Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA
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Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 2/15/2018

Moving is tough for many reasons, from bidding on a house to packing up all your possessions stress is bound to happen. However, for children, it can be more stressful. Change can be harder for them to deal with and they can feel lost in the bustle of the move. There are a few things you can do for your child to ensure that the moving process goes smoothly for both them and you: Model behavior - Project a positive attitude about moving will demonstrate to your child that this is a positive event for them to look forward to, children pick up on the behavior of the adults in their lives and signaling to them that is a time they can anticipate with excitement with your behavior about moving can go a long way. Have conversations - Take the time to talk with your child about moving and what they can expect about a month before the move date. Be open to their thoughts and feelings and give them some space to feel upset. Explain the moving process to them in a simple way that they can understand, perhaps with a story played out with their toys. Ensure to not only tell them what will change but also what will stay the same. The more they know what to expect of the days leading up to and after the move the more comfortable they will feel with the process. Get them involved - If possible include them in the house hunting process by showing them pictures of the new house. If you are moving to a new town or state show them pictures of the school they will attend and the nearby parks. If it is nearby, explore the new neighborhood together and make visits to the new house a few times before moving day. Keep things similar - If your child doesn't deal well with change try to keep the same furniture and arrange in a similar layout as their old room. Prioritize having your child's room in order before the rest of the house so that they have their own space to feel comfortable in the new house right away. Unpacking their favorite toys or blankets first can help them feel more at home. Sticking to the same routines where possible is also ideal. On the other hand - Allowing your child to pick out new furniture and paint colors for their new room can help them get excited about the new move and give them some control amidst so many changes. Making friends - Practice with your child how to introduce themselves to other children. Get involved with the new community and allow your child to signup for any activities that interest them. Arrange times for phone calls or to write letters to friends and family from your old neighborhood so they feel in touch with those they care for. While moving can be a stressful time for the whole family, it can have a large impact on a child. Making time for conversations and including them in the process can not only help them feel more at ease with the moving process but also deepen your relationship with your child as you go through this life event together.

Tags: moving tips   moving   children  
Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 10/26/2017

Are you planning on moving in the next 6-8 months? Don’t let your belongings take ownership of you. As consumers, we tend to accumulate a lot of “stuff” over the years. After spending 5, 10, or 20-plus years in one home, this can amount to more than some of us can handle. Do you have more than 4 sets of dishes? How about piles of toys & board games from when your kids were younger? And then there are those passed-down antiques that no one in the family seems to have use for, yet no one wants to throw away.


Rather than rush while packing and having to take the whole mess with you to your next home, consider starting the process early! You can categorize your belongings into the following groups:


  • Keep
  • Sell
  • Donate
  • Throw it away

It may be hard to discern which category an item goes in. This is why it’s a great idea to solicit help when you’re moving and downsizing your piles of stuff. An outsider can be a bit more objective to help you see what’s useful and what isn’t. 

The Keep Pile

The items you want to keep through your move are those that you use every single day. There’s no question in your mind that you’ll need these things at your next residence. Think of the items that are either irreplaceable or still in good working condition like bedding, the coffee pot, furniture, and personal items like books, DVDs, and electronics. 

Sell For Profit

If you have a question about any of the items that you’re going through, you may want to consider selling them. Is your sofa still in good condition, but won’t fit well into your new place? It’s time to get that piece of furniture to another good home and make a bit of cash while you’re at it. There are tons of websites, apps, and other resources that connect you with people who are looking for the items that you want to get rid of.


Some items may not be an easy sell. You may not even have the time to sell them. This is where donation centers allow you to do some good while you’re cleaning out your things. As you’re packing for the move go through things like clothes, books, DVDs, games, toys, and other knickknacks. Those figurines that have been sitting on the shelf may not be ideal for your new house. 

It’s also a good idea to keep the amount of space that you’re dealing with in mind. If you have less space, downsizing will be ever important. On the flip side, if you’re moving into a bigger house, you don’t necessarily need to fill it up!

Trash Pile

Unfortunately, we’ll always have a few things that need to be thrown out. Items that are ripped, stained, worn, broken, or plain useless must face the fate of the dumpster. 

No matter how you go about cleaning out your home before a move, you should know that it will feel amazing to have a lighter load to move as the clutter is cleaned out.             

