The Do's and Don’ts of Asking Friends for Moving Help

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Moving day (Photo: @willduncan via Twenty20)
On average, people tend to have three to five close friends they can count on, while well-networked Americans have around 16 people in their immediate social network. When you’re planning a move, it’s this group that’s going to help you get it done.
But there’s an art to asking friends for moving help. Here are seven do’s and don’ts for tapping into your friend network to help you move.

Do Give Plenty of Advance Notice

If you’re asking a friend to give up a half day or even a full day to help you move, you need to be the first thing they put on the calendar the day of your move. Ideally, give your buddies two weeks’ notice or more so they can line up their schedule to help you, but ensure you give a week’s notice minimum. Otherwise, you could be stuck doing all the work by yourself.

Do Be Considerate of Their Time

There’s nothing worse than showing up to help a friend move, only to find they aren’t organized or have supplies on hand. Your boxes should be packed and furniture prepped to carry out, unless part of the moving plans are to use their muscle power for big items.
Be considerate by having your ducks in a row before your help arrives. Have extra work gloves on hand, shoe covers to prevent floor marks without removing footwear constantly, and a plan drawn up to get the job done.

Do Express Your Thanks Often

While good friends are happy to help, it’s still a commitment to helping someone move, and it’s seldom actual fun. Let your friends know how much you appreciate any time they can spend helping you shift your living quarters to a different domicile. Say “thank you” as often as it’s warranted, even if it feels like you’re overdoing it.

Do Provide the Food and Drinks

Hey, your fridge might be empty but that doesn’t get you off the hook for food and drinks. The faithful go-to for moving is to pick up the tab for pizza delivery. Add some cheesy bread or chicken wings, or pick something else as easy to eat and universal.
Don’t forget the drinks either. Have a few options on hand in a small cooler of ice (cola and bottled water, for example). A brewed adult beverage goes a long way too, but break it out after the work is done and pick up the Uber fare for anyone who needs a ride home.

Don’t Get Upset if Someone Can’t or Won’t Help

People are busy with work and family. Someone may have a bad back or a last-minute sick child to deal with. Some people just may not want to help this time around. Don’t take it to heart if someone won’t help with your move, even if they come up with obviously fake reasons. They’re still your friend… and you might get a chance at retribution later in life.

Don’t Micromanage

When you aren’t paying for labor, you can’t be picky. That should be your mental motto for your move. It’s easy to fall into the role of a micromanager, telling your friends when they aren’t stacking boxes right or there’s an unlabeled box. And if your headboard gets dinged as it’s loaded into a truck, you’ll be okay. Your friendships will be around a lot longer than a bit of damage or frustration unpacking a box, so keep yourself in check.

Don’t Rest While They Work

What frustrates helpers more than anything is when the host isn’t pulling their weight. As the person who is moving, it’s on you to work harder than everyone else. Don’t sit on the couch with a drink while your friends do the final clean in your apartment, and always be the first to jump in when someone needs a hand carrying a big or bulky item.
If you don’t think you can abide by these do’s and don’ts, it might be in your best interest to hire a moving company instead of leaning on your friends.