What About My Mail? Managing a Physical Mailbox While You’re Away
Mail is one of the many small things that you can overlook while you’re planning to travel on assignment. Don’t let mail pile up in your absence or get returned to sender by mistake. Here’s everything you need to know about managing your mail while you’re away.
The problem with piled-up mail
Think about how much mail you get on a daily basis. Travel nurse assignments are often 13 weeks in length, which can make for a lot of mail while you’re away. Unless you think ahead and put a hold on your mail delivery, all that mail will continue to get delivered.
Bills, solicitations, packages, letters, and much more will start to pile up, untouched, in your mailbox. Even though it might not seem like a big deal, letting mail pile up in this way can actually cause some problems.
Forgetting about mail means you won’t be getting any mail that’s really important, such as legal documents, bank statements, or bills. Missing some of these items can be disastrous to your financial situation. And, without you home to collect it, important mail might get lost or misplaced.
You also need to worry about letting your mailbox overflow. Postal workers can’t deliver mail to an overflowing mailbox. Packages delivered to your home may also get stolen since they are normally left outside. On top of all that, letting your mail pile up can signal to wrongdoers that you aren’t home, making your house more susceptible to break-ins.
How to manage your mail
Instead of letting all your mail pile up, you can choose one of many options available to you. One of the simplest ways to handle your mail is to ask a friend to collect it for you. However, this means you still won’t have access to it, and this task may be burdensome for the person you ask. You could also sublet your home to a friend or acquaintance and request that they bring in and hold your mail for you.
Another option is to have mail scanned for email delivery. USPS offers Informed Delivery, which will send you a preview of your incoming mail through email. Unfortunately, you’re not able to view all the contents, so you still might miss out on important information. Other services can have mail delivered to special mail centers where staff will scan the outside for you, email you, and wait for you to decide to have the mail opened and scanned, shredded, or forwarded to your location.
Forward your mail for peace of mind
Instead of the above-mentioned options, one of the best ways to handle your mail is to have it forwarded to your current address. USPS makes forwarding mail easy with its free forwarding service, which lasts six months. You can change your address online for a small fee or do it for free in-person before you leave. Then, all your mail will be forwarded to your new address as it arrives.
This option gives you the most control over your mail. You can sort through it and handle important matters as quickly as possible without requiring the assistance of family, friends, or other services. Just make sure that you stop the service and change your address back to your permanent home when you return from your assignment.
When traveling for work, you’ll have a lot of things to take care of. It’s easy to let mail fall to the wayside, but the consequences are not worth avoiding the small effort it takes to have mail forwarded or picked up for you. Be sure to make a plan before you leave.