Moving home the smart way

Moving home the smart way

You’ve found the perfect new property for you and your family and have taken the plunge and made your purchase, however don’t be fooled that the hardest part is over. While it’s definitely true that you have done a lot, the truth is that you still have a job on your hands, which often turns out to be one of the most stressful events involved in a move- the day of relocation itself.

We aren’t looking to put you off, but be prepared; there are a number of things that can go wrong if you haven’t made thorough plans. There are so many hidden dangers that could flare up over the coming weeks of your move, so with that in mind, here are some ways to get your move heading in the right direction.

Put everything down on paper

You may be impressively organized, and able to juggle copious amounts of information in your head; but don’t run the risk of forgetting something. When moving, you simply must put everything down on paper.

Make sure you’re scrupulously organised, as you’ll need to figure out details such as how much time you have, how many days you will need to move and when your new furniture is being delivered. You need to measure everything in your new place, checking what you can and cannot move.

Hire movers

Many people believe that hiring movers is a simple waste of money. How difficult can it be to move a fridge, a few chairs, a table and a sofa? When it comes to actually carrying out the moving process, you’ll find it incredibly hectic, and hiring removal assistance could prove to be a god send.

When you hire professional movers, you may be paying them but they’ll be doing a great service to and for you. Before you see those guys in action, you’ll have no idea how incredibly  efficient and quick they are. Of course, you’ll want to hire a reputable moving firm who boast a reasonable amount of experience, along with the highest quality packaging supplies.

Decorate before you move

One of the best things about the empty space that you’ll be moving into (unless you rented something that was already furnished) is that you can do pretty much everything you’d like in your new space. The smart thing to do is to decorate before you move in. There is nothing clumsier and less comfortable than decorating around the boxes that you have already brought in and odd pieces of furniture lying around our new place.

Decorating your new place when it is empty will also give you a much clearer picture of what you will be able to do with the choice of colours, the details and the new furnishings that you will most probably need and want to buy.

Above everything else, it is absolutely essential that you keep your cool and that you absorb all the problems that will inevitably crop up at some point. Make sure you don’t lose your head and remember that this is, after all, a positive and exciting time in your life.

If you’ve recently moved and can impart some top tips and handy knowledge on your fellow readers, we’d love for you to get in touch. Just drop us a comment below.

 

 

Photo Credit: CC image sourced via en.wikipedia.org

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The home buying process explained
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The home buying process explained

If you’re looking to purchase your first home, it’s a daunting time. The home buying process can be complicated, so heading into it with no prior knowledge is scary. In order to relieve the worry, we’re here to provide a definite guide to the process, perfect for those taking the plunge for the first time.

Prepare yourself

Buying your first home is a huge life decision, so it’s important that you don’t head into the process without having done plenty of research for yourself. Getting yourself that background knowledge will really help, and make the process of home buying much more straight forward. As with most things, having a greater understanding will allow you to make a more informed decision further down the line.

Get the right mortgage

One of the most important factors when buying a home is to ensure you get a mortgage that suits your financial and living situation. Again, this will involve copious amounts of research and homework. If you’re unsure what types of mortgage are out there, it’s worth looking into, and getting the facts straight in your head before going out into the market.

Make your offer

Once you’ve got your mortgage lined up, viewed homes and are now ready to proceed, it’s time to put in an offer on what you want to be your new home. If you’re a first time buyer, you’ll have less constraints, as you won’t have an existing home up for sale slowing you down. Usually, you’ll put your offer in through your estate agent, as they will help your deal go through as smoothly as possible

Sort your paperwork

Next up, you’ll need to get your solicitor to handle the paperwork surrounding your impending move. It’s important that the finer details of your move are scrutinised ahead of signing your papers, so having a trusted solicitor on your side is an important addition.

Carry out a survey

Another crucial step is to ensure that you arrange for a survey of your new property to be carried out, to make sure that your new home has been thoroughly checked over and is valued at the price you’re paying. There are a number of different surveys and reports which can be carried out, from the cheaper condition report to the most comprehensive option of a structural survey.

