Moving help can be difficult to come by. Suddenly all your friends and family are too busy with work, school and family to lend a hand-never mind that they were perfectly willing to hang out with you the week before. Rather than resorting to costly professional movers, see if you can bribe friends and family with any of the following methods:
Treat Them to Dinner or a Night Out
Either before or after (preferably after if you’re having difficulty getting moving help in the first place) your move is complete, offer your “night out” of choice to all friends and family members who help you. To make it easier on yourself, try to schedule this on the same day for everyone at once, such as the evening of moving day (you’ll probably be too tired to cook anyway).
Order pizza and buy a few cases of soda and beer and dine with family and friends at the new apartment or take friends out to a local bar and offer to be the designated driver. Many people feel more willing to help in exchange for being treated to a relaxing meal or a few drinks, which should amount to no more than $10 to $20 per person. This is a small price to pay compared to what it costs to hire professional movers.
Offer Them an “I.O.U.”
You may understand why friends and family are reluctant to offer moving help when you consider the fact that they’d be spending most of a day doing heavy lifting and driving for you, when free time can be hard to come by. So offer your friends and family what they’d be offering you: an entire day, afternoon, morning, etc. (however long they help you) to help with their errands and projects. Once you’ve settled in, return the favor to everyone who helped you. Offer to babysit kids free of charge, help with a do-it-yourself project or scratch a few items off a friend’s to-do list for a day.
Offer to Pay Them
Nothing stirs people to act more than money. If your friends and family say they wish they could help but they’re too busy with work and they have bills to pay, offer them the “job” of helping you move by stating that everyone offering you moving help will receive financial compensation. Of course, be clear about what you can afford and how many hours you expect each person will have to “work” for the money.
Your objective is to save money, so be sure to select an amount of money that costs less than hiring professional movers would. Something like $10 to $15 per hour or $50 for the whole day should entice a fair number of your friends and family without draining your own funds too much. However, since treating friends to a meal or a few drinks will likely cost less and offering up your own time is free, paying for help should be a last resort.
Just remember that to receive moving help, you should be willing to give help the next time one of your friends or family members needs to move, too. If you’re a reliable person, your friends and family will feel more like they owe you a favor and be more willing to help in the future.