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Choosing a new home can be very exciting. There are lots of things to do when getting ready to move into a new property. If you are moving out on your own for the first time or upgrading to a larger place, you might find yourself moving into a mostly empty home. While this means you get to decorate and furnish it to your own taste, you also have a lot of work ahead of you… and a potentially large cost.

Consider the below tips about moving into an empty home efficiently and affordably.

1. Take Stock & Make a Plan

Before you start searching for new furniture for your new home, it’s a good idea to go through what you currently own and decide which pieces you want to keep and which you want to get rid of. Use the floor plan of your home and visualize what you want the interior to look like. Determine your personal style, browse through inspirational websites and magazines and decide exactly what you want or need. If you are starting with very little to nothing, it’s important to prioritize. This can be as simple as creating a list of what you need immediately (a bed, kitchen table, etc.) and what you want to have eventually (a nice rug, dining room set, etc.).

2. Compare Prices

When you have a clear idea of the furniture and appliances you will use in your home, it is time to window shop. It’s important to measure all the spaces in your home so you know what pieces will fit. When you go to various stores, test the furniture so you know the materials are durable and, if necessary, comfortable. If you know the right look, the model or even the SKU number of the product you want, check online to see the other places you can buy them and compare the cost. Don’t be afraid of Craigslist, estate sales or thrift shops, if you are capable of careful shopping. You can often find gently used items that will serve your new home well. You can even set up price-watch notifications so you never miss the best price.

3. Go for Quality, Not Quantity

Buy a few pieces of furniture at first and make your choices carefully. It’s a good idea to seek out high-quality options that will last for years to come. If you establish a color palette and provide the bare-bones furnishings, your home can look put together even when it’s far from fully furnished. This will save you money and help ensure you really need all the pieces in your home. Remember, classic, simple-line designs never go out of style, so save the trends for smaller pieces and accessories.

It’s surprisingly common for new homeowners to hurt their credit and even put their home in jeopardy by overextending their budget while trying to furnish and decorate their new digs. Make sure you pace yourself, because maxing out your credit cards can do serious damage to your credit score. You can see how your credit scores are currently doing by checking them for free on Credit.com.

4. Plan Your Pickups

If you are buying used furniture or from a store that does not deliver, be sure you don’t negate your smart shopping by renting a vehicle for too long or not scheduling properly. Ask a friend (or friends) that could help you move your large items and find a day that is good for both or all of you. If you can schedule all of your furniture pickups on one day, you can save time and money.

Though moving into an empty home provides you with limitless options and a fresh start, it can also be costly. It’s important to plan ahead, do you research, ask experts or friends with recent experience and shop around before you make big decisions — this will help you save time, effort and money.

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