Getting your friends to help you move can save a ton of money. But if you don't go about it properly, it can cost you some friendships. Apartment Therapy helps you make sure you can get helpers that will stay friends with you even after you settle in your new apartment!
Make sure to ask for help as soon as you know your moving date. The best and easiest way to do that is to with a polite and detail-filled email that you send to as many friends as you can. By giving people a lot of lead time, it's more likely that you'll get a lot of helpers and that makes it easier for everyone. It also makes it more fun!
Make a list of tasks that need to be accomplished and divy them up between your friends. Think about people's strengths when you ask them to help. Your friend whose house is an OCD dream, right down to a junk drawer where you can find everything? Ask her to help you go through sorting items before you begin packing. Maybe you could organize teams of people (spouses, best friends, etc.) to be in charge of a single room together so they can be aware of exactly what they're agreeing to. The more specific you can be, the better able your friend-helpers will be to plan their own day and be enthusiastic about the task at hand.
Having a buddy (or two) help with the purging task as you start packing can make the whole experience easier and more fun. It also may result in you paring down even better, as your friend can be the "enforcer" and make sure you don't keep that dress they haven't seen you wear since freshman year.
Finally, on the day of your move, make sure there are plenty of moving supplies like blankets, packing tape and boxes so your helpers can really help and not keep asking you where things are. You also should have music to keep things fun (if you're moving far away, this may be the last time you'll see your friends for a while), and snacks to keep the movers fueled. I'll never forget the time a friend, unbeknownst to me, had just started Weight Watchers and wound up so hungry he nearly fainted. I found myself scrounging in my "food" box for something to get his energy back up AND I lost a very able-bodied helper!