When it comes to moving, no one can do it alone. We all need help, whether for the prep and packing, or the actual heavy lifting. After all, sometimes movers just aren’t in the budget, and sometimes, all you need is to move a couple of items into a storage unit. Whatever the case may be, you should have a plan. How you ask your friends to help you move is essential to getting the answer you want. It requires proper planning and care.
That all being said, don’t ask your friends for help when you could really use professionals. Sure, having one of your friend’s trucks could be great, but think about how many trips they’ll need to take. Or think about how much stuff you actually need to move. Some jobs are just better for professional movers.
If your move is small enough for friends to help with, ask them! Here’s what you should do .
Consider the Friend
Everyone has their own life and chances are, some friends are more available to help than others. Think about their life and their needs. Ask yourself:
Do they have kids?
Do they work everyday/have odd work hours?
Do they transport their kids daily for school or extra-curricular activities?
Do they take care of a parent or spouse?
Do they have the time to spare?
The best thing you can do, as a friend, is be considerate of your friends’ time. Not all of them can drop what they’re doing to help and that’s okay. Don’t be upset if they say no either — this is a big ask and a big favor to you, and you should treat it as such.
That also means providing some form of payment for them. Each friend will respond differently to incentives. Some will be happy with a nice meal, while others may benefit more from financial compensation. Take all of that into considering when you’re choosing who to ask.
Give a Lot of Notice
When you ask a friend, give them a lot of notice. Springing up a move on them last minute is both bad manners and a horrible way to plan. This is a huge mistake people tend to make when moving — don’t leave anything last minute!
You’re going to have a lot less success asking for help if you do it over text the night before you need it. Try to give your friends at least a week notice before the move so they can work it into their schedule. This is true for everything, whether you’re borrowing their muscle, their truck, or their supplies.
Ask for Help on the Weekend
While it’s true that no one really wants to give up their weekend to move, you’re more likely to find success if you plan for a Saturday or Sunday move. This way, work and school don’t interfere.
While you may not be able to schedule the move itself for a Saturday or Sunday, try to get the help you need during that time, be it packing, unpacking, cleaning, or getting organized.
Be Specific When You’re Asking
The last thing you should do is ask “hey, can you help me move on Saturday?” That question is very loaded and can mean things that you don’t necessarily need. Does it mean you need help packing? Lifting? Transport? It’s not specific enough to know!
Let your friend know exactly what you need. Let them know if they’re coming to help pack, clean, or do some serious heavy lifting so that they can prepare accordingly. Some friends may be better at certain tasks than others, so play off of peoples’ strengths and ask for help with what they’re good at.
Provide Food and Drinks
If you’re being a host, you don’t want to be without food and drink. This is especially true if you’re hosting something as big and as intensive as a move. Make sure there is water and food for everyone. Provide what people like and give the option of healthier snacks too that people can grab and go, such as nuts or trail mix.
And never underestimate the power of a homemade brownie or cookie!
You should always thank your friends profusely for helping. This is a big favor and they’re taking a lot of time to help you.
You should go beyond the “thank you” and give them something more. We talked about incentives earlier, but this can go beyond that too. Take a break during the move and pick up some pizza and beer for everybody, or set a date to take everyone out for drinks or a movie once you’re settled in.
If you don’t have money to spend, a simple and personal handwritten thank you note mailed to their door will show how much you appreciate their efforts. Friends will love that you went the extra mile to thank them. It’s also just the right thing to do!
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