In the 10 1/2 years that we’ve been married, Tim and I have lived in 8 different homes spanning 5 different cities in 3 different states.
Every time we move, we swear we’ll never do it again. But obviously we are kidding ourselves!
I’m not going to share with you my best tips for packing up your home, for finding a great moving service, or for discovering a diamond in the rough when looking for homes to purchase or rent, though I have experience with all of those endeavors. Today I want to talk about one thing you might not be considering as you plan a move:
protecting your identity as you change addresses.
I’ve got LOADS of experience with getting our addresses changed, as well as with dealing with all the mail that previous residents get forwarded to us because they didn’t properly change their addresses. I want to share my top 3 tips for keeping your private information private as you move.
1. Fill out change of address forms with the post office BEFORE you move! Many people do this after they are “settled” at their new locations. That is a fantastic way to lose a bunch of your mail and leave it exposed for whoever happens to live in your home after you (or for passersby who are looking for some mail to steal….and I swear that happens as I have had mail stolen from my box before!). You can schedule the date you want your forwarding service to take effect, so it doesn’t have to be done AFTER you have moved, I promise!
2. Do not assume that the post office will let everyone who sends you mail know that you have moved. They will not!!!! The only way places that send you mail will learn is if the post office returns some of the mail to the sender after your forwarding service has expired. They don’t always do that, and even if they do, you will then be dealing with delays. For example, if your credit card bill is mailed to you and then returned back to the sender without your new address listed, the credit card company won’t know how to contact you and before you know it, your bill is late. It is your responsibility to notify all of your contacts (everyone from the utility companies where you may have outstanding bills from the old address to your favorite magazines) of your new address. It is CRITICALLY important that you notify any of your creditors (banks, credit card companies, etc.). Just imagine if your bank sent your new credit or debit card to your old address and it got into the wrong hands (and by the way, any hands that aren’t yours are the wrong hands!).
3. Try to get to know the new residents, if possible. I have met the people who currently live in the house where we last lived, and good thing, because UPS and FedEx have dropped off several packages to them since we left. Those would have been lost forever if they didn’t know how to contact me. You can always send a note through the mail to the new residents simply giving your forwarding address and your email address or your phone number in case they want to get in touch with you about any mail that has arrived.
LifeLock is continuing their wonderful LifeLock for Life sweepstakes in 2013, and for January and February, the focus is on moving into a new home. I just went through all the questions and seasoned as I am at moving, I still learned a few helpful tips. AND…I’m entered to win a $1,000 Visa gift card! 🙂 Take a second to enter for yourself, too! There will also be 9 winners who will receive a year membership to LifeLock!
What about you? What are steps you take to make sure your personal information isn’t left at your old address when you move?
I am a compensated ambassador for LifeLock. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are strictly my own.