Exchange contracts

Once your solicitor and surveyor are happy, it’s time to sign the contract and move ahead with the purchase. It’s at this point you’ll have to start the expenditure, as you’ll usually have to lay down 10% of the total price as a deposit. It’s important to know that once you put down the deposit, you’re committed to the sale, meaning that if circumstances change any you need to pull out of the deal, you’ll likely lose your deposit.

Complete the deal

Upon completion, the property finally becomes yours. It’s time for you to get your keys and the deed to your first home. The completion of your purchase means you’ll now have bills to pay; the 90% of your home which you’re yet to pay for is transferred from your mortgage lender to your legal representative, and then on to the seller’s representative.

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Sorting your council tax ahead of moving house
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Sorting your council tax ahead of moving house

When moving home, as we’ve mentioned previously, you’ll have a lot on your plate, particularly when it comes to informing your local authorities and utility suppliers. However what many people struggle to understand is the way in which you’ll need to organise your council tax when moving.

If you’re well prepared, and plan plenty in advance, then the process of paying your existing council tax requirements and closing the account associated with your old home is a reasonably simple process.

Getting in touch

If you’re moving locally and your new home is within the same local constituency, then it might be as simple as switching your old address for your new one. If your new home isn’t located within the same district, setting up your new account simply requires you to make a quick and easy call to your new council and make sure they’re well aware of your new address.

Online

You can even notify them of your change of address online. All you need to do is search for your local authority’s website and find the change of address form in the section of the website that is focused on Residential matters. Obviously, it’s crucial to know that your old council will continue charging you until they’re notified that you’ve left the area. Avoid paying more council tax than you need to by informing them of your moving date ahead of time.

Timescale

This is the reason you don’t want to leave this task until the last minute, as it can take several weeks for your old council tax account to be closed. It depends entirely on the processing queue at your local council, however it makes sense to ‘get your house in order’ ahead of your move. Avoid paying any bills you receive for at least four weeks following your account closure to make sure you don’t overpay. If you’ve overpaid your council tax account, your local council can transfer the credit to the account for your new home. Alternatively, your balance can be refunded and used to pay the council tax at your new property.

What information do I need to provide?

It’s important to make sure you have all relevant details when carrying out this process. You’ll need to provide detailed information on your account and living situation in order to close your council tax account. In order to close your existing council tax account, you may need to provide the following information.

What will my new council tax be?

Council tax is divided into eight bands, from the cheapest A band, to the most expensive homes, which fall into the H band. Similarly to stamp duty, it all relates to the size of your home, so it’s worth bearing in mind that, should you move from a smaller premises to a larger dwelling, your council tax bill will probably increase.

Photo credit: CC image via Gary & Anna Sattler

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Top tips for moving in winter
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Top tips for moving in winter

Moving home at any point of the year can be a stressful time, however moving over the coming months, as we move towards winter, can throw up a range of tougher problems.

Organisation when moving is key, however winter weather conditions can wreak havoc with any pre-made plans. If you’re planning to move in the heart of winter, removal vans can struggle to cope with the icy roads and conditions. If it’s through the late autumn period, you’ll likely have heavy downpours of rain to contend with, and even if it does stay dry on the day of the move, you may have to work through gusting winds, which may cause potential issues when moving furniture.

Back-up plan

If the weather is against you on moving day, make sure you have a backup plan organised, just in case. Removal vans can find it hard to transport heavy loads if there are heavily flooded or snowy roads to navigate. The last thing you want to do is get stranded mid-move, especially if you’re in the middle of a lengthy journey. Make sure you plan well ahead and are able to deal with every eventuality, should the worst strike.

Get your car serviced.

Ahead of the impending move, make sure that your car is running well and has been recently checked over or serviced. This is especially important if you’re travelling a long distance to your new home. The last thing you want to happen is for your journey to be interrupted by a breakdown, leaving you stranded between homes in the cold weather.

