Once you’ve decided to hire professional movers and packers, it may be tempting to consider your job done. After all, you’re paying them to handle the hassle and stress, while you can go to the pool or hang out on the lawn watching them work. It can be even worse to try to do their jobs for them. If you paid the pros, let the pros work. But there are tips for finding the middle road which will keep you and your movers happy.

Pack Well

If the service you hired packs for you, it’s still a good idea to prep everything for them. Strip your bed linens (and wash them, if you have time), take everything off the walls, and make sure all your electronics are unplugged and the wires are stowed. If you’ve got shelving units that can be disassembled, do that for them. And if there precious items, food, or an essentials box, just go ahead and pack that up yourself. What all this does is to take smooth over the biggest annoyances and helps the packers work efficiently.

If you’re packing yourself, make sure the boxes (or plastic tubs) are sturdy, not overloaded, and most especially, are well-labeled. Put labels both on the top and sides of the box, so that they can be seen from more than one angle. Try to keep boxes near the rooms that they came from, and try to label which rooms they’re going into. If anything is fragile, bulky, or otherwise needs special handling, label it and be present during moving day to point out things. If you’ve got the essentials, precious items, or food packed, then go ahead and load it into your car so it’s out of the way.

Treat the Movers Well

These are folks doing a job so hard and annoying that you’d rather pay a lot of money per hour rather than do it yourself. So treat them right, and they’ll go out of their way on your behalf. Make sure you’ve got some snacks and refreshments on hand–especially water, sports drinks, or something with caffeine. Light foods that are easy to grab but won’t weigh them down are also a good idea. Make sure they have access to bathrooms, and plenty of soap, paper towels, maybe even some fans or ice cubes to help them cool off.

Tipping a mover is not always necessary, but it’s a nice gesture. Most people tip around 10-15% of the cost of the move, which usually comes around $25-50.

Be Available, But Not in the Way

You could just vanish while the packers and movers work, but it’s not a bad idea for someone responsible for the home to hang around. You don’t want to micromanage, but being on-hand to answer questions, solve issues if they come up, or maybe take care of your other tasks like cleaning up after a room is empty, so they see first that you’re around if they need you and second that you’re also busy.

While it can be tempting to haul boxes, pick up an end of the furniture, or get in the truck to stack things, it’s better to let the pros do their job. If they ask for a hand, you can give it, and if you want to carry some special cargo yourself, they won’t mind. No mover is going to be offended if you want to haul out your own jewelry box or television. But otherwise, all you’re going to do by moving stuff yourself is disrupt their rhythm.

And remember, Gerber Moving & Storage is there to help you with all your moving needs.