How to save BIG Money on Moving Day [9 Tips]

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I recently had the privilege of speaking with Jessica Crotty from TSM Moving Ltd. TSM moving has it's head office in Calgary, but serves all the major centers in Alberta either through local moves or by relocating clients across Canada and the United States. Jessica was very forthcoming with information and provided the following 9 tips to save as much money as possible on moving day!

1. Book Early

This doesn't really come as a shock, but the earlier you book, generally the better deal you will get as booking last minute may result in higher rates!

2. Move During the Week

Movers are in highest demand on weekends and the week surrounding month end. Rates will be more reasonable during the week or in the middle of the month. Keep in mind that moving during the winter months will be considerably less expensive than in the summer.

3. Be Cautious of Hourly Rates

You should consider the following when choosing a company with exceptionally low rates:

  • The size of truck - More trips result in more time being billed
  • Years of expereince - Consider the replacement cost of potentially broken or damaged items
  • Surcharges - Ask about deposits, fuel and large item surcharges before booking

Generally you get what you pay for, a company offering rock bottom rates will most likely provide the service to match!

4. Don't Pay for Boxes

Besides routing through the dumpster at the liquor store, there are plenty of ways to secure free boxes. Some movers will even give you access to unlimited free boxes, it is certainly worth asking

5. Consider Hiring Additional Workers

If you are hiring a crew based on an hourly rate, it may be in your best interest to pay a slightly higher rate for a 3 or 4 person crew as this will cut down on the overall time spent moving.

6. Have Your Ducks in a Row

There are quite a few actions you can take to ensure that your movers are economical with their time.

  • If you are in an apartment or condo building, make sure to book the elevator ahead of time. if your crew has to take the stairs, your move will take significantly longer and this will result in a higher bill.
  • Make sure you have possession of the property you are moving into. As movers work on the clock, you are being billed for any time they spend, if you don't have the keys to your new home, that could result in a small paid vacation for the movers. Good for them, bad for you!
  • Disassemble large items - consider taking apart items like bed frames, cribs or anything that might not fit through a doorway before the movers show up. Although they can certainly do this for you, the clock is running.

7. Know What Is Going and What is Staying

This should go without saying, but experience says it is better to just say it. Moving day is not the time to decide what you might want to move or what might be send to a thrift shop. The more organized you can be, the better. Consider purging several weeks in advance, this will allow you enough time to pack and stack everything that is going, allowing the movers to do their job effectively.

Also, it is good to note that the following items are illegal for movers to transport.

  • Acid, aerosol, batteries, car oil, charcoal, gasoline, matches, fertilizer, weed killer,cleaning fluids, ammunition, bleach, kerosene, fireworks, propane tanks, loaded weapons ect.
  • Food and live plants are both perishable and cannot be loaded into moving trucks

It is a good idea to make sure your jewelry, cash & other valuable items stay with you during the move

8 Seriously, Get Out of the Way

Keeping out of the way will result in a faster move and smaller bill. It is recommended that younger children and animals stay with friends or family on moving day. However don't disappear completely, be ready to answer questions about what is to be loaded onto the truck!

9. Ask About Discounts

Sometimes moving companies run special promotions or have discounts for booking at certain times. If you are flexible with your timeframe, chances are you can find a better deal. It never hurts to ask!

If you are making a move, consider talking with the good people at TSM Moving, they certainly know their stuff!


Narissa joined First Foundation in 2013 as the Business Development Manager for Edmonton Alberta. Narissa brings a combination of banking experience and entrepreneurship to the table. Having worked with both…

Learn more about Narissa Singh