Moving is a huge task, and friends and family can help make it easier by implementing a few of these practical ideas.
Planning, organizing and moving all one’s household possessions is less daunting with the practical help of loving friends and family. I have compiled a general list of what seasoned movers, myself included, have appreciated from friends and family during a move.
How to help friends before they move to a new home:
Packing – The packing and organization process usually happens days, if not weeks before a move. Helpful supplies to collect for those moving include bubble wrap, newspapers and boxes. Ask your friends which items they think they will need, and look out for those items while shopping. Big box stores and grocery stores may have extra boxes they are willing to get rid of for little or no cost.
Feedback on simplification – Before packing, the one moving may need feedback on what to simplify and which items they should donate to charity or sell in a garage sale. You can offer your services in helping them in this simplification process and arranging for charity pickup or for a garage sale.
Organization – When packing, friends can help make a master list of which items are in each box for easy reference when unpacking in the new home. Each box can be numbered, and a list made of what is in each box. Alternatively, boxes can be labeled according to which room the items belong in, or which items are packed in each box. I prefer a combination of these methods in case the master list happens to be in another place from where the boxes are located. However, the master list is handy to track if any boxes are missing and what was contained in the missing box.
Packing a box of useful items – A box can be put together of items that will be of use right away upon arrival at the new home, such as a basic kitchen supplies (dinnerware set with utensils, cups, tea towels, dish soap), and toiletries (toilet paper, soap, and hand towel). Label this box accordingly.
How to help friends during their move to a new home:
Moving boxes and furniture – If movers are not hired, friends and family can help with the actual moving and loading of boxes and furniture onto and off of the moving truck. Or, they can be at the receiving end at the new home to organize where boxes belong in each room. For more on this, see this informative post.
Meals – Another practical suggestion is to arrange for meals during the moving day so that new homeowners do not have to think about that in addition to everything else they have to do. You could cook from home and bring the food over with some disposable dinnerware, or order in some food.
Cleaning the old home – After the boxes are gone from the old home, friends can offer to clean the old place. This is not a common practice for many people, but it is a courtesy for the new homeowners, and likely something your friends that are moving don’t have time to dedicate to doing themselves.
Cleaning and painting of the new home – Friends and family can offer to clean the new home before items arrive. If access to the new place is granted prior to the move date, cleaning, painting and repairs can be done ahead of time, especially if they involve a lot of time.
Babysit or pet sit – Offering to babysit children or take care of pets for the moving day is very helpful. Depending on the child’s age and emotional needs, they may need to be distracted from leaving their old home while their parents focus on the move. Plan a fun day for the kids, maybe at a recreation park or the zoo.
Running errands – During a move, many last minute errands come up, such as purchasing more supplies. Offering to be on hand to perform any necessary tasks like this will be beneficial for those moving.
Take pictures – For fun memories, take some pictures of the packing, moving and cleaning process. These are always good for a laugh.
Before taking on any of the above roles, check with your friends as to which tasks they would appreciate help with for their move. You can be specific as to what you would like to offer. They may be surprised at your ingenuity and will appreciate your practical help and your willing spirit.