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Old 01-21-2016, 11:36 AM   #1
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How to deal with mail and bills when away

So we are planning to go cross country this summer for 3 months. I'm wondering the best way to handle mail that usually comes to my house. We wont be in any one place long enough to have mail forwarded so how have others handled this. Most of our bills are paid through automatic payment however there are some that are not.
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Old 01-21-2016, 11:40 AM   #2
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Can you prepay the bills that aren't already being paid automatically?
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Old 01-21-2016, 11:45 AM   #3
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Family member or friends or close neighbor to pickup mail from your mail box/house and then call you to let you know such and such mail came?

No sense in making it complicated.

I have at least 6 neighbors that I would trust/ask.
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Old 01-21-2016, 12:28 PM   #4
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We just ask the Post office to put a vacation hold on our mail.
Have not tried to do it for three months.

Another option might be a temporary mail forward to a PO box.
I think the PO box place could store it until you return.

+1 on prepaying bills.

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Dan
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Old 01-21-2016, 12:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
Family member or friends or close neighbor to pickup mail from your mail box/house and then call you to let you know such and such mail came?

No sense in making it complicated.

I have at least 6 neighbors that I would trust/ask.

This is what we do as we have our BFF authorized to pick up our "held mail" at the PO once every two weeks. She then puts it all in a Priority Mail set price box and mails it to where we are staying. The PO will only hold mail for 30 days.

Since you are not going to be in one place very long, I would do as recommended above by prepaying those bills that are not on auto pay and just have a friend pick up your mail and hold it for you until you get back.

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Old 01-21-2016, 12:58 PM   #6
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We will be also be doing trips longer than 1 month (standard USPO hold period) going forward and looking at several options.

Of course having a neighbor / friend / family pick up and forward anything "interesting" would be great, but other than family (not an option for us), not really comfortable with putting a friend into a long commitment.

The person at our current post office that handles holds says we could do consecutive 30 day mail holds. Would be easiest but kind of working in the gray area with the Post Office that I'm not 100% comfortable with. No forwarding obviously.

Move our permanent mailing address to a PO Box, where they would automatically hold mail if your box fills up. Suggest telling them before you leave on extended trips. No forwarding, and this is near the top of our list since we will be moving to our new S&B in the spring and will need to change all our mailings anyway.

Move our permanent mailing address to a UPS Store "mailbox". Again, one and done on address changes for us. We THINK we can have them forward mail upon request, but will be going to a store to determine if that is the case. I would not expect them to filter out the junk mail, but if you are gone for 90 days, you'd really only have to pay to forward a box of mail a couple times. This looks to be an attractive option if our assumptions are correct. It also gives you a "street address" for anything that is not sent US Mail.

As for bills, we are almost 100% on line now, and the couple that we are not, we'll just pay ahead based on a generous estimate as appropriate.

For our license plates (which will expire at the end of one trip this year) we will go to the plate office and do those ahead of time as well.

For the options with no forwarding, when we have looked closely at what we do get I the mail, there is really nothing that we have seen that a 90 day delay in seeing would be a big problem (Jury duty may be a bit of a hassle......).

We are really not interested in the FMCA type services that are really geared to full timers, but open to other suggestions too.

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Old 01-21-2016, 01:05 PM   #7
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I'm on the road right now. Direct deposit on income sources. Most bills autopay, the rest I can pay online with on-line banking. Friend picking up my mail.
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Old 01-21-2016, 01:24 PM   #8
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USPS will hold mail for a maximum of 30 days per the website.
Have mail forwarded to a relative or friend who will re-mail a weeks worth of mail via USPS express (in a box) to an RV park where you will be a few days in the future. (with RV parks permission). We've done that for extended trips, just left some empty USPS boxes and money to pay for mailing with them.
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Old 01-21-2016, 03:59 PM   #9
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We have no bills that aren't either auto pay or can't be accessed and paid online. We have all of our mail forwarded to son's house. He can scan and email to us anything of importance that might come while we are away.
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Old 01-21-2016, 04:14 PM   #10
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When you have your mail forwarded, i.e. change of address, the USPS notifies all of your senders of your new addy. I'm having this problem right now as I rented a PO Box over the summer for a long trip. 3 change of addresses back to my home later, my mail it still screwed up.
For $13 a week, you can have your Post Office collect your mail and send it to an address of your choice. I'm thinking of doing this and having them send it to my son's house so he can filter it for anything important for our next 30+ day trip.

Pretty sure a temporary CoA also notifies senders of your change.
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Old 01-21-2016, 04:53 PM   #11
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Hi All,
I went to our local PO 2wks ago and I to asked one of the mail handlers what I could do if I was traveling for more than a month and she also stated we could put in the first 30 day hold and just put in another 30 day consecutive but,its hard to really put that much trust in that and I sure don't like the idea of the mail setting in the box for a month or two.Good Luck.
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Old 01-21-2016, 05:02 PM   #12
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We have next door neighbor collect and hold our mail due to post office 30 day rule. We also auto pay our bills except for the few we can't. For those we go on line and send a check with acct. number and so far no problems. We have been gone 4 months at a time.
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Old 01-21-2016, 05:47 PM   #13
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When you have your mail forwarded, i.e. change of address, the USPS notifies all of your senders of your new addy. I'm having this problem right now as I rented a PO Box over the summer for a long trip. 3 change of addresses back to my home later, my mail it still screwed up.
For $13 a week, you can have your Post Office collect your mail and send it to an address of your choice. I'm thinking of doing this and having them send it to my son's house so he can filter it for anything important for our next 30+ day trip.

Pretty sure a temporary CoA also notifies senders of your change.
Never had that problem. That would be a major PITA. With a temporary change, there's a start and stop date for the forwarding. Have done it for 2 businesses and individual/family with no problem.
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Old 01-21-2016, 08:41 PM   #14
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...We just ask the Post office to put a vacation hold on our mail....
We tried that. The form you fill out at the PO says max time they will hold it is 30 days. Been past that a day or two and nobody said anything...don't know about longer.
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