26 Apr

We all can relate: Moving to a new house or renovating can feel like a huge task, especially if you're a first-time homeowner in Singapore.

With all the planning and running around, it's no surprise many people get stressed out before they even begin. Trust me, you're not the only one feeling overwhelmed. Studies actually show that moving is super stressful, sometimes even more than having a baby!

But don't worry, we've got your back. We've put together some handy tips that most people forget about, to make your moving or renovation process smoother, especially if it's your first time. Let's dive right into it!

6 Tips When Moving Homes & Renovating In Singapore

1. Declutter Unnecessary Items

Woman Sorting Items to Donate, Discard, Keep Boxes

The queen of decluttering—Marie Kondo! Learn to spark joy with her KonMari Method to save you time, energy, and hassle when moving/renovating.

  1. Embrace the KonMari Philosophy:
    • Commit & Visualise: Commit yourself to tidying up and imagine your ideal lifestyle in your new home.
    • Discard First: Before you start packing, go through your belongings and discard items that no longer spark joy. Remember, be ruthless! If it doesn't bring you happiness, thank it for its service and let it go.
    • Tidy by category: Don't declutter room by room. Go by item category to ensure you evaluate similar items together, making it easier to see what you truly need and love.
    • Go from easy to difficult: Follow KonMari categories—clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and sentimental items.
    • Spark Joy Test: Hold each item and ask yourself: "Does this spark joy?" If not, it's time to say goodbye.

  2. Follow These Rules:
    • Functionality Matters: While sparking joy is key, also consider if the item is in good working condition. A broken item, even if sentimental, might not be worth keeping.
    • The One-Year Rule: Haven't used it in the past year? Likely, you won't need it in your new home either.
    • Repurpose with Purpose: Can an item be repurposed or upcycled? Get creative! But be honest—if it's just an excuse to keep something, it's time to let it go.
    • Cost-Effectiveness: Sometimes, replacing an item in your new location might be more cost-effective than moving it, especially for large or bulky items.

  3.  Sentimental Struggles:
    We understand that sentimental items are the hardest to part with. Start with easier categories like clothes or books, then tackle sentimental items once you've built momentum and confidence in your decision-making.Remember, decluttering is a journey, not a race. By combining the KonMari Method with practical considerations, you can create a joyful and functional space in your new home.

2. Start Packing Wisely

Woman Packing For Moving House and Labelling Boxes

First things first, begin packing with a "first-week survival kit". Think of it like your go-to box with all the essentials:

  • toiletries,
  • dining room utensils/cookware,
  • clothes,
  • bedding/bedsheets,
  • cleaning supplies,
  • basic tools for assembling furniture,
  • and yummy snacks to keep you going!

Here are some other packing tips:

  • Ditch the "bedroom" or "kitchen" labels. Instead, get specific about what's inside each box. Think "plates and bowls" or "winter clothes." This way, you'll know exactly where everything goes in your new place, making unpacking way easier.
  • Finally, to help you with moving boxes, make sure to pack heavy stuff in smaller boxes. Your back will thank you later!

3.  Budget Well For The House Moving Process

Delivery Truck on the Road

Hiring movers is convenient, but you should take note of extra costs that can add up quickly. For example, some moving companies may charge per box or quote higher prices for navigating stairs or changing elevators. Less accessible locations, such as Sentosa, may also incur extra charges.

If you're feeling a bit more hands-on, you can pack your own items rather than relying on movers. Also, think about getting your own packing materials and plastic wrap—it's a small investment that can make a big difference. Just be honest about your limitations; leave the bulkier items to the pros to avoid risks of injuries/damages.

4.  Prepare In Advance With Secured Storage Space

Safe Deposit Box at STARVAULT, Home Renovation Tips for First Home Buyers

If you're not moving into your new home immediately, or you're waiting for a home renovation project to be completed, you will likely need to rely on these 2 types of storage:

A) Self Storage

Self-storage facilities are great for furniture and other bulky items. One example, BOXPARK, allows their customers to store their items for as short as 7 days and their staff will help you find the right-sized unit to maximise storage space. You can also sign up and use the space immediately.

B) Safe Deposit Box

Safe deposit services are better for keeping valuables like passports, birth certificates, jewellery, gold, and more.

Leaving these valuables unattended during home renovations can be risky, especially with contractors coming and going. If you're staying in a temporary rental, you might not feel comfortable with your landlord having access to your items.

That's why many opt for a safe deposit box service instead. At STARVAULT, their safe deposit box offers the following:

  • Utmost security: With a custom-built steel-reinforced vault, 24-hour surveillance and on-site security personnel, a multilayered access control system. In addition, OTP is required for any change in agreement (such as moving out and changing user contact information.
  • Flexible contract terms: Customers can rent safe deposit boxes for as short as a month, instead of a one-year commitment which is typical in bank safe deposit boxes.
  • Budget-friendly monthly payment: With prices starting from SGD30 per month, STARVAULT can be a cost-effective and flexible solution to ensure the security of your valuables and important documents. Losing crucial documents such as your passport, education certificates, marriage certificate, title deeds, etc. can be extremely stressful. 

So, if you're looking for peace of mind during your move or renovation, consider both self-storage and safe deposit box services. It's a small investment that can make a big difference in keeping your most valuable possessions secure.

5.  Take Note of HDB Renovation Rules

Worker Fixing House Floor

Make sure to follow guidelines set by both the Housing & Development Board (HDB) and the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).

Common regulations cover aspects such as hacking of walls, bathroom fixture relocation, and electrical modifications. Always refer to the specific guidelines relevant to your flat type and project scope, as complexities may introduce additional requirements.

To navigate HDB renovation guidelines effectively, we highly recommend engaging a BCA-approved contractor. They can guide you through applying for any home renovation permit (note that this is mandatory).

6.  Change Your Address

Woman Writing Address On Parcel

Make sure to update your new address at various organisations. Failing to do so can lead to disruptions in receiving essential items and documents, which are often delivered directly to your letterbox.

Here's a non-exhaustive list of what you need to switch to your address for:

  • Identity Card (IC): change your address online via the ICA website with Singpass
  • Service providers: insurance, banks
  • Utilities: electrical, water, internet
  • Subscriptions: paper newspapers, Yakult, etc.
  • E-commerce: NTUC, Shopee, Sephora, etc.
  • Others: your workplace, your child's schools etc.

Moving / Renovating Your Home? Make Smart Decisions TodayChange Your Address

Cardboard Boxes in A Room

In the whirlwind of coordinating moving services or renovations with an interior designer, safety is of utmost importance. Ensure you protect your valuables from potential risks, whether during transportation or renovations.

BOXPARK and STARVAULT help keep your belongings secure. With easy registration processes, flexible contract terms, and the convenience of 24-hour access (yes, you can retrieve your valuables even in the wee hours!), we provide peace of mind for everyone residing in Singapore.

Learn more about our safe deposit boxes at STARVAULT and our self-storage at BOXPARK today.