Buying or selling a home is an exciting process — a new adventure. But unfortunately in order to start that adventure, we have to deal with the dreaded moving process.

Here are a few tips on how to simplify your move and make settling into your new home as enjoyable as possible.

Start with Goodwill. Months before you’re even ready to put the first item in a box, start scouring closets, kitchen drawers, toys, etc. and give away as much as reasonably possible. If you haven’t used it in months, if it’s been stuffed in the back of your closet for a year consider how nice it will be to have fewer boxes to load come moving day and less to unpack on the other end. Many charities like Goodwill now provide pick-up options for larger donations so unloading all that extra clutter may be as simple as bundling it up in bags at the curb. And of course, the tax deductions are a nice added benefit.

Digitize

Another great way to de-clutter is to digitize. By putting CDs onto your computer’s hard drive, scanning receipts and photos, etc. you can remove lots of clutter while also keeping these items safer and less likely to get lost. It’s also a good idea to back up your hard drive before the move just in case a computer gets damaged.

Decide on a budget

Hiring movers is a great way to minimize the stress of moving and also avoid pulled muscles. However, the option to hire movers and the extent of the services is highly dependent on your budget. Long before your move date, decide how much is available in your budget and then get quotes from several moving options from truck rental only to full moving services so you can decide on the best option for your budget. Make sure to use well researched and recommended companies that are licensed and bonded and to get all quotes in writing. Keep in mind that most moves, especially if it’s over a distance, go over budget. Making sure you have some cushion is another great way to reduce stress.

Decide what area(s) of the house will be moving central

By choosing a minimally trafficked area of the house as the place to start packing, you’ll be able to get a head start while minimizing the impact on your daily lives. If you have a formal living area you don’t use very often, you could keep boxes and early pack items there. Once a box is completed it could be placed in a little used corner of the garage or a driveway storage pod. That way boxes aren’t underfoot in your bedroom or kitchen when your family is trying to get ready for work and school in the morning.

Start packing non-essentials well in advance

The first place I start when packing is with knick-knacks and décor. Not essential to daily use, these are ideal for early packing. Not to mention, these breakable items are best at the beginning when I’m not yet frustrated so I’m still taking special care with each item that goes into a box.

The next place I go is the kitchen. Between specialty ware and gadgets, there are many extra plates, platters and gadgets that we can live without for months on end. I often use extra linens and off-season clothing as my initial packing materials to keep the boxes light and well padded as well as get an even bigger head start on the packing.

Set aside small suitcases, duffle bags for everyone in your family

The last day or two in the old house and the first couple of days in the new house it’s likely that finding clothes, toiletries, inhalers, prescriptions, etc. will be a big hassle. That is unless you’ve set those aside somewhere that they’re easily accessible.

It’s also a good idea to set aside clean bedding; at the end of a long moving day, nothing will feel better than quickly locating (and then collapsing into) fresh linens.

Here are a few more resources to help simplify your move:

• For a more detailed timeline on moving to-dos, visit the Realtor.com at

http://www.realtor.com/advice/the-moving-checklist-a-timeline-for-your-upcoming-move.

• For a packing calculator that will help you determine the amount of boxes and packing materials you might need, check out this Packing Calculator at http://realtor.moving.com/moving-boxes/packing-calculator.asp.

Happy moving!

• Brandon Moore is a senior mortgage banker (NMLS 258524) who resides in Ahwatukee with his wife and two boys. Reach him at (480) 222-8893 or BrandonM@ASmartLoan.com.

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