The Best Senior Moving Services of 2022

The best senior moving services are specialized moving companies that offer a complete roster of end-to-end moving services that cater to the needs of older adults.

By Tony Carrick | Updated Sep 23, 2022 9:51 AM

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The Best Senior Moving Services Options

Photo: istockphoto.com

Whether downsizing, transitioning to an assisted living facility, or relocating to be closer to family, moving later in life can be an overwhelming undertaking. Packing, moving large furniture, and deciding how to downsize for a smaller home all present challenges, so finding the right moving company is key to making this major life event as low stress as possible.

Fortunately, there are moving companies that specialize in serving seniors by offering services not found in the typical moving company. One of the best senior moving services can help with the downsizing process, pack and unpack possessions, and even help organize belongings in the new home. These companies also have years of experience working with seniors and will move at a pace that suits the customer’s comfort level.

  1. BEST OVERALL: United Van Lines
  2. RUNNER-UP: Moves for Seniors
  3. MOST COMPREHENSIVE SERVICE: Caring Transitions
  4. MOST FLEXIBLE MOVERS: U-Pack
The Best Senior Moving Services Options

Photo: istockphoto.com

What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Senior Moving Services

Seniors should go beyond simply searching for “moving companies near me” or “moving services near me.” Service area, full-service options, and cancellation policies are just a few of the many factors to consider when shopping for one of the best senior moving services. Read on to learn more about what to look for in these specialty movers.

Moving Distance and Service Area

For help moving, shoppers should begin looking for a service that will serve their current location as well as the location of the new home. Some moving services for senior citizens can facilitate moves anywhere in the country, while others only serve certain states or regions. Additionally, only certain moving services can accommodate international moves. There are also local moving services that only handle moves of 50 miles or less. Whether looking for the best local moving company or the best movers for out of state, customers will want to check the service area when vetting the moving company.

Full-Service vs. Labor-Only Moving

Customers should consider the type of service they need when hiring a senior moving service. Labor-only moving services will only move boxes and furniture from point A to point B, leaving it to the customer (and any willing family members or friends) to complete all pre-move packing and preparations. Full-service moving companies offer a more comprehensive moving service, including assisting with the downsizing process, selling or donating unwanted possessions, and packing and unpacking services.

Quote Process and Pricing

Moving services handle their quotes and pricing differently. Some moving services will offer a quote over the phone, while others require an in-person consultation. After the consultation, the mover should be able to provide the customer with an accurate estimate of how much the move will cost.

License and Insurance

Customers should verify that movers have the appropriate licensing that meets the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) standards. Moving companies should either provide this information directly on their website or promptly confirm the credentials with customers when asked.

Quality licensed movers should have insurance that protects items from damage or loss as they are transported from point A to point B. For customers moving to a different state, moving services are required by federal law to offer complete value protection or released value protection. The former option is the better of the two. With complete value protection, the customer receives replacement value for the damaged or lost item. With released value protection, the customer only receives up to 60 cents per pound per item—so that $1,200 computer that weighs 10 pounds would only net the customer $6 in reimbursement.

Deposit and Cancellation Policy

Many moving companies require customers to pay a deposit to reserve their services. The deposit should only be for a relatively small amount of the estimate and should be refundable should the customer cancel within a reasonable amount of time. Cancellation policies vary from moving company to moving company. While some allow customers to cancel right up to the moment when they start providing services, others require customers to cancel at least 1week before the move date. Customers will want to make sure all these details are clearly communicated before booking a service.

Reviews and Complaints

While the vast majority of moves go off without a hitch, many don’t. There are horror stories involving moving companies who deliberately lowball their estimates only to withhold customer belongings later unless they pay more. Other typical schemes include intentionally inflating freight weights or losing items and refusing to cover the cost. When that happens, consumers can take action by filing a fraud complaint with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The FMCSA uses these complaints to investigate the company and take any potential enforcement actions. When researching “moving help near me,” customers can avoid these pitfalls by hiring a licensed mover and vetting the company thoroughly through online reviews and the Better Business Bureau.

Customer Support

Customer support is key for hiring a senior moving service. A good moving service will have an established customer support line to resolve any questions or issues the customer has with the moving service. Some companies have apps that allow the customer to track the move every step. The best moving companies should also clearly lay out the process for filing complaints or loss or damage claims and how they address these issues. If the moving service doesn’t have a clearly stated policy regarding handling loss and damage, it’s a good sign that the moving company may not be a quality service.

Our Top Picks

The list below includes both traditional moving companies that offer services catering to seniors as well as moving companies that specialize in relocating seniors. Check out this list before searching the internet for “senior moving services near me.”

Best Overall

The Best Senior Moving Services Option: United Van Lines
Photo: unitedvanlines.com

Why It Made the Cut: A well-established reputation in the industry and personalized services just for seniors make United Van Lines a top moving service for seniors.

