Whether you are moving across country or just across town, one of the hardest parts is deciding how to actually get your stuff to your new spot.
You have three options: Hire a moving company, ask friends for help, or make the move completely on your own. If you have any furniture or appliances, the third option is usually out. So you’re left with the deciding to reach out to friends or hire professionals.
Which should you choose? Asking friends is the cheapest option, but is it the best option?
To help you decide, here are some pros and cons of getting your friends to help you move, instead of hiring a professional moving company.
Advantages to asking friends for help
Asking friends to help out instead of hiring professional movers could save you hundreds, if not thousands, depending on the size of your home and the distance of your move. Your only expenses will be for moving supplies – plus a few pizzas and beers.
Sarah Evans of Suffolk, VA had a great experience asking friends for help with her move.
“We saved a lot of money by trading food and beer for help with our move,” she said. “Everyone was very helpful. They made sure everything moved on time, and they listened well. Not having professionals to help with the move wasn’t a problem for us.”
You’ll get extra help
Recruiting friends means you can have as many hands on deck as you need without worrying about how much each extra person helping will cost you. If you need eight people to move that prized piano, then you just need to make a few more phone calls to friends.
You’re not on a time constraint
Some movers charge per hour, which can quickly get expensive if you run into any hiccups with the moving process. You’ll have more breathing room and less stress about being on time when working with friends.
You aren’t under contract
When friends help, you have the freedom to make last minute decisions without worrying about the financial or legal repercussions of breaking a contract.
Disadvantages to asking friends for help
You might be imposing on your friends
Moving is sweaty, hard, back-breaking work. Nobody enjoys moving heavy boxes and furniture. Even though they say yes, there’s a 99.99% chance that they would rather be doing anything else that weekend.
They won’t be as reliable as professionals
Friends might not show up on time or they could back out at the last minute, leaving you hanging and with no way to get your sectional couch into the moving truck.
For example, Kacie Shantz of Fairfax, VA had a bad experience asking friends for help.
“Our friends didn’t show up when they said they would,” she said, “meaning we had to move all of the heavy furniture by ourselves, since it had to go in the truck first, and we were in a time crunch.”
Even though professional movers cost more, at least you’ll know that you’ll get the move taken care of efficiently and on time.
You have no recourse if something gets damaged
Moving companies take pride in making sure their customers’ goods are taken care of properly. They have insurance policies in place to cover any damage done to your property while in their care. Unless you sue your buddy, you’ll be out of luck if they break your stuff.
You won’t have help on the other end of the move
If you’re making a long-distance move, you won’t have friends on the other end to help you unpack. If you couldn’t get furniture into the truck by yourself, you won’t be able to get it out of the truck by yourself. Unless you’re only moving across town, you might want to stick with professionals.
Apps that help with moving
BuddyTruk, Dolly, Lugg, Bellhops, and GoShare are all mobile apps that let you book moving help right from your phone. If you don’t want to impose on your friends, but you can’t afford full-service professional movers, using one of these moving apps may be a happy-medium for price versus professionalism.
How to repay your Friends for Their help
If you decide to ask your friends for help, make sure you show them how much you appreciate them for giving up a precious day of their weekend. Always provide lunch or dinner for when they’re actively helping you, and take everybody out for food and drinks afterwards. Gift cards to a coffee house or a favorite store are a nice gesture, as well.
And remember, anyone who helps you deserves reciprocation. Be willing to help when they call asking for help with their move.