Moving house is more than just a change in scenery or living arrangement — it’s a chance at a fresh start in life. You can meet new people, explore a new neighbourhood, and create new memories in a place you can call your own.
But without proper planning, moving house can be an overwhelming experience. There’s a lot to think about and keep track of — and you wouldn’t want to forget something that’s going to stress you out at the last minute or tank your budget. 😟
Based on our own personal experiences and some research, we’ve created a handy GetGo Guide with some helpful tips for a smooth move in Singapore! Let’s dive right in.
Arranging your move
Confirm when you can move in
If you’re buying a house, you’ll need to exchange contracts with the current homeowners. After that, you’ll get your completion date, confirming that you can move into your new property.
If you’re renting, you’ll need to sign a tenancy agreement and confirm a move-in date with the landlord. 📝
Make the necessary living arrangements
Ideally, you should move out of your old place and into your new one on the same day. But if you’re stuck in between moving dates, you’ll need to make living arrangements for the interim period. You’ll also need to find a storage place for your belongings until you can move into your new place.
Writer’s tip: I once had a problem where my old lease ended on 30 July, but I could only move into the new place on 15 August. Fortunately, I was able to find a temporary place to stay. I was also lucky enough to negotiate with the landlord to store my furniture and belongings in the new house, which saved me from having to pay for 2 weeks of storage elsewhere.
Preparing for your move
Inform the relevant service providers
Each service provider has a different set of requirements and lead time to switch your address. So make sure you check with them as soon as you know your moving date just to be safe.
Here are some service providers you should contact before making your move:
- Water and electricity
Take a leaf from Marie Kondo — bring only what “sparks joy”. Before you move, it’s worthwhile to take stock of everything that you own, such as your wardrobe. Once you’ve decided what you no longer need, you can sort them into several piles: things to discard, donate, or sell.
Packing is one of the most exhaustive parts of moving. So try doing a little each day as it is less stressful than trying to do it all right before moving day.
Spoiler alert: you’re going to need a lot of boxes and packing materials — and I mean a lot. Whatever your estimate is for what you think you need, double it.
If you’re looking for house moving products, check out Cartonbox, which sells used carton boxes and packing supplies like bubble wrap, tape, and stretch film for low prices. Or you try Haulmate, which sells curated moving box kits that are tailored to the size of your house.
If you’re using a moving company, ask whether they can drop off the boxes and packing supplies several weeks ahead of your scheduled move date so you’re not left packing at the last minute.
Writer’s tip: If you’re on a very tight budget like how I was, you can try asking the staff at your local supermarkets or mama shops for free cardboard boxes. I was lucky enough to score 20 medium-sized boxes once at NTUC! 😁
Be strategic with packing
Pack early and be strategic about it too. Go room by room and pack similar things together, and label each box clearly with the contents. Be as specific as possible about the contents of each box — it will make unpacking so much easier!
Here are some other helpful tips to follow when it comes to packing your belongings:
- Put heavy items at the bottom to give your box a solid base and prevent lighter items from getting crushed.
- Fill your boxes to the brim as the weight of boxes stacked on top of half-empty boxes may cause them to collapse.
- Pack plates vertically, wrap them in packing paper and place them sideways in the box as they sustain more pressure on their sides.
- Place labels on the side of the boxes so you can read them even when they are stacked up.
Skip the moving company if you’re on a budget
If you’d rather save your funds to spend more on new household goods, moving can be a DIY operation instead, even without owning a truck or knowing someone who does. Just rent a sizable vehicle like a SUV or a van — and hey, we know where to find one of those.
You may also opt for labour-only movers, where they’ll only help with moving stuff to and from the truck. Hiring these guys is much cheaper than hiring full-service movers.
Rope in extra help
Whether you’re moving in alone or with a partner, it’s always helpful to have extra hands on hand. So call in all of your favours and bring some friends along to help you move into your new place.
Pack a moving day essentials kit
Consider what you’ll need when you arrive at your new home and make sure you bring them yourself and pack them separately.
Our personal recommendation includes an unpacking kit (e.g., scissors, penknives, trash bags, etc.), your laptop and chargers, cleaning essentials, a change of clothes, and toiletries.
Don’t forget to pack some snacks and drinks too, because moving is thirsty work!
Writer’s tip: Bring. Toilet. Paper! It sounds so silly, but trust me — you’ll definitely need it on the day of moving.
On and after moving day
On moving day, the first thing you should do is fuel up — because it’s going to be a long day!
Do a final sweep through of the home you’re moving out of to make sure it’s completely empty and you’ve got everything you need.
Unpack and enjoy
If possible, vacuum or mop any spaces before your boxes arrive, then place each box in the correct room. We recommend starting with your bedroom, bathroom, and the kitchen.
Anything else will be a bonus (don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of time to unpack everything else).
Notify the local authorities
In Singapore, it’s required by law that you notify local authorities about a change in address within 28 days of moving, or risk a $5,000 fine.
It’s a simple process though, all you have to do is the following:
- Apply for a change of address using the relevant e-service and enter the required information before submitting it.
- Within a week, you’ll receive a unique PIN that you’ll need to verify through the e-service.
- Once verified, the address change will be done immediately, at no cost to you.
All participating public agencies will be notified of the change. However, you’ll have to notify private institutions yourself. This includes banks, insurance companies, subscriptions to newspapers/magazines, etc.
Plan your meals for the final week before moving in
In the last week of staying at your old home, be very intentional about grocery shopping so you don’t purchase too much food that you’ll have to take with you or throw out.
Make use of leftovers, and eat as much perishable food from your fridge as possible. Opt for simple meals and paper plates so you can get the rest of your kitchen packed.
If possible, keep kids and pets out of the action
Moving on its own is quite an arduous task, and it may be both stressful and dangerous for young children and pets. If possible, get a trusted family member or friend to babysit your children for the day or longer if necessary. For pets, you may want to place them at a pet hotel.
Learn more about your new area ahead of time
While you have plenty of time to get familiar with your new neighbourhood, it’s good to know ahead of time where the nearest shopping malls, supermarkets, or convenience stores are. On moving day, if you’ve forgotten something or need to grab more drinks, you’ll know where to go!
Buy new furniture to spruce up your new home
Looking forward to moving into your new house but your old furniture is falling apart? Why not spruce up your living areas with some new furniture? Most furniture stores offer delivery, but there’s also plenty of delivery services you can use too.
But if the delivery date or time just doesn’t seem to fit into your schedule, you can turn it into a DIY operation instead by renting a van — and we’ve got just the thing!
Have a smooth moving day!