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What to consider before booking your international movers

Relocating to Singapore? See our sanity-saving moving tips 

Some expats do arrive in Singapore with just one suitcase and an iPad or Blackberry. For most of us, though, getting here requires hiring an international moving company.

If you need to relocate furniture, children and pets, then self-packing is not recommended – especially if you value your sanity (and your marriage).

International movers typically provide the following services:

Shipping can take anywhere between three and six weeks. So, if a long vacation isn’t feasible, you may want to consider renting a serviced apartment. Since most serviced apartments are furnished, spending a few weeks in one will give you the chance to settle in before you have to deal with the stress of moving into your new home.

Here are some moving tips you may find helpful:


Before your movers pack up the contents of your desk, including your passport, visa, and employment pass, it’s a good idea to put all the essentials to one side. Once the boxes have gone, you won’t see anything in them again for some time. It can be useful to keep other valuable documents with you, such as birth and marriage certificates, academic certificates, wills, recent bank statements, payslips, and income tax returns.

Antiques and valuables

Although moving companies are experts at moving furniture, carting your favourite 200-year-old cabinet across the globe isn’t necessarily a good idea. The humid climate in Singapore can cause irreversible damage to wood, for one thing, so you may wish to consider storing special heirlooms with family or friends back home.


It’s useful to know that mattresses in Singapore are shorter than those in the US, Europe, and Australia – so any new mattresses or bedding that you buy here will unlikely fit your existing bed. Conversely, if you buy a bed while you are here, you may want to get it customised to a size that will be practical back home.

Electrical items

Singapore follows the British electrical system. If your home country doesn’t work on the British system, you will need adapters for your electrical appliances. If you come from North America or Japan, where the voltage is 100-127V, you should know that the voltage here is 224-240V. Adapters and transformers are easily available in hardware stores. The television system in Singapore is PAL, which means that televisions from the US and Japan (which use NTSC) will not work here.