Moving into your first apartment often means receiving your own mail directly for the first time! Whether you’re moving out of a home or dorm environment, living in your first apartment will come with some changes. While you may never receive snail mail from your friends and family (unless it’s a wedding invitation or a birthday card from grandma), your landlord, your employer, the IRS, and your bank still send most important notification by USPS. Understanding how to ensure you receive important documents is another living-on-your-own skill you need to learn. Consider these few quick mailbox tips and never miss a letter!
First thing’s first… update your address!
After your move, be sure to update you address with the US Postal Service. This will ensure that any mail sent to a previous address is immediately forwarded back to you and keep you up to date with your mail. Complete this quick form online here right before your move for best results.
Check it frequently
Generally, your apartment mailbox will be a tiny, locked box, which can fill up very quickly! Do yourself (and your postman) a favor and check it frequently – every couple of days should suffice. Not only will it stop your box from overflowing, but will also ensure you don’t miss any important bills or notices from your utility companies or apartment complex. Many companies will mail one-off notices with important details included, so don’t throw mail away without opening it!
Switch to online documentation
For your bills, consider switching from mailed to online statements and documentation. This would include your utilities, banks, investments, employer information, W2’s… most mailed communication can be converted to emailed. This way, the companies will send you important information over email instead of in the mail. Many of us check our phones and emails frequently, so it makes sense to have notes sent straight there. Plus, reducing your paper use is great for the environment, so it’s a win for everyone involved.
Cancel unneeded subscriptions
In your tiny mailbox, you’ll notice that magazines and catalogs don’t always fit comfortably! If you are paying for subscriptions that you don’t use, consider canceling them, as well as all the catalogs from companies you no longer buy from. This will free up your mailbox and recycling bin while saving you a couple bucks… another win-win.
With a little effort, you can ensure your mailbox is easy for you to use and that you never miss an important notification.