Should You Ask Friends to Help You Move

Asking for a huge favor: help during a move

There’s no favor quite like asking friends to help with a move. And let’s face it, asking them can be awkward. But should you ask? It depends on how comfortable you are. We’ve gathered the pros and cons, the best ways to ask and what to do if no one can help.

Three women carrying moving boxes, helping their friend move.


Pros and cons of having friends help with a move

There are advantages and disadvantages of having friends help with a move, and it’s good to make a list. Here are some things to consider.


  • Save money. The cost of feeding, providing gifts or trading favors is typically less than hiring movers. 
  • Extra time with loved ones. By having your favorite people assist with the process, you’ll have the opportunity to spend more time with them before moving. 
  • Evening help. For assistance during the evenings, friends are more likely to be available while moving crews might only work set daytime hours. 
  • Trusted care for children and pets. If you need childcare or someone to watch your pets while packing or loading, those you know well are the best resource. 


  • Can be unreliable. Scheduling conflicts are more likely with friends, unlike a moving crew, which will be hired for a set date and time. 
  • Possible damage to home or belongings. Unless your volunteers work as professional movers, be prepared for the possibility of damage to the home (scratched floors, dinged walls, etc.) or broken things during loading. 
  • Risk of injury. If your friends aren’t used to moving heavy things, they’re more likely to get injured than movers who are trained in proper lifting. 
  • Can take more time. The move might take longer without professionals. 

Suggested reading: Check out our tips for packing and loading to keep things safe during the move. 

Ways to ask friends for help moving

When you need assistance with a move, it’s best to have a plan for asking. Sometimes it’s not what you ask, but how you do so that makes a difference.

Ask early

Unless moving is an emergency, you’ll know ahead of time, so don’t ask for a favor at the last minute. Give advanced notice — two weeks to a month if possible.

Be direct

Don’t just ask about weekend plans. Say what you need upfront. Be specific about whether it’s assistance packing, loading, moving heavy furniture or borrowing a truck. Your friends will appreciate knowing what to expect.

Offer incentives

Don’t expect friends to work without being compensated in some way. Have plenty of refreshments on hand and order pizza or tacos for lunch or dinner. You could also offer to pay or give gift cards to favorite stores as a thank you.

Trade favors

Sometimes a trade works best. Offer to swap services in exchange for moving labor. Help friends move when they need it or offer babysitting, pet sitting or other services that will benefit them.

What if friends can’t help? 

If no one is available for your move, there’s another solution that won’t cost as much as full-service movers. U-Pack® is a DIY long-distance moving solution where you pack and load and then we handle driving belongings to the new home. If you need help, our consultants can connect you with a network of movers. Whether you need someone to load or unload everything or just want a crew for the heavy lifting, give us a call at 844-362-5303844-594-3077 to ask about adding moving labor to your U-Pack quote

Have questions?

If you have any questions about moving with U-Pack, let us know in the comments. We’re here to help!