6 tips to make moving to, from or within Singapore way easier

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Moving is regularly listed as one of the most stressful life events – after losing a loved one or your job.

Whether you’re relocating across town or flying back home due to Covid-19, these 6 tips by professional organiser Nathalie Ricaud take the hassle out of moving.

Through her company, Get Organised & Beyond, Nathalie has helped many families in Singapore organise their moves, so they can settle into a more peaceful place to call home.

Read on to see what she recommends:

1. Create a master plan

Even if your move is precipitous (i.e., you lose your Employment Pass), you’ll save time and stress later if you take an hour to list everything that needs to be done.

Set deadlines – by working backward from the moving date – and look at which tasks could be delegated. (Tip: Note them into your planner or e-calendar). Then, monitor your plan, weekly at first, then daily as you get closer to the moving date.

2. Make lists

Lists keep you on track. Here are some sample ones to make:

  • Parties to notify of the move and contracts to terminate, transfer and/or open
  • Inventory list of important household items with estimated values for insurance purposes
  • If relocating internationally, items that require air-shipping while you wait for your container
  • Packing supplies needed, if you are packing them yourself
  • Items to be returned to your landlord and home repairs to be done
  • Basic cleaning products and tools needed once everything has been packed

3. Consolidate info

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Designate one folder to hold all vital records and information related to the move, including: quotations, invoices and receipts; children school records if they’re changing schools; medical records and referrals if you’re changing doctors; regulations regarding pets’ transfer; floor map of your new home, etc. 

Keep it easily accessible until you’re settled into your new home.

4. Delegate

A move is made up of a lot of tasks. And, every little bit of help counts! Think of your spouse – can he or she apply for mail redirection online? Get your children to purge broken or no longer used toys. Put your domestic helper into a taxi and have her deliver items for donation.

Do a cost-benefit analysis, and consider engaging third-party providers such as cleaning and repair companies to help you return your home to its original condition – and get a higher chance of getting your deposit back.

5. Don't drag the excess

Let go of what you no longer use, need or love. It’ll save you packaging and moving costs, as well as packing and unpacking time.

Start with items that are a no-brainer for you to part with: expired food and cosmetics, food containers without matching lids, single or hole-ridden socks, outdated travel guides, and so on.

Then, take a serious look at items that won’t support your future life – such as summer dresses that are only suitable for a tropical climate.

Take into consideration that selling takes time,  especially for a summer or December relocation, when you’ll be competing with other expats.

An open house, or a garage, yard or stoop sale is the most efficient solution, if you’ve got plenty of small items to sell. If you’re planning to sell online, set a minimum amount under which to donate various items.

6. Pack (and unpack!) strategically

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Keep things together when packing. When disassembling furniture, put screws and hardware in a bag and tape it to the corresponding piece. Don’t mix things from different rooms in the same box.

Plan how you will arrange your furniture and belongings in your new home. If you can, label each box with where you want it to go rather than where it came from. Add a brief outline of its contents.

Pack a bag of essential items for the moving day: medications, toiletries, an extra set of clothes, ID and credit cards, and important documents. Don’t forget books and toys to keep your children entertained.

If your work schedule won’t allow you to unpack for a few days, pack a suitcase with a couple of extra outfits, bed sheets and towels.

So you can be operational quickly, unpack the priority boxes first – daily kitchenware, bedsheets and towels, toiletries and clothes. Flatten each empty box to save space before moving onto the next one.

Bonus: Where to Find Help

Go to these specialists when “cleaning house”.

Amahs On Wheels

Want your new home spick-and-span before you settle in? Need to hand back the property to the landlord in good condition? Best to rope in this cleaning service company! 

Its professional housekeeping teams – supervised by a team leader – can mop your floors, wipe windows, sanitise upholstery and even help with the laundry if you’re really crushed for time.

Bonus: They bring even their own eco-cleaning supplies. You can hire them on an ad hoc basis or on the reg.

121 Personnel Services

Having domestic help can aid in easing the transition, especially if you have kids in tow. Helpers from this accredited maid agency are well-trained and independent enough to stay with your fam.

Yes, ICYDK, having a live-in helper is a thing in SG - and you will appreciate having one be there 24/7 to lend a hand with household (and kiddo-related) emergencies. The agency will not only assist with the paperwork, but also provide advice on employing - and matching you with - the right helper

This article was first published in The Finder.