Moving house in Singapore: A step-by-step guide [2021]

Moving house should be exciting! You are moving to a new part of Singapore, living a new lifestyle and moving into your new home.

Yet, the very thought of moving can leave you anxious and confused as you try to piece together the many tasks you need to do to ensure a smooth transition.

Whether it is your first time moving, or you have moved many times before, this guide will cover everything you should consider before, during and after your move. We’ll cover how to choose the right moving company, tips to save money, how to switch utilities as well as provide useful tips to help you prepare!

Where to start when moving house

TL;DR: Unless you have a lorry in your driveway, boxes in your bomb shelter and someone to help you switch all your utilities, moving house can be time consuming and expensive.

We recommend starting by being clear on whether you are looking for a DIY move or whether you need to engage a moving company.

  • For smaller moves (e.g. studio or 1-bedroom), LaLaMove offers an affordable option for as little as $50 to move your furniture. For larger moves (e.g. 2+ bedrooms), trusted Singapore moving companies such as Shalom & CYC offer a professional end-to-end service
  • While more expensive, moving companies can provide you with boxes and remove a lot of the admin and stress with packing and unpacking… which if you have kids or working full-time, may be worth the extra dollars
  • Also understand early if you need any other additional moving services. For example; storage if your downsizing, finding a cheaper broadband provider and getting home insurance for your new place are all very common things to organise when moving in Singapore
  • Continue skimming through the article but please don’t end on that. Give it a full read since there are definitely tips and tricks that can save you thousands.

Alright, let’s jump in!

Your step-by-step guide to moving house in Singapore

  1. Selecting the right movers in Singapore 🚚
  2. The cost of hiring a mover 💰
  3. Transferring utilities and broadband to your new place 💡
  4. Finding storage space in Singapore furniture 🛋
  5. Tips to save money when moving 💵
  6. How to pack effectively 📦
  7. A few days before your move 🔑
  8. Welcome home

1. Selecting the right movers in Singapore

Trying to find an affordable and reliable mover is no easy task! It can take some time to get quotes back, it may be hard to compare between quotes and you want to go with someone reliable.

The process of getting a quote is very similar between moving companies. You jump on their website and complete their form (typically includes pick-up / drop-off address and contact info). From there, movers can take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days to get back to you.

Our tip if you’re looking for a fast quote is to go with companies on whatsapp (e.g. Exped Movers or Cheap Movers Singapore). They seem to be much more responsive that those who do not have whatsapp.

The moving company will then typically want to do a survey of your property to provide an accurate quote. Since circuit breaker, some movers now do video surveys which can again save you time. These work by you walking through your home and just show the mover what you need to move. Allow up to 30 minutes for the survey to take place. Some movers can provide a quote on the spot, others may take another day or so.

From our experience, Shalom and Elite Movers were the fastest from requesting to receiving a quote at ~1.5 days. Other companies (not to name and shame) can take up to 2 week

Depending on your move needs (and budget), you can also opt in for additional moving needs which include:

  • Packing services
  • Moving services (with or without moving trucks)
  • Cleaning and disposal services
  • Unpacking services
  • Storage services, etc. 

The moving quote will typically also include boxes and packing needs so make sure these are included.

Moving day

Moving companies in Singapore

There are a lot of reputable moving companies in Singapore that cater to all move sizes. We have listed out five of the more reputable companies you can choose from and you can also read a detailed guide of each of these movers plus seven more here

To streamline the entire moving process for you, we have partnered with leading moving companies in Singapore to let you get multiple quotes back at once. This will save you hours and allow you to more easily compare between quotes. To get you started, just click the link below.

Click here to get up to 6 free quotes

Finding a moving company doesn’t have to be hard so we hope you find the above tool makes your life a little easier!

2. The cost of hiring a mover

Cost is the primary factor when identifying the right moving company for your needs. In this regard, you will find some who charge on an hourly basis, while others will place a charge per trip. On average, household moving would cost between $300 and $1500.

For the more premium-tier and professional moving companies, the cost will range even higher. However, this cost depends on the type of move and the items you are moving. Bulky and fragile items such as piano moving could rake deeper into your pockets. 