Dress warm and have extra clothes in the car

It’s highly likely that, in preparation for your move,  you’re going to be packing  plenty in advance. When it comes to packing your clothes, make sure you leave enough unpacked to cover every eventuality, come moving day.

Set off early

The winter weather and early nights mean that the sooner you can get out on the road, the better. No one wants to be arriving at their final destination late at night, with the dark evenings and cold weather to contend with; so ensuring you’re well organised early in the day is essential.

Take supplies

You might have a well organised plan, with your belongings being transported ahead of you. Make sure that in your car, as you follow in tow, you have all the supplies you need, from maps and navigation systems (in case you get lost), to snacks and food if you’re taking a particularly long journey. Keep all your important documents in a file and ensure it’s in your vehicle, should it be required at any point during the move.

Make sure you have heating and lights.

Ensure that once you arrive at your new home, you have the basics up and running. The cold and dark nature of winter means your new home is unlikely to seem welcoming upon arrival, however having a prior recce and ensuring that your new home has both heating and lights ready for your arrival will help you to immediately settle in.

Quieter season

Despite having to deal with the weather, moving in winter does have positives. The winter season might not seem like an ideal time to be up-heaving your life, but the season does also have a few benefits, as the market is fairly quiet and the reduction in demand can lead to financial savings.

Be friendly with your movers

For the duration of day, the tough aspects of your move will be handled by your removal men; meaning it’s important you keep them on your side. Treat them as an extension to your family for the day, as their help and assistance will make your move much easier. From making coffees in the cold to keep them warm, to offering them food and relief in your new home upon arrival, it’s likely that the more generously you treat them, the happier they will be to carry out all the little tasks that make a move niggly.

Have you experienced a winter move before? If so, we want to hear from you! Make sure you comment below with your top tips, and pieces of advice.

Image credit: Commons image sourced from en.wikipedia.org

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Key contacts for an impending home move
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Key contacts for an impending home move

The home moving period is a hectic and busy time, and for many, there will be things which are forgotten or cast aside in the hectic preceding months. In this article, we will examine the key contacts required when moving home, looking into contacting utility suppliers, phone and broadband suppliers, and even local government establishments.

Services
Prior to your move, it’s important to make sure that all your service providers are informed that you’ll no longer be living at your current address. You don’t want to continue being billed for services you’re no longer utilising after having moved, so make sure companies such as your gas, electricity and water providers are all informed of your impending move. Also, your telephone, broadband and satellite TV provider may be able to transfer your information to your new home, given a reasonable amount of notice. If you have a satellite provider, such as Sky, make sure you take all your equipment to your new home (with the exception of your satellite dish) to make sure your programmes and channels move with you.

Finance
Financial security is something which plays an important role throughout life, so at a time of mass upheaval in your life, it’s important to ensure your finances are well in hand.  Everyone has worries about financial security, so it is hugely important that all your bank and credit card companies are kept in the loop regarding your move. The last thing you want upon arriving at your new address is for key information and correspondence falling into the wrong hands. To make sure that all information sensitive post reaches you, the Post Office offer an easy to set up service for the redirection of all mail addressed to your old residence.

Also falling under the finance category, insurance companies will all require to know your change of address. Home insurance is crucial and will need to be transferred to your new address, so be sure to get in touch with your providers in plenty of time.

Authorities
It’s important to contact all authorities, such as the DVLA, who need to be informed of your move for any issues that may crop up concerning your driving licence. Other possible authorities you’ll need to get in touch with could be HM Revenue and Customs, the local authorities

Healthcare
Moving house also means a change in where you go for your healthcare. Your dentist and doctor will need to be contacted, and then once you settle in to your new home, you’ll need to find your new local doctors and dentist. Make sure you don’t forget, because the last thing you need the next time you fall ill is to have no local GP to visit.

Do you have some top tips for informing key contacts of your recent move? If so, drop your top pieces of advice into the comments section below.

 

CC image used courtesy of Lauren.

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Packing tips ahead of moving house
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Packing tips ahead of moving house

Moving house is always hard. Whether it’s organising belongings, trying to coordinate removal men, or even just getting your keys for the front door, moving day is up there with one of the most stressful days in anybody’s diary. Here are our top tips for making sure that packing for the big day is as easy and stress free as possible.

