Quickie Tip for Putting Your Mail on Hold

TRAVEL PREP — By on August 4, 2009 at 21:24

Story by Milli Thornton. Photo Copyright © Milli Thornton.

EVERYONE KNOWS BURGLERS will target a house with uncollected mail bulging from the mailbox. And by now we should all know the dangers of identity theft should our mail be stolen.

But what if we don’t have kindly neighbors to take care of that for us?

Sure, we can trudge off to the post office and fill out a form to put our mail on hold. But there’s a faster and easier solution you might not have thought of: go online.

I must confess I hadn’t thought of this myself until I was preparing for our trip to the Montreal Jazz Fest. I didn’t want to ask the neighbors yet again. And I didn’t want to drive to the post office. I was way too busy!

That’s when I looked up the USPS Website and, sure enough, there was an online option. Here’s the scoop from USPS:

— This online service will electronically notify your local Post Office to hold your mail.

— For same day service, online requests must be submitted by 2AM CST Monday – Saturday.

— Mail can be held from 3 to 30 days.

— We will resume normal delivery of your mail on the date you specify.

— Online access to request this service is currently limited to certain ZIP Codes.

I live in a minor city so did not have high hopes that my ZIP code would be serviced. But, Yippee!, it was and it took only a few minutes to fill out the form.

I was skeptical it would be as efficient as claimed. But the day after we got home our mail resumed as requested. We’d been gone only four days so the backlog of mail did fit nicely in our box. If there had been too much for our regular-size box, I would have had to go pick it up. But that’s a trade-off I’m willing to make.

Ready for vacation? Go to Hold Mail Service at USPS and fill out the simple form.

Bon voyage!

April 2011 update: Since writing this article, I’ve used this service every time we’ve gone on a trip and it has always been exactly as promised.

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Milli-Thornton-2008
Milli Thornton (aka Milliver) is the author of Fear of Writing: for writers & closet writers. She is owner of the Fear of Writing Online Course, where her mission is to put the fun back into writing. Milli blogs at the Fear of Writing Blog and coaches writers individually at Writer’s Muse Coaching Service.

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