Many people overlook the importance of holding mail while out of town. The truth is a week’s worth of mail jammed into your mailbox may be a red flag to a burglar that your home is unattended. By adding “mail hold” to your trip-planning checklist, you will be one step closer to keeping personal belongings safe while you are away.

Schedule your mail hold service up to 30 days in advance with one of these three methods.

If you are not sure how to stop your mail delivery while you’re away, there are three ways to do it:

1. Online Hold

  • Visit the United States Postal Service (USPS) website to notify the post office you will be out of town. The required details you will need to provide include your zip code, name, address, and dates to stop and resume your mail delivery.
  • Before continuing your application, assure that you have verified your address.
  • Select your “Begin Date” and “Resume Date” as well as how you would like your mail to be delivered upon arrival. Choose either “post office delivers accumulated mail” or “I will pick up accumulated mail.”
  • If you do not have any additional comments or questions, click “continue.” After you have approved all of your information, you will receive a confirmation number.

2. Over the Phone

  • Contact USPS customer service at 1-800-ASK-USPS to begin the mail-hold process.
  • After you have been connected with a customer service representative, provide your personal information, when you want to begin and end your hold, as well as how you will receive your mail after the hold has been terminated.
  • After you have completed your call, you will be provided with a confirmation number.

3. In-Person Hold

  • Check your local post office’s business hours.
  • Ask a mail clerk for a PS Form 8076 (or download a copy of the form in advance here), and provide the necessary information to complete the form.
  • Before you head out for your trip, get in contact with your local carrier to ensure that your information has been processed and is accurate.

Quick Tip: To change or access mail-hold information, make sure to record the confirmation number provided to you.

Do you have a preferred method of stopping your mail delivery while you are out of town? Share with us in the comment section below.

Image Source: Judith E. Bell under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic