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12 Tips for a Faster Home Center Trip

A trip to the home center can turn into a three-hour tour if youre not prepared. Get your shopping done quickly with a little planning and resourcefulness. Here are 12 tips for a faster shopping trip.

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Download the Stores AppHome Depot

Download the Stores App

Some home centers like Home Depot have an app for your phone available. Download it before you go because it can provide helpful information like where to find items.Take your app game a step further and discover the best home improvement apps.Photo: Courtesy of Home Depot
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Face Lumber the Same WayFamily Handyman

Face Lumber the Same Way


If you need to buy a bunch of lumber and have to shuffle it around at checkout, its going to make for a long day for you, the clerk and the people behind you in line. Dont be that guy and straighten the lumber before you get in line.Learn the tips to buy rough sawn lumber at the home center before you venture out.
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Get to Know the StaffHome Depot

Get to Know the Staff


Something can be said of a little civility and friendliness at the home center store. Sure, you might be in a rush or it might be your third trip of the day to the store but ultimately the employees are there to help you. Get to know an employee or two so you have a familiar face there who can help you with deals and get you out of there quickly. Home Depot employees can give up to $50 off every day without supervisor permission.If you need a new home feature, friendly employees can point you in the right direction of discounted items like if you need to buy a toilet.Photo: Courtesy of Home Depot
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Go Online Before ShoppingHome Depot

Go Online Before Shopping


A little research will go a long way in planning out a trip to the home center. Its a good idea to go online beforehand to check for deals to make sure youll get the savings at the store. Theres nothing worse than thinking you saw something at a lower price and then not remembering where you saw it while your at the register. Alleviate that by printing something off at home or taking a picture of the deal with your smart phone, especially if its a deal a competitor offered and the home center youre at matches competitor prices.Find out how to save on appliances on your next purchase.Photo: Courtesy of Home Depot
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Go Early or at Off-Peak HoursHome Depot

Go Early or at Off-Peak Hours


It might be obvious but if you go early youre likely to get better service because there wont be such demand for the services of employees at the home center. Youll spend less time waiting in line at checkout as well.If youre an early riser, then check out some early bird shopping ideas for DIYers.Photo: Courtesy of Home Depot
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Sign up for Store Email AlertsStock-Asso/Shutterstock

Sign up for Store Email Alerts


You may not want to have more email in your inbox but its worth getting on an email subscription to your local home center. Youll see additional deals that could help if youve been planning a big purchase. It can help you narrow your shopping list as well if something isnt on sale.Find out how email notifications can help with home security.
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Get Measurement AppsFamily Handyman

Get Measurement Apps


You likely have a calculator on your cellphone but can you do fractional math on it. Theres an app for that. Get one before you go to the home center when you need to make a purchase that requires you to do some math. Instead of counting your fingers, you can punch it in on your screen to save time and save face.Check out the other handy DIY apps.
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Learn the LayoutHome Depot

Learn the Layout


Remember how we said to download an app for your local home center, well, you can make sure its not going to be a three-hour tour when you discover theres a store layout with the app. There wont be that wandering around anymore and making impulse purchases when you just take a glance at the app to find the aisle you want.Discover affordable home improvement ideas with the money youll save by avoiding impulse buys.Photo: Courtesy of Home Depot
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Try the Garden Center CheckoutHome Depot

Try the Garden Center Checkout


If you didnt make it to the store early and you noticed long lines at the checkout counter on the way into the store, save yourself a headache and try finding a different register. Sometimes you can check out at the garden center quicker or the tool rental register. Sometimes going against the flow is the right move.If you do wind up checking out at the garden center, find out ways to save on garden supplies.Photo: Courtesy of Home Depot
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Bring HelpHome Depot

Bring Help


If you are planning on getting a large quantity of lumber, bring your own loaders. There may not be enough staff to help you and besides you probably want someone you trust helping you load heavy items into your vehicle. Having somebody around to help will naturally make things go quicker.Be sure you transport those materials properly as you leave the home center.Photo: Courtesy of Home Depot
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Keep a List of Things you Need but not Right Away Julia Sudnitskaya/Shutterstock

Keep a List of Things you Need but not Right Away


Sure, some day youre going to build that playground in the backyard for the kids, just dont get a wild idea that youre going to kill two birds with one stone while youre trying to get a project done. Create a list and stick to it. If you follow the list and get in and get out with everything you need and nothing more, then maybe reward yourself with a soda at the checkout counter.Keep a list of things to do around the house, especially when you first purchase a home.
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Study Queuing Theory or at Least the PrincipleMikeDotta/Shutterstock

Study Queuing Theory or at Least the Principle


Ever wonder if youre in the right line as you get ready to check out? Its a question researchers have tried to answer. According to the research, outlined in a New York Times article, you should get behind someone who has a full cart. One person with 100 items will take six minutes to get through a line while it will take four people who each have 20 items seven minutes on average, according to the research.Discover other time-saving techniques like how to cut down on paint clean up.