When you move house it’s easy to focus on the big things: the deposit, the logistics of the move itself and so on. Smaller factors – such as your post – can easily be forgotten about.
But dealing with your mail is an important issue. Done wrongly, you’ll potentially miss important bills, have birthday cards go missing and – worse case scenario – open yourself up to identity fraud.
Its critical, therefore, to get your mail dealt with promptly and efficiently.
Here’s how to do it…
First things first: we all get a fair chunk of junk mail. Moving home is the perfect time to rid yourself of this burden. It also makes the other steps in the process a lot easier to accomplish.
So how do you stop junk mail?
There are four possible options here: I’d encourage you to consider them all.
a) Mail Preference Service
The mail preference service is essentially a database that you can add yourself to. When you do this, marketers will note that you don’t want to receive their mailshots and *should* stop sending them. Of course, this service isn’t perfect, and it can take a little while for the junk mail to reduce, but I’ve seen a marked decrease in unwanted post since registering.
To sign up for this free service simply click here and submit your details. Aim to do this as early as possible so you can see the impact that it has.
b) Recipient Gone Away
Once you see your junk mail volumes dropping, the next tactic is to return the few remaining unwanted items. Simply cross through the address, write “Return to Sender – Recipient has Gone Away” across it and pop it back into the post box. Send enough of them and the companies involved will soon stop sending their mailshots.
c) Get in Contact
You could consider contacting the remaining companies in person in order to request that they stop sending you junk mail.
d) Go Online
What about mail that you want to receive? To make life easier here you can sign up for online services. Get your bills by email and your bank statements online. Once signed up for online services its normally very simple to switch off paper bills/statements because doing things online saves companies money.
These methods combined should pretty effectively wipe out most junk mail that you’re getting, making it easier to focus on the mail that you do want to receive.
So you’ve minimized the post you’re receiving down to just the few important items each month – your magazine subscriptions or replacement bank cards for example.
To ensure a continuous service the next step is to use Royal Mail’s redirection service. For just a few pounds you can arrange for all your post from your old address to be sent instead to your new property.
Note that this service takes time to set up, so you’ll want to plan well in advance. At present, the set-up time is five working days, so you’ll want to implement your redirection a week or so before you move.
This way, by the time you move into your new property your redirection will be in place.
The final step is to inform the companies you want to stay in contact with that your address has changed.
Start with all the obvious things:
- Magazine subscriptions
- Drivers license
- Car insurance
- TV license
As time goes on you simply need to pay attention to any mail that is still being redirected – rather than coming to you directly – and follow up with these companies about your new address.
As a final note, there is a free service known as “I Am Moving” which aims to inform as many companies as possible that you’ve moved home. If preferable, you could consider this to help you inform companies that you can moved.
Whether you use this service or inform companies manually (banks often require additional information, for example), I would personally recommend keeping a redirection in place for at least 3 months just to be certain that all your important contacts have indeed updated their databases.
Done like this, within a few months you should find that your mail is resolved, and you can then allow your redirection to expire.