How to Treat Friends Who Help You Move

Asking a friend to help you move is a big deal. Moving takes time and effort, and in the end, it's all for you. Modern Manners Guy has 3 tips for how to properly treat friends who help you relocate to a new home.

Richie Frieman
6-minute read
Episode #269

Between my apartment in college and my home now, there were probably a dozen stops along the way. And to get to each of those, I had to ask a friend or two to help me move.

When you ask someone for their help in moving, remember it’s a very big deal.  Think about it: You’re asking someone to take out an entire day, lift, carry, push, drive, all for free and all for you.  But helping a friend move is just one of those things that comes with the friendship territory. It’s like the unwritten oath you take. I believe it goes, “Thy friendship shall last through the good and the bad…and by the way, you gotta help me move when I need it. Amen.”>

So when you ask for moving help, you have to make sure that you show appreciation for your friends’ time and effort. After all, you will most likely be called upon to return the favor and your friends will remember how well (or how badly) you treated them during your move.

So, before you lift on the count of three, check out my top 3 quick and dirty tips for how to properly ask a friend to help you move:

Tip #1: Measure the Task First

Be it a couch, a TV, or an entire house, helping someone move is a daunting task.  On more than one occasion I’ve received a call from a friend asking to help move one item that they called “easy” - only to be floored when I arrived to find that they were referring to an entire bedroom set. "Oh, when you said a side table, I didn’t realize it was made out of solid marble…We may need some more help.” Then, the friend says, “Nah, we can handle it.” Really? Because last time I checked, two less-than-average-sized guys moving a 600 pound table doesn’t go well. This is an example of improperly measuring the task at hand and not understanding what you are truly asking of your friend.

Asking someone to help you move is a favor. Your friend does not have to say yes. They’re doing so because they are nice enough to help you out. 

Asking someone to help you move is a favor. Your friend does not have to say yes. They’re doing so because they are nice enough to help you out. However, if you do not realistically assess the item(s) that need moving, and don’t prepare a sufficient team to handle the load, no one will want to help you out again. And they will probably be disgruntled during the process.  

People tend to downplay whatever needs moving because they’re afraid of not getting the help. So they say, “Oh, it’s no biggie, just a chair” and the next thing you know, that chair is huge and lives on the 8th floor of an apartment building with a broken elevator.

So if you need 5 people to complete the task, or know that it will take time, you have to be up front from the get-go. Anything less is just being a poor friend. Honesty is the backbone of any good friendship, so don’t be afraid to lay out exactly what they should expect when they arrive.