Asking friends for help on our own projects is always a bit tricky. Our friends may offer up their help for some future task; they may berate us when we neglect to ask for that help and take on large tasks by ourselves; and yet we never feel quite comfortable asking. Like the cliche "I'll call you and we'll have lunch", the asking and offering of help is never taken quite as seriously as we'd like. So if you're a Do-It-Yourselfer when it comes to moving, or perhaps you just move around a lot and hire professional movers on a selective basis, here are some great tips to build up your network of friends who'll always be happy to lend a hand.
I've found there are two approaches that work well when it comes to asking friends for help. The first is to start a Friend's Circle of paying it forward. The second is the ask and reward approach.
Here's how to establish a pay it forward Friend's Circle. Make a list of friends and family members who are in a similar situation to you. Everyone's busy these days, whether it's a demanding job, raising a young family, coping with the stress of elderly parents, or just navigating stressful times. Invite them to participate in a pledge to help one another out. Suggestions will be moving house, holiday preparation, hosting an event, help with a job interview, spring cleaning, staging a garage sale, etc...
Each month the group gets together and helps out one member, or if the entire group isn't required, break off into pairs or smaller groups to get things done. Maximize the skills your friends possess that could help everyone. End all help events with a calendar notation of whose up next to ensure you continue moving forward. Make it clear that participation is completely voluntary and there will be no hard feelings toward those who aren't interested. You just may end up with a team of movers! A special thank-you at the end of each service is mandatory. So if your group helps you move, please make sure you provide the beer and pizza at the end of the day!
Another approach is the direct ask and reward. This works very well if you have older children who can enlist the help of their friends. The younger ones are always looking for a great meal of some extra pocket money. Again, selectively create a list of candidates who you think would be amenable to helping out. Contact them with a message such as this: I'm moving again! This time I've decided to take it on by myself, but I'll need a little help. I'm taking the audacious step of asking for your help on the big day, for an hour or two or whatever time you may have to spare. Many hands make light work! To that end I'd like to invite you back for a Spaghetti Dinner and wine tasting in my new kitchen. My daughter's making baked goodies for everyone. If this interests you please let me know. If not, I understand.
On moving day have everyone assembled early with their individual tasks and shifts outlined according to ability and interest. Keep the snacks and drinks flowing and don't forget to check in regularly with each person to make sure they're not feeling overworked.
And remember to recognize when you do need the professionals to step in. You Move Me can help you at any stage of the moving process, including packing, moving, and supplies.
Happy Moving Day!
Next week we'll post about the "5 steps for organizing your moving day with friends."