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11 Thank you gift ideas for your friendly moving help

Your friends just spent the entire weekend helping you move, and now you want to thank them. You know you couldn’t have done it without their help, and they may even have taken time off work to haul your boxes and heavy furniture around. (You have good friends.) What can you do to say “thanks!” when you don’t have a lot of extra money hanging around after the big move? Even if you’re low on cash, there are simple and affordable ways to thank your friends for helping you move. Here are 11 free or affordable moving thank you gifts.

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11 Affordable and thoughtful thank you gifts for your friendly movers

1. During the move: Snacks and drinks go a long way

While most of your friends will bring their own water bottles, don’t let your crew get hungry or thirsty while moving. It zaps your energy and your patience. If you’re starting early in the morning, consider providing hot, delicious lattes and with donuts and muffins breakfast.

If it’s an afternoon or evening move, provide pizza or sandwiches. To keep your moving team agile, choose portable food rather than a sit-down meal. If any of your friends follow a special diet, provide them with options as well.

2. For friends using their own vehicles: detailing or gas cards

The basic premise of the moving thank you gift is that your move shouldn’t require your friends to spend their money. In addition, you may not own a large vehicle for moving big items such as beds and appliances and may heavily rely on truck-owning friends for their help.

You can thank them with gifts such as gas cards or by simply filling up their tank on the day of the move and re-fill it once you’re all done. If you want to go the extra mile, perhaps even purchase detailing services for them.

3. Moving a long way? Provide lodging, daycare, travel expenses or meals

If you are moving many miles away, and your moving crew will need to stay overnight, you can help thank your friends by providing them with some nicer accommodations.

Cover the cost of a hotel with a pool or a short-term vacation rental with a hot tub so they can get a good night’s rest after a long day of moving. If you stop along the way for meals, cover the cost of the meals. While this can get costly, it’s less than the cost of hiring professional movers and you’ll have way more fun spending it.

4. Personalized branded moving thank you gifts

You know how event vendors often hand out nice branded t-shirt or water bottles? You can do the same thing. Prices vary quite a bit, so you should be able to find something that fits your budget.

If you are moving far away, it may be a nice way to commemorate the event as well. You could order t-shirts that say something like, “Chicago or Bust! Official moving crew 2022.” Other handy items include beer openers, can koozies, cloth shopping bags, and keychains make great moving thank you gifts.

5. Consumable items as thank you moving gifts

Many people have more than enough “stuff”, so making your moving thank-you gift something consumable (in other words, tasty!) is always a winner. Snag a professionally assembled food basket or build the gift baskets yourself to save money. Choose a spread including cheese, fruit, bread, tea, coffee, and dessert baskets and ship it with Instacart. Send them some delicious drinks through Drizly.

6. Give them first dibs on your give-a-ways

When you move, you often shed stuff. In many cases, these items are still in good shape or perhaps even brand-new. You could donate the items to charity or sell them. Or, to help thank your friends, give them first dibs on any items your planning to donate or sell.

This type of gift doesn’t cost you any money and helps show your friends that you value their time and energy.

7. DIY: Make personalized moving thank you gifts

Perhaps you have a lot of talent but minimal cash. Use your talents to create a thoughtful gift. If you are a painter, paint them a small portrait of their dog or cat or goldfish named Franky. If you work with clay, fire them a one-of-a-kind mug or serving platter. Any handmade, unique gift will likely be appreciated and treasured.

8. Home chefs and bakers: Make them a meal or treat

A winning moving thank you gift is home cooking with love. Prep a shared meal or smaller take-home food items. If your friends are busy people you could make them freezer meals or jars of homemade sauces. Canned items like pickles and jams are also really appreciated. Fresh bread, muffins, and cookies make good thank-you gifts too.

9. Gift cards, gas cards or online credits 

If you have more money than time, gift cards make great thank-you gifts. You could save time by buying everyone the same gift card or personalize your purchases. This type of gift is especially smart if you have moved far away and cannot easily drop off a gift.

Mail physical gift cards from one of their favorite brands with a hand written thank you note. Some services may even send the gift card and thank-you note on your behalf.

10. After the move: Host a thank-you event

Many people like to host a traditional housewarming party, but you can also host a thank-you party just for the friends who helped you move. Popular options include a fun backyard BBQ, themed dinner, live music night, or fancy brunch.

Try to host your event within a few months of the move so your friends don’t tire of waiting to celebrate with you.

11. Reciprocation: Be prepared to give back

If you are low on funds or perhaps just high in energy, pay back your friends with your labor. Sadly, most of us know how it feels to help friends without them helping us back. Don’t be that guy and pay your friends back with your help. Your thoughtfulness and time will be greatly appreciated.

No matter how much money you have to spend, you can find thoughtful ways to thank your friends for helping you move. And, even if you are broke, you can spend your time, energy, and gratitude towards ensuring that your friends know that you greatly value their time and friendship. (A parting thought: One of the best ways you can really show your gratitude is by being ready for the move. Be organized and have packing moving boxes before they arrive. You’ll also want to ensure that they don’t incur costs by helping you move. If you can, cover the costs of gas, snacks, drinks, and childcare. And, lead by example by working hard to make the move happen as quickly as possible.) 

Stressed about moving? Learn how to take the stress out of moving.

A quick note! Our goal is to gather and share info that’s up-to-date and helps you make great decisions as a renter. That said, the information you get directly from a provider could be a little different. Make sure to review their terms and conditions directly; and, if you see anything here that needs to be updated, please let us know! Advertising disclosure
Last Updated: May 22nd, 2022