These Are the Best Gifts to Give a Friend Who’s in the Process of Moving

published Dec 20, 2021
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Gift-giving is always top of mind in December, and I’m here to say that one of the best gifts I got this year was a totally unexpected one — not for a birthday or holiday, but indeed for a major life event. I moved earlier this fall, and I was lucky (and grateful!) to have several helpers throughout the process — with loading and unloading and with acquiring boxes and other packing materials. 

My sister, who lives across the country in San Francisco, was majorly helpful in my move. She sent me bubble wrap, foam wrap, and some large reusable tote bags — because she is just the best. The whole time I was packing, I couldn’t stop thinking about how helpful and nice it was. Her kind gesture made for one (actually three) less things to check off the list and to spend money on during an already overwhelming, expensive few weeks. 

So, if you’d like to pay it forward to a friend who’s moving but you aren’t located in the same town as them (or available to move heavy furniture), here are some thoughtful things to send their way. 

These would make particularly good gifts for people gearing up to move during the holiday season as they’re all 1. super practical and 2. won’t take up much space in a moving van. Sending even one of these is sure to make your friend’s life a little easier, or you could bundle a few of these to create the ultimate moving gift box/care package. 

Tote Bags

These heavy-duty bags with handles were a game changer for my move and beyond: They were perfect for storing clothes and hauling them into my new place — and still are useful on laundry day because they zip shut. They’re also great for large grocery hauls, and they fold flat when you’re not using them.

Foam Corners

Yes, sometimes wrapping items with blankets and towels is a good, eco-friendly alternative to bubble wrap and other plastic packaging during a move. But for extra-fragile items, knowing you have materials that were made to get the job done is reassuring. Foam corners are some of those ultra-specific things that you don’t think of until day-of when you’re dealing with some extra pointy or extra fragile corner. Your friend will thank you later.

U-Haul Gift Card

U-Haul has gift certificates (ranging from $5 to $1,000), as do some local moving companies. Whether your friend uses this for boxes, packing supplies, storage, or transport, it will certainly help chip away at their relocation costs.

Credit: Javier Díez/Stocksy

A Gift Card to a New (or Old) Favorite Restaurant

Because your friend’s kitchen tools will likely be boxed up close to move-in day, treat them to one last meal in town or send them a gift card so they can get some to-go goodies from their favorite local spot. You can also help your friend feel at ease in their new neighborhood by researching restaurants in their new area and getting them a gift card to a place you think they’ll like.


This small token of friendship is perfect for a new set of house or apartment keys — or the keys to the U-Haul or storage unit that your friend Absolutely. Can. Not. Lose. 

Extra Tape

A handy dandy tape gun will make a monotonous task more efficient, but if your friend already has one, a refill roll is always a good idea.

Extra Markers

Because these guys always run out of ink faster than you think, especially when you’re writing in big block letters on cardboard.