I had the opportunity to help a family move-in yesterday. It was an easy move. Most of the stuff was unloaded and stacked in a storage facility. It got me to thinking though, about all my previous experiences helping others move – the good and the bad.
If you’re asking people to help you move here are some helpful tips that will increase your chances of remaining friends and maybe get them back for a second move.
1. Have everything packed. Don’t start throwing things in a box when people show up at your door. It communicates to them that their time is not worth you being prepared.
2. If you are moving locally have most of the small stuff relocated already. There is no reason you can’t make some car loads of small boxes before people show up at your door.
3. PROVIDE LEADERSHIP! This is absolutely the most important but hardest for people to do. People show up because they are willing and expecting to do some grunt work. They are there to help but want it to get it over as soon as possible –nobody likes moving – especially stuff that’s not theirs. I know you want to help do the grunt work to show that you are taking responsibility for your stuff, but it does no good for 8 people to stand around waiting for instructions while you wrestle with the box springs. This just prolongs the agony for everybody. You are the only one who knows where things go. You can honor people’s time by not lifting a hand but coordinating to make the work go efficiently and quickly. It might not feel good to stand around giving instructions, but believe me, it’s the best way to appreciate the people who showed up expecting to do manual labor.
4. Don’t inappropriately take advantage of having people willing to help. Make decisions quickly. You can tweak things later. It’s not the time to move the 600lb dresser 4 inches to the right (while 6 other people are standing around waiting for instructions and thinking that they are wasting their day).
There’s my tips on moving. They come from being on the receiving end of people doing it correctly but, unfortunately, more so from people doing it wrongly.