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Moving and Storage Services in Canada: 2024 Guide

What You Should Know About Moving and Storage Services in Canada: 2024 Edition

When moving in Canada, you may find that you need Moving and Storage Services in Canada for some or all of your belongings temporarily. Whether you’re downsizing and want to keep your extra items or simply need extra space, finding the right moving and storage solution can be just as challenging as selecting a moving company, adding unnecessary stress to your relocation.

One common issue homeowners face is determining the appropriate type and size of storage they require. There are two main types of storage services: permanent storage and storage in transit. It’s essential to balance cost and size, as you don’t want to pay extra for a unit while also avoiding a space that’s too small, requiring constant unloading. Additionally, with numerous companies and options available, choosing the right storage facility can involve considerable effort. Visiting the storage company and inspecting the unit in person is highly recommended. In this post, we’ll explore these factors and more to help you find the best storage options for your needs.


How to Determine the Required Size for Renting Storage

Determining the necessary size of storage is a crucial step when using Moving and Storage Services in Canada. Here are some tips to help you choose the right space:


  1. Take Inventory of Your Items: Start by making a list of all the items you plan to store. This will help you understand how much space you truly need.
  2. Categorize Your Items: Divide your belongings into categories, such as furniture, boxes, sports equipment, etc. This will simplify the evaluation of your storage needs.
  3. Use Storage Sizes as a Guide: Familiarize yourself with the sizes of different storage units. Most companies offer sizes ranging from small units for boxes to large spaces for furniture. Choose a size that fits your requirements.
  4. Leave Some Extra Space: It’s better to opt for a slightly larger unit than you think you need, allowing for the addition of new items or easier organization of existing ones.
  5. Visit the Storage Facility: If possible, visit a few storage facilities to visually assess the sizes and ensure that the chosen space meets your needs.

By following these recommendations, you can select the right storage unit and minimize stress during your move.


How To Prepare Your Stuff For Storage

Preparing your belongings for storage is essential to ensure they remain in good condition while using moving and storage solutions in Canada. Here are some key steps to follow:


  1. Clean Your Items:

    • Dust and Wipe Down: Begin by dusting all surfaces and wiping down furniture with appropriate cleaners. For appliances, ensure they are free from any residue or food particles.
    • Dry Thoroughly: Make sure everything is completely dry before packing to prevent mold growth during storage.
  2. Disassemble Large Items:

    • Take Apart Furniture: If you have large furniture pieces, such as beds, desks, or shelves, disassemble them into smaller parts. This makes transportation easier and saves space in the storage unit.
    • Keep Parts Organized: Store screws, bolts, and small components in labeled bags or containers, and attach them to the corresponding furniture piece to avoid losing them.
  3. Use Quality Packing Materials:

    • Invest in Sturdy Boxes: Choose strong, durable boxes that can support the weight of your items. Avoid using old or damaged boxes that might collapse under pressure.
    • Protect Delicate Items: Use bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or crumpled paper to cushion fragile items. Wrap each item individually to prevent breakage.
  4. Label Everything:

    • Create Clear Labels: Label each box with its contents and the room it belongs to. Use large, bold letters for easy visibility.
    • Use Color Codes: Consider color-coding boxes based on the room or category to simplify the unpacking process later.
  5. Use the Right Size Boxes:

    • Pack Strategically: Place heavier items, such as books and tools, in smaller boxes to avoid overloading. This makes lifting easier and prevents the boxes from breaking.
    • Lighter Items in Larger Boxes: Use larger boxes for lighter items like clothing or pillows to maximize space without risking damage.
  6. Create a Packing Plan:

    • Prioritize Frequently Used Items: Identify items you may need access to during the storage period and pack them last or in easily accessible boxes.
    • Organize by Category: Group similar items together (e.g., kitchenware, clothing) to streamline the packing process and future retrieval.
  7. Avoid Storing Perishables:

    • No Food or Drinks: Do not store food items or perishable goods, as they can attract pests and create unpleasant odors. Stick to non-perishable items only.
    • Check for Expiration: Before storing any items, check expiration dates and discard anything that might go bad during storage.


