Tuesday, October 18, 2016

How to Put an mail on Hold

When you say you are moving for a month and want to wait 14

days before you start the forwarding, wow, that complicates

things even more. Is it because you won't know your new

address until after you get there? If so, in effect, you

only want your mail forwarded for 16 or 17 days. In general,

USPS will not accept a forwarding order for less than a 30

day time period. But you can get around that by doing the

change for 31 days, then later cancelling the change early.

But there will be problems.

The biggest problem will be the forwarding lag. It will take

10 to 14 days from the date the change of address is

effective for your mail to start showing up at your new

address. So if you are moving on, lets call it day 1, then

won't know what your new address will be until after you get

there on day 14, obviously you cannot file the change of

address until day 15 or so. Then 10 to 14 days later your

mail will start showing up at your new address---- just a

few days before you leave again. So you get your mail for a

few days at your new address. Then when you leave on day 30,

there will be 10 to 14 days worth of mail in the pipeline,

so to speak, that has been forwarded from your old address,

but not recieved yet at the new address. Not a very good

situation-- that's why forwards less than 30 days are not


Another concern with forwarding is that not all mail gets

forwarded. Sometimes, the mail you want the most is not

forwarded. Instead, it's returned to the sender. You see, as

far as USPS is concerned, the sender owns the mail until it

is delivered. So the sender can mail things conditionally by

endorsing the mail "Return Service Requested" where it is

only delivered if the address is correct. So if you have

done a change of address, the Return Service mail goes back

to the sender. It helps the sender keep track of where you

really are. And it is often the mail you want the most that

is mailed this way. I am talking about things like bank

statements, some checks, and some bills.

Now if you know what your new address will be before you

leave your old address, (and yes, General Delivery can be a

new address) things can work better. Start forwarding from

your old address on day 1. Simultaneously, go online and

begin holding the mail at your new address. Then, when you

arrive on day 14 or so, there should be mail waiting for you

at your new address. But the mail that is sent "Return

Service Requested" will still be returned. Also, when you

leave your new address after the month, there will still be

mail in the pipeline. You could solve the pipeline issue by

going online on day 20 or so and holding your mail at your

original address. Then when you know what your new, new

address will be, do another change of address. But things

are starting to get really complicated, aren't they?

Finally, Premium Forwarding Service may be the best

solution. This is the service mentioned in an earlier

response where USPS accumulates your mail for a set period,

even 14 days, then packages all your mail into a priority

parcel and sends it directly to you at your new address.

Although costly, (with an enrollment fee and per package

forwarded fee), it will get you all your mail on the

schedule you decide. Return Service Requested mail will not

be returned, rather it will be put in the parcel going to

you at your new address. See your post office at your

original address to sign up.