Interstate Moving for Seniors: Everything You Need to Know

Written By

Machaela Casey
Interstate Moving Seniors moving boxes

Packing your belongings is like stuffing a lifetime of memories into a shoebox. Interstate moving without assistance can be tough for anyone, and it can be especially challenging for seniors.

There are many factors to consider, such as

  • Preparation
  • Costs
  • Best moving season
  • Health and safety considerations
  • Expectations
  • Adjustments when settling into your new home.

But don’t despair! Here’s a complete guide (and more) for easier interstate moving for seniors.

senior couple happily siting around moving boxes

Interstate Moving for Seniors

Moving to a new state can be challenging and tiring. It’s more than just physically transporting belongings from one state to another. It requires careful consideration, strategic planning, and a reliable moving company.

Therefore, to ensure a successful and smooth interstate move, you should first understand the features of the best senior moving services, assess local moving companies, and know some tips.

Features of Senior-Focused Moving Services

Many professional interstate relocation services offer senior-focused full-service moving assistance to ensure a smooth and efficient move for senior citizens. They feature specialized services that cater specifically to the needs of older adults. They’re experts regarding the unique challenges and requirements that seniors may have during a move. So, they also have tailored solutions for a smoother and more comfortable process.

For example, they hire specialized interstate movers who can coordinate with other professionals — such as real estate agents, brokers, and home health care providers. This can help seniors move their belongings safely and efficiently to their new homes.

Assessing and Comparing Moving Companies

Assessing and comparing moving companies is an important step when planning a move, regardless of age. For you to choose a reliable interstate moving company, it’s important that you first know the best full-service mover that offers excellent local moving services.

Here are some factors to consider when comparing moving companies:

  • Cost estimates contact moving companies and request pricing estimates. Reputable companies will conduct an in-home or virtual survey to assess your belongings and provide an accurate estimate.
  • Services – after you’ve got the quotation, check if it already includes full-service packing, storage services, transportation services, or any additional services.
  • Experience – longer experience is a good indicator of quality. Learn about the company’s track record.
  • Licensing and insurance – moving companies must be licensed and insured. Licensing ensures industry standards, and insurance protects belongings.
  • Terms and conditions – these outline company policies, procedures, and customer rights. This is how you learn about their cancellation policies.
  • Check reviews read reviews to see what others have experienced with moving companies. Look for reviews that mention senior customers or excellent customer service.

Tips for a Smooth Interstate Move

When embarking on an interstate move, implementing practical interstate moving tips can make all the difference in ensuring a smooth transition. It saves time, money, and effort. It ensures an stress-free moving experience, especially for seniors with limited energy.

Here are some essential steps to plan an interstate move successfully:

  1. Plan early – means more time to research, pack, and make arrangements for your move.
  2. Check your budget – helps you effectively manage your finances throughout the moving transition to avoid financial problems.
  3. Pack an essentials box – pack an essentials box with toiletries, clothes, documents, meds, and other daily necessities. Having them in one box will save you time rummaging through multiple boxes.
  4. Notify important parties – such as your utility companies, insurance providers, financial institutions, and healthcare providers. Update your address for mail forwarding.
  5. Choose a reputable moving company – find a full-service mover that also offers packing and unpacking services. These are especially important for seniors, as they may be unable to do as much of the moving.

Senior lady with daughter preparing for move

Preparing for the Move

Seniors who have lived in their current home for many years and have a lifetime of belongings will find moving extra difficult — especially for those moving into a retirement community or assisted living facility. With key aspects that focus on decluttering and downsizing, packing effectively, and creating a moving timeline, here’s a comprehensive interstate moving checklist you can check.

Decluttering and Downsizing

Many possessions accumulated over time may not be needed or suitable for your new home. When deciding whether to keep an item when moving, ask if it’s practical or sentimental. It’s an opportunity to carefully evaluate each item, deciding what to keep, donate, sell, or discard.

Decluttering and downsizing can help you feel more clear-headed and ready for your new chapter in life. Full-service movers may also give you decluttering and downsizing tips to help make moving easier.

Packing Tips for Seniors

Interstate moving can bring physical and emotional challenges, especially for seniors. One crucial aspect of moving preparation is packing. Seniors may have unique considerations regarding packing and unpacking — such as fragile-only packing, sentimental items, limited mobility, or specific health needs.

Here’s a set of valuable packing tips specifically tailored for seniors.