With these considerations in mind, it is crucial to be familiar with the moving process, and how to identify the right moving company. In general, the cost of moving is dependent upon; 

  1. Moving services – the labor, volume of the items, hours of the move, and the distance
  2. Storage – Whether you need any items being stored
  3. Packing and unpacking services
  4. Handyman services including the complexity of the job mostly hourly
  5. Disposal services – Disposal fees and the volume of items being disposed of

Be careful to check the quote carefully when you do get it back. It’s true what they say, you often get what you pay for.

There are a whole lot of good movers and lorry’s that offer cheap rates. However, in order to win your business, they can sometimes leave things off your quote such as additional costs for not having lift access, or requiring a second lorry to move all of your thing. This can sometimes result in surprise fees on the day of your move. While more professional moving companies may appear more expensive, you will be more likely quoted an accurate price with all of this factored into it. 

3. Transferring utilities and broadband to your new place

While planning your move in Singapore, make sure you allocate enough time to transfer utilities before your actual move date. Ensuring your move is seamless requires more than just moving stuff from place to place. When you move in, you will want to take a hot shower, stream Netflix or take video calls for work, all of which may be hard if you do not plan right. 

Further, double check your lease agreement carefully before committing to ascertain which utilities are included in the rental cost. Usually, in Singapore, utilities and maintenance costs are billed to the tenant’s account. You will cater to the internet, electricity, water, and gas. Four steps to adhere to during transfer of utilities include;

  • Plan transferring utilities ahead of time. Do not wait until the last minute to schedule your transfer of utilities. Avoid scrambling for last-minute services, which may include additional costs.
  • Have a utility list such as Electricity, gas, water, phone, internet, television or any other monthly services you are subscribed to. Let your service providers know your moving dates and schedule a set-up date a day prior. 
  • Get information on your current balances. If you put up deposits, find out the compensation procedures.
  • Check utilities before you move. Check the meters and note the readings in case of a billing discrepancy.

Several utility companies offer services to ensure an efficient moving house in Singapore. However, you can also opt to pay all your utilities through one company, SP Group. Depending on your utility service provider, various steps are followed for installation, monthly billings, and transfer of address. There may also be cheaper deals for electricity and gas than SP group. Be sure to shop around before cutting the deal.

Moving house can also be a good time to reassess your internet and broadband provider. With many new companies and deals popping-up in Singapore, all of which offer high-speed and reliable broadband, it would be worth doing a quick search to make sure you’ve got the best deal. Sorting through the virtual operators to establish which works best for your home fiber broadband package can be overwhelming. However, comparison sites such as Seedly (featured below) can help you cut through the noise.

Consider getting a 1 Gbps plan for your initial set-up, as it works perfectly for most consumers in Singapore. Advance to 2Gbps if you require a super-fast connection for gaming. Basically, the trade-off is between cost and speed. The faster the internet speed, the more it costs. Additionally, if you do not wish to be locked down by contracts, consider packages that you can cancel at any time. However, getting up to a 24-month plan is always beneficial and allows you to save some money.

4. Finding storage space in Singapore

A storage facility is essential as it allows you to store some of the excess luggage before settling in your new address or acts as a warehouse for your business. To decide on a storage facility, you need to consider how often you need to access your items during storage and whether your stored items require a controlled environment. 

For long-term storage, you should choose a full-service storage company, which is often 10% cheaper.  Further, it may be beneficial to go with a provider that offers both self-storage and valet storage. Beware of renting out a larger space, as you may end up paying for space you do not require. 

A variety of storage companies include;

  • Spaceship Storage,
  • Work + Store
  • Extra Space Asia
  • StorHub
  • Lock and Store
  • BoxPark, among many others

If you are still wanting more information on storage spaces, please read our detailed guide to learn more.

