We are moving this spring and are trying to figure out our budget so that we are prepared for all costs. Our current question is whether we tip the packers and the movers and if so, how much?

You do tip members of both a packing crew and a moving crew. Packers are tipped around $10 to $15 each. If there is a head packer, he or she is tipped $15 to $25, depending on the work involved. Movers are tipped from $15 to $20 each. The head mover is tipped from $25 to $50. Tips are given at the completion of each service. The entire amount can be given to the head packer and mover to distribute to the crew, handing the head person his or her tip first and separately (you would say your thanks asking the head person to please distribute the remainder to each crew member), but make sure you provide cash that can be distributed – all $20, $10 and $5 bills that can be counted out and easily shared. In order to know how much cash to have on hand, ask the moving company representative with whom you are working how many there will be in each crew.

Just curious, is it appropriate to wear a red dress to a funeral? We just returned from a funeral where there were two people dressed in red and it seemed jarring and out of place.

While it is no longer mandatory to wear black to a funeral, it is not appropriate to wear bright colors that give the appearance of a cheerful frame of mind. More subdued colors are best: Navy, tan, brown, ivory, muted pastels and earth tones are all fine. So saying, the red dress-wearers meant no disrespect and while their color choice seemed inappropriate, their intention was to show their respect and gather with others both to mourn and to celebrate the life of the deceased.

I am having a houseguest for almost two weeks next month. How often should I change the sheets on her bed, and provide new bath towels and washcloths? And how do I do this without invading her privacy?

There is no firm rule on frequency, and the answer really depends on your personal practice. If you change the sheets on your own bed every week, you would do the same for her bed. If you change them a little more often, you would change her sheets at the same time. Whatever the case, you would not go longer than a week without making up her bed with fresh sheets. For towels and washcloths, put a set in the bathroom she will use or on the end of her bed, and then point her to your linen closet and tell her to please help herself to more when she needs them. As to invading her privacy, simply say, “Ann, today is new bed sheet day – do you mind if I go in your room?”

Questions for Catherine? Send them to catherine.michaels@gmail.com