Tipping Your Movers: A Guide

In the American service industry tipping is customary—be it for getting a good haircut or to reward exceptional service at a restaurant.  Relocating is no different. As employees in the service sector, movers can provide service that runs the gamut from being sub-par to going beyond what is expected of them. So should you tip those movers and if so what are some pointers on how to do so?  Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

 

Should You Tip?

At some companies tipping is mandatory. Always ask your relocation company if this is the case beforehand. At Moishe’s tipping is completely at your discretion. If you believe you’ve received service that merits a reward, we encourage you to reward the movers.  Moving is hard work and requires extreme physical exertion. Many movers rely on tips as a considerable portion of their income so the movers will always welcome that extra bit from clients.

 

How Much Should You Tip?

Because the entire idea of providing gratuity depends on your level your satisfaction, how much you tip is also at your discretion. The figure can run anywhere from 5 to 20 percent of the moving expense. At Moishe’s, we recommend tipping at 10 to 15 percent of the cost of the entire move.  You might aim for the higher end of that range if the move is especially difficult—like navigating through narrow staircases—or requires relocating large items such as a piano.
 

 

When Should You Tip?

It’s best to tip at the end of the move when you can assess how the movers performed. Maybe your movers disassembled and assembled furniture to help you out or took extra care with your goods. Or perhaps they were careless and broke furniture. Tipping after the move assures you can reward the movers if the service you received was exceptional and less or not at all if the move was not satisfactory.

 

Who Should You Tip?

Instead of deciding how much to give each individual on the moving team, you’re best off giving the entire amount to the head of the team and allowing that person to divide the sum fairly.  Good relocating companies have team members who look out for each other so you don’t need to worry about deciding what’s fair in terms of compensation.

Save Money When Moving

 

Moving costs can take a toll on one’s wallet—there’s the cost of movers, packing material and time away from work (making money), among others. But there are ways to trim your moving costs. Here are some tips:

 

Scavenge for Boxes

It’s nice to walk into a moving supply store and purchase brand new boxes for your move but it will cost you. Why not reuse boxes? Ask friends and neighbors, check out your recycling room for delivery boxes and peruse your local businesses—liquor stores tend to be a good bet. Not only will you be saving money, but you’ll also be more environmentally conscious.
 

Book Early

Sometimes the early bird really will get the worm—or in this case the early planner might get the better moving deal. Booking your movers and trucks way in advance of your relocation date might help you snag a discount.

Pre Pack

If you pack all your goods yourself, you won’t have to pay anyone to do it for you. Also, the more organized you are the faster the move will go, which equates to a cheaper move. So do as much as you can before the movers arrive.
 

Schedule an Off Season Move

Most folks prefer to move in the spring, summer and fall months. This means that movers tend to be less busy during the colder months and might be able to offer you a better deal on your truck, movers or a package. Ask around and if you’re flexible, schedule your move off-season.  
 

Sell Goods

Selling items you really don’t need anymore will help you make some cash. It also means you won’t be spending money to relocate those items. Place ads on classifieds like Craigslist and ebay or have a stoop or yard sale prior to your move.

 

Keep Down Moving Day Expenses

It’s easy to run out and buy coffee for everyone on moving day or get pizza delivery but if you’re trying to keep down costs, you might opt to make a pot of coffee or have purchased some pastries or sandwiches from the grocery store prior to moving day. 

Low Maintenance Plants for Your New Home

No green thumb? No problem. Not being a natural with plants doesn’t mean your newly moved into home doesn’t deserve to have some greenery in it.  There are plenty of houseplants that are easy to care for. Not only will they help clean the air in your apartment but will also work as a decorating item. Here are six plants that can tolerate less than optimal conditions:

 

Spider Plant

These visually interesting and easy to care for plants have been popular in homes for many years. Give them moist soil and a little bit of light and you won’t need to do much else to enjoy the yellow green leaves of these houseplants.

 

Pothos

One of the easiest to care for, the Pothos doesn’t need much light making it an ideal plant for space without windows, such as bathrooms.  But the plant does just as well in medium to bright light. They tolerate both nutrient rich and nutrient poor soil and can even be cut and grown in water.

