16 min read

The Only Moving House Guide You'll Ever Need

Imagine the scent of fresh paint, the echo of an empty room, the promise of a new beginning - that's the allure of moving house. But the road to those first steps inside your new abode is paved with to-do lists and boxes, lots and lots of boxes.
By · November 19, 2023
The Only Moving House Guide You'll Ever Need

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This guide is your compass for a smooth house move, pointing you towards a seamless relocation journey, minus the usual mayhem. Here's what's in store for you:

  • Organizing and planning a flawless move

  • Step-by-step moving instructions

  • Choosing movers or moving truck rentals

  • Packing and labelling like a pro

  • Address changes and document updates

  • Decluttering before the move

  • Finding your ideal new home

  • Local service resources

  • Settling into your new space

  • Tackling common moving challenges

P.S. For those looking for a stress-free move, Wise Move is the answer. This online hub simplifies finding reputable Singaporean movers. Just detail your move, submit your info, and get quotes straight to your inbox. It's moving made easy, with all the reviews and communications tools you'll need all in one place.

Start With a Plan That's Bulletproof

Planning is everything before your moving date. Did you know that according to a survey, individuals who plan their move at least two months in advance are 90% less likely to experience moving day chaos?

1. Make a moving checklist

A comprehensive moving checklist can distinguish between a haphazard move and a seamless transition. It’s your blueprint for action and peace of mind. Here’s how to structure it for maximum efficiency:

Pre-Move Preparations:

  • Inventory: Catalog your belongings with a home inventory app. Decide what stays and what goes.

  • Decluttering: Schedule decluttering sessions using a calendar app like Google Calendar to keep you on track.

  • Supplies: List the packing supplies you need. Order or purchase these early to avoid last-minute rushes.

  • Service Providers: Research and book movers, cleaners, and storage if needed. Apps like SGHomeNeeds can be handy here.

  • Utilities: List out all utilities and services for transfer or cancellation.

  • Change of Address: Compile a list of institutions and agencies to notify about your move.

Moving Day Dynamics:

  • Essentials Kit: Prepare an essentials box for moving day with items like toiletries, snacks, and important documents.

  • Transport: Confirm the transport details, whether it's a moving truck you've rented or a service you've hired.

  • Point Persons: Assign roles to family members or friends helping out. Who’s supervising the movers? Who’s in charge of the pets?

  • Last-Minute Checks: Have a checklist for last-minute walkthroughs to ensure nothing is left behind.

Post-Move Procedures:

  • Unpacking Plan: Prioritize which rooms to set up first and assign tasks to household members.

  • Utility Checks: Ensure all utilities are up and running.

  • Official Updates: Visit or go online to update your address on your NRIC, driving license, and other official documents.

  • Community Integration: Plan to visit local community centres, join neighbourhood groups, and explore your new surroundings.

Budgeting Breakdown:

  • Quotes & Invoices: Keep a detailed list of all moving-related quotes and actual invoices to track expenses.

  • Unexpected Costs: Set aside a contingency fund for unexpected costs. Industry advice suggests an additional 5-10% of your total moving budget.

  • Savings Goals: If you’re planning to purchase new furniture or home goods post-move, budget for these and track savings goals with apps like Mint or You Need A Budget (YNAB).

2. Plan out the moving process weeks ahead.

Eight Weeks Out:

  • Inventory Time: Catalog your items using Sortly or Nest Egg. It's crucial for insurance and helps decide what to keep or let go.

  • Declutter: Use Carousell or Decluttr to sell or donate items. Less clutter equals fewer headaches.

Six Weeks Out:

  • Book Movers: Secure your moving company now. Check out Wise Move for competitive quotes.

Four Weeks Out:

  • Utility Coordination: Confirm transfer dates for utilities. Don't get billed for the time you're no longer there.

  • Address Update: Inform SingPost of your move to keep your mail coming to the new address.

Two Weeks Out:

  • Packing Supplies: Gather moving supplies like boxes, tape, and bubble wrap. Labelling each box's room destination saves future you a lot of time.

  • Essential Services: If you need cleaning or handyman services, book them now.

