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Is it Rude Not to Help the Movers?

We've all been there, that uncomfortable moment when you're not quite sure whether you're supposed to roll your sleeves up and get stuck in, or somehow blend in with the background like no one can see you (yes, they can) and pretend you're being busy.

On moving day this can not only be awkward, but sometimes even lead to unfortunate disagreement with the Movers, so it's best to know what to do and when to do it.

Person thinking about whether to help the Movers or not

Whether or not you're informally 'expected' to help out with the Movers depends on a few things, like the size of your move and how many helpers you've hired, so let's dig deeper and break it down.

Man with a Van moves

If it's just a small move with say a few boxes and bags etc and maybe one or two large items, like a mattress or sofa etc, most people hire a solitary man and van with the expectation that they will help out with carrying their stuff to and from the van.

The problems can sometimes start when this isn't really understood because some people are just unfamiliar with what a typical man with a van service involves, or there has been a lack of communication in advance.

The 'I'm not lifting a finger' scenario

Occasionally a situation can arise where a customer is under the impression that the solitary man with a van Mover is going to do everything by themselves without any kind of assistance whatsoever.

Now depending on a few things such as, what has been agreed in advance, how much stuff there is, the situation on the ground and the vibe the customer gives off etc, the Mover may just decide to get on with it alone to avoid any potential and sometimes uncomfortable disagreement, or if warranted politely ask the customer if they wouldn't mind helping out a bit.

On the other hand, the situation may dictate that he really does need a hand, for example, if it's a very long distance to the van and he needs the customer to help out carrying the stuff halfway or help with some of the bags or whatever it is.

Most physically able people would be willing to do that, but problems can arise in those kinds of predicaments if a customer just has it in their head they have hired a Mover who is going to do 'everything' while they stand and watch. So you can see how these situations can be a potential flashpoint that is really best to avoid.

Large moves with extra helpers

Say for example you are moving out of a fully furnished home and have hired two or more helpers, then it would be safe to say you wouldn't be 'expected' to start heaving heavy furniture or help out much at all, other than being on hand to offer helpful directions to the Movers.

If they're in a team of two or more, the Movers will likely prefer to just get on with doing their job without you getting in the way. Having said that, any help you can give would still be appreciated even if it's just making a nice cup of tea for the workers.

How else can I help the Moving men?

There are many other ways you can help, even when you've hired extra helpers to relieve you from the physical lifting, such as:

  • Have everything well packed in removal boxes that have not been overfilled to the point of being almost impossible to carry.
  • Bag up all those little bits and pieces of loose items using strong black bin bags tied or taped up at the top.
  • Have all the boxes close to the exit door so they can be taken and loaded in the van first, followed by any larger items.
  • Have a clear route between your home and the van, with any external doors propped open.
  • Do what you can to make parking easier for the van, preferably as close as possible to your door.
  • Engage proactively with the Movers, while remembering they do this work for a living and usually know what they're doing.

So should I offer help to the Movers?

When you boil it all down, if it's a small move with just you and the solitary man and van then yes (assuming you're relatively young fit and healthy with no back issues) the Mover would normally expect a bit of help.

If you can't help for whatever reason, or simply don't want to, then it is by far best to make this known to the Mover company at the time of booking. They can then either offer you the option of an extra helper at a higher rate or they may decide that one man can do it alone.

It's much preferable for you and the Mover to make this clear in advance to avoid any potential disagreements on the day.

Either way, don't have nightmares about it and happy moving!

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