Should You Ask Your Friends to Help You Move?

Kaitlyn Pacheco
Written by Kaitlyn Pacheco
Updated January 13, 2022
Friends helping their friend moving in
Photo: Geber86 / E+ / Getty Images


  • You can cut down on moving costs by asking your friends or family to help you move.

  • There’s a higher risk of moving injuries and broken items if you enlist the help of friends instead of professional movers.

  • If you ask your friends for moving help, provide an incentive and set clear expectations ahead of time.

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Everyone gets by with a little help from their friends, but does that sentiment apply to moving? Moving from one home to another requires significant planning, time, and effort, and it might seem easier to ask your loved ones to carry boxes instead of hiring a professional moving company near you.

But asking your friends for this kind of favor requires some etiquette and courtesies. Consider these best practices when deciding whether to ask your friends or family to help you move.

Reasons to Ask Your Friends for Moving Help

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of enlisting your loved ones for help moving your boxes and belongings.

Lowers Your Moving Costs

Let’s face it: Moving is an expensive experience. The cost of hiring movers runs between $240 to $10,000, depending on the size and distance of your move. If you need to cut down on your costs, getting free help from friends and family is a tremendous benefit. Even if you still need a small moving team to help with large or bulky furniture pieces, you can reduce the number of paid movers with assistance from friends.

Makes After-Hours Help Possible

Unlike professional movers, your loved ones are more likely to help you pack or move your belongings after working hours. While you should always be mindful of their time, you can request after-hours help without having to pay a premium for late-night moving services.

Provides Assistance With Children or Pets

Who’s watching your kids or pets when you’re packing boxes or making trips out to the moving truck? That’s when having a friend around on moving day comes in handy. If you need an extra set of eyes to monitor your child or furry friend during the process, you can count on a loved one to be there for you.

Reasons Not to Ask Your Friends for Moving Help

Now that we understand the benefits of asking your friends for help moving, let’s review some of the drawbacks that might make you reconsider.

Takes More Time to Move

When you hire pros, both parties agree to a start time and the total number of hours spent on the task. But when your moving team is your friends and family, it’s much more difficult to enforce a specific schedule, especially since they’re doing you a favor.

When you account for late starters, long breaks, and sudden exits from your informal moving team, you can expect your move to take much longer than it would if you hire professionals.

Risk of Breaking or Damaging Items

Picture your most valuable possession: Would you trust one of your friends to carry that item out of your house without damaging it?

While professional movers have the necessary experience and equipment to transport breakable objects or furniture pieces, your friends probably don’t. That means there’s a higher chance for someone to break or damage your belongings during the moving process accidentally, which can cause tensions to rise.

Note: Many moving companies require insurance to cover any losses or damages during the move, another benefit to hiring pros.

Risk of Injuries

A nightmare scenario is one of your loved ones injuring themselves while they help you move a bulky couch or a heavy bookcase. Moving day injuries are real, but you can avoid them by hiring professional movers who know the correct way to lift and move furniture without harming themselves.

Best Practices for Asking a Friend to Help You Move

Two friends packing boxes
Photo: Tim Kitchen / DigitalVision / Getty Images

If you’ve decided to reach out to your friends and family for help moving into your new home, consider following these guidelines for the best results.

Make the Request Early

Whether you need your friends to help you for one hour or two days, be respectful of their time and make the request several weeks in advance. That way, they block off their calendar and plan ahead for your moving day. This step also decreases the chance that your moving team will forget their commitment or double-book their schedule.

Don’t Pressure Anyone to Accept

Asking a friend to pack or carry moving boxes for you is a big favor, and while they may want to help, they may decline for a variety of reasons. If someone says no to your request, thank them anyway and move on with the rest of your moving plan. Try not to take it personally, and don’t attempt to persuade them to change their minds.

Offer an Incentive

Nothing motivates a friend-filled moving team like the promise of free pizza. To thank your loved ones for volunteering their time to help you move, let them know what type of incentive you’ll provide afterward. While free food or drinks usually works, you can also offer to trade favors, such as babysitting or helping with their future move.

Be Clear About the Schedule and Expectations

When your friends and family arrive to help you move, it’s your responsibility to give them clear and direct instructions on what to do. Come prepared with ideas of who can perform what task to avoid scrambling on moving day. To avoid any confusion, talk with your moving team ahead of time to review start and end times and expectations about how the day should run.

Hire Professional Help for Tough Tasks

Unless your friends have professional moving experience, moving a large bookcase or heavy safe isn’t ideal for their health or safety. Some moving tasks are better left to the pros, so plan to hire a local mover to assist your team with more complicated tasks. Instead, ask your friends to perform low-stress tasks, such as carrying light boxes or organizing the moving truck.

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