One Week Out:

  • Final Inventory: Double-check your list. Ensure nothing's missed and everything's ready to go.

  • Confirm Details: Reconfirm the moving date with the movers and walk through the plan. Or start packing yourself.

  • Essentials Kit: Prepare a box of necessities you'll need on day one. Think chargers, snacks, basic tools, and the coffee maker.

Packing With Precision

Statistics show that proper packing reduces the risk of item damage by up to 80%. Let's make sure you're packed like a pro.

  • Label Clearly: Go beyond colour-coding—label each box with a list of contents and the designated room. Apps like Magic Home Inventory let you keep a digital track of which items are in which box, making unpacking a systematic process.

  • Protect Your Belongings: Invest in quality supplies. A little extra on the right bubble wrap and sturdy boxes from Amazon can save a lot of heartache. Remember, your precious items aren't just moving houses, they're braving a journey.

  • Essentials Box: Curate your first-night box with a thoughtful touch. Include an itinerary for the moving day, a list of emergency contacts, and a mini toolkit alongside the essentials. Think of it as your moving day survival kit.

  • Get the right supplies. You’ll need boxes of different sizes, bubble wrap or packing foam for more fragile items, furniture blankets, moving pads, packing tape, and labels or heavy-duty markers. If you have unique or high-priced items like a piano or a pool table, look up the best ways to transport these and purchase the necessary supplies.

    • Tip: You may be able to find free moving boxes on places like Craigslist to save on packing materials.

  • Have an “Important” box. There are going to be things that can’t be packed away, even the night before a move. These are items like a change of packed clothes, essential documents, and toiletries. We also suggest packing a cup, plate, fork, and spoon.

  • Go room-by-room. Doing this not only makes unpacking easier down the road, but it also makes the task of packing feel less daunting as it’s in more bite-sized pieces. Most people prefer to begin with rooms they don’t use very often, as those items can be packed away longer than items in more essential rooms. Have a designated place for things you wish to throw away or donate.

If all this seems like too much work, then consider finding a reliable and professional moving company on Wise Move's platform that can come prepared with the right packing supplies, moving boxes, and packing process for a smooth move.

Choosing Your Moving Muscle

In Singapore, the cost of hiring professional movers versus a DIY move can vary by as much as 25%, depending on the season and demand.

  • Compare Quotes: Use platforms like Wise Move to not only compare prices but also the scope of services offered by different companies. Local movers will send quotes based on your requirements (that you fill out in a short questionnaire) directly to your inbox for review:

  • Check Reviews: Dig deep into reviews on platforms like Google and Yelp. Look for comments on punctuality, care taken, and overall customer satisfaction.

  • Understand the Costs: Ask for an all-inclusive quote to avoid surprises. Some movers offer an online calculator that can give you a ballpark figure based on your inventory and moving distance.

Decluttering: Less is More

Why move what you don't need?

  • Sell or Donate: List unwanted items on platforms like Carousel or Facebook Marketplace. For donations, connect with local charities through Giving.sg to see who can benefit from your pre-loved goods. Remember, items like books can go to specific drives like The National Library Board's book donation drive. You could also have a garage sale.

  • Think Green: E-waste is a growing concern, with Singapore generating about 60,000 tonnes annually. Drop off old electronics at designated e-waste recycling points found on ALBA's e-waste management system. For other recyclables, the NEA's OneMap provides locations for recycling bins island-wide.

Wise Move tips for decluttering:

  • Use the One-Year Rule: Haven’t used it in a year? You likely won’t miss it if it’s gone.

  • Document Digitally: Keep a digital record of sentimental items you can't keep. A photo can preserve the memory without taking up physical space.

  • Plan a Decluttering Day: Set aside a specific day for decluttering to ensure it gets done.

Home Hunting: The Quest for the Perfect Space

Finding a new home in Singapore is an adventure in itself.

  • Location, Location, Location: Use tools like OneMap.sg to gauge proximity to essential services and transport links. Consider the time saved on daily commutes against the cost—sometimes, a higher rent saves you more in the long run.

  • Consider the Size: Measure your current furniture and use apps like RoomSketcher to visualize them in your potential new space. This will save you the headache of moving into a place where your favourite couch won't fit.

