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Clients often ask what to do about tipping their packers, movers or clean out crew. It is customary in the US to tip your service people.  Guidelines expressed in the industry say tipping 15-20% is customary or $5 per person per hour of work.  To simplify, $20 per person for a 1/2 day, $40 per person for a full day. 


Moving can be exciting, but the stress it creates should not be underestimated. Ask for help from family or friends and know that there are many resources in your area to assist you every step of the way. 

Here are some tips to assist you with your next downsize that may help the process seem more manageable.  


Downsizing Your Home:

Downsizing is not easy, where some people may see a houseful of “stuff”, you may see as a lifetime of memories.  A way to simplify is to focus on what you are wanting to move to your new home.  Don’t worry about everything else yet, there are so many resources that can help you with the rest.  


1.) Tackle the job one small step at a time.  

If you are doing your downsize yourself or with family, it’s better to look at the downsize in a matter of months, not days.  Work in 2-4 hour windows so you don’t exhaust yourself physically or emotionally.  Start with one area of one room, maybe a closet or cabinet.   


*If you may want an estate sale after you downsize have an estate sale professional come meet you sooner than later.  This may save you a whole lot of work!  Consider that most estate sale companies will only accept a project with a minimum of $5K market value.  “One mans trash is another mans treasure”, the volume of little things add up.  Think about what you are giving away and donating.  


2.) Use your new space as your guide.  Retirement communities provide floor plans that you can utilize to customize your layout in your new home.  Prioritize your belongings considering cabinets, closets and the storage that your furniture provides.  


3.) Have access to 5 boxes or bins through the process, each labeled accordingly.  

KEEP:  These are items that have been used in the past 6 months, or you plan to display and appreciate them.  

FAMILY:  You might want to include another bin for items to go to family members.   But don’t get caught up in multiple deliveries of small items to friends or organizations.  This will become overwhelming in itself.  Let them know you have these items for them and if it is important to them, they will come pick it up.  

DONATE or SELL: These are items that can be reused by someone else.  Come up with a wonderful charity you can feel really good about donating to.  DO NOT keep something just because it was a gift to you.

RECYCLE:  Paper, corrugated, hard plastics, glass and metal; these are all items that can be recycled free of charge at FarWest Fibers.

SHRED: Don’t spend too much time combing through every single piece of paper in your file cabinet.  Pull the current sensitive documents that are needed to retain and shred the rest professionally.  We use 2 options, Office Depot at 1.99 per pound or Shredit at deep volume discounts.  

TOSS: If it’s chipped, broken or stained, toss it.  Bagster is a economical and efficient way to have  large amounts of garbage hauled off.  


**Avoid the “Maybe” pile.  Stick with the OHIO Rule: Only Handle It Once.  


4.) For people with large collections, pack a representation of your favorite items, not the whole collection.  Ask yourself “Which is my favorite piece?”  Imagine those items having a highlighted display in your new home.  Maybe take photos of the rest of the pieces.  


5.) Bring in the pros to really simplify the process.  Sometimes it’s actually more difficult to go through this process with family or friends. Bringing in a professional assists in making the process more objective and brings many resources to the table.  


6.) Know that there are resources for the things that you are leaving behind.  Estate Sales not only sell the majority of what is left in your home but we also clean out everything afterwards.  We and other companies offer Estate Clean Outs as well.  Also Estate buyers who purchase what is left at about 1/3 market value.  


Moving & Packing Tips:


1.) Set up your moving calendar & checklist starting 1-2 months before the move.   


2.) Less is Less – the more you sort and distribute ahead of the move, the less you will pay to pack it and move it.  


3.) Get referrals of moving companies from trusted sources.  This may include friends or family, retirement communities or even the Better Business Bureau.  


4.) Receive estimates from reputable moving companies before your apartment is actually available.  Then you are ready to be put on your preferred movers schedule.  


5.) Create an “Open me first” box or two.  Clearly mark the outside with a red X.  The items prioritized may be pajamas, toothbrush, coffee maker and mug, or your TV remote control.  


6.) Always know where your medications are. It is a great idea to move these items in a bag with you.  Tell family members where they are as well.  


7.) Be clear on requirements for TV cable disconnect and hookup.  The cable box in your existing home needs to be returned or reused in your new home.  Substantial fees are demanded by cable companies if these boxes are not returned.  


8.) Most importantly, let others help you.  We appreciate that this is a major move for our clients and the process can be emotionally and physically exhausting.  Ask for help from friends and family and don’t hesitate to call us to assist you with our menu of full downsizing and moving services.  503-780-7136

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