 

Aloe

This succulent is happy in dry soil with indirect sunlight and does well as a décor item with its structural shape. Bonus, if you cut or burn yourself you can cut a leaf of this medicinal plant and apply some of the stored liquid directly on the affected area.

 

Jade

This succulent doesn’t ask for much except a watering when the soil feels dry. Don’t overwater and you can be sure to enjoy this handsome plant.

 

Snake Plant

Not only is this plant an air purifier but it’s also extremely tolerant. They do okay with lack of care for weeks, surviving both drought and little light.

 

Philodendron

With its large tropical looking leaves, this beauty not only will add some eye candy to your home, but it’s also perfect for the inexperienced.  Give these guys some indirect sunlight and water when the topsoil is dry and you’re good to go.
 

 

 

Five Moving Mistakes to Avoid

Moving is hectic and often back breaking—between all the prep work and packing and the heavy lifting, most people find relocating nothing short of stressful. In the midst of all its craziness, there are some common mistakes we all make. Here are five to look out for and avoid during your relocation process:

 

Hiring Unprofessional Movers

The whole point of hiring professionals is to avoid a lot of the stress and strain of moving. Employing the help of those who are not pros in the business often leaves people with more stress than if they hadn’t hired anyone. The horror stories range from being ripped off to having items damaged or stolen. Save yourself trouble and find a reliable company to entrust with your belongings. 

 

Not Being Fully Packed on Moving Day

Begin packing several weeks prior to moving day. The last thing you need when the moving truck is out front is to be shoving items into boxes or plastic bags.  Having everything already boxed up saves you time and money and more importantly will ensure everything is protected from potential damage.

 

Forgetting About Utilities

Make sure you have your utilities turned on in the new place. When you are tired and have finally arrived into your home, you’ll want electricity, gas and other services ready. You can have everything transferred if you call the companies ahead of time.

 

Handing Over Valuables to Movers

No matter how trusted your movers are, it’s best to transport jewelry, money and anything else deemed valuable yourself.  It’ll give you peace of mind and ensure your items arrive safely.

 

Not Having a Moving Day Kit

It might take days, even weeks, to get to all your boxes. So pack a bag, or box, with the items you’ll need on moving day.  This includes, toiletries, sheets, a change of clothing, medications, snacks, pet and children supplies, cash and a toolbox. 

Feng Shui Your Home

The Chinese art of harmonizing with one’s surroundings—known as Feng Shui—is said to purport harmony in the home and office.  By practicing the rules of this art of placement, it’s said that people can have better relationships with, and relax more in, their habitat. So how does one arrange their belongings to harmonize energy and turn their environment more happy and calm? Here are some tips:

Place Sofa Strategically

Place your sofa against a wall—leaving a few inches of breathing room between the two—farthest from the entrance, ideally having the door in clear view.


Place Bed In Commanding Position

Similar to the sofa, you don’t want your bed in line with the door, but facing it, so you can see the door. If this isn’t possible, place a mirror such that you can see the door while in bed, but make sure you don’t see yourself, which is said to be startling.

 

Bring Energy into Space Above Kitchen Cabinets

The space between the top of the kitchen cabinets and ceiling is typically where dust and energy (or Chi) is collected and stagnant. Placing plants, lights or objects in that space is said to bring life to the area and encourage energy flow.

 

Clear Entryway

Your entryway is where the energy flows into your home. Anything in that area is said to obstruct flow—this includes bicycles, plants and mail. Clear the area to allow an unobstructed flow of Chi into your environs.

 

Bring Life into Bedroom

A handful of plants can bring much needed cheer and life force into a bedroom. Greenery is said to improve love life.

 

Fix the Broken

Creaking doors, faucets and locks should all be fixed as they bring on unneeded frustration. Fixing them helps smooth out energy.

 

Get Rid of Bedroom Television

The positive ions emitted by television and other electronics is said to drain your body’s energy. Rid yourself of the bedroom television or at least cover it when not in use.  