  • Amenities Matter: With the URA’s Master Plan, you can investigate future developments around your potential home. That gym you’re eyeing up may soon have competition from a new one just around the corner!

  • Budget. It’s important that you’re honest with yourself when looking at what you can afford. Just because the mortgage company says you can technically afford a house of one amount doesn’t mean you’ll be comfortably living while making those payments. It’s good to leave yourself enough breathing room when looking at places. Make sure you also consider additional expenses like utilities and home insurance.

  • Transportation. If you rely on public transportation to get to school or work, it’s important to note where stops are located within your target area and look for places near them. On the other hand, if you don’t use public transportation and want to avoid the bustle and noise of these places, identify where they’re located in the area and look for housing farther from them.

  • Schools. Many people want to consider school districts when deciding where they want to live. Whether they currently have children, want children in the future, or just want to live in an area that’s very positive for children and families, looking at school district ratings is a great way to choose target areas.

  • Shape and size. You’ll want to go into the search process knowing how many bedrooms and bathrooms you want, an estimate of your desired square footage, and what kind of overall layout you’d like for the house. This can also include details about the yard.

WisMove Tips for home hunting:

  • Visit at Different Times: Check out the neighbourhood at various times to get a sense of traffic, noise, and activity levels.

  • Community Vibes: Explore community centres and local FB groups to get a feel for the neighbourhood spirit.

  • Budget for the Extras: Factor in maintenance fees, parking charges, and other extras into your budget.

Settling Into Your New Sanctuary

Unpacking at your new location can be the most rewarding part of the move—if you play your cards right.

  • One Room at a Time: Begin with the heart of the home—the kitchen. A fully functional kitchen means you’re ready to eat well from day one. Use apps like Sortly to keep an inventory of where your items are, so setting up becomes a breeze. Then, move on to the bathroom, where your morning and nightly routines occur. Having these two essential spaces organized can drastically reduce the stress of settling in.

  • Furniture First: Lay out your large items using a floor planning tool like Planner 5D before the move. This ensures your heavy lifting is done just once. When placing furniture, think about the flow of the room. Is there enough space to walk around? Does the layout maximize natural light? Remember, the placement of your sofa and bed can define the entire feel of a room.

Some tips for efficient unpacking:

  • Label for Visibility: When packing, label boxes on the side, not the top. This way, you can see the labels even when the boxes are stacked.

  • Unpack to a Beat: Create a moving playlist. Music can elevate your mood and productivity. According to a study by the University of Miami, music can lead to faster and more efficient work.

  • Kids' Corner: If you have children, set up their rooms early in the process. Familiar toys and decorations will help them adjust and give you the peace of mind to focus on the rest of the house.

  • Space Planning: Use augmented reality apps like IKEA Place to visualize how your furniture will look in your new space before you move it. This can save significant time and effort.

  • Essentials First, Extras Later: Prioritize items you'll need in the first week. Decorative items and books can wait. Think about daily routines to guide you.

  • Delegate: If you can, assign rooms or tasks to other members of the family or friends who are helping. It can make the process faster and more organized.

What To Do After Your Move

With your belongings packed, don't let the paperwork weigh you down.

  • Utility Switch: Make the calls to utility companies, auto insurance, and everything in between. Water, electricity, internet—ensure they're ready to welcome you in your new home.

    • Electricity

    • Gas

    • Water

    • Sewer

    • Internet/cable/phone

    • Garbage retrieval

    • Lawn/landscaping services

  • Update Your Address: From banks to subscription services, make a list and tick them off as you go. Don't forget these:

    • A mail forwarding form with your post office

    • Driver’s license

    • Vehicle registration

    • Voter registration

    • Legal contracts

    • Wills/Trusts

    • Any financial documents

    • Payroll at your work

    • Documents with your school or child’s school

    • Any documents related to government aid

  • Important Documents: Keep passports, birth certificates, and other critical documents in a safe folder—preferably in your essentials box.

Local Resources at Your Fingertips

You're not alone. Singapore's got a network of services to ease your move.

