It is that time again; you have orders in hand and are ready to get your move started! If you are lucky enough to schedule movers (they are in high demand this summer and many installations are reporting major delays), they arrive at your home and then what? You already have the dirty dishes washed (only leaving out some paper plates and plastic utensils so you can eat later) and have smartly removed all trash from trashcans (it is really not pleasant when the trash gets packed with all of your other belongings).


Now, you need to ensure you remove all items you do not want the movers to pack and place them in a room with the door closed and labeled “DO NOT PACK”. I pack all of our non-replaceable items (wedding album, crystal toasting glasses, jewelry, husbands awards and shadowboxes, etc). in my own car. I want to minimize the chance to “lose” or damage the items that are truly irreplaceable.


Things to pack yourself:

  • Items of personal or sentimental value
  • Vacuum/cleaning products/extra trash bags/paper towels
  • Electronics: phone, laptop, chargers, camera
  • Tool box
  • Liquids
  • Candles, batteries, light bulbs
  • Emergency kit (flash light, first aid)
  • Clothes and toiletries for a few days
  • Pet food, feeding bowls and kennel
  • Important documents: checks, insurance and banking papers, children’s school records, Orders, birth certificates, social security cards, passport etc.
  • Medical records
  • Uniforms


Optional, but will make your arrival more comfortable:

  • Few folding chairs
  • Air mattress and set of sheets
  • Water bottles
  • Paper plates/plastic silverware


During our last move, the moving company insisted it was not necessary to tip the movers. They ensured me they were being properly compensated for their work. I completely believe this, but since these individuals are packing up all of our possessions, some of which have significant value to me, I want the movers to be happy. Frankly, I want them to be so happy they like me enough that they would feel guilty packing my belongings carelessly!


We provided pizza and beverages (water and Gatorade) to the movers the first day, and snacks (granola bars and chips) the second day. I know this is not necessary, but I felt it created a friendly environment.



Do you tip or feed movers?

What do you ensure is not packed by the movers?

Do you have any personal experiences you can share on this matter?

New Member
I feed them for sure. I don't think we have ever provided a tip because I am not sure it even crossed my mind. Also good to separate the active duty member's work related goods because those are supposed to be weighed separate from your household goods. The weight of those books, boots, and utility gear can really add up fast!
New Member
I also Provide Lunch for the packers and the loaders. I always have drinks of some kind for them also. I just rey to stay out of their way so they can do their job and not worry about tripping over me or my pets. I always set up one of the rooms or a extra bathroom where i put our belongings that are NOT to be packed and i do that a day or 2 before the packers get there.
Limitless Contributor
Thanks kapaulso! I did not think about separating his work items ( I also did not think he would keep EVERY flight manual he has ever received- HEAVY!) Thanks for the tip!
Limitless Contributor
Thanks for you input MsSki! Glad to hear I am not the only one who feeds the movers and packers! I learned the hard way to be sure to label clearly the room you do not want packed! I go as far as posting a large sign on the door!
Occasional Visitor
I never put my stuff in a room. I would get boxes and actually pack the family stuff and records I was taking with me (usually the heavy duty white office boxes with lids) and label the boxes (used bright florescent labels) and put them together in a corner of my family room, out of the way. These boxes did not look like the moving boxes so they stood out. Also, I made sure that I went around and put everything in the room where it belonged so when I unpacked things were at least in boxes for the proper room. I did not feed the movers because they usually brought a lunch but I did provide drinks. Also, I would give them the pick of my freezer and unopened groceries if they wanted (the rest went to my brother). I did this at the end of the first day, so they generally went home with groceries and good meat. The bad stuff I had already discarded. Then that evening I finished prepping & cleaning my freezer and refrigerator for the move.