Friends helping MoveAs moving day approaches, you might contact a few friends (especially the one with a pickup truck). Let’s be honest, though; there’s a right way and a wrong way to get your friends’ help. Here are some tips to make sure your friends will still be your friends when you’re finished moving.

It’s not just about pizza and beer

Make the atmosphere as friendly as possible. Set up a playlist that most of your friends are into. Make sure there’s plenty of bottled water, Gatorade, or lemonade around. Ask if your friends will want snacks as they work, or just wait until you’re done.

When you’re planning the move, find out what people will want to do afterward. Maybe they’ll want pizza and beer, but maybe they’ll want something more laid-back, like a potluck. Maybe they’re not that interested in eating, but would rather go out with you later to relax.

The important thing is to find out right away what they’d like. Even if they don’t want anything, they’ll appreciate that you asked. And if no one tells you any different, most people won’t turn down a free slice after a hard day of work.

What’s the Plan

It can be frustrating to show up to help move and there’s no clear direction. Boxes are scattered everywhere, no one is sure how that sleeper sofa even got wedged into that back bedroom, and you’re too frazzled to even know what should happen first.

Come up with a plan early. Put a list on paper, in a mass email or text, or on a whiteboard that everyone can see. Not only will it keep your anxiety down on the day of the move, your friends can easily figure out what needs to happen when you’re too busy to give them directions.

Think about specifics, and solicit questions from your friends about things they want to know. How wide is that doorway compared to your wardrobe? How are you going to fit the dining-room table on top of everything? Can the door come off the hinges, and would that help?

Another thing to keep in mind is that your friends all have different talents. Maybe one person is great at playing Tetris with boxes, and should be in charge of loading the truck. Maybe another one has an eye for detail and can point out what’s getting missed. And always make sure you’ve got big friends who can lift everything, and see to it that they don’t hurt themselves.

Don’t Make Them Pack

Your friends should not have to pack your stuff. If it’s impossible to pack everything before moving day, then you should do that while your friends get everything out the door and into the truck. In most cases though, have everything packed and waiting in convenient areas like the rooms closest to the doors, or out in the garage.

Also, make sure the packing is good. Close boxes and make sure the boxes are in good shape. Make sure sharp edges are either pointed out or covered with something. Label everything. Don’t make people wonder whether a box is heavy or fragile, or if it can go on the top or bottom of a stack. This also helps when you’re at the new place. Your friends can just put the boxes where they belong, rather than asking you each time they haul in a new box.

Be There When It’s Their Turn

The best repayment for your friends is the knowledge that if they sweat and strain for you, you’ll do the same for them. Make sure that you’re able to lend a hand when they move, or if you legitimately can’t be there on the day, that you can help with something else. Offer to help them pack early, or unpack, or clean, or something to let them know that you appreciate what they’ve done for you.

After all, you want them to come back again the next time you move.

If this all sounds like too much work, Gerber Moving & Storage is here to help you maintain your relationships with friends and family by doing the heavy lifting for you.