Here at The Store Room self storage company, one of the most interesting things is seeing how people actually go about the logistics of getting their items from their home, down to our self storage site and then safely away into their storage room. Some people employ a local moving company or ‘man and van’ service to do everything for them, some decide to make several trips themselves in their own cars, packing as much in as they can with each trip, and others decide to hire their own van and become a removal man (or woman) for the day. I’ve personally spent many a day in the reception area of our Manchester storage site watching one of our customers move into a storage unit with a vast army of friends and family in tow helping them.
Whichever way they come to us – we’re (obviously) happy to have them! It’s the last one these examples that we want to talk about today. So you’ve hired the van – great – that’s sorted – but you’re going to need help lifting that mattress, that sofa, that wardrobe, that…..etc.
This is where having the aforementioned loyal group of friends at your disposal can definitely pay dividends. But as we all know – even the most stalwart of comrades can sometimes need a bit of carrot on the end of the stick to persuade them to help you. To that end – here are our top tips for convincing your friends to give up their valuable spare time and lend a hand…
As with many other situations where you are asking people to help you with a specific task at a specific time, leaving it until the last minute is a sure-fire way to guarantee a slim chance of getting any help at all. Ask friends and family well in advance and tell them the date and what you need help with. People are far more likely to agree to help you if it is for a date in the medium-distance, and then, once they’ve told you ‘yes’ – it’s difficult for them to back out without looking like a let-down!
This is a tactic that can be very effective. Explain to people that, rather than it being a back-breaking sweaty slog of ‘right a bit, left a bit, no right a bit more’ all day long, the activity will be more like a get-together of friends with plenty of opportunity to have a laugh and catch up. Get some moving playlists loaded on the iPod and make sure you have plenty of snacks and (soft) drinks available for everyone. There’s no getting around the fact that some hard labour will be involved, but you can soften the blow a bit by planning the atmosphere to be as friendly and relaxed as possible.
In any home-moving situation, there will always be items that will not be suitable for the new place that is being moved into or items that you want to get rid of because you’re buying new things. These items can be a great bargaining chip – usually there is someone among your group of friends that could definitely do with an X or a Y. For example, a new-ish coffee table in exchange for a few hours of help doesn’t seem like a bad deal, does it?
If you know your friends well, you will know what their routines are and if there are any particular things on the horizon that you could yourself possibly be asked to help them with (e.g. a lift to somewhere or help with something from work). With things like this why not offer to help your friends before you ask for them to help you on your moving day? It’s much harder to wriggle out of doing a favour if someone you know has already agreed to do a favour for you in the future.
Most people love a party and will use any excuse in order to have one. Even better when the party is because of something – like celebrating a house move or even just celebrating having been able to get all of the items out of your house and into a self storage room. You’ll be surprised how many people will be prepared to help out if there is the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ of a social get-together afterwards to look forward to.
A great way to make the process fun is to make it competitive. If you have enough people helping you, you can play up in advance to the fact that there will be teams and there will be challenges set. For example – who can clear a room the fastest – or who can move the most number of boxes in the shortest period of time. Be careful though – you don’t want any damage! You could even give prizes and have forfeits for the winners and losers respectively.
Worth a try if all else fails.
We know that in an ideal world everybody you know would be falling over themselves to help you. That’s in an ideal world. The reality is that employing a few tactics designed to gently persuade your nearest and dearest is often the way it has to be done. Anyway – good luck with your moves, and we look forward to seeing you at one of our self storage sites very soon (and maybe you’ll tell us how you convinced the 6 people waiting patiently outside, next to your rented Luton Van, to help you!).
Image credits: keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk; 24.wikia.com; nevermedia.org.uk; Getty Images; accountancyage.com