How to Reward Friends Who Help You Move
I miss college.
I never thought I'd say that — I'm not a "the best years of my life have gone by" kind of gal. But here's what I miss: owning the right size car and the right amount of stuff so that, whenever it came time to move out of the dorm, I could do it myself. I could carry everything, I could fit everything in my car, and I could get out of town without having to ask anyone for assistance.
These days, things are a bit different. I own furniture, AKA "stuff I can't carry by myself." It's not enough to warrant hiring movers, but it's enough that I need to get a couple of friends to come help me out whenever I'm in transit. (See also: 5 Unexpected Moving Expenses)
Now, every time people I know need help moving, they offer the exact same reward: pizza and beer. I'm not knocking pizza and beer — I love them dearly. They're both easy to serve and immensely satisfying after a day of hauling stuff around.
But recently, I've been planning a move, and I've been thinking how it would be neat to offer something other than the same ol' post-move meal as a way of saying thanks. Thus, here are some ideas for how to treat your hard-working friends. Some of them take a little pre-planning (which can be difficult during a move, I know), but they can be worth it. (See also: 25 Ways to Say Thanks)
Get Classy with Wine, Cheese, and Bread
Offer a more upscale version of beer and pizza: get a bottle or two of wine, a loaf of good bread, a couple of cheeses, and maybe a veggie plate to round out the mix. It's still classy even if you're drinking the wine out of red Solo cups. Really.
Cook Up Homemade Treats
When I move, I often I find myself with awkward amounts of leftover food: one serving's worth of noodles, a couple of cups of flour, or a cup of frozen pureed pumpkin. If it's not enough to give away or keep and you have a few extra minutes of time, consider making a last-minute batch of cookies or scones, or even something savory, like lasagna, to share.
Zone Out Together
Whenever I'm done moving, I just want to sit in front of the TV and turn my brain off. Keep track of where your TV set and DVD player end up in the move, and sit on the floor together eating snacks while watching sitcoms.
Go Out to Dinner
Being surrounded by your unpacked mess can feel stressful. Take a breather, and bring everyone out for dinner (even if it's just to get beer and pizza).
Buy Their Gas
If your friends are using their own cars to help you move, buy them a tank of gas, or give them a gift certificate for an oil change.
Get Them a Massage
If your friends really go overtime on the heavy lifting, get them a gift certificate for a massage. Groupon and similar sites are great places to search for massage deals, or look for a massage school in your area for discounted rub-downs.
Return the Favor
What do you get for friends who refuse everything you try to offer them? Help them out when they need it, whether it's moving, babysitting, or picking them up from the airport.
Do you have any creative ways to thank friends for helping you move? Share them in the comments.