Executive Moving Concierge

A photo of moving track containing household goods

10 Proven Ways to Save Money on Moving Expenses in Canada

It’s tough to manage moving expenses in Canada and it may be a struggle. In order to save, first, we have to find what options we have. It’s, also, easier to manage if you have proper planning and careful execution, however, there are always specific ways to reduce those costs.

Most likely, people sell their homes, and buy new ones, and with the money received they dedicate part of it to moving services. However, there are other ways to cover the expense besides using sold home profits. Reduced moving costs can happen by your own choice if you know your options. Having a better understanding of moving expenses in Canada will help you to avoid unexpected & unknown situations.

Before diving deep into how moving expenses work and how could you save some money, let’s figure out what moving expenses mean.

What are moving expenses in Canada?

Moving expenses are those expenses that you spend to move your household goods including personal effects from one residence to another – also known as relocation expenses.

Usually, moving expenses include the cost of packing materials, transportation to the new location, and unpacking.

You will find some major & minor factors responsible for moving costs. However, 3 main factors of moving expenses are as follows –

  1. Type or size of your new home
  2. A moving company, you choose
  3. Distance between two places

As I have moved several times within the last few years, I can share my experience in reducing moving expenses. There are many ways that you can reduce your moving expenses without having to sell your house.

Here are some tips from experience on how you can save money & cover your expenses while moving.

A photo of packed moving items

1. Renting a Moving Truck and Asking Friends Help

Reducing moving costs can be achieved through do it yourself option. The most popular way is to renting a truck and asking help from friends and family.

If you are considering renting a truck and getting friends together for your move, you may want to consider the following:

  • How many and what items you will be packing. This way you can anticipate how many days of help you would need,
  • How much weight they can carry. Perhaps you have bulky articles at your home that is not feasible for you and your friends to move. For instance, piano or large appliances. Thus, for  such items you would need professional help,
  • How many items you are planing to move. This should determine how big of a truck you would need to rent.

2. Claim Your Moving Expenses*

Claiming moving expenses will help you a lot to cover your moving expenditures. But, it is not for all individuals. You need to meet the conditions of the Canadian government to proceed with that claim.

Can I claim moving expenses if I moved to Canada or who can claim?

Well, the answer is – You can claim if you are a full-time student (at university, college, or other educational institution) in Canada and received a taxable Canadian scholarship, bursary, fellowship, or research grant. Otherwise, you have to be a factual resident or deemed resident of Canada.

Types of moving expenses you can claim

If you qualify to claim your relocation expenses (according to Line 21900 – Moving expenses: Expenses you can deduct), the eligible payments will be –

  • Transportation and storage costs (such as packing, hauling, movers, in-transit storage, and insurance)
  • Temporary lodging and meal expense
  • Cost of old home lease canceling
  • Cost of selling your old home
  • Cost to maintain your old home when vacant
  • Incidental costs related to your move

How to claim moving expenses?

Fill up this form T1-M, Moving Expenses Deduction. Calculate the total moving expenses deduction according to line 21900 of your return.

*To learn more about claiming process, we suggest consulting your personal accountant.

3. Claim your corporate relocation incentives

You might have just started your corporate career or recently moved to Canada. Now, your employer wants to move you somewhere else. But, you are thinking about the expense of your move. Well, here it comes with corporate relocation reimbursement.

Canadian Employee Relocation Council (CERC) found that usually, male employees are moving and their ages range from 28 to 40. Interesting Monster statistics for you: 1 out of 10 Canadians is readily willing to move for employment-even with all expenses paid and a 10% raise!

The cost of corporate moves is a major concern for most companies. But, when companies want the best talents or they need to set an employee for a specific region, they are willing to offer relocation incentives.

The average office moving expenses between our provinces in Canada are around $53,500. Whereas relocation costs for a permanent transfer of international assignment will exceed $125,000.

A photo of garage sale items

4. Arrange a garage sale: simultaneously make some cash & reduce the cost of moving household goods

Arranging a garage sale will be another way to cover your moving expense and remove the items from the moving list. You can organize garage sales for a quick, easy, and hassle-free process.

Items you can consider for the garage sale

  • Old home appliances: Washing machines, vacuum cleaners, refrigerators, air conditioners, dishwashing machines, etc. could be quickly sold in the garage sale.
  • Furniture: Furniture items like sofa, bed & closet are pretty helpful to make some solid cash for covering your moving cost. Select some furniture that is usable for the next few years with durability.
  • Lawn Maintenance and Gardening Tools: Lawn and gardening tools are widely used by Canadian citizens.
  • Kitchen Utensils: Kitchen items like kitchen hoods, kitchenware, unused items, etc. Less used or unused kitchen items are easy to sell. Do you know why? Well, every house has at least one kitchen. So, maybe someone can buy at a cheap price & you can manage some cash to cover your moving expense.
  • Books: Old books may have a good resell value. So, try it.
  • Clothes: Though old clothes do not have much value to cover your expense. But, it could support your main expense at least just a little, or who knows maybe you will use that money to get brand new clothes. Either way, the less you have the less time and money it will cost you to move.

How to Organize a Garage Sale

The organizing process is straightforward. Sellers do not need to collect sales tax or any business licenses. You may think… tell me how to do it? The following infographics will help you to organize a garage sale.

An infographic on a step-by-step guide on how to organize a garage sale
How to Organize a Garage Sale
An infographic on a step-by-step guide on how to organize a garage sale
How to Organize a Garage Sale

5. Packing yourself: Mostly use trash bags & less use of moving box

When your moving plan is on a budget, it is cost-effective to pack and unpack yourself.

