Most recently we helped Tiki shift into her new digs. Tiki hired a 3 tonne van and we got pretty much everything shifted in one hit. It's one of the reasons I tell people to hire a van to move their stuff - it makes the whole job easier. A 2 or 3 tonne van is big enough to move most households.
It was as we were starting to load up the van that I had an epiphany - I am fucking over this!
Yep, I'd had a gutful of helping people shift. There was nothing Tiki had done, and for the most part it's nothing the others have done. It was simply an echo of the dozen or so other people I've helped move over the last few years crystalising into a fact.
Most people don't know how to move house. They don't know how to treat the friends they rope in, don't know how to prepare before the move, don't know how to pack. The last person I helped move that was no hassle (before Tiki) was Mondy. He and Teej McTeej hired a van, we loaded it up, it was a good shift.
I have probably helped out in 20+ moves in the last decade or so, and that doesn't include me personally moving house a couple of times. What I realised while helping Tiki this time around was that I ended up getting stuck in the same situation again and again.
I'm very good at packing stuff, that's one of the major things I bring to helping someone move. But I also help carry stuff out to the van. And what inevitably happens is, I help move the stuff out of the house and then end up doing all the arranging in the van as well. It's a waste of what I'm good at, getting me to carry boxes, and I end up doing two jobs to most people's one. I often seem to end up moving the stuff around in the van on my own, while everyone else stands around talking and waiting for me to finish, because they've done their bit and can't really help me with mine.
So for the record, these are the things I will insist on if you want me to help you move - By the way, most of these things should be kept in mind if you're getting anyone to help you.
I will not help you move your entire house unless you hire a van!
I'm ready to help out, but I have better things to do with my time than make fourteen bloody trips in my van when we can make one or two trips in a hire van. Plus it's so much easier to get things into a hire van. You can take all your furniture in one hit, rather than a separate trip for the couch, the arm chairs and table, the washing machine and fridge... You get the picture.
If you have people turning up at a particular time to help shift, make sure everything is packed and ready to go!
The amount of times I have turned up to someone's house and had to then wait around while they finished packing, or help them pack, is ridiculous. It's bloody rude to ask your friends to give up their time to help you shift and then keep them waiting. And if you don't have things ready, do not, Do Not, DO NOT get shitty at them for packing your stuff badly or in odd places. You should have had this all done. If you want help packing, organise another group of friends to help out with that the day before.
You are providing lunch and possibly dinner for your helpers, otherwise you can go to hell!
Your friends aren't there as a free labour force. If they are putting in their time to help you, the least you can do is spring for their food and drink. Pizza and/or chips are very popular.
If you want me to help, I'm in the van arranging the boxes and furniture. That's it!
Not strictly true, I will help carry things in at the other end. But having one or two people in the van to arrange stuff as it's brought to them is a good idea regardless. You can have people take turns if you want, but it makes the whole process move much more smoothly, not to mention quickly.
And that's it. Four little things that will make your shift go quicker and easier for you and your helpers, and will avoid me hiding tuna in your curtain rods or ducted heating.
PS I am whingeing about moving households of stuff here, I'm more than happy to help move a couch, table or some bookcases in my van. Just wanted to be clear on that.
 PPS Aaron Jacks is also a good person to move. Just want to give credit where it's due