‘Bust a move?’ Are parents expected to help adult children move?

Aug 29, 2022, 4:30 PM | Updated: 6:20 pm

(Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)...

(Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Dodging moving vans, pickups, and semis in your neighborhood?

You’re not alone. According to a new report by MoveBuddha – a website that compares prices and helps consumers find moving options – August is part of peak moving season that drives a $19 billion industry and some 30 million people each year. Nearly 42% of Americans on the move make the switch between June and August.

Among those home-hoppers? One of Dori Monson’s three adult daughters. The debate over whether to help her lug boxes, furniture, and tech stuff during her weekend move left Dori, his wife – and many Dori Monson Show listeners divided.

The average American adult moves 11.7 times in their life, according to MoveBuddha, which used U.S. Census Bureau statistics for its August 2022 report. On one end, Dori has moved just four times in six decades; on the other, producer Nicole has moved 22 times since she was 18. At that rate, Dori would be asked to help his girls move more than 66 times.

When it comes to finding helpers, Dori believes “that’s what friends are for – and my daughter has a million friends. I don’t understand how things have evolved. I never would have thought to ask a parent, and now a parent is the first option.”

Nicole believes females are more likely to ask parents because “we don’t want our friends around all our stuff, seeing the dust bunnies in the corner.”

Using KIRO-FM’s text line as an indicator, most men seemed to agree with Dori – but women were ready to jump in to help their adult kids.

Enlisting friends or family, Dori and Nicole agreed, is much more affordable than paying movers. Hiring a company can be expensive: local moving companies charge by the hour – with rates ranging from $65 to $250 hourly. Depending on the size of the move, hiring professional movers for a local move will cost – on average – anywhere from $300 to $3,500.

Some folks on the move would rather pay a professional to transport their belongings – but various sources show that movers are harder to find, as many of left the industry over the past two years.

It’s no surprise that movers are in hot demand right now. Historically, younger families tend to move in the summer months before kids go back to school.

And then there are all the college kids who are making the trek back to campus this month and next. They make up the lion’s share of people who need to move. Among all age groups, Gen Zers are most likely to move (32 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds moved in 2021 and 2022) compared to 26% of millennials 25 to 40-year-olds who moved in that same time period. Home-changing dropped off among the 10% of Gen Xers ages 41-56 years, and just 5% of Baby Boomers over age 57, according to MoveBuddha.

The end result for Dori and his family? His wife, daughter, and daughter’s boyfriend packed and loaded at Point A – and he helped them unload, stack, and store his daughter’s movables from the van she rented at Point B.

For those who would rather avoid that kind of work?

Check out U-Haul’s website with suggestions for how to get out of helping a friend move.

Listen to Dori Monson weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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