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Moving for the first time can be a daunting and often exhausting experience. What can be equally frustrating, are the expenses that you will undoubtedly have to cover.

1. Transportation & Related Labour 

To move furniture and all other belongings in the home, you will need to hire movers which typically include a lorry, a driver and manpower. The cost will depend on a number of factors, such as:

- The distance between your current place and the one you will be moving into
- Type of building e.g. landed or high-rise, with or without lift service
- Size of lorry – standard sizes are  1, 3 and 5-tonne (1 tonne = 1,000 kg)
- Number of movers required for manpower
- Disposal charges – subject to the number, size and weight of items to be disposed 

Depending on the factors above, your transportation charges may range anywhere between RM150 and RM1,000 (add RM50 to RM150 for disposal charges, if any).  

Note: The information provided is based on research. For precise and competitive estimates, do get a consultation or quote from two or more providers and compare. 

Saving tips: 

i) Moving gives you a fantastic opportunity to get rid of old clothes, furniture and other items that you don’t need any more. Why unnecessarily spend extra to move and as well waste energy to pack such non-essentials?
ii) Transport some items by car to give you more space on the lorry. This includes electronics (TVs and desktop computers), fragile items and other valuables.

2) Packing Materials 

Keeping your belongings free from damage will require you to pack them properly. However, bubble and shrink wrap which protects against breakage and scratches can be an expensive purchase if you need a lot of it.  Thus, limit use to items that require extra care when packing. A cheaper alternative would be to simply use newspaper (and lots of it) to wrap fragile items. You can also use heavy-duty garbage bags for non-breakable and pliable items (clothes, sheets and pillows) as it will fit easier into either a lorry or your car.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring the service of a professional packer to assist you with packing duties. Fees range between RM800 and RM2, 500, transporting included.

Saving tip:

Save precious Ringgits by asking your local convenience mart or sundry shop for used cardboard boxes and old newspapers.

3. Cleaning Costs for Your New Place

A sub-sale home will require cleaning, but depending on the condition, you might be able to hack it yourself.  However, moving into a newly developed home will require proper sanitisation as construction dust might be too much for you to DIY.

Hiring a cleaner to help with the process is the simplest solution, but what will it cost you?

On average, one cleaner working for 4 hours will figure approximately RM60; if the house is relatively clean, just 4 hours may suffice. For homes larger than 1,600 sf, you may require up to 8 hours depending on the level of cleaning needed. 

After moving in, a cleaner can once again help you put things in order or wipe down your furniture; and even assist with minor unpacking. This would put total cleaning costs at RM60 to RM180.

In addition to hiring cleaners, you will need to buy your own cleaning supplies (unless otherwise stated) and this includes, but is not limited to:

- Cleansers
- Heavy-duty garbage bags 
- Basic cleaning tools like brooms and brushes.

The total expense for these items will average around RM50 to RM100.

Saving tip: 

i) Instead of hiring help, try calling in favours from friends or family for the cleaning process.
ii) Reuse what you already have and borrow additional cleaning tools such as buckets and hosepipes for the big clean-up; purchase only what you really need. 

4. Removal and Reinstallation Charges

Air conditioners, water heaters, wall-mounted lamps and other fittings will require reinstallation at your new place.  But as you might have suspected, more costs are involved to remove them from existing spots, and then to be reinstalled.

Here is an estimate of what you could be paying for installation-related charges:

Saving Tips: 

Some services like your cable internet (UNIFI) or satellite TV (ASTRO) will help with relocation for free; just inform them in advance (at least two to three weeks before your move-in date) so as not to delay the service.

Bonus Tip for Those Previously Renting

As per your tenancy contract, you may be liable to restore and clean up the home with fair wear and tear being the exception. However, if you have removed air-conditioners, water heaters, fixtures, drilled nails or have inflicted any holes in the wall, then you may need to patch up the affected areas so your landlord does not withhold your deposit.

If you have the know-how to DIY, you will save some money; otherwise you may need to pay for the services of a handyman which could run from RM60 to RM200 depending on the level of restoration needed.

When Moving to a New Place…

You may find it extremely tempting to also procure a new EVERYTHING as your furniture may appear old and worn out in your nice, new place. You will want to upgrade you sofa set, TV cabinet and dining table, but unless you are swimming in cash, these are large purchases that represent an unnecessary expense. Instead, put your big buys on hold for the time being and focus on rebuilding your bank balance. You will have undoubtedly spent a lot for the move in the first place what with deposits and other moving costs.

If a general change is really necessary for your new home, try hawking your used goods online and tap the proceeds to help with your new furniture purchase. It is a good idea to do this before you move; proper timing can help you can save space on the lorry (and extra charges). In addition, try to negotiate free delivery for new furniture purchase to save even more.

Happy Moving!

Image source: Transport Executive

(Written by: Desiree Nair, 1st October 2015)


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Hahha.. I remember moving my whole apartment while I was renting in my early 20's in 2 trips in my little Satria...... Memories....

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@Gary_L33, u're joking!!!! I used Crown Relocations previously and cost me a bomb! Maybe next time I should rent a Satria??? LOL!

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How is that even possible!!!!

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Apart from cost, u also have to deal with mental and physical stress !!!

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@ppnnkk2011, yea true, but only temporary I guess. I can also imagine the excitement of moving into a cosy new home :)

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moving is a very very troublesome things truly tired from mental and fizikal

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LOL 2 trips in a Satria, I guess guys do generally have lesser stuffs. 2 trips in a Satria is however possible if its only moving stuffs from my room. Workable only if I am moving out from my parent's place!

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moving very troublesome

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When i use my Uncle 1 Ton Lorry, it cost me almost coming to 10 trip to move from my condo to my this new property

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@imronaldsoo, 10 lorry trips??????? You must be living in a very big bungalow :D  or perhaps you are a hoarder... haha. How much did the 10 trips lorry cost you? I used to use Crowns Relocation services but they are more expensive but professional. I saw there's one called Tiger Relocations (if I remember correctly, the logo with the tiger head). Which company did you use? Any good?

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Hi Veronica, thank god the lorry belongs to my uncle, so 1 meal in the restaurant does the work, but tons of friends are helping with the relocation.... 

Crown is quite good as they are fast and efficient, when I coordinate my office move from Intermark to Google GOVO Office in 1Sentrum, they manage to move everything in less than 3hours (bubble wrap everything and unwrap it in the new office in less than 3 hours)

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Yes, I think CROWNS Relocations is the most established movers in Malaysia.

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@veron but i really do not like a few project managers that is working in CROWN, really memper-sia-shuikan certified project manager like me.... the way they talk and so on is relatively rude and cina-apek

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I've dealt with a few before quite sometime ago, I thought they were quite ok. Who did you deal with previously that gave you such bad impression?

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@veron A Chinese guy which i am quite sure i kept his business card somewhere (just need to find it) 

Asking for color labels as during that project move, different floor would require different color of labeling for the Crown movers to easily identify which floor in the new building the computer equipment's would be relocated. 

When I rang this fella project manager up to request additional labels, he immediately told me, I had provide sufficient label for you guys, and why are you asking for extra labels. (my first thought that came into my mind would be WTF.... how much could the extra label cost, since you had cost it into your project and charged my client a bomb in the first place)

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Any recommended mover here?

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depending on your budget, and location plus from where you plan to move to which area... 

I have around 20 contacts in my list, but would require to perform area / location matching

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came across in my mind that something like got such services for moving. I think can get a quotation from them also.

James bond craig junio2006 small is a new start-up and they even have their own lorries for relocation, not just a marketplace for logistic companies. JLean, have you use them before? Any good?

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@admin_ps good sharing