Have a clear out before you start

There is no point packing, moving and then unpacking lots of old belongings that you never use and don’t have space for. Take on one room at a time and throw out everything you’ve not used and no longer need. Not only will it make your packing a lot easier and lighter but it will help when getting everything into your new home. Be prepared Make sure you have enough supplies well before you start packing. You will always need more boxes, more tape and more bubble wrap, so being prepared always saves time in the end.

Make lists

Know where everything is at all times. Yes, it takes time at first but when you need to access something, its a lot easier and saves a lot of time to just look at a list and know exactly which box it is in. Numbering each box and having a list of what’s inside  and where it should be going also makes unpacking in your new home much easier.

Don’t throw out your newspapers

This is a cheap trick to save you the expense of buying bubble wrap. Old newspapers can be used in a similar way to bubble wrap, but are a lot cheaper. Use them to protect plates, glasses, vases etc.

Pack like for like

It makes it easier when unpacking if all books are in the one box and all shoes are in another. Also try not to over pack each box as it causes them to break and then you’re left in even more of a mess.

Have a schedule

It doesn’t have to be strict and you don’t have to stick exactly to it, but knowing what time and where you have to pick up your keys, then what time the removal team are due eases stress tremendously. Always keep contact details close to hand as well just in case there are any timing or location issues.

Have an essentials box/bag/suitcase

Having all the things you will need to hand is much easier than having to sift through all the boxes when you need a cup of tea at the end of the day. Keep things like a change of clothes, batteries, small first aid kit, small tool kit, some cleaning products, a torch and some cutlery and a few plates and cups all close to hand as these are essential to getting you through the first night.

Following these tips will hugely aid your packing process, and although it’s unlikely to make moving your favourite of tasks, it will help ease the stress and help you enjoy the first few moments in your new home.

Have you recently moved? If so, why not give your fellow readers a few tips by leaving your advice in the comments box below.

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Reducing new home clutter through storage
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Reducing new home clutter through storage

It’s often looked upon as a highly unorganised and dysfunctional time, however when moving home, it’s  the perfect opportunity to have a thorough sort through your possessions. Moving your life from one house to another doesn’t mean that you have to move your clutter along with you. Whilst it’s the perfect opportunity to have a good clean out, not all unwanted items need to be thrown away though, as some pieces might just not fit with the style of your home, or could have other sentimental value. Rather than filling your storage space in the new home with items that you don’t need, storage is a great way of retaining items but keeping your house free of tat. Although self storage might seem like the best option, here is our advice on making sure your prized possessions are safe in the hands of professionals.

Insurance

For our storage we comprehensively insure your goods for up to £50,000 as part of the price – it’s that simple. Using self-storage companies, they often expect you to pay further costs to insure your goods. Even if you use a company that allows you to insure your own goods, it’s a pricey process, and before you know it, the cost could go through the roof.

The ‘loft’ analogy

We’re all guilty of it, hoarding items in the loft only to come back across it years later having forgotten it existed. Having peace of mind that all your items are secure and close to hand is something that Robinsons can offer, with nationwide storage locations, you can de-clutter some of the objects you don’t need in your home, whilst keeping them close by should you want to access them at short notice.

Facilities

Each of our storage centres

are security alarmed, making sure that all of your goods are as secure as can be. Each location is also clean, dry and free from pests with regular control checks. Each facility has its own fully automatic fire detection and reporting systems for additional peace of mind.

Accessing your goods

Should you need to access your goods, you are welcome to view or collect items at any time during normal office hours. If you want to remove items from storage, that isn’t a problem, we can even arrange return delivery and unpacking at a time that suits you!

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Redirecting mail from your old home
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Redirecting mail from your old home

Moving house can be a hectic time, but receiving your mail at a new address can be sorted easily. With a bit of forward thinking and a few early enquires, redirecting your mail to a new address can be one of the easiest tasks of your big move.