United Van Lines (UVL) is a reputable moving company and has services designed to meet seniors’ needs. The company offers a service it calls Snapmoves, which is geared for smaller-scale moves, such as a transition into a senior or assisted living facility. The quote process for Snapmoves is fast and painless, with simplified pricing that’s easy to understand. UVL also offers useful extra services, such as disassembling a Wi-Fi network and post-move cleaning services.

A customer can keep close tabs on their move through the MyUnited online portal. This portal puts moving checklists, mover contact information, and tracking all in one easy-to-find location—though it should be noted that the company’s phone-based customer service can be unreliable. UVL provides services throughout the U.S. and internationally, and it offers free cancellation right up to the moment when it begins providing services.

Specs

  • Moving distance: Local, long-distance
  • Service area: 50 states; Washington, D.C.; and international
  • Deposit required: No
  • Cancellation policy: Free cancellation
  • Customer support: Phone, email, live chat

Pros

  • Snapmoves provides streamlined quote process and customizable service for small-scale moves
  • Add-on options like cleaning services and Wi-Fi network disassembly available
  • MyUnited online portal puts checklists, mover contacts, and tracking in one convenient place
  • Free cancellation as long as no services have been provided
  • Services available in 50 states; Washington, D.C.; and internationally

Cons

  • Reports that customer support can be challenging to get in touch with


Runner-Up

The Best Senior Moving Services Option: Moves for Seniors
Photo: movesforseniors.com

Why It Made the Cut: Customers can opt for Move for Seniors’ end-to-end services that cover planning, packing, moving, and unpacking—or hire the company for labor-only moving.

The aptly named Moves for Seniors is an excellent option for seniors taking the next step in their lives. The company’s specialists work directly with the customer to map out and plan the move, then help with downsizing and cleaning out the old home. Moves for Seniors will pack all items and work with a partner moving service to transport the customer’s possessions. Since Moves for Seniors works with these moving company partners, it’s important to note that deposit and cancellation policies may vary. Once the customer is at their new digs, Moves for Seniors can help unpack, organize, set up furniture, and hang pictures and curtains. The company also offers labor-only services for those who choose to do all the downsizing, sorting, packing, and unpacking on their own. Moves for Seniors also provides legacy services, which helps with the planning, transportation, and storage of belongings after a loved one has passed away.

Specs

  • Moving distance: Local, long-distance
  • Service area: 49 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Deposit required: Varies by moving partner
  • Cancellation policy: Varies by moving partner
  • Customer support: Phone, email

Pros

  • Hands-on facilitation and labor-only services offered
  • Downsizing services available
  • Legacy services available to relocate personal items after a death

Cons

  • Deposit and cancellation policies vary by moving partner company

Most Comprehensive Service

The Best Senior Moving Services Option: Caring Transitions
Photo: caringtransitions.com

Why It Made the Cut: Caring Transitions’ services cover the gamut from pre-move downsizing to post-move unpacking and setup, and skilled relocation experts guide everything.

Customers looking for a service to help them with every aspect of a move would be hard-pressed to find a better option than Caring Transitions. Franchise owners are Certified Relocation & Transition Specialists, so they receive special training on the social, medical, and emotional struggles older adults face, especially during the relocation process. Caring Transitions enlists experienced relocation experts from the get-go to determine how a senior’s belongings will fit into their new home and help them downsize if necessary. Caring Transitions can even help sell unwanted belongings via estate sales and online auctions. Once the move begins, relocation experts pack and unpack all belongings, handle the change of address needs, and even stage belongings in the new home to ease relocation stress. Caring Transitions uses moving company partners to haul all the customer’s belongings, so deposit and cancellation policies may vary. And customers will want to keep in mind that these comprehensive services also come with a thorough quote process: Caring Transitions requires a full consultation before customers can get a quote. But if hands-on guidance is what a senior prefers during this time of change, they’ll benefit from reaching out to Caring Transitions.

Specs

  • Moving distance: Local, long-distance
  • Service area: 45 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Deposit required: Varies by moving partner
  • Cancellation policy: Varies by moving partner
  • Customer support: Phone, email

Pros

Cons

  • Deposit and cancellation policies vary by moving partner company
  • Quotes unavailable without consultation

Most Flexible Movers

The Best Senior Moving Services Option: U-Pack
Photo: upack.com

Why It Made the Cut: U-Pack is an economical option for seniors with friends and family members ready to help.

U-Pack is an excellent option for seniors who don’t need a full-service option and would rather handle the packing and loading on their own or with the help of friends and family members. U-Pack operates in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, but moves must be at least 50 miles from the starting location. The company does not ask for a deposit; however, cancellations must be made at least 7 days in advance. The easy process starts when the company parks a truck trailer or storage container in front of the home, and the storage containers are small enough to fit in a parking spot. The customer has 3 days to load the trailer before U-Pack returns to move it to the new home. Customers can choose to do all the packing and loading on their own or hire U-Pack personnel to assist.

