I have touched on this topic before but I know it’s a major concern for others because even now I still question should I attempt to help the movers during a PCS move.

In short, the answer is NO! The movers have a specific way in which they pack and a system for how they do it. The last thing they need is you in the way! With that said what you can do to help YOURSELF is make sure to pack away all the things you DO NOT want the movers to pack. This can include everything from :


Important Documents


Clothes that you will be packing for use during the PCS

Lastly make sure you throw away any garbage because they will pack that too!


In any event simply let the movers do their job. It might feel alittle odd the first PCS having these random people come into your home and pack your unmentionables and all you can do is stand there. You will soon realize with all the extra stress of PCS’ing that having people pack your stuff will become more helpful then painful.

What do you do when the movers come?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below!



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Krystel is the mom of two and an Army Wife. In addition to Army Wife 101 she is the Co-Founder of SoFluential.com a digital media agency that connects brands with the military market. She has appeared on MSNBC ,FOX LA and formerly was a weekly contributor to HLN's "Raising America". She has written for various outlets including Sheknows and Lifetime and is a big fan of cupcakes and french fries.

16 Comments on What Should You Do When The Movers Come?

  1. We buy them breakfast/lunch. Donuts, OJ, pizza, tons of water. We don’t treat them like trash. I was heart broken to hear from our last movers about how some military families treated them.
    A little kindness goes a long way. Especially when our life is on that truck. We’ve had 1 damaged item out of our past 4 moves.

  2. I agree with WorldyDiva I treat the movers well. But because I have moved a lot I have a certain way I like things and I tell them in a very nice way. I feel organization is key. So when I unpack it’s goes as smooth as possible. I also request wardrope boxes so all my clothes are hung up so I can just hang them up in my new closet. If you throw away trash put all the things in the rooms where they belong its not that bad. I also keep boxes from my electronic items. I throw away magazines and anything I havent unpacked since my previous move. Since I try to prepare my house and organize it well before the movers come, I let them do there job. I watch to make sure they dont put bedroom stuff in the bathroom box, kitchen stuff, in the family room box. I also have a corner of do not touch and I put a big OLD sign on it..I am moving in a couple of weeks and I am throwing away and organizing everything now. So when I get to where I am going I dont have a heaache looking for stuff.

  3. I treated my movers sooo Good and when we got to our duty station and started un packing we found we were missing alot of stuff and they broke an award my husband got after deployment, I know they broke it cause it was wrapped and the broken piece was out side of the wrapping in the box I am so upset by this I even gave them everything left in my fridge and Liquor cabinet .. So yes be nice to your movers but just be careful!

  4. We are in the midst of PCSing right now and the movers came last week. . . Before the packers/movers came we completely cleaned our spare room out & only put in that room the things we were taking as unaccompanied, what we are taking to the airport, our important documents, etc then closed the door & told everyone that room was off limits! . . .For my personal items, (underware, fragile but not expensive Jewelry, etc) I packaged those things in a seperate bag or box and taped it closed so they could pack it with my clothing but didn’t have to look through or touch each piece to pack it. The packers seemed happy about that. We ordered Pizzas and had soda/water available which the packers & movers said they were greatful for. for my first time I think all went great. Now when our items arrive at our new duty station we will see how much got broken, lol. I’m hoping NONE!

  5. A good friend suggested to me to put all your unmentionables in pillowcases or mesh laundry bags to help keep them together and to keep you from feeling embarassed at having movers going through them. With our last three moves the movers were not allowed to move anything that was customer packed (they had to take everything out of rubbermaid tubs, boxes, etc), so this suggestion has been a great compromise, something that follows the movers rules and allows me to maintain some dignity :)

  6. Speaking of that…I too pack those things inside suitcases, as I don’t want them touched….little things like Legos get sorted into Ziplocs…but what do I do on moving day? I too, get the movers’ lunch and also tip them when they leave..both outgoing and incoming…also a cooler with lots of fresh water (but the Europeans don’t want that stuff ice cold…just room temperature thank-you). I do try to check boxes off as they come in…almost impossible…easier to check off going out. I also like to check furniture and other items for breakage and scratches, so I can immediately put it on the paperwork before we sign. Also get them to unpack some of the bigger stuff, so all that packing material and boxes are out of the way, so you can concentrate on the small stuff afterwards.

  7. Our movers back from Fort Meade, Maryland were AWFUL! When we arrived here in the UK, I’d say at least half of our things were broken. AND they even stole my brand new unopened silverware that I had received from my father. I was beyond upset. I wish I could remember the company, because they were a joke. They didn’t even judge how many guys and truck space they would need correctly! They had to send a bunch more guys with another truck. Took them over 8 hours to pack our house. UGH!

  8. We always buy them lunch and drinks (which means a beer at the end of the day) but the Japanese wanted Coke ;). I am a little nervous with our next PCS hearing borrow stories. I was so spoiled with our PCS from Japan. Nothing was broken or missing, they were just the best! But, I do plan on separating stuff into unused suitcases and cleaning heavily. We are also going to break down our own beds and electronics and pack that stuff.

    • I think feeding the movers and providing plenty of fluids is common courtesy. We have had things broken, but to my knowledge, nothing ever stolen. I have been told, that if you pack up your own electronics (i.e. tvs, stereos, computers) and something does happen to them in the move, the moving company is not responsible (or responsible for full price) because the had no knowledge of its working before it went on the truck. It was recommended to me to have my EXPENSIVE electronics on when the movers first arrive. The head guy/gal will go through the house with you and will see that they were in working order. Once they go to organize the other packers, you would then break down the electronics. A tv was broken in our last move and we only got $100 for it and it was worth more, so my husband is making sure he will be at the house when the movers first arrive this next move so he can break things down immediately. I always clean out one space in my house (usually a bathroom with a tub) and put all things NOT to be packed in there then lock the door. If you are renting a home, it is important to set aside appliance manuals and carbon monoxide detectors.

  9. hello,
    I am a new full time member of the Canadian Forces who is preping for the movers to move me out of mom and dad’s basement apartment to my new home. I have to say thanks ladies for some awesome advice and a way to but a young corporal at ease. I still am nervous of the moving company and getting it all accomplished. Need the Sargent Major to come get my arse in motion.
    Thanks again.

  10. Great tips! I would highly suggest asking them what they want to eat, or provide sandwich fixings, they eat a LOT of pizza! lol

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