First Home

If you’re a first time buyer on the verge of making the move to your first home, ensuring your mail eventually gets delivered to your new address is important, however isn’t an urgent matter. If you are moving into your first home, it’s highly likely that your previous home will be somewhere with your family. The fact you have someone trustworthy still inhabiting your previous address means it isn’t a disaster if old post continues to be delivered to your old home, as it can be forwarded on manually or collected for times you visit. If this is the case, we’d still advise you contact relevant institutions and inform them of your address change, but you probably don’t need to set up an auto forward with the post office.

Set up a redirect

If you previously owned a home and, as part of your move, have now sold it on, then you’ll need to set up a redirect for your mail. For a permanent move, the Royal Mail offers a number of approaches. Be prepared, and ensure you make your application at least three weeks before your expected moving date -leave it any later and you may be post-less for your first few days at the new address. Next up, you need to complete your application, which can be done either online, by mail or at your local Post Office. The application is simple and can be downloaded from the Royal Mail.  Once you have the application sorted and sent, you’re all set. Any mail addressed for your old home will arrive at your old local office, and then be re-routed first class to your new address – meaning you won’t miss out on any exciting bills that you just couldn’t do without!

If you aren’t satisfied that all your mail is being sent to your new address at the end of your redirection agreement, just extend the process for as long as you need for up to two years, it’s that simple.  Starting at just £21 for the shortest term redirection, the service is not only easy to sort but reasonably priced too, giving you the ultimate peace of mind that you’re getting all your mail.

 

Image used under CC licence courtesy of EDDIE

 

Make sure you plan ahead

Forward planning is crucial with any home move, as you’ll need to get in touch with a number of services and institutions and inform them of your address change. Get in touch with the likes of your bank, the DVLA and your telephone/internet suppliers prior to your move and ensure all future correspondence from them heads to your new address. Getting sorted with these early means you’ll then have chance to set up the Royal Mail redirect mentioned above, for any lingering mail that heads to your old home.

With the madness that can surround moving house, this redirection process should give you one less thing to worry about. Remember that you need to get started early when planning to move house, otherwise your move will quickly become a horror show.

If you’ve recently made the transition into a new home and have any tips and advice for your fellow readers, we’d love to hear them. Make sure you leave a comment below!

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Key contacts to inform of your address change
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Key contacts to inform of your address change

A house move is undoubtedly going to be a stressful time and no matter how thoroughly you plan ahead, it’s likely that some jobs will be brushed aside and left until the last minute.  A change of address can be a potential nightmare if just brushed aside, so it pays to ensure you handle this aspect of your home move plenty in advance. Here are our top tips on ensuring your services transition smoothly ahead of your impending address change.

Services
Before moving, you need to make sure that all your service providers are informed you’ll no longer be living at your home. You don’t want to continue being billed for services you’re no longer utilising after having moved, so make sure companies such as your gas, electricity and water providers are all informed of your address change. Likewise, you’ll need to inform your telephone, broadband and satellite TV provider; given enough notice, it may be possible for them to transfer your information and relevant packages to your new home. Don’t leave it too late, however, as it may be the case that the process takes a number of days or weeks to be processed. Plan plenty in advance to ensure your service transition remains smooth.

Finance
Finances are a touchy subject for many, however when moving home, it’s vital to ensure everything transitions smoothly in a period where finances may become stretched even further, and you may require immediate access to funds. It’s hugely important that all your bank and credit card companies are kept in the loop regarding your move. The last thing you want is to be declined use of your bank, or for key information and correspondence to  fall into the wrong hands.

Insurance is also an issue when it comes to finances surrounding your move, as many insurance companies will all require to know your change of address. Home insurance is crucial and will need to be transferred to your new address, so be sure to get in touch with your providers in plenty of time. Likewise, it might be smart to look into options for insuring your possessions throughout the move, if you’re undertaking the process yourself.

