Moving is one of the most stressful events in a person’s life, no matter your experience or ability level. Whether you’re changing your own address, or you’re helping someone prepare for a move, you might not know how to get started.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Pre-Move Change of Address Checklist
- Post-Move Change of Address Checklist
- Tips for Changing Your Address
Below, we’ll go over everything you need to know about the change of address process. When you’re completing a change of address for yourself or for someone in your life, the checklist below will help you get it done.
Pre-Move Change of Address Checklist
The physical stress of moving is one thing, but the paperwork and practicalities can often be even more overwhelming. The good news is, you can get some of your moving paperwork out of the way early in the moving process.
Here are the steps you can complete before you or your loved one physically moves to the new address.
1. Post Office
Most people know that you can complete an official Change of Address with the Post Office when you move. You can get this done ahead of the moving date. Just make sure to include the date you or your loved one is actually moving, rather than the present date.
Keep in mind that the Post Office will only forward your mail to the new address for one year after the move. If you or your loved one is permanently moving, you’ll need to complete this step, as well as the steps below.
If you or your loved one is paying for utilities now or will need to at the new home, you can contact utility providers ahead of time. Arrange a date to end services at the current home and enable services at the new home.
Consider whether you need to contact these utility providers:
- Phone (cell and landline)
- Internet and cable
- Water and sewer
- Waste removal
3. Residential services
If you have any residential help, like lawn care, home security, or house cleaning, it’s a good idea to inform those providers as soon as you can ahead of the move. As soon as you have your or your loved one’s new address, give that to them.
They can make sure the new address is still within their service area. If it’s not, you’ll have to find new service providers.
Consider these residential services when you’re changing your address:
- Home security system providers
- Lawn maintenance and pool cleaners
- Babysitters and nannies
4. Government agencies
The Post Office isn’t the only federal or public agency you need to notify about a change of address. You must also let the agencies below know you or your loved one is moving.
You might be able to do so ahead of time, depending on the office. The office will let you know if you need to return after the move has already taken place to update your address.
- Internal Revenue Service and state revenue agency
- Social Security Administration
- U.S. Customs and Immigration Service
- Pet licensing office
- County tax assessment office
- Voter registration
- Department of Veteran Affairs
- Department of Motor Vehicles
It’s important to let your employer or employers know that you’re moving. This includes your current employer, as well as any employers you worked for within the last year.
Your employer will need this information when they go to file your tax information and provide you with your W-2. Current employers also need your address on file for payroll and contact information.
You can let your current and past employers know about your move as soon as possible, but make sure to tell them the date when you’ll be officially moved in.
Post-Move Change of Address Checklist
You can tick the items above off the list before you or your loved one moves. For other services and organizations, though, it’s better to wait until after the move to update your address.
This includes any service providers that can’t schedule a change of address for a future date.
Make sure you don’t change you or your loved one’s address too early, to avoid missing out on important mail and notifications.
6. Financial services
Financial institutions and services need your address to deliver statements and to verify your identity.
It’s a good idea to wait until after you or your loved one has moved into the new home to change your address with the financial service providers below. That way, anyone who’s currently living at your new address doesn’t receive your private financial information in their mailbox.
However, make sure to change your address with these providers as soon as you can after you make the move.
Consider the following financial services and providers when you’re changing your or your loved one’s address:
- Banks and credit unions
- Loan institutions, including online lenders
- Investment accounts
- Insurance agencies
- Tax management
- Credit card companies
- Credit reporting agencies
- Financial advisors
7. Medical services
You or your loved one likely have your address on file with one or more medical providers. If you’re helping an elderly loved one through the change of address process, you’ll need to make sure you change the person’s address with each provider.
This ensures that your loved one can continue making appointments or managing their accounts.
Consider these medical services and providers when you’re changing your own address or helping a loved one change their address:
- Medical clinics and doctors
- Health insurance (including Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance providers)
8. Online merchants
If you or your loved one shop on Amazon, eBay, Etsy, or other online shops, you’ll need to update your address within your account.