Moving to Storage

When it comes to moving your belongings to a storage facility, you have two main options: doing it yourself or hiring a moving company. Each choice has its pros and cons, which can significantly impact your overall experience. Here’s a comparison to help you decide:

Factor Self-Moving Hiring a Moving Company
Cost Generally cheaper; only pay for gas and rental equipment Higher cost due to labor and transportation fees
Time Can be time-consuming; depends on your schedule Faster; professionals handle the entire process
Effort Requires physical effort; loading and unloading can be labor-intensive Minimal effort; movers do all the heavy lifting
Flexibility More control over timing and process Less flexibility; must work within the moving company’s schedule
Equipment Need to rent a truck or van and gather packing materials Movers provide all necessary equipment and materials
Insurance Limited coverage; risk of damage to items during transport Often includes insurance for your belongings
Experience No professional help; may lack moving experience Trained professionals ensure safe and efficient transport
Convenience Requires planning and organization Convenient; movers take care of logistics for you




  • Cost-Effective: By handling the move yourself, you can save money, making it a great option for those on a budget.
  • Control: You set your own schedule and can take your time packing and loading.


  • Physical Demands: Moving can be physically exhausting, especially if you have heavy or bulky items.
  • Time-Consuming: It can take longer to complete the move, especially if you have a lot of items to transport.


Hiring a Moving Company



  • Efficiency: Professionals are trained to move quickly and efficiently, often completing the job in a fraction of the time it would take you.
  • Less Stress: Hiring movers reduces the physical and mental burden, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your move.



  • Cost: Hiring a moving company can be significantly more expensive than moving yourself.
  • Less Control: You may have to work around the company’s schedule, which can limit your flexibility.




Ultimately, while both options have their merits, hiring a moving company is generally the better choice for moving to storage. The efficiency, reduced physical strain, and peace of mind that come with professional help far outweigh the cost differences, making it a worthwhile investment for a smoother transition.


How are storage costs calculated in Canada?

There is a good chance that the final cost will play a significant role in determining which moving or storage company you decide to choose. But how can you pick a company without knowing what to expect in terms of pricing for the various services associated with storage and moving? Check out these price ranges to help you along.


Storage in Transit (SIT)

Storage in transit services are often associated with long-distance moving. In this case, your belongings will typically be weighed and priced based on their weight. Therefore, storage costs related to SIT are often an additional charge if the company will be keeping your items in the truck or container. The storage costs associated with long-distance moving can range from $250 to $750, depending on the weight and volume of your items. Some companies also offer the first month of storage for free.

If your items require additional loading, unloading, or packing while being stored in transit, you may incur extra costs for these services. Depending on the amount of work needed, these costs can range from $100 to $500.


Permanent Storage Solutions

For permanent storage solutions, the cost is determined by the size of the storage space and the length of the rental term. Keep in mind that different companies offer various sizes of units, so there’s a good chance you can find a unit that fits your items perfectly while allowing for easy access.

Be aware that many companies will offer a cheap rate for the first month of storage, which may increase in subsequent months. Short-term storage is often more expensive, while you might find lower rates for long-term rentals. Here are approximate prices for different sizes of storage solutions:

Size Description Approximate Price
5×5 Fits a few items, up to 1 room of household (not large items) $120 – $150 / Month or part of the month
5×10 Fits up to small 1 BR (apartment/condo) household items on average $190 – $220 / Month or part of the month
10×10 Fits up to 1.5 (1+den) BR household items on average $280 – $310 / Month or part of the month
10×15 Fits up to 2 BR household items on average $350 – $400 / Month or part of the month
10×20 Fits up to 3 BR household items on average $420 – $450 / Month or part of the month
10×30 Fits up to 4 BR household items on average $550 – $600 / Month or part of the month


Residential Storage and Moving: How Much Does All My Stuff Weigh?