 

Clear Clutter

Feng Shui or not, we all know to clear clutter. Clutter reminds us of our unfinished tasks and saps our energy. Besides, who wants to look at that, anyway?

 

 

How to Avoid Moving Scams

Like any other business, the relocation industry has its share of scams. You put your belongings into the hands of strangers and the move doesn’t go as planned: Your items get damaged, the move costs more than the agreed-upon price or even worse your items are stolen or lost. But your move doesn’t have to become a nightmare. With a little bit of research, you can avoid potential scams or headaches. Here are some tips for you to avoid moving scammers:

Conduct Cursory Research

Word of mouth is often the best method for evaluating a product or company. A little online research can reveal a lot about moving companies. Check everything from reviews to social media sites to anything else you can find on the company. Speak to friends, co-workers and your real estate agent to get recommendations. Then make a list of potential companies and check the ratings of the companies on your short list on the American Moving & Storage Association and the Better Business Bureau websites.

Check the Company’s Licensing

By law, moving companies must adhere to federal and state licensing.  To ensure you are dealing with a reputable company that is licensed to operate legally, make sure they provide you with a national Department of Transportation (DOT) and a state license number. You can call the corresponding agencies to verify that information. Also, make sure the moving company is fully insured.

Ask about Insurance

If moving within the state of New York, your moving company must offer basic liability at no charge to you. They should also offer added valuation and third party insurance options. Call and find out what their terms and costs are.

Request Written Estimate

You can get two kinds of estimates for moving. A binding one provides you with a guaranteed price for the move. A non-binding estimate means the price can go up by 10 percent if the work is more than anticipated. A moving estimate takes into account volume of goods, materials used (like boxes), insurance and valuations and add-on services. If anything is left blank or seems suspicious don’t be shy to ask for clarification.

Watch for Red Flags

If anything seems fishy, such as a lack of a physical address for the company, lack of branding (trucks with no logos, or movers in plain clothes), be wary and move on to another company. There are many decent options out there and with a little research, your move can be a success.

Don’t Pay A Deposit

Upfront deposits are not the norm in the moving industry. Never give a relocation company money prior to a move. Instead, move on to another company who will not ask for a deposit.

 

 

Moving Houseplants

Like other living beings, houseplants need special attention and must be moved with care. They are sensitive to stressors—such as temperature and lack of air—and are prone to breakage and damage. But with some preparation, they can survive the trip to their new home. Here are some tips to keep your plants happy and healthy during a move:

 

HIRE A COMPANY THAT MOVES PLANTS

Not every relocation company takes on the responsibility of moving living things. Talk to various professionals to see who moves plants and read reviews of people to see how their botanical buddies fared during the move.


PREPARE PLANTS

A week of two prior to the move, remove all the dead leaves of your plants. Additionally, give them a good pruning—not only does this strengthen the plants but it also makes them more compact, which means it’s easier for them to be transported.  If you’re moving succulents, skip the pruning, which could cause them more stress than needed.

 

WATER WITH CARE

Water your plants a couple of days prior to the move. You want to water just enough so your soil isn’t a sopping wet mess on moving day but is moist enough to keep your plants happy. If the move is in the winter, you might want to keep the soil on the drier side so it doesn’t freeze or get too cold. 


REPOT IF NEEDED

Three weeks before the move, you can repot your plants in plastic containers. Plastic containers are lighter and more
resilient than ceramic pots, which means they are easier and more flexible to move.

 

USE BOXES FOR STABILITY

If you’re packing the plants, use open top boxes to place each plant in. Then cushion around the pot with tissue, newspaper, rags or towels so the pots don’t move.

 

KEEP TEMPERATURES STABLE

It’s always best to transport plants in a vehicle where temperatures can be controlled, such as a car or a climate controlled truck. If your move is long distance and you are stopping at a hotel or a house, bring your greenery inside with you.


GIVE THEM TIME TO ACCLIMATE

Once in a new home, allow your plants to acclimate to their environs. They may look unhealthy at first but after a few weeks should start looking healthy. Then you can safely repot them into their original ceramic containers.