Moving is a very intensive process, and there are a lot of moving parts (no pun intended). The sheer number of things you need to sort out for a successful move makes it very easy to forget some important things. Even when you are working with a moving company that is able to use their expertise to make the process as seamless as possible, there are some things you simply will have to handle on your own.
Changing your address is one of those things. As obvious as it might be, many people only discover that they’ve forgotten to do it after spending a week or two or even more in their new home and seeing that they aren’t getting their mail as they used to. Also, there are quite a few entities that you’ll need to notify about your change of address, for legal reasons and also to be sure that your magazine subscription doesn’t go to waste because they kept delivering at your old place. Here is a nifty checklist of all the notifications you will need to give:
✅ The Post Office – This is the first and most important one, simply because so much of your mail comes through the post office and if you don’t notify them well in advance, even a few days of being out of reach might mean that you miss very important documents. Generally, this is something you can do on the internet so that they forward your mail to the new address you have provided wile you reach out to the original senders and notify them of the change.
✅ Tax Agencies – You have a legal obligation to notify the IRS and the state tax agency of your new address so that they can send tax documents to you. As with the post office, you can generally do this online as well. The IRS makes it very easy by providing the form 8822 online. To find the procedure for your state, visit your state’s government website. There will likely be directions on how to complete the process.
✅ Social Security Administration is the third government agency that you will need to give an update about the change in your address. This applies if you currently receive any social security benefits, to be sure that they know where to send your checks and any other documents that you might need to deal with from time to time, to be able to continue receiving your benefits.
✅ DMV – The last government agency that everyone needs to send their new address is the Department of Motor Vehicles. Notifying them is a legal requirement and you will have between 30 and 60 days to do so, after which you might be liable to pay fines. It is a simple process too since most states allow you to do it online.
✅ Gas and Electric – Being without heat or electricity in your new home is not fun, even if it’s just for a day or two while you sort things out with the utility company. To avoid that, you should reach out to them well in advance of your move and give them your new address as well as when you intend to move in. That way, they can shut off the supply to your current home and stop charging you for it, and start providing your gas and electricity in your new home. Apart from the risk of moving into your new home in the cold and in darkness, there is also the risk of paying for utilities that you’re not using, so definitely keep this one at the top of the pile.
✅ Cable, internet, and phone are the next most important set of utilities for most people, and the same things apply to them as do to gas and electricity. If you do not reach out to the companies that provide you these services in time, you might find that you remain liable to pay for the services in your old home for a while after you leave, and you might also have to spend some time without the services in the new home. It is very easy to avoid those issues, by reaching out to the companies online or calling them, so there’s no reason why you should let it become a problem.
✅ Other subscriptions and utilities such as the water department, sewer management, and garbage/recycling companies will also need to be notified for the same reasons as outlined above for utilities generally. If you subscribe to other services like magazines, you have to tell them as well, so they do not continue sending your packages to the old address. The process for doing this will differ but for most, simply calling their customer service line and explaining your situation will be the quickest way to sort it out.
✅ Financial Institutions such as banks, insurance companies, credit card companies are the next set of organizations that you must give notice of your change of address. Your bank will likely be sending you communications regularly, along with your credit card company and any organization whom you owe money. Some of the more formal and established institutions will likely have a way for you to make the change by completing a form online but for the others, the best way will likely be to call them up and ask how to do it. Be sure you reach out to every financial institution with which you have a relationship, especially anyone that you owe. This is important because failure to receive and respond to certain financial notices might result in penalties or adverse actions on the part of the institution.
✅ Clubs and organizations which you belong too also need to be informed about your change of address so that they can direct their communications with you accordingly. This might be charitable organizations you belong to or store memberships. Send notifications to all of them according to their stated procedures, to be sure you do not lose your benefits or membership of the organizations.
✅ Your doctor, dentist, and other individual service providers are the final set of people whom you will need to give notice to. This will enable them to send you mails or bills, and while doing that, you should take the opportunity to ask for referrals if you’re going somewhere far enough that you won’t be able to continue using their service.