  • Label everything clearly.
  • Create an itemized list of all your boxes, including their corresponding numbers and what they contain.
  • Check your health condition.
  • Pack for the climate.
  • Pack medications and don’t put them in your boxes. Instead, keep them close at hand.
  • Seek assistance from friends and family members.

Creating a Moving Timeline

Creating a moving timeline for senior interstate moving is crucial for organization, efficient task management, reduced stress, and a successful transition to the new home. It provides structure, ensures tasks are completed on time, minimizes delays, and offers peace of mind. Here is a concise 3-step moving timeline for senior interstate moving:

2-3 months before the move:

  • Research moving companies and get quotes.
  • Start decluttering and packing non-essential items.

1-2 months before the move:

  • Finalize moving plans, pack, and notify.
  • Make arrangements for your new home.

2 weeks before the move:

  • Change your address, cancel memberships, and clean your old home.
  • Be on time for the movers, help with packing and unpacking, and settle in.

senior couple looking at paperwork in front of computer

Financial Aspects of Interstate Moving

Moving interstate involves various financial considerations — from estimating costs to finding ways to save money. Considering these financial aspects allows effective budgeting.

Cost Factors and Estimates

Get quotes from multiple moving companies to estimate your move cost. Our website has a self-service quote system to help you choose the most affordable option. Moving estimates are price quotes that can help you calculate the cost of a big move. A moving company that offers local moving services often charges by the hour.

  • Distance Long-distance moving services for seniors will cost more.
  • Services – The cost for this depends on your chosen senior moving services. Some examples include
    • White glove or full-service move – covers everything, such as full-service packing, link packing, unpacking, and cleaning services
    • Limited services – includes only packing and moving services
    • Moving services – this is essentially self-service where you handle the rest of the work except actually moving
    • Add-on services – include things like storage service
  • Size of your belongings – Moving more items will increase expenses, especially in long-distance moves.
  • Time of year – Hiring a senior moving service during the summer tends to be pricier than winter moves for seniors.

Saving Money on Interstate Moves

Exploring shipping options through postal services or freight carriers might be more cost-effective for smaller items or specific belongings than a full-service moving company. Packing your belongings alone can lead to significant savings on labor costs, such as availing labor-only services.

However, spending on packing and unpacking services as a senior may be worth the cost. After all, it will greatly reduce the physical and mental stress and risk of injury involved in moving — factors that are even more impactful as a senior. With labor-only moving, you can rent a self-service truck or container and only hire movers to load and unload it.

To lighten the physical stress on your side, you can ask family and friends to help you in packing and unpacking. If possible, choose a flexible delivery window that allows for consolidated shipments or shared truck space, as this can help reduce costs compared to dedicated or expedited delivery.

Senior Discounts and Special Offers

Moving companies often provide exclusive senior discounts and special offers to make the relocation process more affordable for seniors. For example, many moving companies offer discounts for veterans. These discounts can vary from company to company but may include reduced rates, discounted packing services, free packing supplies, or waived fees for additional services.

For senior moving discounts, it’s recommended to inquire directly with moving companies about any available senior-specific offers. Since senior discounts vary, you can contact senior organizations for exclusive deals on moving services.

Selecting the Best Time for the Move

The best time for seniors to move depends on the season, your health and mobility, and the availability of help. Carefully consider these factors to ensure a seamless transition.

Seasonal Considerations

The busiest time of year to move is summer, from May 15 to August 31. The summer season is a popular time for families and businesses to relocate due to favorable weather conditions and opportunities for family and friends to help. As a result, moving companies charge higher rates during this time. Despite the higher price and demand, there are still tips for moving during peak season if you really want to move during the summer.

However, moving during the winter (or other off-season months like in late fall and early spring) leads to greater savings. This is because there is less demand for moving services during these times, and moving companies tend to offer lower or discounted rates.

Health and Mobility Factors

Choosing a time when your health is stable and you have the sufficient physical ability to handle the moving process comfortably and safely is important. To make sure you check the health and mobility of seniors when moving interstate, do the following:

  • Consult healthcare professionals for assessment and guidance.
  • Plan around medical appointments for seamless continuity of care.
  • Seek assistance to ensure safety and well-being during the move.

Impact on Family and Assistance

Planning with family and caregivers in advance makes the move smoother and less stressful. Checking the impact on family and assistance when selecting the best time for the move is important to ensure the availability of support and resources during the transition. Also, if you rely on family and friends for transportation, coordinate your move with their availability. Moving can be stressful, so have emotional support lined up.

