The last thing you’d probably think about when moving is your snail mail.  Setting up mail forwarding is one of the most common steps that people forget to do before they move. Mail forwarding is fairly simple and can be done in person at your local postal service office or online at if you’re in the United States. Before you set up your mail for forwarding follow our tips to ensure that you do it correctly the first time.

Verify your Address
Find out how the post office codes your mail and compare the address you have with the address they have on file. Obtaining the full Zip code +4 number will allow your mail to be delivered quicker and more accurately.

Decide if your address is permanent or temporary
The permanent address change option forwards your mail to your new permanent home for a specified period of time. This typically covers all first class mail and periodicals, but it generally doesn’t forward standard mail like circulars or catalogs.

If you’re planning to spend some time at a vacation home for an extended period of time, a temporary change of address is for you. This service allows you to receive first class mail and periodicals piece by piece to a different address for a specified period of time. This type of forwarding can be done from 15 days up to 6 months. You can extend the services up to 12 months if you’re not quite ready to go home.

There is also an alternative to temporary forwarding called Premium Forwarding. Instead of getting your mail one letter at a time, the post office will collect any incoming mail and ship a package to you every week. The cost for this is a one-time enrollment fee and a weekly payment of $19.35. This is a temporary service that can be used a minimum of 2 weeks up to 1 year.

Entire household is covered
When submitting your change of address with the U.S. Postal Service it is important to include the names of everyone that is moving. This is easier if your entire family is moving because there is a family option on the form. If your moving situation is a bit more complex, you will most likely have to complete multiple forms using the individual option. For example, if some members of your house are staying and some are moving, it can get confusing as to whom the mail should go to. It is best to fill out a separate change of address form for each person using the individual option.

Make a list
Make a list of all the businesses and people you wish to keep in touch with after you move. Include memberships, subscriptions, doctors and dentists, bills (utilities, telephone, gas etc.), your employer, family and friends etc. To ensure that you don’t overlook anyone check your list against the mail you receive on daily basis. Keep all envelopes with the yellow address stickers that the post office uses when forwarding to identify which businesses and individuals you will need to notify once the post office has stopped forwarding your mail.

At home Items
A few other items that get missed are address stamps and labels. It is also important to change the address on your luggage tags and dog’s collar.