Five Tips for Asking Friends to Help with Your Move

Ideally, when you decide to move, you will have the funds to hire professional full service movers who can take charge and handle your move from start to finish.  Realistically, this is not always the case.  If you can’t afford to hire professionals, or you simply choose not to, your friends can be a huge asset in assuring your move goes very smoothly.  The following five guidelines can help you enlist the help of those willing in the most organized and considerate way possible.


  1. Determine the level of involvement- Will you ask your friends to help you pack AND move? Or would you prefer to pack the items yourself and just ask for help moving boxes and furniture?  It is helpful to make a list or take inventory of everything you will be moving.  By determining the amount of labor involved and the amount of stuff needed to be moved, you can figure out how many people you will need.  Also, if you are moving long-distances, will there be people at your final destination that can help you unload and unpack, or do you need to consider hiring someone at that end to complete the process?  It may even be beneficial to ask a friend to accompany you on the trip depending on how far away you are moving.
  2. Select the moving date(s) and request help early- This is extremely important. It is common courtesy to give your friends as much notice as possible, so don’t wait until the last minute to ask for help.  Figure out exact dates and see if they are compatible with your friends’ schedules.  It wouldn’t be polite to ask or expect someone to take off work to help, so make sure you take into account the times and days that work best for them.  Remember that they are doing you the favor, so don’t assume they will be able to be at your beck and call all the time.
  3. Enlist friends who are best fit for the tasks at hand- If you have furniture or appliances that need to be disassembled, you will probably want to ask your handy friends for help. If you tend to be slightly unorganized, you would benefit from the help of your orderly and methodical friends to keep you in check.  If you merely need muscle to do the heavy lifting, flatter your strong and athletic friends by turning to them for assistance.
  4. Figure out which tools and supplies are needed- You may be able to get away with moving boxes and tape, but for larger scale moves with bulky or cumbersome items, a dolly or hand cart may be required. If you will be taking apart furniture or appliances, a tool box with various wrenches and screwdrivers can come in handy.  If you don’t have all of the necessary supplies on hand, ask your friends if they may have access to them.  You will be surprised by how many people have access to free boxes at their places of employment, or even the use of more specialty tools and items.
  5. Delegate, delegate, delegate- The entire process will be so much easier and stress-free if you stay organized, so assign specific tasks to specific people and coordinate all aspects from start to finish.

Group of young friends moving house

Good friends will help you move, but it can be an inconvenience, so be sure to express your gratitude often.  Consider sending thank you notes or even buying them a small gift to show your appreciation.  Pizza and beer for a job well done is also a popular stand-by.  And remember, when the opportunity presents itself to pay it forward and help someone else through this difficult process, make sure to graciously reciprocate.

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