Authorities
It might seem fairly obvious, but many people forget to inform government authorities of their move and new address. Agencies such as the DVLA need to be informed as to your change of address for aspects such as correspondence and to sort out an update to your driver’s licence. Other possible authorities you’ll need to get in touch with could be HM Revenue and Customs, the local authorities and any other local councils.

Healthcare
If you’re moving a distance, and you new home is no longer in the same locality, then it’s highly likely that you’ll be needing to switch your local GP and dentist. Contact your dentist and doctor immediately, rather than waiting until you’re in urgent need of their services. It might not be one of the top priorities you have, but once you settle in to your new home, you’ll need to find your new local doctors and dentist.

Before moving into your new Keepmoat home, it’s important that you consider all these areas and contact them to ensure your move goes as smoothly as possible, Be aware of timings, whilst some can be carried out close to the move, or even upon settling in your new place, some will be more urgent and you could even have to carry them out weeks in advance.

 

Have you recently made the move and experienced an address change? If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts! Let us and your fellow readers know your top tips for keeping the transition as smooth as possible.

Photo Credit: donovanbeeson via Compfight cc

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5 ways to sell your home quickly
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5 ways to sell your home quickly

Whether you’re selling a compact inner city apartment or a detached suburban home, you’re going to want to do it fast. While there is something to be said for real estate agents with glowing reputations and lighting fast turnover times, some of the most effective ways to slap a sold sign onto your home are up to you.

 

Let’s take a look at the top five ways that you can seal a deal, fast.

 

De-clutter and keep it neutral

It’s likely that you’ve built up a lot of household clutter and personal bits and pieces over the years. While you may consider this sentimental, you want to help potential buyers imagine themselves living in your home. This means it’s time to get rid of any personalised ornaments, photos, posters and other decorative trinkets.

 

If there are any large pieces of furniture you can live without, put them into storage as this will immediately make rooms seem bigger. Small areas such as the hallway are a great place to start while bathroom and bedroom surfaces should be cleared of all personal products. The kitchen should also be liberated of bulky appliances to make it seem as sleek and spacious as possible.

 

Consider a bathroom makeover

According to recent research from Remodelling Magazine, a bathroom renovation can add significant value to a house as well as slash the sale time. One of the best ways to give your bathroom a facelift is to upgrade the shower system. Electric showers are a fantastic choice as they are modern, practical and cost effective. For high quality at a great price, the Mira Advance ATL Flex is quite possibly the best electric shower by Mira.

 

A lick of fresh paint, replacement chrome fittings, new tiling or even re-grouting can also work wonders.

 

Analyse the market

If you want to be really smart about getting your home sold, take the time to analyse the local market and tailor your space accordingly. For example, if your area is popular with young couples, turn the second bedroom into a study. If families are more prevalent, advertise the spare room as a second bedroom or future nursery.

 

Enhance garden and curb appeal

If you’ve got a garden or even a communal outdoor courtyard or private balcony, spend a little time making it as appealing as possible. Things as simple as mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges, planting a few flower beds or pot plants and sweeping up leaves can instantly transform the entire feel of the outdoor space. This will make your home far more appealing to potential buyers who will immediately view the outdoor area as extra living space. Sprucing up your home’s curb appeal will also pave the way for positive first impressions that can have a huge impact on the rest of the viewing.

 

Get the Word Out

Once you’ve prepared your home for viewing, it’s time to get the word out there! Your estate agent should have their own marketing techniques in place however you can help the process along by putting up flyers and posters as well as creating a buzz on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. You never know who could be in the market for a new home!

 

If you’re looking to move out and are searching for the perfect next place to move your family, check out the range of homes on offer from Keepmoat. If you’re after something small, and perfect as a newcomer to the property ladder, their range of first time homes are perfect options for you to consider. If you’ve simply outgrown your current place, and want something bigger, then why not look into grabbing one of Keepmoat’s brand new homes.

 

Have you recently made the move into a new Keepmoat home? If you have, and needed to sell your old place before taking on the exciting new move, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Drop us a comment below and inform your fellow readers of any helpful hints and tips you learned along the way…

Photo Credit: liquidnight via Compfight cc

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