Sunday, December 1, 2013

The GMS Official Guide to Mormon Moving


If you're Mormon, you've likely helped someone move. I feel it's one of the prerequisites to get into heaven. I've helped dozens of folks move. Move-ins, move-outs, same-city moves, same-apartment complex moves. Some went extremely well - almost perfect, and some, not so much.  

I helped a friend move yesterday (it went very well) and it gave me the idea to blog some tips on Mormon Moving. Most of the readers to this blog are Mormon and male, so this will be more amusement, but I have no issues with printing this list out and leaving it with those about to move.  :) This will mainly be for folks that are moving OUT and/or same-city moves. Moving IN is a whole 'nother challenge.  While this may seem like a rant, I find it extremely pertinent information.


  • Start with the Home Teachers. That's what they're there for.  If they can't (or are too old) have them find help. That's what they're there for. 
  • Avoid blanket requests in Priesthood and Relief Society. The person in the audience will just assume the person next to them will help.  
  • I HATE when sign-up sheets are passed around in EQ, so use them as a last resort. 
  • Make yourself known in the ward before asking for help. A single member I had never seen and never attended any activity expected all this help from the EQ. It kinda bugged me.  
  • Use Facebook and post in church/friend groups. Ask that those who are available respond in the comments.  Tell helpers you'll have food.  
  • No surprises. If you live on the 4th floor with no elevator, warn us in advance.  
  • Please don't single out those with trucks. With the money you're saving on movers, go rent a moving truck.  


  • You better have EVERYTHING packed before help shows up. If I see empty boxes and clutter on the floor, I'm automatically in a bad mood.  
  • Pack your stuff in legitimate boxes. Walmart bags aren't acceptable. 
  • Send (a couple) reminder texts and emails. We forget stuff very easily - especially when it comes to service. Tell helpers you'll have food.  
  • For same-city moves, do as much advance work as possible.  (If you can take over 5 boxes on your own, in your own car the day before - do it!)  The help you get on moving day should be for the large items.  
  • Keep the move date and time appropriate. Don't expect much help if you move Wednesday afternoon at 4pm or Friday night at 7pm. Saturday mornings around 9 seems to be the golden hour.  


  • Buy food. Have donuts, juice and water when help arrives.  
  • Don't observe. Load some boxes yourself and take an end of the couch. Break a sweat. 
  • Don't delegate. We've done enough moves to know what we're doing. Leave us alone.  
  • If a kid can't pick up a box, they're just in the way. Leave them at home.  
  • For moving in - if a helper puts a box meant for the kitchen in the girl's bedroom - just let it be. You'll have plenty of time to put stuff in the right place.   
  • Don't waste their Saturday. For many, it's our only free day. I've found that 1 1/2 to 2 hours is the perfect move time. Long enough to feel you've accomplished something but short enough to have the rest of the day open.  
  • If you are donating or throwing away (decent) stuff, put it in a pile and offer it to your help. You'd be surprised how much they'll take.  
  • Since you chose to use free help, no one is responsible if something breaks.  
  • Buy food. If the move ends around lunchtime, get some pizzas. (But don't wait until everyone's finished before ordering. Your help will leave.)  


If the person that just helped you move, has to move a few weeks or months down the road - you better be the first one over to help them.


You're getting a bunch of free help - so please be kind. If I charged for all the times I helped move - I could by my nonexistent boyfriend a REALLY nice Christmas gift. Again, while this may seem like a rant, MOST of the time, I've had some fun and enjoyable experiences while helping others move. And I'll help the next person in a heartbeat (just as long as they're familiar with the above tips.)  ;-)

Good luck with any future moves.  

(If I left anything out, please add to the comments!)


  1. The only thing I would add is to be smart about how you pack stuff. Even though they fit so nicely, all 27,000 pounds of your book collection should not go in one massive box. Break it down into small, sturdy boxes. I want to punch friends in the face when they say, "Oh, ha ha ha, be careful with that one. It has my books in it." Those 150 pillows you own, on the other hand, that are awkward to stuff under your arms and carry by the corners in 20 separate trips to the car, feel free to pack those babies into the biggest box you have, all of them, together, in one place. That is all. Thank you. 10-4, over and out.

    1. YES! Great addition and so true. If I ever see a box labeled "BOOKS" I usually just let the next person grab it! :) Which reminds me - a great place for boxes - liquor stores. They're small but very sturdy - perfect for books. Some will give them away if you ask.

    2. Nice tips! Binderies, too, with their big paper boxes are a good place to look for boxes.

    3. Thanks, Trev. I've just bookmarked the local binderies for my next move! :)

  2. Such a great post! Didn't you just hate looking forward to your 1-day weekend, Saturday, only to get a call on Friday night asking you to help so-and-so move!

    This was one of the biggest reasons I'd never own a truck as a Mormon.

    Like you said, more often than not they were unprepared.

    Even as an active member I tried to handle moves on my own with close friends or family. Your recommendations still hold true.

    And now being out, I've got to admit that not having a free moving company is tough and expensive! ... even though I never really used them!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Dad! I feel bad when I see those Friday evening emails for last minute help requests - because I know no one will show up. :(