What is the Cost of Moving?

Moving is a major source of stress for most Canadians. It’s particularly unnerving because it comes after the fun part of planning your new home, with all the dreams and possibilities that come with that.

Will you get a big new TV? How about that dream kitchen or baby room? How will you make the new place your own?

All these things and more must be decided because they are bound to have an impact on the moving date and the associated logistics.

There are always bound to be things you need to buy when you are moving home.  You need to make sure you have the essentials and necessities covered.

Estimation : Cost of moving

To give you an idea here are just some up-to-date sample costs:

  • Two-bedroom townhouse between $870 and $1,015
  • Two-bedroom apartment with an elevator between $870 and $1,160
  • Three-bedroom house around $1,600
  • Four-bedroom home around $2,300.

Offseason these rates can drop significantly.

Hidden costs of moving

When you buy a new home, the cost is more than just the price you agree for the purchase. There’s also a down payment, and, of course, the monthly mortgage payment. Similarly, when you move you have to factor in more than the cost of packing boxes and a truck.

The other costs that need to be borne in mind include:

 The cost of moving any specialty items like fragile pieces including pianos, statues and marble furniture.

  • Tips for your moving crew to encourage them to keep going!
  • Any costs for temporary lodging or storage if there is any delay between leaving and arriving.
  • Lost wages because moving can be very time-consuming
  • A bridge mortgage if you buy one property before selling the other
  • Connection fees for the utilities
  • Any new furnishings.

The moving essentials

Starting with some of the things that make moving easier:

  • Make sure you have set up the utilities – electric, gas, water – so you don’t enter a cold, dark home with no internet connection or TV
  • Have the essentials to hand including trash bags, box cutters, basic tools, first aid kit, light bulbs and that all-important toilet paper.
  • These days the addition of a few internet connected devices will make things more convenient but the two essential items you’ll need with you on your moving day will be an internet modem and a Wi-Fi router.

Other items that are worth having to hand include:

  • Smart Thermostat to keep your home comfortable without spending too much on energy bills every month.
  • Ethernet cables are always good to have because it’s bad news if they are not available when they’re needed
  • Extension cords
  • Kitchen essentials and cooking basics
  • Appliances
  • Living room essentials including television, streaming devices for your TV, lighting, furniture, bookshelf
  • Bedroom furniture and accessories
  • A closet kit like hangers, shoe rack, hanging shelves, storage bins
  • Bathroom essentials
  • Broom, dustpan and vacuum cleaner

Options for moving

Full-service mover

If you are the sort of person who really isn’t looking to do any of the work when you move, you’ll need a professional full-service mover to handle all those tasks associated with a move.

It’s not the cheapest option, but the convenience is bound to be worth the money.  What full-service movers do is handle all aspects of moving? These include:

  • Supplying packing materials and supplies 
  • Packing up your belongings 
  • Furniture disassembly 
  • Truck loading and unloading
  • Transporting all your stuff
  • Unpacking
  • Disposing of unwanted packing materials.

The rule of thumb should be whatever is part of your move, full-service movers should be able to take care of it. Figure out the exact plan when you hire to company and make sure they factor in all the tasks you’d like them to handle.

The more assistance you want, the more it’s going to cost, expect to pay between $25 and $50 an hour per mover. The final price will rely upon:

  • The number of movers
  • The amount of stuff that needs moving
  • The distance between the old and new homes
  • The number of packing materials
  • What other tasks movers are required to do
  • The time of the year.

It’s advisable to obtain estimates from at least three different moving businesses to make the best-informed decision. It’s possible to cut costs by doing some tasks yourself like taking care of the unpacking yourself.

Be aware that packing and moving on your own can take many days but a full-service mover will agree a set timetable and have a better idea of how long the job will take. Full-service movers should be able to provide:

  • An estimate of cost and planning time
  • Packing and furniture disassembly
  • Loading and unloading
  • Unpacking.

DIY Move

To cut the expense many people opt for a more do-it-yourself moving option. There are three DIY options for relocating:

  • Rent a moving truck
  • Use a self-service moving container company
  • Move everything yourself using your own vehicle.

Traditionally DIY moving was done over a weekend with the help of friends and family. Items are hastily packed and jammed in all the vehicles available and driven to the new abode. It can work but only really where the new place is not that far away from the old one. The risks include increased chances of broken or damaged goods, people not showing up as promised, physical and mental exhaustion.

The advantages are that you get to spend time with friends and family and spend the money on a slap-up meal and some beers after the moving party.

Renting a moving truck is a popular choice for handling a move. It’s worth noting that a large-capacity truck can be easier to load and unload than a smaller vehicle and it should enable the process to go much more smoothly while also reducing the time spent moving using multiple vehicles.

When you opt to carry out a self-service DIY move using portable storage containers, it can be you get the best of both a DIY move and a professional move. What happens is that one or more storage containers are dropped off at your residence. You pack and load everything yourself and when the containers are full, the container moving company comes and collects the containers and transport them to your new home.

If you’re not yet ready to move in they can also take the containers to a warehouse where your stuff can be stored until you’re ready.

With this type of DIY option, you benefit from the added convenience of not having to rush and you don’t have to organize the transportation.

Moving Containers

The DIY container moving and storage option gives you flexibility, loading your belongings in spacious containers at your own pace, having the stuff taken to a warehouse or your new home to suit your timetable. It saves you the hassle of renting a truck.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Moving Across Canada

Cross-country moves across Canada can turn out to be more of a challenge than his first envisioned. As well as all the potential complications long distance moves can present, difficulty nailing down the exact cost adds to the stress.

The cost of a local move is calculated on the overall number of hours it takes to complete the process, the size of the crew working to finish the job, and any extra services, like packing and storage.

To give you an idea:

  • Moving from a 1-bedroom apartment will cost about $600-$800 with one truck and two movers finishing the task in between 4 and 6 hours.
  • Moving out of a 3-bedroom home will likely cost between $1,100 and $1,500 with one truck, three movers taking eight to ten hours.
  • Extra moving crew members tend to cost about $35 per hour each.
  • Packing services cost depends on the number and type of goods being moved. Professionally packing a one-bedroom apartment may cost $600-$900. A whole house can cost between $1,500 and $1,900 including all packing supplies.
  • Expect to pay a premium of around $100 if the move is in peak season.
  • Fuel is normally surcharged at a flat rate. For example, it’s about $40 in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), plus a fixed percentage of the complete cost when moving across different provinces.
  • There is normally an extra fee of around one hour for any time the crew takes to reach your home.


All of us are bound to find that moving to a new home is an exciting time. But, as with so much in life, you will find that careful preparation and good planning are what will help minimize any elements of stress.

The keys to a comfortable move is doing your research ahead of time to determine how you are going to move and what the cost is likely to be; taking time to pack and unpack; and ensuring your stuff is safe and secure throughout the move. Good luck, it really will be worth it. 

Share this article on social media

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Moving tips

move heavy furniture
Moving tips

10 tips before moving heavy furniture.

No matter where or how you live, you inevitably have some heavy furniture that you’ll need to carry when moving out of a home and moving into a new one. If you do, this article will show you the right technique.

Read more »
Windsor storage
Local storage

5 Best Storage Solutions in Windsor

5 Best Storage Solutions in Windsor We all instinctively want to keep our possessions with us and trusting our precious belongings to a self-storage company that we don’t know is often a stressful experience. This is

Read more »

Ready to move?

Check out MovingWaldo’s free moving app that will save you up to 10 hours of paperwork. And it’s free.