Moving? Don’t forget to change your address!

The Mover's Guide kit.  Kit courtesy the USPS

The Mover's Guide kit. Kit courtesy the USPS

When you move, you physically change your location and scuttle over to a new address.  But what happens to your in-transit mail, catalogs, and other shipments that don’t know where your new home is?  If you file a simple change of address form with the United States Postal Service, they’ll tag along right behind you.  The official instructions on the form recommend completing the form two weeks before your move.

Filling out a change of address form is really easy.  Now, the USPS has made it even simpler by providing two convenient ways to tell them about your new address.  You can go online to usps.com and click on the “Change of Address” link at the bottom left of the page.  You’ll be able to enter your updated information and receive an instant e-mail confirmation of its receipt.  It’s incredibly easy (and as a recent user of the feature, I can testify that it works like a charm!).

Perhaps you’re not electronically-inclined or maybe you prefer the nostalgia of snail mail.  You can also change your address using a handy kit available at all Post Office locations.  The kit is called, “Mover’s Guide: Official Change of Address Kit.”  If you’re moving with people with different last names, or if you receive mail under various names, you’ll need to fill out copies of the form for each individual person or identity.  Pick up as many as you need.

The form is a postcard.  It requires the following information:

The form included in the kit.  Kit courtesy the USPS

The form included in the kit. Kit courtesy the USPS

1. The date of the address and indication if it is temporary or not
2. Your name (last, first, and business if applicable)
3. Your former mailing address
4. Your new mailing address
5. The date signed
6. Your signature

Once you’ve completed the form, detach it from the catalog address change form (which you can decide to fill out if you’d like to have your catalogs forwarded to your new address) and any other attached pieces.

Drop the completed form into a standard mail collection box.  If you’re new to an area, you can find the most convenient location by clicking on the “Locate a Post Office” tab on the main USPS website.  The form doesn’t require any postage.

Besides these forms, the kit contains many valuable coupons and discount advertisements for national stores and service chains.  For instance, the current kit (available until August 31, 2009) has a 10% off coupon for Lowe’s and a 20% discount on Budget truck rentals (valid only Sundays-Thursdays).

First-class mail, priority mail, and express mail will be forwarded to your new address for twelve months.  Newspapers and magazines are forwarded for sixty days, and packages (16 ounces or more) for twelve months.  Packages are forwarded at no cost for local moves and upon receipt for non-local moves.  Contact your local Post Office to see if your move is local or not.

With the USPS moving kit, changing your address is a cinch!

Have you used the kit before?  What have your experiences been like?  Share with a comment below!

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