What would you say is hypothetically the most stressful event in life? One might think that getting married or divorced, starting a challenging new career and raising a child are among the top contenders. According to a study conducted by OnePoll, however, it turns out that moving is ranked as the number-one most stressful event, selected by 45% of the survey respondents.

Interestingly, the survey also unveiled that among respondents who went through their last move all on their own, 43% of them would never go on their own again. Which is why, if you’re asking “how many movers do I need” when contemplating a move, you’ve already made the wise decision to manage your stress and wellness, maximize your time and get the much-needed help of a professional moving firm like Rent-a-Son.

The issue of moving on your own or hiring a professional firm usually comes down to a question of money. Moving homes is admittedly an expensive process. If you own your own home, you’re forced to shell out for land transfer tax and real estate agent fees, mail forwarding and, of course, inevitably purchasing new items for your next home. If you’re renting, you don’t need to worry about land transfer and real estate agent costs, but you do have to calculate paying your first and last month’s rent in one intimidating, large installment.

Ultimately, like all things money-related in life, the cost of hiring professional movers is calculated by estimating (a) the time it will take you to move and (b) the number of movers you’ll need. The longer the move takes, the greater the personnel costs. Ditto for the number of movers: labour costs for four movers is going to be double the labour costs for two movers.

When estimating a move, the first thing we consider is the size of the home. A four-bedroom home will naturally have more belongings than a two-bedroom home, and thus require more movers and/or take more time. The cost of moving a four-bedroom home versus a two-bedroom home doesn’t automatically double, however; every home has a living room and kitchen, basement and garage or storage shed which are also part of the calculation.

Assessing the square footage of a home is another thing we have to consider, as not all four-bedroom homes are created equal; we’ve seen four-bedroom homes that measure under 2,000 square feet and some that range well over 4,000 square feet. Every home is unique and comes with its own set of challenges that need to be factored into the equation.

Other details that are considered on a moving estimate include the number of storeys and stairs (stairs are tricky!), ease of access to the property, how wide or narrow the hallways and doorways are and, if you live in a multi-storey condominium or apartment, whether you have elevator access to assist with the move. All these variables are added together to estimate how many movers you need to move homes.

Do you need professional movers?

If the estimate has come in higher than you were expecting, you may be tempted to ask “do I need professional movers?” After all, you could theoretically rent a panel van or cube van, platform and upright dollies, and do all the heavy lifting yourself. You could even bribe a couple of friends to help with the tempting lure of pizza and soda. It’s a legitimate question to ask, especially when money is tight.

Except moving is one of those things that is not as easy as it looks. Experienced Toronto movers know how to pack all your belongings into the moving van correctly and ensure all your treasured possessions get to your new address safely and in one piece. Reputable movers like Rent-a-Son also have commercial liability insurance to cover the replacement cost of an item if something unfortunate happens during the move. Click here to learn more about how moving insurance works.

Another important consideration you’ll want to weigh is how much you value your own time. Do you have to take a day off work to complete the move? If it’s a paid day off, is it worth eating into your vacation days? Will you be crazy-busy at work when you return? If it’s an unpaid day off work, how much income are you sacrificing? And if you’re self-employed, will your quality of work and reputation take a hit due to the lost time?

Finally, even if you manage every facet of your move yourself like a DIY pro, you still have costs you need to consider. It takes good money to rent a moving van and dollies, and you’ll need to budget for insurance on that rental vehicle plus the cost of gas. If you’re bribing friends with food and drink, there’s another cost to consider… and if your buds are doing you a favour you’ll need to reciprocate and help each one of them move at some point in the future.

What factors should I consider when deciding how much to tip my movers?

If you decide to hire movers, one expense that won’t be factored into your estimate is in the event you decide to tip. But what do you need to consider before deciding to tip and, if you do tip, how much? First of all, let’s be clear that tipping your moving team is always a matter of choice. By no means are you required to hand over a few extra bills out of courtesy, especially if your movers have behaved unprofessionally. That said, tipping movers is customary in Ontario and, as service industry employees, their base pay is usually lower in anticipation of them receiving tips, much like waiters and waitresses, hairdressers and barbers.

One factor to consider when deciding how much to tip your movers is their level of professionalism. Did they show up on time? Were they polite? Did they treat all your possessions with respect, especially your fragile and easy-to-damage items? Tipping is a great way to acknowledge their professional service.

Another factor you should weigh is the difficulty of your move. Did your move involve lifting heavy and awkward objects numerous times up and down multiple flights of stairs? Heaving furniture through narrow hallways and down tight staircases takes extra care and caution. And if they managed to move everything without any damage to the items or nicks in the walls? You can show your appreciation by offering a tip.

If your move was estimated to take ‘X’ number of hours but your moving crew worked hard, sweated hard and never took a break till the job was done, thus taking fewer hours to complete than estimated, that’s also tip-worthy. Work of that calibre shows a genuine dedication to a job well done and a huge amount of integrity. Show your appreciation by offering a healthy tip.

How to decide on how many movers to hire?

Ultimately, the number of movers you’ll need to hire comes down to the size and complexity of the job, with a basic estimate as follows:

Home SizeNumber of MoversApprox. Time for Move
Bachelor/studio2 movers3-5 hours
1 bedroom2-3 movers4-6 hours
2 bedroom3 movers5-7 hours
3 bedroom4-6 movers8-10 hours
4 bedroom +6-9 movers8-10 hours

Naturally, the easier the move, the fewer movers required. The table above is an average estimate only. A Rent-a-Son moving coordinator can provide a custom plan based on your items, access and needs.
Contact Rent-a-Son to request a free estimate and let’s get you on the road to a low-stress, high-reward, trouble-free move today.