Enlisting the aid of your best pals or relatives is a great way to move without spending a ton of cash or breaking your back lugging all of your heavy furniture by yourself. However, it's common courtesy to consider your friends' availability, willingness and resources to help before asking them to assist you. If you are feeling unsure about the best way to urge your pals to lend a hand, the following guide offers tips and factors to consider when asking your friends for help during your move.
Don't wait until the day before you move to start calling up your friends and family and requesting their services. It's unlikely they will be willing to cancel all of their plans, drop everything and rush over to help you haul your stuff to your new home. Be considerate and start asking at least several weeks in advance. It'll also give you some time if they require a little extra cajoling to agree.
Schedule for their convenience.
If possible, ask your friends about their availability and choose a moving day that is optimal for their schedule. Avoid holiday weekends, as most people will have other plans. Don't expect them to be willing to take days off from work to help you move.
It goes without saying that you should provide water, snacks and lunch/dinner for your helpers. Pizza and beer is a popular moving combo, but you could also provide sandwiches, burgers or any other favorites among the group. Ask your friends what kind of food they'd like and then provide it for them. You could even offer to take them out to dinner and drinks after the move is complete.
Give them an I.O.U.
Promise them that you will return the favor. If one of your friends will be moving as well in the near future, offer to help. Suggest other tasks you can complete for them in exchange for their assistance, such as baby-sitting, helping with yard work, or running errands for them. Showing them how eager you are to help them with whatever they need will make it difficult to say no to helping you.
Be packed when they arrive.
If your friends show up at your house thinking they are just helping you transport your belongings, don't surprise them with a bunch of empty boxes when they arrive. Unless your friends offer to help you pack, it should not be an expected part of their duties when assisting in your move. Pack your own possessions and have everything taped up, labeled and ready to go on the truck when your friends walk through the door.
Have equipment ready.
If you are going to need a hand truck or dolly to move your furniture and appliances, have it already at your house before your moving crew shows up. Nobody is going to want to go with you to the hardware store to rent equipment. You also shouldn't expect your helpers to hoist your heaviest items out of the house without the aid of moving supplies. Don't skimp on your budget at the expense of your friends' strained backs.
Move the fragile stuff yourself.
If you would be heartbroken over shattered china, wine glasses or other delicate valuables, you should carry and load these boxes yourself. If one of your helpers accidentally drops or damages anything, you certainly won't have any right to be angry when they are already doing you a favor. It will only cause conflict or awkward tension that can be easily avoided if you take the responsibility for the fragile stuff.
Don't be bossy.
While watching others handle your things might ignite the inner tyrant in you, resist the urge to bark orders at everyone. Supervise and offer instructions, but be diplomatic and patient. Remember everyone is there to help you, not do your bidding.
Provide the transportation/fuel.
Unless one of your friends owns a truck and is willing to lend it to you for the move, you should provide the vehicle. If you are renting a moving van, have it parked outside of your house, open and ready to load when your friends arrive. Don't wait until your crew shows up and then announce that you are all taking a trip to U-Haul. Now you are just adding errands to the list of things they are already helping you with.
Also, don't expect your friends to help you transport your belongings in their own cars. If they do happen to suggest this method, make sure you offer to compensate them for gas.
Do your own unpacking.
Lastly, once everything is moved into your new place, don't expect your helpers to want to stick around and help you unpack everything. If they are willing and were in agreement to assist in the unpacking in advance, you're lucky, but it's unfair to request it on the spot. When the move is done, it's time to relax with a slice of pizza and a beer, and to express your gratitude to all of your helpers. Save the unpacking for the following day--and maybe a different group of friends.