Moving home in Metro Manila is a stressful task and sometimes it may seem to be overwhelming. It takes time, planning and energy to make the transition from your old home to your new one.

After nearly two years of staying in a one bedroom rental apartment, my husband and I decided it was time to find a new apartment. We wanted to maximize our finances and that included having to lessen our expense on rent. We decided to move to another city in Metro Manila which had lesser rental rates than what we had and found two bedroom unit with condominium amenities like swimming pool and gym that we can use. Being able to lessen our rental expense and with added features was too good to let pass. 

Here are some tips to make moving easier for you in Metro Manila or anywhere else in the country:

Organize the move early

There are a lot of things to factor when moving than just packing your bags and leaving. Avoid making last minute decisions by organizing your move as soon as you have fully decided on it. In our case, we decided to move a week after we made the necessary financial obligations and signing the lease contract. This was a bold move to do but we did not want to pay two monthly rent at the same time. Our new Lessor was kind enough to let us move early as soon as downpayment was made and our contract signed. We had a week that overlapped before our contract with the first apartment would end, so we scheduled everything from packing to requesting service provider transfer (internet connection, etc.) and to moving our home items in just one week. It was a good thing that I made a Moving Checklist to help me keep track of everything.

Sell or donate items

We made sure to measure the areas in the new apartment which is a little smaller than our first one. It meant that we had to let go of some furnitures that will not fit in a small space. I had to put those items: window-type inverter AC unit, dining table and wardrobe up for sale and gave some smaller items to people we know from our old apartment. There’s no point of bringing items to the new apartment when we know it will not fit and be taking up space in our new home.

Pack in advance

As soon as we got home from signing the lease contract, we bought moving boxes (balikbayan boxes, National Bookstore) to store our things. I packed the items that we won’t be using in the next few days. I started with our clothes, setting aside a few weeks worth to use and packing the rest, followed by home office and kitchen items. The last items I packed were the bathroom items and some food, kitchen & dining items that we were still using.

Pack an “essentials” box or bag

I made sure to pack a bag that contained clothes, toiletries and important items in a bag that we will be bringing. We also packed a box of essential kitchen and dining that would be easy to reach when we get there. We also had cleaning items that included garbage bags, light bulbs, curtains, scissors and other items to help us unpack our things in the new place. We brought the cleaning items a few days early than the actual move and set it aside in an easy to grab place.

Book professional movers or transport services

There are professional movers in the Philippines. It costs a lot more than moving the items yourself but you do not have to do the tedious task of preparing your things before moving. 

If you want to do what we did, we decided to hire a transport service like Grab or Transportify instead. These services does not include packing or preparing your items (covering your mattress, disassemble your furniture, etc.) before moving them. We had to cover some of our furniture and home items to protect them from hard handling. The movers will do the hard & heavy-lifting work and take your home items from your old home to your new one.