off your Bar-b-Que. Don’t forget to drain your lawnmower.

Moving is a lot of fun. It’s a fresh start and a great chance to purge all the stuff you don’t need. Purge.

When I worked as a mover, those many years ago, I remember the item I hated to move most was king sized mattresses. They are hard to work with, down stairways and through narrow doorways.


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