|The conversation always starts out innocent, usually with a "Hey, what are you doing next Saturday?" But, after you've already admitted to being free next weekend, comes the follow-up question nobody wants to hear...
Do you want to help me move?
You can't be honest and refuse to help, and you certainly can't resort to sarcasm and say, "There's nothing I'd rather do on my day off than help you move!" So, now that you've been recruited to help, what do you do?
There are three stages to moving: before the move, during the move, and after the move. You probably will not be expected to help with all three phases, so be sure to clarify with your family member exactly what is expected of you. Usually, helping with one of the stages is appropriate, and a favor like this can go a long way when you need help with a move of your own.
Before the moveHelp with packing. If your family member welcomes help with the packing, this is definitely a good place to start. Just make sure that everything is organized into boxes in a way your relative will understand and remember.
Offer to drive your family member to pick up the rental truck. If your relative is renting a truck to move him/herself, then this is a nice gesture. If there are other family members helping during the move, going the extra mile here might get you out of doing other things later in the process.
Help with cleaning. When your family member moves out of his/her current home, it needs to be presentable for the next owner. Help clean by trying to remove stains from carpets and dust from corners and counter tops.
During the moveStick with your strengths. If you are big and strong, help lift boxes and heavy furniture. If you won't be much help moving large items, then offer to babysit your family member's children if necessary. Sometimes, that's the biggest help of all.
Bring food. If you make killer sandwiches, then feed everyone involved with the move. If you're not the best chef, then go out and buy some sustenance for your family member and other helpers.
Help organize everything. If your family member has hired professional movers, help keep the movers organized and make sure all of the furniture is going where it's supposed to go in the new home. Discussing moving plans with your relative beforehand is important if you are responsible for this.
After the moveOffer to help unpack. Though some families may want to unpack their own items for organization and sentimental reasons, offering to help is still a nice gesture, especially after a busy and tiring moving day.
Provide a meal. Go out and buy pizza for everyone once the move is complete. Or prepare food beforehand for the post-move meal. After a long day, it will be greatly appreciated.
Help clean the new place. Some families might not want to start unpacking until their new home is spotless. So, helping clean the new house is one of the most considerate things you can do as a family member enlisted to help.
Another way to helpIf your family member is planning a do-it-yourself (DIY) move and recruits you to help, you can offer an alternative solution.
Suggest they hire professional movers. While it may not be the cheaper option, it is certainly the easier and less stressful option -- especially when you can get free moving quotes at the drop of a hat.
TIP: When suggesting this, try not to sound like you're getting out of something you don't want to do. Instead, make it sound like you're just looking out for their best interests.