5. Tips to save money when moving in Singapore

While the amount of money you will spend on moving is dependent on several factors, you still have an opportunity to save a few bucks. Notably, this largely depends on your current location and the distance to your destination. Here are some of the ways you can save money while moving house in Singapore; 

  • Go for temporary storage as opposed to permanent storage.
  • Moving truck or van rental
  • Dismantle bulky items before the move
  • Offer manpower or sort of help while moving
  • Moving to ease of access location. 

Tip 1: Offer help or manpower

The more services you expect from your mover, the more cost you will incur. Offering to finish some tasks before, during, and after the move will significantly save you money while moving. You may also decide to pack your items, offer help while loading and unloading the items, etc. Besides, since some of these tasks consume more time, an efficient move will save on your hourly move. 

If you’re only moving a few items, services such as LaLaMove and GoGoX provide affordable transfer services for as little as $50. Additionally, some condos require movers to pay a fee for using their loading docks, etc. Other companies also separately charge packing and unpacking. Make sure you confirm with your moving company whether they have included this in their quote.

You can always save money by packing or unpacking things yourself. Most movers should provide you with packing materials such as tape, bubble wrap, and boxes ahead of your move. If self packing, companies such as Carton Box Supply will deliver everything you need for under $60. 

Tip 2: Ease of access to your new location

While requesting a moving quote or estimate, you will note that the ease of access may impact your moving costs significantly. This includes pickup in your current home and dropoff to the new location. Some condominiums and estates have strict rules that could force any mover to carry items for a specific distance. If your home is further from the loading and unloading zone, you can expect to incur more costs.

The ease of access includes a flight of stairs in your home. If there are no elevators or hoist systems, this will equally affect the cost of your moving. When moving house in Singapore, limitations to your house may influence the cost and time for your move. Before hiring a mover, you should speak with them about any inhibitions to your home’s access.

Tip 3: Protect yourself with moving insurance

Having insurance during your move is a brilliant idea. Your moving company may incur some purposeful or accidental damages to your property. Movers are not always reliable; hence moving insurance keeps your property safe and your heart content. For your upcoming move to Singapore, consider any of these three types of insurance, Full Value, Released Value, and Third-Party. Further, note that some actions may limit the mover’s liability for your property. These include;

  • Misinforming the mover on the type of goods packed
  • Using your own packing boxes
  • Using released insured
  • Failure to notify the moving company of valuable items (>$100).
  • Language in your contract relinquishing the mover from liability
  • Waiting too long to report your losses (over 9 months).

Tip 4: Consider selling items vs. storage

Storage services are a crucial aspect of the moving process. If you are moving to a smaller house or the new house is not ready yet, you may consider temporary storage. Other moving companies also offer warehouse space for your items. If you are storing for a few days, the storage can be free or at a small fee. If you are looking at saving money while moving, consider temporary storage as opposed to permanent storage. Also, enquire from the mover if they offer free temporary storage. Alternatively, look at websites such as Carousell to sell old furniture and make a quick buck

Tip 5: Dismantle bulky items before moving

Some items such as furniture and electronics can be disassembled to ease the moving process. While some movers offer this service at a fee, you may save a few bucks if you did it yourself. You may also have ample time for packing and wrapping up fragile items before the move. 

Tip 6: Consider moving van or truck rental

If you are considering DIY moving, you may save a few bucks by renting out a van or a truck. The cost will largely depend on the size of the truck, the mileage covered during the move, and gas prices charged by the renting company. These factors will influence your moving truck rental costs. 

You will find other moving companies who rent out their vans based on an hourly basis. Although this will depend on the truck’s dimensions, the average cost of renting a moving van or truck ranges between $50 to $70 per hour. You can also expect a surcharge past specific hours.

While hiring a moving truck or van is cost-effective to move house in Singapore, you may need to consider other factors such as the size of the truck, amount of load being moved, and the overall surcharges. 

Tip 7: Get quotes from moving companies and start negotiating

Be sure to have at least three 3 quotes from different professional moving companies in Singapore. Ask all the questions and enquire on all possible charges to avoid trouble later. Insist on all you want to be included in your leasing contract. Ensure you have an intricate knowledge of their charge rates, extra charges and services, and insurance covers. Let them know that you are looking into other companies too to see if they can adjust their prices. Check their online credibility too. The more people giving positive reviews, the more credible a company may be

6. How to pack effectively

The process of moving house in Singapore can be hectic and daunting. Consequently, this might increase the chances of leaving out some items while packing. If you do not have a solid packing strategy, the method you use to pack and move bulky items and electronics may prove messy. Follow the following step-by-step guide to moving house to ensure the process is as smooth as possible.