Doing so is fairly easy, and it should only take a couple of minutes. Just make sure you change your billing address (if you’ve already changed your address with your bank), as well as your shipping address.
You can change your billing address as soon as you change the address with your bank account. But you’ll need to wait to change your shipping address to avoid purchased products going to the wrong location before you move.
9. Periodicals and subscriptions
As soon as you move into your new home, make sure to change your address with any periodicals or subscription deliveries.
You’ll want to do so between the last delivery date while you’re living at your old address and the first delivery date while you’re living at the new address. If you receive newspapers, you can usually let the service provider know about your move ahead of time. They’ll change your delivery address for that future date.
By planning ahead and making changes as you go, you can avoid having your magazines, newspapers, or other subscription deliveries go to the wrong address and fall into the wrong hands.
10. Organizations, clubs, and businesses
Finally, you’ll need to think about clubs, organizations, and businesses that have your or your loved one’s address on file. You can update your address with these types of organizations after the move.
However, make sure to change your address with clubs, organizations, and businesses as soon as you can. That way, they don’t send mailers, coupons, and other information to the wrong home.
Consider these organizations when you’re working on a change of address:
- Membership clubs like AAA, AARP, and ACLU
- Cost-saving clubs like Costco, Bi-Mart, or Sam’s Club
- Alumni groups
- Health clubs
- Frequent flyer programs
- Neighborhood associations
- Civic clubs and organizations
- Country clubs and social clubs
- Charity and volunteer organizations
- Pet care businesses and veterinary providers
- Professional memberships
- Children’s clubs and organizations
- Service providers like attorneys and bookkeepers
More Tips for Changing Your Address
Here are a few more things you can do to make the change of address and moving process a little bit easier.
Set up mail and package forwarding. As mentioned above, you can change your address officially with the United States Postal Service. But this only tells the Post Office to forward your mail to the new address for about one year.
After that grace period, it’s up to you to have changed your address on each of your accounts individually.
You can also set up mail forwarding with FedEx and UPS. It works in much the same way: the shipping company will ship items to your new address when they’re mailed to your old one.
After a period of time, the forwarding will stop. If you haven’t changed your address with the online merchants who are shipping your items, they’ll start going to your old address again.
You can also request that FedEx or UPS hold your package at a local shipping center, where you can pick it up whenever you want.
Here are some of the pages you’ll need to set up mail and parcel forwarding or holding:
Tell friends and family. You have to officially notify the organizations and agencies listed above when you or your loved one is changing your address. But you should also keep friends and family members in the loop.
Consider sending out a mass email or handwritten letters by mail to inform everyone at the same time. This will save you the stress of wondering whether you told one person or another later on.
It will also help guarantee your loved ones don’t send their Christmas letters, holiday gifts, and other correspondence to the wrong address.
Update your end-of-life plans. Your end-of-life plans might include information that was particular to your previous address. When you move, make sure to review your documents and make changes as needed.
Update passwords to online merchant accounts that you might have changed in the process, and make sure everything is accurate based on your new address. If you haven’t created an end-of-life plan, it’s a great time to get started.
Minimize the Stress of Moving
With any move—whether you’re moving, or you’re helping someone you love move into a new home—things can easily fall through the cracks. A magazine might get delivered to the wrong house; maybe a bill gets paid late when you forget to update your billing address.
Whenever you can, it’s important to minimize the stress of moving. Following the checklist provided in this article, you can change your address as quickly and smoothly as possible.
Looking for more guidance? Read our guide on how to forward magazines to a new address.
- Official USPS Change of Address. USPS. moversguide.usps.com/mgo-m/disclaimer
- Forward Mail. USPS. www.usps.com/manage/forward.htm
- Delivery Management. FedEx.www.fedex.com/apps/fdmenrollment/
- Package Intercept - How do I change a delivery? UPS. www.ups.com/us/en/help-center/sri/tracking/change-delivery.page