Health and Safety Considerations

Moving interstate as a senior requires careful planning and consideration of health and safety. Specifically, seniors should prioritize ensuring accessibility and mobility at the new location, traveling safely during the move, and addressing emotional and mental health.

Accessibility and Mobility at the New Location

Senior citizens or their families may adapt their homes or move the elderly into a senior living community or assisted living facility due to old age. Therefore, checking accessibility and mobility at the new location is crucial to ensure their health and safety. If possible, family members should visit the new area in person first to assess its accessibility. Information about the neighborhood, infrastructure, and amenities available to seniors is important. This includes accessible public transportation, medical facilities, and community services.

Traveling Safely During the Move

Seniors may have decreased mobility or other health conditions that make them more susceptible to injury. Here are some tips on how to check senior’s traveling safety:

  • Talk to senior citizens about their travel plans and concerns.
  • Assess the senior’s physical and cognitive abilities.
  • Select a safe and appropriate mode of transportation. Consider factors such as driving, public transportation, or professional moving services.
  • Pack the senior’s belongings thoughtfully — more importantly, essential items like medications, medical supplies, and comfort should be readily accessible.
  • Plan regular rest breaks and ensure the senior stays hydrated throughout the trip.

Emotional and Mental Health Aspects

A senior moving may experience various emotions, such as anxiety, sadness, and loneliness. These emotions can harm seniors’ well-being. Prioritizing senior citizens’ emotional and mental well-being is crucial throughout the moving process. Doing so enables early detection of potential issues and facilitates the development of an appropriate action plan. Encourage open communication and offer reassurance and support to help them express their feelings and address their concerns. As a senior citizen, you should also try to open up about your concerns and feelings so your friends and family can help you process them.

What to Expect on Moving Day

Your moving company will notify you of their arrival time on a moving day. The moving company will also compile a written inventory. Usually, the van operator will oversee that they are loading your things in the van. They will ensure your load is secure and will not shift in transit. Movers will also review their checklists with you to ensure everything is all set.

Preparations and Timelines

On moving day, it’s crucial to have effective preparations and adhere to a timeline to ensure a smooth and organized process. Ensure an early morning start and synchronize with the moving team’s arrival time. Double-check secure packing and labeling of belongings, create clear pathways in your home, and disconnect/utilize utilities at the appropriate times. Take pictures of your belongings before moving for documentation in case of loss or damage. Keep important contacts accessible, depart on time, and conduct final checks to avoid leaving anything behind.

Coordination with the Moving Company

To coordinate effectively with the moving company on the day of the move, seniors should communicate their expectations, inspect their belongings, be present during the move, and practice patience. Additional tips include designating a contact person, providing clear instructions, specifying preferences, and being prepared to sign the bill of lading. Seeking assistance from family or friends, considering a senior move manager, and being aware of rights as seniors are also beneficial. These steps ensure a smooth and positive moving experience.

Ensuring a Smooth Transition

The best senior moving company ensures they take time to make the senior citizen feel comfortable in their new home. They often have their services tailored to meet the senior citizen’s needs. This may involve assisting with unpacking, arranging furniture, and ensuring they have readily available essential items. For example, if a senior citizen has limited mobility, they can provide specialty services, including packing and unpacking.

Settling in and Adjusting to the New Home

Settling in and adjusting to the new home as a senior can be an exciting yet challenging process. To settle into a new home smoothly, focus on unpacking, getting to know the area, and building a support network. Let’s discuss more of these senior moving tips.

Unpacking and Organizing Tips

Unpacking and organizing tips are crucial in helping seniors settle in and adjust to their new homes. It helps seniors create a sense of order and familiarity in their new living space, which promotes a smooth transition and a positive adjustment period. Here are some tips to help seniors effectively unpack and organize their belongings in their new homes:

  1. Prioritize essential items for immediate use.
  2. Unpack one room at a time to stay focused.
  3. Declutter and downsize belongings for a more organized space.
  4. Utilize free storage options to maximize space and keep things organized.
  5. Seek assistance from family, friends, or professional organizers if needed.

Familiarizing with the New Community

Seniors can familiarize themselves with their new community by exploring the area, attending events, joining local groups, and seeking recommendations from neighbors and community leaders. Knowing your new community can help you feel more at home and connected. Some companies offer extensive online resources for senior moves and tailor services to seniors and senior living communities. This enhances transition, fosters belonging, and improves seniors’ quality of life in their new homes.