Trash bags are considerably cheaper than cardboard box or moving boxes. Pack your items in an outdoor trash bag or heavy-duty trash bag. Because they are significantly cheaper than boxes. Ensure that sharp or breakable things are not packed in the outdoor trash bag.

3 things you should keep in your mind when packing with a trash bag –

  • Pack things in trash bags with ties. Otherwise, you will lose your important stuff.
  • Remember to label each bag
  • Do not pack expensive, sharp, or breakable things in a trash bag.

You can use cardboard or a moving box if you need to pack breakable items or something with a sharp edge. Use bubble wrap and then tape to secure the wrap if necessary.

6. Moving insurance: Purchase or not to purchase?

Movers are careful while moving. But, uncertainty is there and items can break. Most moving companies offer coverage policy. Think about how valuable things are that you are planning to move and depending on your budget consider adding full replacement value coverage in case of loss or damaged items.

Alternatively, if you want to save money, then you can move the most valuable things by yourself and rest by movers.

7. Keep an alternative plan

Well-rounded people always keep alternative plans for moving projects. It helps to achieve the goals of moving in case the main plan fails. It can be more affordable than the main plan, or it can be more convenient.

For example, if your initial plan of hiring a moving company to get full service including packing is too expensive, perhaps alternatively try using that company for moving day only. Or if it seems that it is still too expensive, consider renting a truck and asking for help from friends.

So, hiring and do-it-yourself options are the best alternatives to each other when you need to move.

8. Avoid peak hours and days to move

Targeting off-season is a great strategy to lessen moving expenses. To reduce costs, you need to avoid peak hours and days of a week or month. Based on our experience, we can recommend the best time to move to Canada.

The following table will guide you in selecting the best time to move –

Suitable Time to Move

Actions Needed to Save Money

Suitable months

To save money & lessen stress, plan to move from late September to April. Because May to August is the busiest time to move. Or consider moving in winter. It is always more cost-efficient to move in winter.


Suitable days

Choose a weekday. Higher demand for movers from Friday to Sunday. So, try to avoid these days. Try to avoid the beginning and the end of the month dates.

Suitable time of the day

As per our experience, we can say that early morning is the best time to move with less stress.

Other factors: School calendar, Weather 

Check children’s school calendars and check the weather forecast before your moving plan.

9. Get Help from Friends & Family

From our experience, we can say that an excellent way to save money is to get help from friends & family.

You can stay the night with friends or family to save temporary lodging money. They will be able to take care of your children. Surely, it will save you some extra cash. Remember it is fine to ask for help and most of the time people love to give hand.

10. Follow the rule: Priority First

Don’t move all the things you have – chances are some items you may want to get rid of. So make sure you don’t carry any items that are not in use anymore. Moving is the best time to purge after which you feel so much lighter. Remember to follow the “Priority First” rule to cover your moving expenses within your budget range.

A photo of Canadian Dollars

BONUS. Hidden Costs of Moving That You Never Thought About: Avoid if you can

The actual cost of moving is more than the estimated price you pay for the move. Why? Well, the answer is – Hidden costs of moving. Certainly, it is essential to be aware of these costs before deciding to move.

Moving is not just about the physical act but also the emotional and financial cost of moving. Avoid hidden costs as much as you can to keep your budget in control. The hidden cost of moving house in Canada is as follows:

  1. Cost of transportation: When you are planning to move, you might forget to include your transportation cost with relocation expenses. Don’t miss it. Also, make sure to ask a moving company in case you are hiring one, whether they have a flat fee for the truck or it is simply an hourly rate.
  2. Cost for storage unit: Renting storage space is another hidden cost you rarely consider. Mostly, the monthly storage fees ranged from $2 to $4 per square foot. Location, size, types of units, accessibility hours, and length of storage period may change the rate. If you need larger storage, another option is available – PODS (Portable storage unit). Unit prices start at $149/month.
  3. Deposit or landlord final bill: There might be a situation where you need to fix some things around the house in order to receive your deposit back. Even though tenancy rules do not permit withholding of your deposit in case of damaged property, however, it may make things complicating getting your money back right away.
  4. Do not try to get the cheapest moving services**: this might be counterintuitive; however, we suggest do not go for the cheapest. If you are truly looking for moving services you should consider at least 3 main criteria, which are price, customer service, and past client reviews. The cheapest quote does not necessarily ensure a good service and actual cheap rate, since it may turn out to be a higher price on the day of the move.

**For moving company reviews, click here.

  1. Stair fee: No elevator in your house? In that case, you should think about the stair fee. If your new location’s elevator is not working the day you are moving; then it might cost you some extra.
  2. Temporary lodging or hotel stay with meal expense: It could happen when your new location is situated at a longer distance or you cannot move within a day, you most definitely need to find a temporary place to stay and probably get some take-out food.
  3. Buying new items when you move into your new destination: This one might be obvious; however, this is most of the time the case. You will probably want to finish you settling in with a brand new furniture piece that should complete the new look of a new home.
  4. Cleaning costs: When you move into your new place, you may need some extra cash to clean your old home. To save money you can always clean yourself, just make sure the new owner or landlord is fine with the quality of cleaning you do.

PRICE ESTIMATOR for Local Moves in Canada is available. Use the moving expenses calculator to Estimate the price here.

Wrap Up

Surely, you know the best ways to minimize your moving expenses. Now, I am confident about your understanding of covering moving expenses. In the future, you can suggest someone with these tips for covering their relocation expenses.

Oh, another thing, you can share this article on your social media so that your friends and family can grab these tips.

For more moving tips and tricks, click here.

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