If the topic of home renovation were a novel, the chapter on moving house will most likely be just a footnote. That’s usually because people don’t put too much thought into it until the last minute, by which time it can be both a daunting and costly task.
It pays to be prepared beforehand, so spare yourself the hassle with our handy guide to moving house:
1. Packing and Unpacking
This is the process most people never look forward to, and probably the reason why they procrastinate so much in the first place. If you have better things to do than deciding whether it is a good idea to have your clothes should go together with the cutlery, then you’re in luck.
There are a couple of moving companies such as MrMover and Moovers International who also provide packing services so that you don’t have to lift a finger. Depending on how obsessive-compulsive you are, they can sort and label your belongings accordingly, reducing the frustration of rifling through boxes to find something when unpacking.
Of course, this service comes at a premium, costing an average of $300 depending on the amount of things you require them to pack and how detailed they need to be.
2. Disposal Services
If you’ve lived in a property for even a short period of time and plan to move house after that, chances are there will be quite a substantial number of items you’ll want to dispose of. This problem is worse if you’ve been residing in said property for five years (the typical duration of the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) for HDB flats) or more.
On the bright side, moving house is the best time to decide what furniture you’ll want to keep and which ones to get rid of. If you do have bulky furniture, such a sofa, that needs to be disposed of, you may want to approach your condo management (if you live in a condo) or town council (if you live in a HDB) first before venturing to search for a furniture disposal company.
This is because some condos in Singapore provide free disposal services for old furniture or have a specific area within the premises for you to dump them.
The same applies for HDBs as town councils do offer free disposal for bulky items, up to 3 items per month. The only drawback is that both of these options may not include dismantling services, so you might have to manually take them apart beforehand.
However, if you are in need of disposal services, just be aware that you might need to fork out a high price per furniture. This can range between $80 – $300, depending on the size of, and how heavy, your items are.
3. Storage Facility
There are cases where homeowners find that they’ll like to keep more things than they have space for, especially if they’re moving from a bigger unit to a smaller one. If absolutely necessary, renting a space to store will be the best choice.
However, as you know, every square inch in Singapore comes at a price. Storage facility operators usually charge a lump sum monthly for a fixed amount of space – On average, the standard fee for a storage facility is $590 per month for 90-100 square feet. On top of this, there are other miscellaneous charges you’ll need to factor in such as security deposits and admin fees.
Fortunately, there are also vendors in the market that only require you to pay per item you wish to store, rather than renting a space. This significantly reduces your total bill, if you do not have much to put into storage in the first place.
Ah, finally the section those moving house have been waiting for. Moving companies usually charge based on the number of items you need to move, so you’ll need to be as transparent as possible when negotiating with them.
(Pro Tip: It would be easier to explain by taking photos of the items you want to move and sending them to their contact person’s handphone via WhatsApp or email. They can then provide a direct quote indicative of the work they need to do).
On average, professional local movers will charge between $320 – $450 for shifting standard furniture and appliances such as a 3-seat sofa, queen-size bed, dining set, fridge, and washing machine.
If you happen to live in a unit that does not have a lift landing (such as in the case of older HDB blocks or walk-up apartments, be sure to mention this to the movers and be prepared to pay an additional 10 percent for every level of stairs the movers need to use.
If you live in, or planning to move to a condo, you may have to inform the management office of your moving date beforehand. This is because there might be a time and area restriction on when moving can be done.
Also try to dismantle beds, tables, and other bulky furniture ahead of time to help save money. If for some reason you cannot do so, simply add $20-$25 for dismantling/assembling services per item.