By Laura Mueller | Moving.com | Contributor
Preparing for a change of address? In addition to the obvious moving basics like acquiring boxes and packing supplies and renting a truck or hiring professional movers, you’ll also want to make sure you’re notifying the right people and places about your move. It’s better to do this earlier rather than later so that you don’t face potential hassles like missed bills or service lapses. Not sure where to start?
This change of address checklist will fill you in on who you need to give a heads up to about your new home.
The post office
Start here, since notifying the post office of your change of address will get any mail sent to your old place forwarded to your new one for 12 months. You can easily make the address update online and set it for a specific start date. Do this at least a week before moving day—any later and there may be a gap between when you move and when your mail forwarding can begin.
Both the federal revenue agency and your state tax agency should be notified of your change of address. The IRS provides a simple online form where you can notify them of your new address. For your state tax agency, go to your specific state’s government website and look for directions. In most states you can easily handle this online as well.
Social Security Administration
If you receive any sort of social security benefits, don’t forget to let the SSA know where you’re moving to. Fill out their change of address application online or give them a call at (800) 772-1213.
Gas and electric
This is one you’ll want to get done as soon as you know what your new address will be and the date that you’ll be moving, lest you risk a day or more without heat or electricity. When transferring your electric service, arrange for shut off at your current place to happen at the end of moving day and for service at your new location to start either the morning of your move in or the evening before. That way, there will be no moving in the dark.
Phone, cable, and internet
Heavy is the heart of the person who moves in to a new home and doesn’t have internet set up yet. Just like with the electric company, call your phone, cable, and internet providers to let them know of your change of address as early as you can. This includes your cell phone provider, since they’ll need to know where to send your bill.
Depending on what sorts of utilities you’re responsible for at your new home (and it may very well be all of them) you’ll also need to notify the water department, sewer utility company, and garbage/recycling company.
Home or renters’ insurance
Be sure to let your home or renters’ insurance agency know where they need to transfer your policy to. With renters’ insurance, some landlords or management companies will want proof of transfer prior to your move-in date, so get this taken care of early. And while you’ve got your policy provider on the phone, ask if they cover items in transit so you’ll know if your belongings are protected during the moving process (if not, you may want to look into moving insurance).
Even if your paychecks are directly deposited into your bank account you’ll want to let your employer know about your change of address to make sure pay stubs, tax forms, and the like go to the right place.
Your bank and credit card company
Give your bank and credit card company a call or see if you can make the change online. Don’t forget about any loyalty programs or credit cards you may have with specific stores.
Yes, we all wish our student loans couldn’t find us, but if you move, you have to let any loan providers know.
Notify the agencies that provide you with health insurance, dental insurance, car insurance, and life insurance. If you have health insurance through the federal marketplace, visit Healthcare.gov and follow the directions for reporting a life change.
Other financial agencies
If you receive services from other financial agencies, including a credit union, a credit reporting agency, PayPal, an IRA/401k administrator, and/or an investment account holder, give them a heads up about your new address so you don’t miss anything important.
Magazines and subscription services
If you’re signed up for any magazines or other subscription boxes/services, change your address by emailing or calling their customer service department.
Online shopping sites
Make a list of the online stores you shop at most frequently and take some time to go in and change your address with each of them. With sites like Amazon and eBay, it’s easy to place orders without looking closely at the shipping details, and if you fail to change your address early on you might forget to make the change during your first purchase at your new place. Save yourself the time and the headache by switching your address now.
Clubs and organizations
Notify any clubs, organizations, and charities you’re involved with of your new address so that they know where to reach you with mailers. This includes your memberships to places like Costco or Sam’s Club.
Individual service providers
Let your doctor, dentist, veterinarian, etc. know about your new address. If you’re going to be staying in the area they’ll need to know for mailing and billing purposes. If you’re moving further away, they may be able to assist you with referrals.
Friends and family
Don’t forget this all important group! People used to send out change of address cards, but you can just send out a mass email with your new information and BCC everyone on it.
Changing your address does take time, but it’s much easier to take care of it before any problems arise from missing mail. Keep in mind that once you change your address with your bank, you’ll also need to update your billing address for any stores or services that bill you through that account. And remember: while it is work to change your address everywhere, it’s even more work to track down lost items. So update your address now (and just hope you don’t have to do it again any time soon).