While many people know that it's appropriate to tip between 15 and 20 percent at a restaurant and to leave a couple bucks for your hotel housekeeper, tipping a crew from moving companies can be slightly more of a gray area. In addition to conveying your appreciation, tipping a moving crew shows proper etiquette. There are a variety of factors to consider before you give the tip, including the degree of difficulty of the move and the care that the crew takes.

The General Rule

When factoring the amount you wish to tip the moving crew, think about the length of the job, rather than the total bill; unlike visiting a restaurant, don't tip a moving crew a percentage. Instead, evaluate how long the crew spent on your job and how many people were in the crew. The accepted rule is to tip around $10 per crew member for a half-day move and around $20 per person for a move that lasts a whole day. Start with these approximate amounts, and then make further adjustments.

Degree of Difficulty

The difficulty of your particular move is a major factor in helping you calculate the amount to tip. Tip more if the crew had to move several large, heavy or awkward items. For example, a bulky piece of furniture located in a distant corner of your home requires considerable effort to move, and should factor in to the tip. Likewise, a day that's overly cold, rainy or hot should equate to a larger tip. Given that every moving scenario is different, there's no set-in-stone amount you should give after a difficult move -- but think of adding another $5 or $10 per crew member. 

Care and Safety

Evaluate how the crew takes care of your items and keeps them safe, and then tip accordingly. You can tip another $5 to $10 per crew member if you've been pleased with how the crew has safely wrapped your items, protected the walls of your home and taken care to avoid damaging anything during the move.

Beyond Tipping

It's acceptable to tip on the lower end of the scale if you buy a meal or provide refreshments for the moving crew. On a hot day, it's helpful to have an assortment of cold water available. If the move takes place over the lunch or dinner hour, it's a thoughtful gesture to ask if you can supply food for the crew. Don't automatically assume pizza is the best approach; pizza is so commonly provided for movers that your seemingly thoughtful gesture might be anything but. Instead, ask if there's a particular type of food the crew would enjoy.