Many people throw going-away parties for others who are moving. People want to be remembered, so they offer gifts or small tokens of affection to the one moving. Many gifts are practical, but even practical gifts need to be creative to be used and kept longer than the journey itself.
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One of the most practical gifts you can give a friend who is moving is your time helping them pack, running errands or even offering child care so they can pack and move with less stress. Packing supplies and boxes is another practical gift idea. Often, you can get boxes from markets and department stores for free.
Other practical gifts could be preparing dinner for your friends while they are busy with packing. With dinner you could include gift cards to restaurants in their new town, to ease some of the stress of unpacking their belongings and to help them get to know the area a bit. Gift cards to delivery services or child care centers in their new area, or even a map of their new area to help them find their way are very useful in a new town or area. Other thoughtful gifts could be things that will help your friend set up a new house. These could include address labels with her new address, gift cards for cleaning supplies, geographical toys to help get the children acquainted with their new hometown, or simply calling someone from Welcome Wagon to pay them a visit in their new home.
If the one leaving is close to you, and words themselves cannot express your feelings, here are a couple of creative ways to tell a friend "I will miss you." Print out detailed directions from their new home to your door on decorative paper or cardstock, with an endearing caption underneath, then frame the directions and glue a little plastic fireman's axe onto the glass of the frame with instructions to break the glass if necessary. You can also add a dollar bill under the glass, for that "just in case" moment.
Another idea is creating a collage or scrapbook of photos and memories you and your friend have shared for her to view when she is feeling a bit lonely and homesick. Make a second scrapbook for yourself, and include a blank scrapbook so she can start making memories of her new home.
People moving into a rented apartment or house have different needs from those moving into a house of their own. If your friend is moving into a rental, one gift idea might be a collection of peel-and-stick artwork for the walls. Since a renter may not be able to paint the walls, this is a thoughtful gift to help him spruce up his new place.
Another idea for a friend moving into an apartment would be a decorative room divider to help keep the dining area separate from the television area, or to hide totes of unused items.