Keep an inventory of all your items and take measurements

Carefully categorize all your items by walking into each room of your house and assigning each product a category. Ensure that nothing is left out. However, take this opportunity to declutter your house. There really is no need to carry things you do not require in Singapore. This will save packing time and reduce moving costs.

Take measurements of your furniture and compare this with the floor plan of your new home. This will help with the housing arrangement. This will also help determine if the goods are transportable in a lift if your new house is a condominium or HDB flat.

Prepare necessary packing material and start packing

Choose the right material to transport your goods without any hiccups adequately. You will need cardboard boxes of various sizes, Plastic boxes and containers for your electronics, bubble wrap for porcelain products, glass, and other fragile material.

Plan which items go into which room and label your boxes appropriately

Planning what goes where should be done from the start. You should have a rough idea of how you will arrange your new home. Group together items that go into the same room and label them accordingly. Valuable property such as jewelry and watches should be packed in a private safe, or consider transporting them yourself depending on their value.

Packing for your move

Prepare a moving day pack of essentials

Unpacking is a lengthy and tiring process that may take well over a week. Prepare a moving day pack with all the essentials you may need over the next couple of days, such as a change of clothes, toothbrush and toothpaste, toilet paper, phone and laptop chargers, medication, bedsheets, and anything else you deem necessary.

7. A few days before your move

Ensure all your washing is done so that you can move in with fresh clothes, just in case there is a problem with the washing machine in the new place

Complete a detailed clean-up of your previous place and prepare any photos and documents to share with your existing landlord to ensure you get your full deposit back.

Stop buying perishable food. You do not want to travel with any remaining perishables, neither do you want to leave your existing place in a dirty state. A few days before the moving day, ensure you consume all perishables. You will restock on these once you get to the new home.

Book a restaurant near your new place so you have something to look forward to when you finish moving in and can start exploring your new area. This will also help with assimilation into your new area. You will not only start to feel at home, but also have something to look forward to once you are all finished moving!  

Change mail address for any tax, work or other subscriptions you have. This may act as a helpful reminder for payments you need to cater to. Also, there may be some deposits you need to follow up on after you move as they may not have been processed on time at the time of your move.

Upload your packing list to your email or google drive. This is a contingency measure in case you misplace your phone during the process.

To avoid trouble, confirm the pet rules in the area you are moving to. Singapore has strict rules on which breeds of dogs you can have as pets in the country. Depending on the building you settle in, there could also be restrictions on the number and the type of animals you are allowed to own.

8. Welcome home

This is where all the hard work you did during parking pays off. All your boxes are well labeled. Secure all your valuables and fragile items. The first thing is setting up the bedrooms. You may be exhausted and choose to take a nap before all the unpacking.

Over the next couple of days, unpacking will take a sequential system. You may find yourself starting with things you absolutely need, such as the kitchen, furniture, and entertainment system.

If you are not good at reassembling your furniture, you can select a mover that offers to dismantle and reassembly services.

Check up and secure all your utilities. Confirm your water supply, electricity, gas and internet. In case of any hiccups, contact your utility provider before it’s too late.

Most importantly. Relax! You’ve moved in and it’s time to put the feet up and start to enjoy your new place! 

Relax when moving

About Haulmate

It is true that moving can be an exciting yet a daunting experience. With the right information and quality tips to ease your moving, everything should fall right into its place. If you are moving house in Singapore, be sure to check out Haulmate. They offer a simplified platform to get quotes from a pool of movers in Singapore. This way, you can save time contacting each one of them and the hectic inspection. With Haulmate, you are getting real-time custom  moving quotes from a variety of trusted and reputable movers in Singapore. Check them out to get a moving quote.

March 17, 2021