The key to affordable (i.e., relatively free) moving help is to ask the people you know to lend a hand. However, asking your friends and family to help you out when you’re planning a move isn’t always easy. Here are some tips for convincing friends and family to help you out.
Cash in on I.O.U.s
The most effective way of getting moving help from friends and family is to be a help to them long before you need their assistance. That means helping them pack and move when needed, but it also just means occasionally doing errands for them, helping out with yard or housework, treating them to dinner, etc. If you’ve established yourself as a friend and loved one who helps out a person in need, your friends and family will be more likely to return the favor. It’s never too late to start, but if it’s too late to accumulate I.O.U.s before your move, you can always…
Give Them an I.O.U.
Promise that you’ll help your friends and family with a large project after you’ve finished planning your move. This can include yard or housework, taking them out on errands, etc. Because you’ll be busy unpacking for a time even after your move, you can schedule an afternoon devoted to each friend months after the move. If you’re moving out of town, your favor could be paid on your next visit or can be comprised of some long-distance work, like building a website for them, making a craft that you can later mail, and so on.
Treat Them with a Party
Another surefire way to get moving help from friends and family is to hold a party afterward (or shortly beforehand, if you’re moving out of town) to thank your friends with food, drinks, games and conversation. There’s no need to go all out on the affair, as you can find affordable bbq meats and snacks in bulk at warehouse and supply stores. (Don’t ask your guests to bring food for a potluck if you can help it; this is their reward for helping you after all, and it’s a lot cheaper than hiring movers.) The dollar store offers cheap party decorations you won’t feel guilty tossing out after one use.
If all else fails, there’s always the lure of payment for their services. Even $50 for a day’s worth of work can help out cash-strapped friends and tempt them to spend an afternoon offering their time, cars and energy for moving help. You may not be able to afford to pay too many friends and family, but there are bound to be at least a few family members who will help out for free. In total, you’ll spend far less than you would hiring professional movers.
Getting moving help from your friends and family can save you a lot of money and it can also make the tedious and stressful process of planning your move go by far more quickly thanks to conversation and laughter. When moving to and/or from an apartment, you’ll have far fewer things to pack, so relying on the cars of friends and family instead of a moving van makes a lot of sense.