Notifying others of your new address when you move will prevent you from becoming delinquent on your bills, let you enjoy your favorite magazines, keep you in touch with those you care about and bring some normality to your life amidst the relocation chaos. To make the change of address process a little easier, organization is key. It starts with asking a few questions.
Who needs to know? Think of everyone you want and need to tell about your move. This list could be long, but the more comprehensive it is, the smoother your address change process will be. Get out your holiday card list to put together a personal roster of family and friends. You'll need a medical contact list, which would include your doctor, dentist and optometrist. Regular contacts and services, such as your child's school, housecleaning services and lawn care should be on the list. Magazines and newspapers, as well as any organizations you belong to should be added. And don't forget those important government agencies, like the Internal Revenue Service.
When do they need to know? Although it is recommended that you complete a change of address (COA) with the U.S. Postal Service two weeks before moving, you can submit it as early as three months ahead. The COA will forward first-class mail and priority mail for 12 months at no charge and your periodicals for 60 days. It can take awhile for address changes to go through, so start early. Let your contacts know two weeks before your move. Working through your list a few at a time will make the task less tedious.
How should I notify them? It depends. You can take advantage of the space provided on your bills and statements to insert your new address. Many government agencies prefer online changes. A phone call might be appropriate to notify your employer or your child's school. Postcards are available from the post office to notify magazines and anyone else. A specially designed card works better for your personal contacts.
What do I need? Have your new address handy, as well as your new phone number. A cell phone number will also work if you haven't established phone service at your new residence. In some instances, you'll need a credit card number and e-mail address. Account numbers might also be required.
What do I do after I've moved? If you receive forwarded mail from someone not on your list, you can choose to notify the person or business of the change. If they are on the list, you might want to double-check to see if they received the address change. You'll start receiving your forwarded mail in seven to 10 days.
What's next? Nothing. It's now time to relax, enjoy your new home and read your mail.