After a few years of rapid growth and rising prices, Malaysia’s real estate market is settling down, and that makes it a great time to buy. Prices of new properties are steady and existing properties are holding their value: if you’ve been considering the jump to a new home, whether for work, family, or just a change of pace, this is a great time to do it.
As exciting as a new home and a fresh start can be, we tend to look at moving as a necessary evil. It doesn’t have to be, however: with the right planning, the right preparation, and just a little creativity, your next move can be quick, safe, and stress free.
DIY or Professional?
The first decision you have to make when contemplating a big move: handle the heavy lifting yourself, or entrust it to the professionals? There are pros and cons to either option, but they have one thing in common: you need to leave yourself plenty of preparation and planning time! Start comparing moving companies or truck rental prices a good two months in advance of your move. Professional movers should offer you an estimate based on the distance and the volume of furniture and possessions you have to transport.
Timing will also make a difference in what you spend, whether it’s hiring or renting a truck: according to Good Housekeeping, many rental prices go up at the end and beginning of a month, when leases end, and both renters and movers may charge you extra for work on weekends. Good long term planning and timing can save you a bundle when you’re ready for the actual move.
Take Pictures Before and After
As you’re cleaning and clearing out, take pictures of your old home, especially things easily damaged in a move: doorways, hardwood floors and carpeting, fixtures, and windows. Having a record of exactly how you left your old home can save you from property damage disputes with a new owner or a landlord. Do the same thing when you arrive at your new home, especially if you have a renter’s deposit you want to get back! Even if your landlord is reasonable and reputable, having pictures to hand is a great way to settle quick disputes.
Just like hiring movers, research and planning can save you a lot of time and stress before your move. The current real estate scene is well supported with property portals like PropertyGuru that can help you find available listings and property reviews, and steer clear of unscrupulous renters who will do their best to keep your deposit!
Save on Supplies
Everyone is prepared for some extra expense when it comes time to move, but it’s easy to forget just how quickly simple supplies like boxes, tape, and packing materials can add up. However, with a little creativity, you can avoid shelling out for those supplies! Call around to a few local retailers, especially department or furniture stores. They get regular shipments packed in large, sturdy boxes, and most will be happy to let you take a stack of cardboard bound for recycling, completely free! There’s also no need to pay for bubble wrap or other packing insulators, not when you have a supply of t shirts and towels that also need to be packed: wrap breakables in clothing and linens to save on money and on packing space. Don’t throw away hardware fixtures like hooks, curtain rods, and screws, either: chances are you’ll need them when setting up your new home. Zip them up in plastic bags or a sandwich container with a tight fitting lid, and save yourself a trip to the hardware store just to hang a picture frame.
Once your equipment and supplies are prepared for the move, you can move onto the next challenge: getting everything to its new home in one piece. There’s an art to fitting all your possessions into boxes, and then fitting all those boxes into a truck, but you can make your life a lot easier by sticking to one simple rule: heavy first.
When packing boxes, especially miscellaneous items, it’s best to work in layers. Heavy items go in the bottom of boxes to form a solid foundation, and you can layer lighter and more fragile items on top of them without worrying about damaging or squishing. Bottom-heavy boxes are also more stable and less likely to tip. The same rule holds true for packing moving trucks, whether you’re doing it yourself or helping movers: start with heavy furniture, and pack lighter items around and on top. If you’re packing the truck yourself, pay attention to items that tip over easily. They can be braced upright with other heavy boxes or pieces of furniture, but keep fragile and valuable items away from them! Keep boxes containing fragile items light, but pack tight with lots of padding in between. Fragile item containers should be light, but with little room to slide around. Shifting means breaking and cracks.
Have a Packing Order
Weight and fit isn’t the only thing you need to keep in mind when loading up for a move: think about your packing order, and which things you’re likely to need right away upon arrival. Pack a few boxes clearly labeled “first use” with the things you’ll want to get to quickly, and ensure that they’re last into the truck. Instead of cardboard, you can invest in some clear plastic storage tubs for your quick access boxes, so you can see at a glance what’s inside.
Consider carrying an overnight back as well, even if your move is short: having the necessities to hand is a quick and easy way to cut down on stress. Before you finalize your packing, have a checklist of important items you don’t want getting lost in the shuffle: phone cords, medications, toiletries, and similar necessities.
Don’t let the hassle and cost of moving scare you away from the perfect apartment or dream home. With the right research and planning, your move will be easy, painless, and pleasant.