Found a new place? Check. Packed up all your stuff? Check. Suckered friends into helping you move? Check.
But wait—you’re not done! You still need to figure out how you’ll pay your friends back after the exhausting big day. No, a few slices of pizza and room-temperature beer won’t cut it anymore. You’re grown-up now, remember?
To ensure that your friends remain, well, friends, there are two cardinal rules to keep in mind before the move:
1. Make the whole process as efficient and hassle-free as possible. It probably won’t be fun, but it doesn’t have to be backbreaking or traumatic either.
2. Make your gratitude clear. You don’t need to change your will or buy your pals Mini Coopers, but do make them feel good about participating.
So go ahead and get started! You’ll still have a few friends left after the move. We promise.
Before you move
- Don’t: Fold boxes closed to save tape. Your buds will be stuck balancing fragile boxes all day.
- Do: Label every box with a coordinating room for easy drop-off.
- Don’t: Pack a few big boxes with a ton of heavy stuff. You may end up with fewer boxes, but those boxes will be nearly impossible to carry. Why do this to people you purportedly like?
- Do: Use medium-size boxes. Experts say they are the best size for simpler moves. You can use a couple of big boxes for bulky but light things such as comforters and towels.
During your move
- Don’t: Overload your chums’ cars with boxes, saving your own for the little TLC leftovers. Nothing says “team spirit” like a four-car pileup because everyone in your convoy was attempting to check their rearview mirror and seeing only a tiny crack between stacks of boxes.
- Do: Pay for gas for every driver. Then go further: Top off this gesture with a gas gift card they can use down the road.
- Don’t: Keep promising pizza at the end of the day, like some kind of pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. This is (sorry) cheesy. And you might end up with a mutiny on your hands by 2 p.m.
- Do: Throughout the move—beginning to end—provide good snacks and plenty of drinks. Make sure to have plenty of [disposable] plates, utensils, napkins, and cups on hand.
After your move
- Don’t: Finish the day by telling your friends they should rummage around the cooler for leftover snacks and half-warm sodas.
- Do: Deliver them some ice-cold beer, strong mojitos, Starbucks Frappuccinos, or whatever floats your (and their) boat. When the work is done, deliver a grateful toast, sit back, and relax.
- Do: Take everyone out to a proper meal at a restaurant that doesn’t use paper plates but is casual enough for your somewhat rumpled crew. Order lots of apps!
And don’t forget the best thank-you of all: Pay it forward and help them in return when the time comes.