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Early this year, friends of mine had their first baby. As you know, I am a fan of giving food as a baby shower gift, and have also written about tips for taking meals to families. Towards the end of the pregnancy, I asked my friend if I could arrange a meal train for her (I wrote about those in the tips list), but she said she had things pretty under control, so politely declined.
Well, things took a bit of a turn!
There was a confluence of events and they ended up buying a house! A house that needed renovations, and obviously necessitated moving. Can you imagine more or less gutting a house, by yourself with friends and family, at the same time as having a less than one month old who is your first child? So I got a phone call along the lines of, “Remember how you offered to make a meal? We would be so, so grateful if you were still willing to.” I jumped at the chance, which was my first time organizing a meal train using mealtrain.com – it was pretty darn simple! I was also absolutely thrilled to see the five days worth of meals filled up after only a few hours. Because they were moving, there were a few extra things to think about, like wanting to pack up their dishes!
I ended up making burritos, lots and lots of burritos. As you can see in the picture, I made over twenty of them! Back in high school, I worked at a wrap restaurant and we packaged wraps in tinfoil and then you just peeled the tinfoil away like a banana to eat them. All you need are napkins! As it turns out, a friend tore his MCL and was couch bound, so I tacked on a few wraps for him. All in all, I made dinner plus leftovers for some lunches, for 9 adults, boy did that take awhile!
Physical Gift Ideas for Friends who are Moving
These gift ideas are items and things that you can bring to your friends:
Road Trip Care Package – When my spouse and I moved from Ontario to British Columbia, a relative made us a fantastic care package that we kept in the truck with us. Inspired by that, I wrote a post about road trip care packages that you can check out for inspiration.
Burritos – Like I said, no plates, cutlery or anything, just tinfoil and napkins heading to the garbage. These are a perfect moving day (or week) food. Stay tuned later this week for the recipe, when I post it as an Affordable Dinner for a Crowd!
Take Out – Showing up with any take out at all would be greatly appreciated. Bonus points if you let them know in advance, to make sure they haven’t already ordered their own pizza!
Restaurant Gift Cards & Menus – Gift cards (or an envelope of cash) for take out or delivery restaurants, coupled with a menu, would be a very welcome addition to packing up, or unpacking!
Cleaning Service Gift Certificate – Many folks will do their own move-out cleans, or find themselves stuck and running out of time. If you can get together with some more people to gift a move-out clean, anyone would be very happy to receive it!
Helpful Gift Ideas for Friends who are Moving
The following ideas are gifts of your time, to help out your friends who are moving.
Babysitting – Have you ever tried to pack up a house with a horde of children underfoot? Offering to babysit children, even for an hour or two, can let people focus on the moving tasks that they need to do.
House Packing – Some things have to be packed up by their owners, as most people are sorting as they go. Other things, however, can be packed up by anyone. For example, bookshelves or kitchen contents.
Cleaning – Even if you keep your home very clean, when you move out, the dust bunnies show their faces! Helping to clean can be a huge assistance to your friends who are moving.
Dog Walking – Just like those children underfoot, dogs still need attention while packing! In fact, dogs can get very excited and full of energy when everything around them is changing, so they may need even more walks than usual. Plus, some dogs love to be underfoot, just like kids, so taking them out for an hour can free up your friends to do what they need to do.