Is moving on a small budget just a myth or a reality?

December 8, 2014

The more effort you put into a move, the less it will cost. But is moving on a small budget really possible? Here are the myths and realities of moving when money is tight.
The cost of your move will depend on several factors, the most important being the services you require.

Among them:

  • Renting a trailer or truck
  • The cost of labour
  • Packing and unpacking services
  • Loading and unloading the truck
  • Renting or buying boxes, blankets and other materials
  • Warehouse storage space—whether short- or long-term

Other criteria to consider:

  • Your overall level of preparedness prior to the move. Are your boxes all ready to go? Or are you lagging behind with drawers and closets still to be emptied?
  • Consider the time you’ll need to commit to the move. As such, the term "express" usually means you’ll need help—and that typically costs more in terms of the services you hire.
  • The time at which you transfer property ownership, as well as the day of the week. Moving is more expensive on weekends.
  • The distance to travel, including the number of hours you'll be on the road. You may need to stop for a bite to eat.
  • The quantity of personal belongings and furniture to be moved.

A stitch in time saves nine

  • Make sure to plan ahead in order to properly prepare yourself, and to give yourself time to select a reliable and reputable moving company. By booking in advance, you’ll enjoy bigger savings and won't have to settle for whoever is available.
  • Start collecting boxes, picking them up here and there. You can approach convenience stores, pharmacies and grocery stores to ask them when they receive their shipments. You can make arrangements with the store to take the empty boxes off their hands.
  • Pack as many of your belongings as you can. Label and number all the boxes so they correspond with the appropriate rooms. Keeping an inventory list of all the boxes on a spread sheet will save time. It's also good if you need to make an insurance claim.
  • In the last days leading up to the move, dismantle your furniture then bundle the parts and pieces together.
  • Move as many boxes and small items as you can beforehand. You can also save money by renting a trailer or truck by the hour rather than for the whole day.

Be cautious!

A "discount" mover can sometimes spell disaster, especially if you found them in the free classifieds.


  • Discount movers are not affiliated with CAM (Canadian Association of Movers). This means the work is not guaranteed and any damage claim will fall flat.
  • They do not possess liability insurance and sometimes are not even in compliance with minimum transport standards.
  • Discount and low-budget movers do not provide price quotes or a written contract. You may be in for a nasty surprise if their price suddenly balloons on moving day. They may even hold your personal belongings "hostage" until you pay up.

As long as you're prepared to put your back into it, it's more than possible tomove on a small budget. With the help of friends and family, plus good planning, you'll be in your new place before you know it—for cheaper than you had expected.

Is moving on a small budget just a myth or a reality?
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