Don't get me wrong; I'm always happy for friends who make positive changes in their lives. A new job, a new significant other, a new baby, I'm always game to celebrate. But there is one announcement of change that I dread from all of my friends; a new place to live. It's not because I want all of the people in my life to stay in cramped apartments or low-rent shacks. But whenever someone gets a new place it means they need to move, and suddenly they want to know "Are you free on Saturday?" Umm no, I'm not. I'm going to be laid up with a terrible bout of bird flu, or swine flu, or chimney flue, whatever it's gonna take to get me out of helping you move. And here's why.

1. Because I've Been to Your House

Some people are clean, organized and efficient. But I'm not friends with many of them. No, most of my crew have never owned a can of lemon pledge and think a "Swiffer" is a cocktail drink. They also have a shot glass collection, posters from every Rocky movie ever made and 67 copies of Maxim that they need to keep for the "useful tips". If I've seen how you live, I'll know that your expectations of me may include having to wrap your Star Wars collectibles in old Depeche Mode T-shirts. I'll also know if I will have to dig through empty pizza boxes and dust balls the size of small squirrels to even get to your stuff. Tell you what, invest in a broom in your new home and maybe I'll help you move next time. Maybe.

2. Because You Have Heavy Crap and a Lot of Stairs

Listen, I really liked crashing on your pull-out couch that night we drank a bottle of Jose Cuervo and watched "The Three Amigos" on your 42' flat screen. But I have zero interest in hauling either the sofa-bed or the TV down 2 flights of stairs. Everyone has some cumbersome objects. But if you've got a king size bed, a massive entertainment center, 2 couches, a pool table and a butt-load of boxes; you better have a dolly and an elevator too. Because there's absolutely no way I'm gonna get involved in anything that requires lowering a lazy-boy off a fire escape.

3. Because I'm Lazy and Pizza is Not Payment

If we're good friends I'll go out of my way for you, most of the time. I'll pick you up when you run out of gas, I'll loan you $20 at the bar, and I'll hit on the ugly one so you can score with the hot one. But I really don't want to spend half my weekend busting my ass, in exchange for a 6-pack of Coors Light and 3 pieces of Pepperoni Pizza. The truth is, I would much rather spend my days off sprawled on my couch balls-deep in Netflix. If I have to help you move, that means I have to put pants. It's not that I'm a bad person, I'm just lazy. And ok, maybe that makes me a bad friend when you need to re-locate. But you weren't complaining when you were here killing a weekend on an "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" marathon. Just because you have stuff to do, it doesn't mean I want obligations. I admit it, I'm a shiftless bastard, but hey, that's part of why you like me.

4. Because I Don't Really Like You That Much and You Didn't Help Me Move

You clearly missed the memo establishing that "helping you move" is only slightly less burdensome than "helping you move the body". Frankly, I'd rather show up for 2 hours of shoveling than 6 hours of trying to cram your Futon into the back of a Town and Country. The fact is, moving someone sucks and I'm only even going to consider it for my closest buddies. If all of our conversations take place via wall posts on Facebook, there's absolutely no chance I'm gonna sign up to be one of your movers. Also, I have a pretty long memory; I know exactly who pitched in when I moved out of my last shit-hole. And it wasn't you. But I will reciprocate for that short list, unless I can bargain my way out of it by giving up a kidney or something.

To put it simply, if you want my help moving, I need to owe you a favor. Whether it's lifting boxes and furniture, packing, driving a truck or cleaning, I hate it all. It's all inconvenient and annoying. Ok, there's a chance I may have a legitimate conflict on the day you're planning the "Big Move" but odds areÖI don't. See number 3.

If you want people to help you move, you better damn well be ready to return the favor. But recognize what an imposition it is to ask someone for their help in moving, and only tap your best friends. Don't be the ass-hat who makes his casual acquaintances uncomfortable by asking them to pitch in. It will also help your cause if you do some basic cleaning and packing yourself. And if you live in a 3rd floor walkup for the love of god, hire a professional to move your heaviest stuff. It may cost you a little extra cash, but at least it won't cost you friends.

Jade writes most frequently for uShip a shipping market place helping people find long distance movers around the country. Jade has been writing and blogging on numerous topics for the last several years. She has also managed to successfully avoid helping anyone move since 2003.