How to Forward Mail – A Step-by-Step Guide for Easy Mail Forwarding




Mail forwarding is a crucial service that is often overlooked, yet it can save you from countless headaches and inconveniences. Whether you’re moving to a new address, traveling extensively, or simply need to consolidate your mail, understanding how to forward mail is essential. In this article, we will explore the importance and benefits of mail forwarding, as well as guide you through the process step-by-step.

Understanding Mail Forwarding

Before diving into the process of forwarding mail, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of what it entails. Mail forwarding is essentially redirecting your mail from one address to another. This service is particularly necessary when you no longer have access to your previous address but still need to receive mail. It allows you to ensure important correspondence doesn’t get lost during the transition.

Mail forwarding becomes necessary in various situations. If you are moving to a new home, you may not want to miss out on important mail, such as bills or legal documents, during the transition period. Similarly, if you travel frequently or temporarily relocate, forwarding your mail ensures it reaches you no matter where you are. Furthermore, consolidating your mail to a different address can help streamline your life and avoid clutter.

The process of mail forwarding can vary depending on the method you choose. However, in all cases, it involves rerouting your mail from the original address to the new desired location. Let’s explore some common mail forwarding methods.

Before You Begin

Before setting up mail forwarding, it’s crucial to take a few preparatory steps to ensure a smooth transition.

Notify relevant parties

Start by notifying all the relevant parties that you will be forwarding your mail. This includes the postal service, your banks and financial institutions, and any subscription services you receive mail from. It’s important to inform them of your new address to avoid any disruptions in service or miscommunication.

Update your address

Next, make sure to update your address with any necessary entities. This includes your official documents, licenses, and records. Additionally, don’t forget to update your address with friends, family, and colleagues to ensure they send mail to the correct location.

Set up a new mailing address

If you haven’t already, set up a new mailing address to receive your forwarded mail. This can be a P.O. Box, a virtual mailbox, or another reliable address that suits your needs. Ensure that the address you choose is capable of receiving forwarded mail and that it has proper security measures in place.

Choosing a Mail Forwarding Method

Once you have completed the necessary preparations, it’s time to choose a mail forwarding method that best suits your requirements. Two popular options are forwarding mail through USPS and using private mail forwarding services. Let’s explore each method in more detail.

Option 1: Forwarding mail through USPS

Many people opt for USPS mail forwarding due to its simplicity and reliability. To set up USPS mail forwarding, you can either visit your local post office or initiate the process online through their website. USPS offers both temporary and permanent mail forwarding options, depending on the duration you require.

Setting up a USPS mail forwarding service involves providing your old and new addresses, as well as the date you want the forwarding to start. There is typically a small fee associated with this service, and it usually lasts for a specified duration. It’s important to note that mail forwarding through USPS only applies to mail sent via USPS and not to packages or deliveries from other courier services.

Option 2: Private mail forwarding services

If you are looking for additional features or need to forward mail from various sources, private mail forwarding services may be a suitable option. These services often provide more flexibility and can forward mail and packages from different carriers, allowing for a comprehensive forwarding solution.

When selecting a private mail forwarding service, it is crucial to research and choose a reputable provider. Look for reviews, compare pricing and plans, and check the range of services offered. Once you have selected the service that fits your needs, follow their setup process and pay any associated fees. Private mail forwarding services often offer additional features, such as mail scanning, virtual mailboxes, or even mail shredding services.

Forwarding Mail

Now that you have chosen your preferred mail forwarding method, it’s time to start the forwarding process.

Informing USPS or your mail forwarding service

When initiating the mail forwarding process with USPS or a private mail forwarding service, you will need to submit a forwarding request. This typically involves providing the necessary information, such as your old and new addresses, contact details, and the desired start date for mail forwarding.

Redirecting mail from your old address

After setting up mail forwarding, you need to consider what to do with your mail that will continue arriving at your old address. There are several options available:

  • Option 1: Redirect all mail from your old address to your new address for a temporary period. This ensures that all mail reaches you during the transition. USPS and some private mail forwarding services offer this option.
  • Option 2: Update your mailing address individually with important contacts, such as banks, credit card companies, or insurance providers. This way, mail from these entities will be sent directly to your new address.

Consider the duration and complexity of your mail redirection needs, as well as the associated costs, when deciding on the best option for you.

Managing Mail Forwarding

Once you have set up mail forwarding, it’s essential to stay on top of managing it effectively. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your mail forwarding service:

Monitoring forwarded mail

Keep a close eye on your forwarded mail to ensure it reaches you in a timely manner. If available, utilize tracking services to monitor packages and important documents. If you notice any issues or delays in receiving your forwarded mail, contact your mail forwarding service or USPS for assistance.

Updating your mailing address with important contacts

Remember to update your new address with important contacts, such as banks, credit card companies, and insurance providers. Failure to do so may result in important correspondence being sent to your old address, causing delays or missed payments. Additionally, don’t forget to update your address with subscription services, utilities, and any other entities that send you mail.

Cancelling Mail Forwarding

Eventually, you may need to cancel your mail forwarding service. Whether you have permanently settled into your new home or no longer require the service, it’s essential to close it properly.

Ending mail forwarding service with USPS

When canceling USPS mail forwarding, you can do so online through the USPS website or by visiting your local post office. Follow their specified cancellation process and provide the necessary information to ensure a seamless termination.

Terminating private mail forwarding service

If you are using a private mail forwarding service, review their cancellation policy and follow the necessary steps to terminate your service. Some providers may require a written notice or a phone call to initiate the cancellation process, so be sure to familiarize yourself with their requirements.

Tips and Best Practices

Here are a few tips and best practices to help you make the most of your mail forwarding experience:

Informing friends, family, and colleagues

Make sure to notify your close contacts about your new address to avoid any confusion or delays in communication. This can include friends, family, colleagues, and even your healthcare providers.

Keeping track of important documents and deadlines

When dealing with mail forwarding, staying organized is key. Develop a system for managing your mail, especially important documents and deadlines. Consider using labels or digital tools to help you sort and prioritize incoming mail.

Organizing forwarded mail effectively

Designate a specific area or folder for your forwarded mail to keep it separate from your regular mail. This helps prevent confusion and ensures you don’t miss any vital documents or bills.


Mail forwarding is an invaluable service that can make your life much easier during transitional periods or when consolidating mail. By understanding the process, following the necessary steps, and staying organized, you can ensure a hassle-free mail forwarding experience. Whether you choose USPS or a private mail forwarding service, make sure to inform the relevant parties, redirect your mail effectively, and manage the process efficiently. With these guidelines and best practices in mind, your mail forwarding journey will be seamless and stress-free!


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