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How Do I Ask My Friends to Help Me Move?

The Importance of Saving Money and Friendships on Moving Day

Congratulations on your new apartment! While we’re sure you have lots of fun memories tied to that first efficiency apartment you found right after you graduated college, we know you’re excited to upgrade your living situation in a serious way.
The downside to getting a new place? You need to pack up everything in your old place and move it to your new home. And this means that, unless you’re somehow going to move everything yourself, you will need to ask some of your friends to help.
This can be a tricky proposition because – let’s face it – moving isn’t fun. Not only does it require that your friends spend their entire day lifting, shifting, and sweating, but it also means they won’t be relaxing on a much-needed day away from work.
Still, you need the help, so even though your friends probably won’t mind helping (they ARE your friends), you should be a responsible adult who uses tact, forethought, and good ol’ common sense when recruiting your Moving Day buddies. Luckily for you, we have some experience in this department, and we’re happy to share our favorite tips for asking your friends to help you move.

1) Give Them Time

You’re all adults. You all have jobs. You all have lives. When you start by acknowledging and respecting those facts, you’ll get so much farther with securing help for your Moving Day. We recommend giving people at least one month’s advance notice with your request. This allows people to review their calendars to see if they have the time available, and it gives you plenty of time to find other helpers if the people who initially ask can’t help you.

Besides, you have a lot to do in the 4-8 weeks before Moving Day, so the further in advance you can round up your moving assistants, the better you will feel about your own level of preparedness. And don’t forget to send around a reminder (whether via text, phone call, or your friend group’s preferred social network) about 7-10 days before you need their help.

2) Give Them Clear Expectations

A big part of a successful Moving Day is figuring out how to ensure all of your possessions safely arrive in your new home. It is your job to determine that process. Your friends are there to help you move, not provide professional moving advice.

Be clear on the following aspects of Moving Day:

  • What you need done
  • Who should do what
  • The order in which your stuff should be packed in the moving truck
  • How you think the day should progress in terms of timeline
This is not about treating your friends like hired help. It’s about being upfront with what you hope happens so you can finish the move in a timely manner so that everyone can relax.

3) Give Them Incentives

Yes, this is the part where you promise your friends the cliched “pizza and beer” at the end of Moving Day. But let’s be real – they will expect to receive that sort of reward. When we tell you to provide “incentives,” we’re telling you to show your friends that you really value them. We suggest some, if not all, of the following:

  • Plenty of water for hydration during the move
  • Plenty of snacks for fuel during the move
  • A night out on your dime after the move
  • The promise to help with a similar task in the future

We’ve even had friends give out personalized “Thank You” gifts after a particularly rigorous move (packing up one third-floor apartment and moving everything to another third-floor apartment on the complete other side of the city in the Texas summertime), but we would only recommend that if your move is equally as strenuous.

The point remains: Show your friends that you appreciate them AND their time.

4) Pack Your Own Stuff

Now, while this last tip won’t assist you with asking your friends for help, it will ensure that you will have friends at the end of Moving Day.

Once again, you’re all adults. Do not ask your friends to help you pack your possessions on Moving Day. As we said in Tip #2, you should be clear and direct with what you expect from your friends when they arrive to help you move. That should never include, “Hey there! Thanks for showing up at 7am to move my stuff clear across town! Would you mind starting the morning by packing up all of my kitchen wares into those three boxes? Thanks.”

There is one caveat to this tip. If you have friends who can’t help on Moving Day, but they still want to help you in some way, we’re fans of the “Packing Party” concept. It looks something like this:

  • Invite over 1-3 friends
  • Provide the food
  • Provide beverages
  • Provide the packing materials
  • Provide the clear expectations for what you need packed and how

This tactic is especially great when you have lots of tedious packing to do that requires everyone to stay in the same room – stuff like books, knick-knacks, and kitchen supplies. Your friends get to feel good about helping, you get lots of packing done, and everyone has a good time.

So, now you’re ready to ask your friends to help you move. Hopefully, you’ll have enough people agree to assist you on Moving Day, because it will be difficult to move your bed, dresser, and entertainment center by yourself.

And now that you have your moving buddies on board, it’s time to reserve the right size of moving truck you’ll need

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