Properly weighing your belongings to prepare them for residential storage is one of the more challenging tasks for homeowners to handle on their own. A good moving or storage company in Canada will assist you in determining the weight of all your items.

It’s crucial that the weight remains consistent between the time you sign the contract and the time you pay for the service. You should only pay for the amount you were initially quoted. Every household is different, but if weight plays a role in pricing your move or storage service, consider these approximate weight numbers for different dwellings in Canada:


  • One-Bedroom Apartment: An average of 2000 lbs. of belongings.
  • Two-Bedroom Apartment: An average of 3000 lbs. of belongings.
  • Three-Bedroom Apartment: An average of 4000 lbs. of belongings.
  • Two-Bedroom House: Approximately 4000 lbs. of belongings.
  • Three-Bedroom House: Approximately 6000 lbs. of belongings.
  • Four-Bedroom House: An average of 8000 lbs. of belongings.


Understanding the weight of your items is essential for accurate quotes from moving and storage companies. It ensures that you are prepared for the costs associated with residential storage and moving services.


What to Consider When Picking a Storage Service?

Follow these tips when looking for a storage space to get the most out of the service:

  1. Visit the Storage Unit: Even within one company, there will be numerous locations and different units. You want to see a specific unit in the specific location before committing. Look for signs of water penetration, exposure to the elements, and any flaws in security or protection.
  2. Check Accessibility: Not all storage places are open 24/7. It’s essential to find out how often and when you need to access your storage unit. Look for a company that matches your accessibility needs.
  3. Evaluate Physical Accessibility: Consider the lighting and ease of navigation. Ensure you can get through entryways and hallways without difficulty. Check for exposed pipes or wiring that could damage your belongings.
  4. Assess Security Measures: Is there someone present on-site at all times? Are there video cameras not just at the entrance but throughout the storage areas? How well are the premises protected in general? What kind of locks are used on the unit? Cylinder locks are preferable to padlocks, which are easy to cut or break.
  5. Consider Climate Control: Some types of wood and furniture benefit from being stored in a climate-controlled environment. Even if you don’t have specialty furniture, a climate-controlled unit can be less prone to mold or allergens.
  6. Review Insurance Options: Most places don’t offer protection for your belongings outright but often have an option to purchase additional insurance or protection against damage or theft. Check if your home insurance can cover your stuff while it’s in storage.

By considering these factors, you can ensure that you choose a storage space that meets your needs and keeps your belongings safe.


How To Get The Most Out Of Your Storage Unit

Storage unit cost is determined by the size of the unit, so of course you want to use as little space as possible and be efficient with it. Check out these easy tips to maximize your storage space and keep things organized.

  • As much as possible, take apart the big items like beds and tables.
  • Leave a walkway in the middle of the unit so you can come in and grab stuff as needed.
  • Keep frequently used things towards the front so you don’t have to go rummaging for them.
  • Store long furniture like sofas vertically if possible. Keep chairs on top of each other, inverted
  • Stack boxes where possible. Keep lighter boxes toward the top. Make sure the boxes are properly labeled so you can quickly see what is what.
  • Fill up dresser drawers where you can.
  • Wrap up and protect all the glass and fragile items in containers as much as possible.
  • Pack heavier things into small boxes so they can be rearranged or moved easily.


Portable Storage Containers or Truck Rental

As we mentioned above you often have several options for the kind of service you need for your storage in transit. A moving company will often load and unload your stuff into a truck and offers packing services at an extra cost. With a storage container, the company will deliver the container to your driveway and pick it up when you are done packing. This has an advantage because it gives you as much time as you need to pack your belongings. The downside of containers is that they aren’t always stored in climate-controlled environments so it may not be the best long-term solution.

In conclusion, once you recognize the kind of storage service you require, and how much stuff you have to store, you can start narrowing down a list of companies. Remember, as with anything, you should get 4-5 quotes if you are getting a storage company separately from a moving company. Plan as much as you can ahead of time and you make sure to physically see the place before renting it and you should have no problem finding a reliable storage service company.

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