Moving by Yourself? How to Ask Your Friends for Help

Just because you’re not using a moving company doesn’t mean you have to move all by yourself! What else are friends and family for, if not to help you move?

Follow these guidelines to ensure that the friends who help you move continue to be your friends when the move is done!

Ask Early

When asking your friends for help, don’t wait until the last minute — ask well in advance of the move. Give them a timeframe of when you want to move, and ask when would be convenient for them. If you absolutely need help with heavy items, you’re going to need to be flexible and work around their schedules.

Give Them Choices

Make a list of what you need help with and ask them what they’d like to do. Different friends and family could help with planning, organizing, packing, moving heavy items, or driving. Giving them the freedom to choose is a powerful move, even in small scenarios like this. It gives them some space to do what they want to do, and what they’re best at.

Just be honest when you tell them what you need help with. They’re already doing you a favor by helping out — don’t give them a nasty surprise when they show up!

Be Prepared

Once you’ve told friends what you need help with, and you’ve all settled on a moving date, make sure you’re ready for them. Get up early, have supplies ready and boxes organized, and make sure everything you can pack yourself (clothes, silverware, dishes, small items, etc.) is packed. Unless people have agreed to help you pack, get everything done so that basically all that’s left when they show up is to load the truck.

Keep Them Fed and Hydrated

Keep your friends well-fed and hydrated throughout the day, especially if the weather is extreme. Nothing keeps up spirits like hot coffee on a freezing cold day or an ice-cold lemonade during a brutal summer. Snacks will keep everyone happy and energized so that the move keeps moving.

Make sure to keep your speakers unpacked and the music blasting as well! The whole moving process will go by quicker and will be more enjoyable with some good music. Invite your friends to play DJ throughout the day so that everyone’s favorite tunes are included.

Reward Them Afterward

Finally, consider giving everyone a nice reward after a job well-done. Pizza and beer is fine for college buddies, but if you’re a bit older, or perhaps all your friends are gluten-free, then you need to step it up a notch.

A meal at an established restaurant is always a good idea, or you can personalize your gifts, asking each friend what they’d like (within reason!). Some good ideas: Starbucks gift card, a new book, borrow the Xbox for a week, 2 rounds of drinks, etc.


Moving is a long, difficult process, and dragging friends into the mix can be a touchy business. Above all else, remember that they are taking time out of their lives to help you out. Show your gratitude, and be ready to help them move when the time comes!

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