Moving Checklist


Then, it all comes down to the big project – the packing and planning. Have a good checklist and pre-preparation can avoid many stumbling blocks that expats have faced. The golden rule is not to jump into the thick of things without gathering the resources you need and thinking through the next steps. It will not only cost you much frustration and time, but also put you at risk of missing out essential tasks.

Don’t know where to start? Lucky for you, our guide here provides tips at every step of the way, and reminds you on matters that you may not even have thought of!

Below are the broadstrokes that should be covered in your checklist. As your checklist is likely to grow and be updated during the process, it is advisable for you to build it electronically. For easy access, you may want to do so on one of the many mobile applications available in the market.


Make out a list of furniture and bulky items that you will be moving to the new house. State the measurement beside each of them on the list. Prior to the move, have a site recce to the new house, and bring the list and a measuring tape along. Check if the items can get through your door, and if the items can fit where you want them to. This applies to things such as your fridge, washing machine, shelves and sofas.


Have you cut out all the unnecessary? Maximise the unwanted items where possible – recycle the plastics and newspapers, donate or pass on items in good condition, and put up things with value on eBay for sale.


Dust, wipe and mop the place before you go so that another person can use the space if you decided to sell, rent or pass on to your other family members.


Obtain quotations and pick the relocation service providers you need early. Before you start packing, shop and gather all the tools you need to avoid much frustration in the process. This include the likes of dollies, tapes, protective wraps, boxes and markers.


Standardise and put four labels on each box in the following order:

  • Room

This will help you sort out the items quickly when you unpack. Common places include master bedroom, guest room, living room, study & play room, bathroom, kitchen and storeroom.

  • Category



Books, documents & stationery



Display items


Miscellaneous (small)

Miscellaneous (others)

  • Weight

This will help the mover load the goods in the best sequence to prevent toppling, crushing and damage. Have a sticker each for light, medium and heavy.

  • Remarks

Warnings – Fragile, Spillage of liquids, Danger

Any special instructions


This is self-explanatory. Packing techniques are described in detail later in this guide.

Schedule & deploy

Take leave from work, and clear your schedule for the moving day. If you are getting extra help from your friends and family, book them in advance. Have a timeline illustrating the arrival of your mover, loading time of the various batches, breaks, and targeted completion time. Also, have a list of names, contact numbers and responsibilities for everyone present that day.

Arrangements & confirmations

To make sure all goes according to plan, send a summary confirmation to external parties for all important arrangements. This includes the specific requirements, instructions, transactions and agreements you have made known to your mover, real estate broker and new landlord. Print them out and have the hardcopies in hand, in case you need to reference or present as evidence at any point in time. It will also remind you of any leftover matters you have yet to settle such as remaining payment and handling of keys.

Personal particulars

Update your addresses at the medical and financial institutions you are associated with. Make sure you have terminated all necessary memberships and services, including but not limited to publication subscriptions, utilities, telcos and clubhouses. Get a mail forwarding service, if you need to.

Plants & Pets

Make sure you have relocated your plants so that they have the necessary protection during the journey. Research how long they can stay without water and sunlight before deciding on the best course of action. Water them just before the journey, and make sure they are settled somewhere with the right temperature.

Drain your aquarium if you have any and pack your fishes in water bags. For dogs, cats and small animals, ensure they have updated identification tags on them and a leash, if applicable. Ensure food and water are stocked up in their cages, and you have some spare with you as well. Inform your mover beforehand, so they will set aside a conducive space for them and take care of their well-being. Their comfort is very important.


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