  • Cleaning Services: Book a cleaning crew for that final shine in your old place and a fresh start in the new.

  • Handyman Services: From mounting your TV to assembling furniture, a quick web search will connect you to local pros.

  • Storage Solutions: If you're downsizing or just in limbo, self-storage facilities are a great option to keep your possessions safe.

  • Involve the Friends and Family: Make it fun! Assign tasks to everyone. Even the little ones can sort their toys.

To Hire or Not to Hire: Navigating Your Moving Help Dilemma

When the moving day looms, the big question often is: Should you hire professional movers or not? Cost is usually king in this decision.

Here's what could go wrong if you decide to DIY it:

  • Injury Risks: Lifting heavy items can cause injury; movers are trained for safe handling.

  • Damaged Goods: Amateurs risk damaging belongings; movers know how to protect them.

  • Time Overruns: DIY moves often take longer than expected; professionals are time-efficient.

  • Truck Troubles: Choosing the wrong truck size or poor packing can lead to extra trips or damage; movers bring the right equipment.

  • Stress Spike: Managing a move alone is stressful; movers streamline the process.

  • Hidden Costs: DIY costs like insurance and fuel add up; movers offer inclusive pricing.

  • Logistic Issues: Navigating permits and tight spaces is complex; movers handle these expertly.

But, let's face it, the cost can be a bitter pill. Professional movers are not light on the wallet, especially for long treks. If you're looking for affordable quotes, answer some questions on Wise Move so local movers can give you an accurate quote that you can choose from.

Choosing the Right Movers: Red Flags and Gold Stars

If your heart and budget are set on hiring help, vet your movers like you'd vet a babysitter for your gadgets and grandma's china:

  1. Professional Presence: No website? No social media? That's a modern-day no-no. A legit business today has a digital footprint.

  2. Glowing Reviews: Hunt down those online reviews. A company worth its salt will have customers singing its praises.

  3. Community Intel: Tap into your local network. Online community boards and social media groups can be gold mines for recommendations.

The Moving Truck Conundrum

Now, about that moving truck. Sometimes, it's not a question of if, but which. Here's the lowdown:

  • Size Matters: Your sedan won't cut it for the big stuff. And even the small pieces? Think of the endless carpooling they'll need. It might be best to rent a moving truck that's right for the job.

  • City Move? Maybe: If you're just hopping across the city, you might manage without a moving van. But prepare for a logistical ballet.

  • Distance Drama: Moving cross-country? A moving truck isn't a luxury; it's your lifeline.

Want Help With Your House Move? Try Wise Move Instead.

If you don't want to worry about the liability of renting a truck or second-guess the moving company that you chose, we highly recommend the Wise Move platform. All you have to do is answer a couple of questions, submit your contact information and pick-up location, and have local movers in your area send you direct quotes to your inbox.

You can also view ratings from previous customers, chat with vendors right, and make a payment all on the platform so everything is safe and secure.

Step 1: What Are You Moving?

Kick things off by selecting the category of items you're planning to move. The platform offers a list to make this easy for you.

Step 2: Insert Your Current Address

Be specific with your current address. The more details, the better.

Step 3: Moving From

Detail the kind of place you're moving from—how many bedrooms, what floor, etc.

Step 4: Moving To

Likewise, give the lowdown on where you're headed—number of bedrooms, floor level, and so on.

Step 5: Pick Your Move Date

Select the day you intend to make the move. This helps professional movers gauge their availability.

Step 6: Destination Address

Plug in the address you'll be moving to. This helps in calculating the distance for an accurate quote.

Step 7: Driver Help Required or Not

Let them know if you'll require the driver's assistance for tasks like loading and unloading.

Step 8: Add Inventory

List the belongings you'll be moving. This ensures the movers come prepared and helps in quote accuracy.

Step 9: Do You Have Photos?

If possible, upload photos of the items you are moving. This can provide additional clarity for the Markham moving companies.

Step 10: Your Email Address and Submit

Enter your email, hit submit, and watch the quotes roll in. You can then proceed to lock in your moving plans.

And voila. Now sit and tight and wait for local movers in your area to read your requirements and provide a quote for the move.

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