Filling out a change of address form is a relatively simple part of moving. When you’ve finally settled on a destination and taken the time to pack all of your things, changing your address is a simple affair, especially given how easy it is to do on the USPS website.

Even though the change of address checklist and form are relatively easy to fill out, there is one important thing that you’ll want to consider when submitting your form.

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Timing Your Change Of Address Submission

The timing of filling out and submitting your USPS change of address form is essential. While you may think that filling it out once you’ve arrived in your new residence is
the best option, it often takes time to process that change of address. Even if you fill out the form and submit it on the first day of your move, there is still the chance that some of your mail will be delivered to your old address. If that happens, then the new owner or tenant might accidentally open something a piece of personal mail meant for you.

Depending on whether you are buying or renting a home, there is an easy way to fix this. When buying, there is often a delay between signing the final papers to purchase the home and your actual move. Find out the amount of time needed for the change of address to process (you can call your local postmaster to get the most accurate estimate) and make sure that you submit your change of address that number of days prior to moving out of your home. If everything goes according to plan, the last day that you live in your own home will be the last day before mail is successfully routed to your new home.

If this process seems too imprecise for your needs, and spending a few days without getting any mail at your home is an option, then the next best solution would be to request that the postal service hold your mail while you move. This is also the ideal solution for renters who are generally required to move out of their old home and into their new one in a single, hectic day. Holding all your mail at the USPS office will ensure that absolutely nothing is delivered to your home. You are then able to submit your change of address at any time.

The downside of the second option is that while it allows for more freedom in the timing of submitting your form, it delays another important benefit of a change of address notification. The USPS address change system not only reroutes your mail; it also notifies the senders of your new address. This will allow them to properly route packages and other items in the future, and can save you from having to manually change your address in a number of different places.