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6 Things To Know Before You Even Think About Moving

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If we had it our way, moving to a new home would look something like this: Winning the lottery, buying a mansion, and hiring someone to lift up our current home, with all of its contents, and move it to the backyard of our new digs.

We can all dream, can't we? But until that dream becomes a reality, cardboard boxes and a rental truck it is. Plus, these tips from HGTV's Sabrina Soto (who recently relocated herself) on how to make the process a little easier. Or, at the very least, how to get settled into your new space ASAP.

  • Step 1: Purge
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    If you haven't worn something in a year, donate it or sell it. Given your pre-move to-do list, donating is likely to be easier, but you can also take your clothes to a consignment store where they usually buy items in bulk. But beyond clothes, get rid of anything you just don't need... like that popcorn maker you use every other year.
  • Step 3: Prep In Advance
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    ...A month in advance. Movers need to be scheduled, you'll need to get the certificate of insurance from your building, reserve one of the freight elevators, and so on, so that when it comes to move day you can get in and out.
  • Step 2: Find A Good Mover
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    If you talk to a few friends about their moves, you'll learn quickly that there are so many horror stories. Make sure you find a reputable mover and get separate insurance from what they're offering, especially for really expensive pieces. Movers may only pay you 60 cents per pound, for example, so if you have a TV that's ten pounds, you're only going to get $6. Before you decide on a company, get referrals, get three bids, and check out reviews with the Better Business Bureau, Yelp and Ripoff Report. For Soto's stuff, bids ranged from $14,000 to $7,000... all for the exact same services, so you'll have to do your homework. Some movers charge by volume and others by weight, so if you have really heavy furniture, selecting a mover who charges by weight won't be worth it. Also keep in mind that some items -- like that "fragile" IKEA dresser -- won't even make the move. Toss it and get a new one when you get there.
  • Step 4: Buy Used Boxes
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    You read that right: Don't buy new boxes. Instead, look for used ones on Craigslist. (Boxes can get expensive!) If you live in a building, most will pack up all of their boxes and leave them near the trash chute, so ask the handyman if they have extras.
  • Step 5: Minimize Stress
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    If you've done your homework and organized your things, the day of a move isn't that hard. (If you run into a bump in the road, we've got two words for you: Bloody Mary.) On the inside flap of each box, itemize what you've packed, so when you open it, you know what's in there; make sure you write on all sides which room it's going to in the new place; and take anything that's really valuable. Those things you cannot live without, take them with you.
  • Step 6: Settle In
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    Unpack one box at a time. And don't bother getting the movers to unpack, because they don't actually put it away. Don't pay for that extra charge. And make sure you have that open-first survival box with your toothbrush, shampoo and pajamas. Once you're unpacked, the easiest way to transform your new space is to add a few touches of color (think: toss pillows, a few frames or a new lamp) and then keep it all clean!

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