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The Essential Guide to Moving Your Home in Just 14 Steps

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Your dream house is finally going to be ready within a few months’ time. Now comes the major challenge; preparing and executing the dreaded big move!

Making preparation for the big move entails more than simply packing up your stuffs prior getting the moving specialist. It is about having a proper plan so that your big move is much more cost-effective, faster and convenient.

3 Months

1. Set a Date & Time for the Big Move

What you need to do?

Set a specific date for the big move it and ensure that you and your family has done all the necessary measurements to ensure that all of you are available on that date.

Why is this important?
By setting a date as a goal post, you can easily work backward and plan your schedule ahead of the big move. For instance, you could apply for a  few days off way ahead and inform your bosses about your non-availability.

2. Declutter & Organise

What you need to do?
Start to declutter and get your things organised before your home renovation. Either sell, donate or throw away the items that you no longer need.

Why is this important?
You would be able to better estimate the volume of storage needed and the amount of space that your things would take up in the new home. Furthermore, by completing this step, your big move will be a lot faster and cheaper.

3. Make an Inventory

What you need to do?
Start a spreadsheet to keep an inventory a list of items you need to keep.

Why is this important?
An inventory list helps you to keep track of all the items effectively since you will be able to assign the box number with the items while you are packing. Remember to keep important documents such as passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, legal, insurance, medical and academic records together.

1 Month

4. Book the Moving Specialist

What you need to do?
Shortlist and book a professional moving specialist which is available for the move on your specified date and fits your budget. Inform the mover the estimated number of boxes of belongings and the packing materials needed. Get the quotation for the costs of the move.

Why is this important?
Different moving specialist charge different prices based on the volume and the types of services they render. Example of services by professional moving specialist include:
■ Provision of cartons, masking tapes and bubble wraps
■ Transportation in van or lorry
■ Loading and unloading of items
■ Packing and unpacking of cartons

5. Apply for Moving Permits (if any)

What you need to do?
For moving in and out of HDB flats, no moving permit is required. However, moving is not allowed during Sundays and public holidays. The permitted period of the move is between 9 am and 1 pm on Saturdays.

For moving into a private condominium, you are required to apply for a moving-in permit with the Management Corporation Strata Title (MTSC). You are also required to pay a deposit to safeguard against damages caused by your movers in the common property. Specialist movers can only work during weekdays, from 9 am to 5 pm. Either you or the moving specialist must make the application, with a refundable deposit of $1,000,at least a week in advance.

It is recommended that you execute the big move during weekdays in the late morning.

Why is this important?
The MTSC will advise you on the bylaws which you and your movers should adhere to govern when moving into the condominium so that your neighbours will not be inconvenienced.

Moving in on a weekend is more expensive and most condominiums only allow moving in until 1pm on Saturdays. Do note that no moving is allowed on Sundays. By choosing to move in the late morning, you have avoided the early morning and evening jam, while freeing up ample time for you to unpack in the afternoon.

6. Apply & Update your New Address

What you need to do?
Go to your nearest police post to update your address approximately 1 month before the move. In addition, update your new residential addresses for the following companies:
■ Immigration & Checkpoints Authority
■ Singapore Power
■ Season Parking
■ Insurance Policies
■ Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore
■ Magazine, newspaper subscription
■ Banks & credit card companies
■ Employees & friends
■ Hospitals
and so on…

Remember to disconnect and apply the following services:
■ Landline phone
■ Internet
■ Water, gas, power
■ TV connections
■ Resident Car Park Labels
■ Access card
and so on…

Why is this important?
When you registered your new address with the police post, your new address will be updated at all government bodies. In addition, the agencies and companies will take some time to reflect your new residential address. So by making the updates 1 month prior, you will have sufficient time to act on those companies which you have accidentally left out. The same applies for the disconnection and application of the services.

7. Start Packing

What you need to do?
Start to pack your items into the cartons which the moving specialist supplied and update the inventory list with the carton number. Colour code the boxes according to which room they belong and ensure that each carton does not exceed more than 20 kg. Leave the cartons unsealed.

Why is this important?
 By ensuring that the inventory list shows the carton number that each item is packed, it makes it much easier for you to locate your items during the unpacking process. Colour coded boxes make it easier for the movers to move them to the correct places. By ensuring that each carton does not exceed more than 20kg makes it safer for the movers.

1 Week

8. Seal the Cartons

What you need to do?
Seal each carton securely with masking tape and make sure that all items are well padded with bubble wraps. Run through the inventory list to ensure that the items are updated with the correct carton number.

Why is this important?
 By ensuring that the cartons are sealed later provides flexibility for you to move your items between cartons before they are finally sealed.

9. Remind the Mover of the Date and Time

What you need to do?
Remind the moving specialist of the date and time of the big move. Update them the actual number of cartons which they can expect to move on that day. Ask for the revised quotation if necessary. Check with the mover how they would like the payment to be made.

Why is this important?
It is important to update the moving specialist the number of cartons they are expected to move on that day. In this way, the moving specialist can set aside the required amount of manpower to make the move faster and shorter.

3 Days

10. Pack a Survival Kit

What you need to do?
It is highly recommended that you pack an essential, survival kit that contains the following
■ 2 sets of clothes and towel
■ Identity cards, cash and chequebook, wallet
■ Toilettes, Soap and Towels
■ Toothbrush and toothpaste
■ Toilet Rolls
■ Battery and mobile chargers
■ Laptops
■ Extension cords and plug adaptors
■ Medicine
■ Infant food
■ Pet food
■ Bed, Pillow & Bolster sheets
■ Curtains
■ Scissors
■ Rubbish bags
■ Broom, dust pan and mop
■ Rubbish bags
■ Rugs
and so on…

Why is this important?
Depending on the amount of boxes you need to unpack, you would minimally need a week to unpack most of your cartons. Therefore, you should plan ahead the list of essential items on hand for the ease of access before all the cartons can be unpacked. The survival kit will make the few days in the new home more manageable..

11. Declutter the Freezer and Refrigerator

What you need to do?
Start to declutter your freezer and refrigerator by throwing away the perishable food items that you no longer need or have expired. Defrost and clean your freezer and refrigerator too. Based on the amount of food items left, estimate the amount of freezer packs that are needed.

Why is this important?
The freezer and refrigerator will be unplugged during the transportation. Furthermore, the freezer packs will keep the food chilled during the transportation.

On the Day

12. Brief your Family Members

What you need to do?
Brief your family members on the roles and tasks they are assigned; who is in charge of ensuring all cartons have been transported, who will supervise the loading and unloading of the cartons, who is responsible to unpack the cartons, purchase lunch and dinner and so on.

Why is this important?
By informing everyone what they are supposed to do will help to avoid the confusion.

13. Pack the Food Items

What you need to do?
Pack all the perishable food items into cooler boxes that are filled with freezer packs.

Why is this important?
Big ticket items such as refrigerators and washing machines are usually the first to be moved.

14. Supervise the Loading and Unloading Closely

Once the moving specialist has moved all the cartons, ensure that they are unloaded at the right room correctly. Check if the cartons are transported safely and inform the moving specialist if any of them are damaged during the transit.

Once all the cartons have been correctly accounted for, make payment to the moving specialist and start unpacking! 🙂

Additional Tips:

Don’t pack valuables or important documents in cartons. Keep these items with you all the time during the move.

Check your home for any belongings that might be accidentally been left behind.


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