Building a Support Network

A strong support network provides a sense of belonging, reduces feelings of isolation, and helps seniors navigate the challenges and opportunities of their new environment. You can cultivate meaningful relationships and connections where seniors can find emotional support, practical assistance, and social engagement. This network can include family, friends, neighbors, and local community resources. International or local long-distance movers often know the area extensively — including community centers, senior living communities, social groups, and other resources. Senior move managers can also further offer helpful information and suggestions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Seniors moving interstate have to consider the cost of the move, the logistics of packing and unpacking, and the emotional toll of leaving a familiar home, among other things. To further minimize your anxieties, here’s an FAQs section to answer some seniors’ most common questions about interstate moving. A few more reads, and you surely are ready for your move!

What Services Do Senior-Focused Moving Companies Provide?

Senior moving specialists offer various services designed to make the moving process easier and less stressful for seniors.

Aside from the usual packing and unpacking, transportation, storage options, insurance coverage, specialty services, and logistics, a senior moving company may include the following services:

  • Free consultations – Senior moving services offer free consultations to assess needs and provide personalized moving plans.
  • On-site estimates – Although estimates can be found on their websites, full-service movers can also send representatives to provide you estimates, either for local long-distance or international moves.
  • Downsizing services – Can be part of some movers’ specialty services that aid in decluttering and packing materials.
  • Estate sale services – Estate sales often have legacy services tailored to help a senior moving downsize and raise money for their move.
  • Emotional support – Senior moving companies offer emotional support to seniors during the moving process, recognizing that it can be particularly stressful.

How Can I Find a Reputable Moving Company for Seniors?

A few of the best senior moving services include Nelson Westerberg, International Van Lines, Allied Van Lines, North American Van Lines, JK Moving Services, and Atlas Moving Company.

  • Nelson Westerberg – One of the oldest and most experienced moving companies. We offer full-service moving for families and companies all over the country.
  • International Van Lines – Offers both domestic and international moving services to seniors. IVL is a full-service mover that caters to long-distance moves.
  • Allied Van Lines – One of the reliable full-service moving companies. They’re also a full-service company offering senior discounts and long-distance moves on top of their relocation services.
  • Atlas Moving Company – One of the traditional moving companies that are AMSA-certified and Better Business Bureau accredited, plus a reputation for best customer service and reliability.
  • North American Van Lines – This full-service mover is a major US player, with over 500 agents in North America and beyond.
  • JK Moving Services – Aside from specialized services for seniors, they offer military families and corporate relocations.

What Is the Cheapest Time of the Year for Interstate Moving?

To save money when a senior moves, opting for a winter move can be cost-effective. The winter months are typically the cheapest moving time because there is less demand for moving services. The holidays are a less popular time to move. Therefore, many full-service companies offer lower rates — either for international, interstate, or local moves. Nonetheless, many people find the winter season ideal because the weather is usually mild.

How Can Seniors Stay Safe During an Interstate Move?

Consider hiring a licensed and insured professional moving company that can assist with packing and unpacking services for your belongings, especially if you prefer something other than a self-service. Moving a fragile older adult requires healthcare arrangements and renting a medical vehicle or third-party movers. If possible, pre-visit the destination, research doctors and specialists, and the neighborhood’s necessities, including hospitals, stores, and other important locations.

Map out the area for the senior. Seniors moving should enlist the help of family, friends, or professional caregivers to support their move. An extra set of hands can help with tasks like packing, lifting, and organizing.

How Long Does It Take To Adjust to a New Home After a Long-Distance Move?

The adjustment period after a long-distance move can be different for everyone. It can take weeks to months to feel settled in. Some people may settle in relatively quickly (especially with local moves), while others may take longer to fully adjust (mostly with international moves for seniors). It depends on personal circumstances, resilience, support system, familiarity with the new area, and adaptability to change. It will also depend on the reliability and efficacy of companies that offer long-distance services.


Interstate moves for seniors can be exciting, but preparation and finding the best senior moving service are key. We hope this guide has provided the information you need to plan a smooth and successful move — local, long-distance interstate, or international. From planning and packing your belongings to finding the best senior moving services, we have covered a lot of ground in this guide.

For any additional inquiries regarding the moving industry, please get in touch with us. We’re always happy to help you with your senior moving services concerns.