If you need to change your address, what you really need is a change of address form. You can sometimes find these online and turn them in that way, or you may be able to turn in a physical copy as well. Generally speaking, these are very simple forms that just require you to write down your name, some contact information – such as a phone number or an email address – and both your old and new address. You also have to put down the date that you want it to be effective, which is probably almost immediately, but could be a future date if you are doing things in advance and you will not actually be moving for a few weeks, until you close on your new house.
After you turn the form in, you should get a confirmation email from the post office. If you did not provide an email address, they may call you to confirm that they got the form and that they are putting it on file. This is just for your peace of mind, so that you know that everything has gone through in the correct fashion. You do not have to respond to this in any way. However, if you do not get the confirmation, you may want to check with them to make sure that it did not get lost or misplaced.
Once it kicks in, the form is going to set up an automatic forwarding service so that all of your mail is sent to your new address instead of your old one. This lasts for one year. After that year is up, they are going to send you a notice to tell you that your forwarding is going to be stopped. After this, your mail will start going to your old address again, so it is important to make all of the necessary changes before you get this notice. If you want to learn more about how it works, you could check out a site like www.kandela.com.
The most important thing to know is that this does not actually change the address that is on file with the people – such as the electric company – who are sending you mail. The post office is not going to contact them to tell them that you moved. It is up to you to do this within the next twelve months.