Specs

  • Moving distance: Long-distance
  • Service area: 50 states; Washington, D.C.; and Puerto Rico
  • Deposit required: No
  • Cancellation policy: Up to 7 days before the move
  • Customer support: Phone, email, Facebook Messenger

Pros

  • Customers have up to 3 days to load their belongings
  • Moving staffers for packing and unpacking are available for hire
  • Moving trailers and containers available

Cons

  • Moves must be more than 50 miles away from starting location
  • Cancellation limited to 7 days before the move

Our Verdict

For its well-established reputation in the industry and its unique services that cater to the needs of seniors, United Van Lines is the best all-around moving company for seniors. Those looking for a company that focuses specifically on senior moves should consider Moves for Seniors, which can help customers with downsizing, selling and donating property, and packing and unpacking.

How We Chose the Best Senior Moving Services

We considered several factors when selecting the top senior moving services. We prioritized moving companies that could accommodate moves nationwide. A senior moving service sets itself apart from standard moving companies by offering a full slate of services beyond simply transporting boxes and furniture. Keeping that in mind, we chose companies that can aid with logistics, packing, and unpacking. We also favored services that could help customers downsize, organize, and in some cases, sell or donate belongings they don’t want. Where possible, we chose moving services that can provide quick quotes and clear cancellation policies.

Before You Use One of the Best Senior Moving Services

Senior moving services set themselves apart from a standard moving service with the level of service they provide. These services specialize in helping customers in ways that standard moving companies do not. A senior moving service will offer packing and unpacking services, provide expert consultation to help seniors downsize in preparation for a smaller home, and aid customers in selling or donating property if needed. The best senior moving services operate in a way that reduces anxiety and respects the customer’s wishes. Since this added care is often built into the price of a senior moving service, those who don’t need this kind of specialized service and attention will want to consider a standard moving service.

Cost of Using One of the Best Senior Moving Services

Senior moving services vary in how they charge for services. While some charge by the hour, others base their quote on the number of rooms in the home or the total weight of the load. The total cost of a move can vary dramatically based on the number of items being moved and whether the service involves downsizing consultation, packing, unpacking, or other add-on services. The distance between the starting point and destination will also significantly impact the cost of the move. The cost of senior moving services generally ranges between $25 and $50 per hour per mover, adding up to an average of $1,250 for local moves and $4,890 for long-distances moves.

The Advantages of Using One of the Best Senior Moving Services

There are many solid reasons to choose a specialized senior moving service over a standard one. Senior moving services will spend more time planning the move with the customer and move at a pace that seniors are comfortable with. These companies focus on relocating seniors and will also perform tasks other moving services don’t offer, such as help with downsizing, organizing personal possessions, and packing and unpacking. Some of these services will even help sell or donate unwanted items. These qualities combine to make for a much less stressful moving experience.

  • Moving coordinators are willing to move at the customer’s pace.
  • Movers have more experience meeting the needs of seniors.
  • The guided process makes for a less stressful experience.

FAQs

Downsizing before the move and determining the cost of a move are crucial parts of planning and preparing for a move. Ahead, learn more about these and other common concerns regarding an upcoming move.

Q. What is the most reliable moving company?

The most reliable moving company for the job depends on the customer’s needs and which companies service their area. That said, United Van Lines, with its well-established reputation, is one of the most reliable moving companies for almost any customer, including seniors.

Q. How should a senior plan a move?

Seniors may have to do more than search for “moving service near me” when planning to move. They should begin by using a floor plan of their new space to help downsize their belongings. This should include creating a list of cherished items as well as those they are willing to part with. One of the best senior moving services can help streamline the downsizing and moving process.

Q. How much does a local full-service move cost?

Those planning a local move should expect to pay around $1,250, depending on the market and other factors, such as the amount of belongings and move date.

Q. How can I help a senior downsize?

The best way to help a senior downsize is to begin by making a list, beginning with belongings that are the most important to them as well as those possessions they’re willing to give to a loved one, sell, or donate. Make a floor plan of the new home and determine what will fit in the smaller space.

Q. What is the best interstate moving company?

With its well-established reputation, ability to move any distance, and a portal that helps customers track their move, United Van Lines is one of the best interstate moving companies in the business.

Q. What is considered a long-distance move?

While some would refer to a long-distance move as anything greater than a local move of 50 miles or less, a long-distance move is typically a move that travels 400 miles or more. When planning a move, customers should check with a moving company to understand the company’s parameters for local and long-distance moves. Customers can also check out some of the best long-distance moving companies.

Q. How do you calculate relocation costs?

You can get a general idea of how much a move will cost by taking inventory of what you own and calculating the length of the move. Most moving company websites offer calculators that allow you to come up with an estimate of how much it will cost to move. These estimates take into account the number and type of possessions, distance of the move, and any other additional services such as packing and unpacking.