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I've moved several times for my job, and in every case, the company has paid for packing and moving. Very nice! But I always feel awkward, wondering what to do while the movers are packing my stuff. Especially in a small apartment, where it's hard not to be in the way and there's really no place to go.

If I just sit there while the movers are packing me, I feel like I'm being disrespectful. I'm able bodied, so why should I sit around while other people are doing the work? On the other hand, if I try to help, I feel like I'm in the way, and the movers don't want me to "do it wrong". In fact, at least one moving company told me that if I pack anything myself, they aren't responsible for it. Other times I've left and gone somewhere else, but sometimes the movers have questions, or need me to sign stuff. And I may not have a car available to go somewhere else, if I had to move it to give the movers easy access. I spent my last move sitting in my car in the parking lot, baking in 100' heat.

What would the movers prefer?

And a secondary question, what prep work should I do before the packers come in? I've gotten completely different answers to this question. Of course, I will have my electronic and computer equipment unhooked, with all the cables disconnected, tied up and ready to go. But what else? On my first move, my mover told me to take down everything, including the pictures off the walls, dishes taken out of cabinets, even books off the shelves. I had piles of stuff sitting on the floor but the cabinets and shelves were empty. On my last move, the movers thought I was crazy because I'd taken down all this stuff, and it was just in the way. They would have preferred that I leave it in place.

I may be moving again before too long (hopefully, if I get a new job), and it would be nice to do it "right" this time.

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