Moving can be overwhelming if you try to do it alone — it's a task which requires more than one set of hands. That's what friends are for, right? But even if your friends gladly offer to help, you still need to follow a few rules of thumb to ensure that your friends remain your friends, even after moving day.
Organization is the key to a smooth and successful move - it will make things easier for you and your volunteers. Here are five steps to setting up a successful moving day with friends:
- Reach Out Early. As soon as you know you'll be moving, pull together a friendly and organized email and get it out to as many people as possible. Giving people adequate notice ups the odds that you'll get a good group together - remember, the more people that show up to help you move, the easier it is for everyone.
- List Needed Tasks, "Potluck" Style.When asking people for help, list out specific tasks that you need assistance with. Do you have any super-organized friends that would like to help you with sorting through items before packing starts? Do you want to organize "teams" of people (couples, etc.) to tackle one room together, so they know exactly what they're signing up for? Be creative, and be specific - think of it like a potluck, where everyone signs up to bring a specific dish. If people know what they're in for, it allows them to plan their own schedule and approach the day with optimism.
- Keep, Discard, or Donate. One of the joys of moving is going through all of your rooms, item by item, and determining what you really need to keep, what should go to trash or recycling, or what needs a new home. If you've found some friends who want to help with this task, all the better - it allows you to reminisce as you go through things and make decisions together. It can be overwhelming, and time may not be on your side. See who volunteers to help, pick a date (or two), and be ready to tackle the project methodically. Having space in one room with "Keep", "Discard", and "Donate" signs helps people know where things go and keeps things moving.
- Have Supplies Ready. Get a list of moving supplies together (blankets, packing tape, boxes) and have it ready-to-go on the day of your move. Whatever items you have not discarded or donated will be packed on that day, and you want to make sure to have the "tools of the trade" ready for your volunteers.
- Music and Food Are Key. The day of, you want to make it as fun as possible - if you're moving far away, this may be your last chance to spend time with these folks, so keep it festive! Music (don't pack away your speakers just yet), snacks, and beverages will go a very far way with your volunteers. As an added touch, think about getting a little something for each person, or writing a personal thank you note to each one. They're giving you their time, and you want to make sure they know how appreciative you are.
(Image: Photo by Flickr user qwrrty, licensed for use under Creative Commons)