Because our family has moved 12 times in 16 years of marriage, I have greatly appreciated service rendered by Church members during our various moves. Here are some suggestions for helping make someone’s moving day go smoothly.

  • Help pack. Find packing materials, such as boxes and newspapers, and offer to help pack belongings. Sturdy boxes are expensive to buy, and large families will need many of them.

  • Provide food. It’s difficult to cook when you’re trying to pack up the kitchen, and eating out is expensive. Invite the family to dinner at your home or take meals to them. One sister packed us a large container of food that provided snacks and light meals for two days.

  • Offer child care. Making arrangements so that the family’s children can play with other children can be of great relief to the family. The children will be safer during the loading and unloading of trucks, the parents will be less distracted, and the children will be less preoccupied and uneasy about this big change in their lives.

  • Help load trucks. As an elders quorum president who has helped many people move, my husband has come to greatly value the help of someone with good truck-loading skills. Care in loading boxes and furniture can prevent damage resulting from the shifting of contents during travel.

  • Clean Up. One of the most stressful aspects of moving is leaving the residence clean afterward. Often a clean house or apartment is a condition of claiming a rental deposit or selling a home. Usually cleaning must be done quickly, and if there are several people to help who bring their own supplies, including mops and vacuums, it doesn’t take long. Have one or two people start cleaning even as the truck is being loaded. Start at the back of the house and move everything from a room, even if it’s only to the front door; then clean the room and shut the door. By the time the trucks are loaded, the house will be clean.

  • Address sleeping needs. Offer a place to sleep or the use of sleeping bags for a night or two when people are without furniture. Often people have long drives or heavy work awaiting them the next day, so a good night’s sleep can make a big difference in their ability to meet the stresses ahead.

  • Welcome move-ins. Provide assistance and any information that will be of help to new arrivals. For example, let them know where they can find essential services (grocery store, gas station, hospital, post office, schools, police, fire, etc.), and give them a list of emergency telephone numbers. Leave your phone number along with your offer of friendship and further help. If they are Church members, give them a copy of the ward directory and a list of current Sunday meeting times; extend an invitation to come to church with your family.—Lydie Strasburg, Warner Robins, Georgia

Photography by Jed Call and Craig Dimond

Illustrated by Scott Greer