Tags: moving tips   downsizing  
Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 7/27/2017

Planning to sell your house in the next few weeks or months? If so, you likely will want to declutter to improve your house's appearance and make it easy for potential homebuyers to envision what life might be like if they purchase your residence.

Ultimately, donating items may prove to be exceedingly valuable, particularly for those who want to declutter and move in the near future.

By donating items that you no longer need, you can quickly and easily remove clutter from your residence. Plus, you may be able to secure a tax credit for your charitable contributions.

Before you donate your items, however, you should take a close look at your personal belongings and decide which things to keep and which to give to charity.

Now, let's take a look at three items that you can donate to charity:

1. Clothing

If you intend to move from Florida to Alaska – or vice-versa – there may be a wide range of clothing that you can donate before you move.

Ensure that any clothing that you plan to donate is clean. If necessary, wash any dresses, t-shirts and other apparel that you intend to donate.

Also, it is always better to err on the side of caution when you donate clothing. And if you have clothes that are faded or torn, you should dispose of these items.

2. Electronics

For those who plan to downsize, donating electronics is ideal. That way, you can get rid of electronics that won't fit into your new home and do a good deed at the same time.

Evaluate your electronics and make sure they work correctly before you donate them. In addition, it often pays to tape any electronics cords, wires and accessories to the items themselves.

Check out a charity's electronics donations policies prior to scheduling a donation pick-up too. By doing so, you can guarantee that a charity can pick up and use your excess electronics.

3. Appliances

In many instances, an individual may move into a new address that comes equipped with a new refrigerator, washer, dryer and other appliances. If this happens, you may want to contact local charities to see if they can pick up your current appliances.

Reach out to a local charity to find out whether it can pick up your current appliances – you'll be glad you did. If the answer is "Yes," you may be able to avoid having to move big, heavy appliances on your own.

As the aforementioned list shows, there are lots of great items that you can donate to charity. Conduct an in-depth search of charities in your city or town, and you can work with a local charity that can use your excess items.

Lastly, if you ever have questions about which charities in your area will accept donations, don't hesitate to reach out to these organizations directly. And if you're looking for extra assistance as you declutter your residence and prepare to list your home, it certainly helps to contact an expert real estate agent as well.

Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 4/21/2015

You pack all of your belongings in a truck and hope for the best but even with the most careful movers, accidents can happen. Did you know that typical moving insurance barely covers your prized possessions in cause of a problem. Typical moving insurance pays about 60 cents per pound for damaged goods. So if you have a $1,000 item that only weighs 10 pounds you will get a whopping $60 back. To make up the gap you should consider purchasing moving insurance. There are several options for you to choose from: Full value insurance Full value insurance is the most expensive insurance because it covers your whole shipment. If anything is lost, damaged or destroyed, the movers can either offer to repair the item, reimburse you with cash or replace it with a similar item. Check the policy to see if there are coverage limits on certain items. Released value insurance Released value insurance is the most typical type of insurance. It usually covers goods for 60 cents per pound.  Released value insurance is usually offered at little to no cost to you. make sure to check your moving contract, some exclude coverage if you pack your own boxes. Third-party insurance If you choose the mover's released value option, you may want to opt for additional insurance  from a third-party. Under this type of coverage your mover would be liable for 60 cents per pound of damaged goods and the insurance company would pay any of the remaining costs. As with any contract make sure to read the coverage thoroughly so you can make an educated decision about what type of coverage you will have for your move.

Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 8/26/2014

Moving can be an expensive endeavor. Even if you decide to rent a truck and move your belongings yourself there are lots of other expenses that can add up. Luckily, there are a few simple ways consumers can save money hauling their belongings from their current home to the next one. Purge your things. Instead of moving things that you don't use sell or donate them. If you decide to donate items to charity, you could save lots of time and even get a tax deduction. Move on a less popular day. The most popular time to move is at the end of the month. Since most closings happen and leases are up at the end of the month there’s more competition for the trucks and moving crews. Moving at the end of the month will also cost you more. Choose your moving date midweek, closer to the middle of the month. Packing materials like bubble wrap and foam peanuts are costly. If you are packing your own items use things you have around the house like bed linens, towels and clothing to pad your items. You can also use newspapers and tissue paper from gift bags. Be careful when using newspaper as the newsprint will smudge on dishes and other items. Don't buy moving boxes check Freecycle and Craigslist for free ones first. Ask around, your friends may have boxes suitable for moving.