Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Moving? Get a PO Box

I recently moved. We were having problems with our neighbors, so we knew several months in advance that we were going to move. About 3 months before the move we decided to get a PO Box and forward our mail there. It was a great decision.

The last few times we’d moved we had mail go missing because the forwarding simply failed. The USPS is pretty good, I’m not knocking them, but sometimes things slip through the cracks. Previously, we had good relationships with our neighbors and so we’d end up getting the mail that wasn’t forwarded. We knew that wouldn’t be the case this time, so we setup as big of a buffer as possible.

What’s great about this approach is that you can redirect your mail before you move. This gives you a few months to see what doesn’t get redirected and to change the address on your accounts when you see they’re still set to the old address. I kept track of these accounts in a spreadsheet so that I’d know to change them again later. Then once you’re settled into the new place you can start changing the address on your accounts to mail you at your new home.

At the end you have a choice: You can keep the PO Box if you want. You can cancel the PO Box and file a change of address to your home. Or you can cancel with no change of address. If you do the latter then you’ll effectively cancel some of the junk mail you receive, but the danger of that is that you may miss some random piece of mail that you didn’t anticipate.

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