Monday, January 3, 2011

Change of Address: A Checklist

It can seem as if there are a million things to do when you are getting ready to move. Just packing can seem like an overwhelming task, plus there is often a new job that comes along with moving, a new area to learn and explore, a new phone number, a new address, a new home or apartment, etc. etc. As if all this were not enough, there is a whole list of little projects that need to be taken care of. And while some of them might seem like minor inconveniences, if you don’t take care of them sooner than later, they can cause you some big trouble down the road. Here are some of the more important items that you don’t want to forget when you change your address.

Forwarding your mail – It is fortunate for many of us that the United States Postal Service is prepared for our change of address, even if we aren’t. By filling out one of their change of address forms, you can have the majority of your mail forwarded to you at your new address for up to one year. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t make an effort to ensure all your important mailings have received your change of address, because it will take some time for the forwarded mail to get to you (and in some cases it might not make it there at all). Forwarding can be handy for those mailings that you have temporarily forgotten to remind of your change of address.

Notify employer – Notifying an employer of your change of address can ensure that you get any last paychecks, payouts for unused vacation time, severance payments, and that all important W-2 form.

Notify bank/mortgage company – In this day and age when people are upside down on mortgages, late with payments, and in general distaste of the banking system, notifying the bank of your whereabouts might not be a big hit among the masses. Still, if you plan to continue living on the straight road to good credit and maintaining some semblance of financial responsibility, then you should notify your bank regarding a change of address.

If renting, notify apartment manager – If you plan to get your security deposit on your apartment back (assuming you’ve done no serious damage to the place), it is a good idea to notify your apartment manager of your change of address.

Notify magazines – Maybe the least important item on this list, but you still don’t want someone else ending up with your copies of Playboy or Basket Weaving Weekly.

Notify utilities/credit cards – While you might want to avoid those ever-present annoyances call bills, by not giving up your new address, you won’t be helping your credit score. You never know, you might end up getting a credit or two in the mail from utilities that were paid in advance and of which you did not use for the entire billing period.

Notify doctors/health insurance provider – Depending on how often you make use of your health providers, this may or may not be an important group to notify of a change of address. If you have recently been to a doctor, dentist, specialist, etc. there might be important information (or more likely bills) that they will need to get to you.

Notify the Selective Service – For males, until January 1 of the year you turn 26, you must notify the Selective Service within ten days of a change of address.

Car information – Make sure to update your driver’s license, registration, insurance, and other necessary driver’s information with your new address soon after moving.

Notify friends/family – This one might be up in the air depending on who your friends and family are and how much you really want them to know where you are. Sometimes a little break can be nice!

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