Is Your Friend Moving? 27 Thoughtful Ways to Lend a Hand

Jillian Knox Finley

Every move has an inevitably frenzied countdown, and no amount of planning can counteract the sheer momentum and weight of unforeseen stress derived from the simple act of de- and re-nesting. If you have a friend who's staring down the barrel of relocation, we've got a few tips to take the sting out of the process. Keep scrolling for our favorite BFF move-day moves.

  1. Make a checklist. Hunker down with a bottle of wine, and start planning. Moving out of a new place comes with plenty of tasks, from walking through with the landlord to scheduling movers and selling off unwanted goods.
  2. Donate storage with wheels. Pod storage makes moving turnkey. If you have a storage closet with bins, switch them out for versions with wheels. For heavier items like books, dumping them into a wheelbase bin saves you some heavy lifting.
  3. Lend suitcases. If you have large wheelbase suitcases, lend them freely. They will be perfect for transporting last-minute things that are getting immediately unpacked, such as beauty essentials and toiletries. It will avoid the routine of sifting through the boxes for the hair-dryer.
  4. Bring coffee. If the Keurig is packed, you’ll be a hero. In the words of Karlie Kloss, “Coffee is a gift from the heavens.”
  5. Garbage-bag the closet. Instead of taking everything off the hanger, form makeshift garment bags out of garbage bags. Tear a small hole in the bottom of the bag, slip it over the top of a group of hangers with garments, and tie the bottom of the bag up. Work in sections, and number the bags. When you get to the new place, voilà – the closet is already organized.
  6. Take the dog to the park. For the day of or week leading up to the move, offer to help out with pet duty. Taking little things of the mover’s plate will free up her schedule and eliminate stress. Dogs get stressed too. Offer to wear out Fido at the park so he sleeps soundly the first night at the new place.
  7. Pick up fresh flowers. Fresh, fragrant florals brighten the mood. If your friend has a new garden, consider gifting her with something to plant, like a rosemary bush or succulents. Bonus points for taking the initiative to gift them in a chic planter.
  8. Have a measuring party. Need to know what will fit in the new space? Get a measuring tape and hop to it.
  9. Bring mobile WiFi and have an Apple TV binge. Is the Internet hooked up at the new place yet? If not, head over with your hotspot and host an evening of Netflix, Hulu, or Apple TV streaming.
  10. Forward the mail. The purple heart of friendship shall be extended to any individual willing to stand in line at the post office to file a change of address form.
  11. Take her magazine subscription digital. Okay, so maybe it’s overkill to go to the post office. Buy her a Texture subscription and sign her up for her favorite editorials.
  12. Yelp moving companies. Banking on the right professionals to help you move is always a gamble. Offer to take the lead on the Yelp search and hunt for the best customer reviews in your friend’s area. Once the move is over, offer to draft the review! After all, you supervised, right?
  13. Supervise the movers. Offer to oversee all the manual labor on move day, making sure everything makes it on the truck and nothing gets damaged. Even if it’s just your friends, play drill sergeant. Asking for help on a move is a big favor; odds are your buddy will be happy to relinquish boss duty.
  14. Organize packing materials by room.Thoughtfully pepper each room with the appropriate materials. Place popcorn and bubble wrap in the kitchen for dishes, divide up the number and type of boxes, and pre-label each by room.
  15. Hold onto the groceries. An empty fridge seldom syncs directly up with the move. If her refrigerator is still pretty stocked, grab a few grocery bags, pack everything up, and drive them over to the new spot. If it’s a longer-distance move, offer to take the groceries to your place and cook her some dinner that night. Consider it an Iron Chef challenge.
  16. Make a spare set of keys. Locking yourself out of the new place for the first time is a mover’s rite of passage. Grab her key while she’s packing, and make some emergency copies. Or just change up the key design to something personal and more fun, like a favorite sports team.
  17. Make an organization run. After you’ve assembled a checklist of necessary items, make a trip to The Container Store or Target and pick up any required bins, wardrobes, boxes, or appliances that need replacing.
  18. Write the Craigslist listings. Listing items on Craigslist is easy yet tedious. Offer to write product descriptions and take measurements and photos of anything she’d like to sell.
  19. Give practical gifts. We’re talking everything from a cleaning service voucher to a new welcome mat. Moving begets unforeseen costs. The ultimate housewarming gifts are little luxuries you may not feel like splurging on, from beautiful linens to candles and bath essentials. Also, wine is wildly practical.
  20. Babysit. If your friend has children, play nanny for the day. Take them to the park, lunch, a movie… Any activity to get them out of the house. Bonus points for physical exertion that will directly result in an early, drama-free bedtime.
  21. Be the “gofer”. Clear your schedule and play personal assistant for the day. Need somebody to go on a coffee run? Dash to Home Depot and buy more moving tape? Pick up the dry cleaning? Just be around and ready to roll at the drop of a hat.
  22. Source boxes. If you’re willing to do a little driving, it’s fairly easy to find free boxes on Craigslist. Tell your friend you’re on it, and spend an afternoon jetting around town collecting used or recycled boxes. It’s eco- and wallet-friendly.
  23. Supervise the packing. If you have multiple people packing, run point to make sure nothing is too heavy or overpacked. This sounds simple, but sparing her the possibility of broken goods due to the bottom falling out of an overpacked box is big.
  24. Organize a yard sale. Pick a Saturday pre-move and throw a yard sale. Toss up a Craigslist ad and a few neighborhood fliers a few days beforehand, and you’ll be good to go. The extra cash could pay for the cost of the entire move.
  25. Cook dinner. In case her pots and pans are still bubble wrapped, come over with a casserole that will last her a few days.
  26. Donate to charity. If your friend has unwanted items, offer to drive them to a Goodwill donation spot nearby, or call Salvation Army to schedule a pick-up.
  27. Hit up the flea market. New digs often call for reinforcements in the furniture and accessories arena. Plan a Saturday flea market adventure, and hunt for bargains on anything needed to tie the new place together.

Shop our moving-day picks below.

Have a moving hack you’d like to share? Tell us in the comments below.

Explore: Moving, Tips, friendship

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