Posted in: Moving Hacks

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If you moved recently and found a mysterious package that wasn’t addressed to you, there is a chance that that was just a one-time mistake. But if this keeps repeating, you’ll probably wonder how to stop getting mail for previous residents? This might get annoying, especially if you wait for an important letter and keep getting some unwanted magazines daily. Luckily, there is more than one way to handle this situation, and we’ll describe each one in this article.

Is It Common That People Forget About This During the Chaotic Relocation Times?

Do not think that you’re alone in this situation – with millions of people changing their address multiple times during their lifetime, this is actually a very common situation. There is no need to worry if you don’t know how this procedure works. If this is your first time relocating, this all might seem a bit confusing, but we promise you that it is a very common case, and it’s easily manageable. You’ll learn everything you need to know about handling this situation in a few simple steps by reading this convenient article.

Organize Everything on Time, So You Don’t Forget Something Important

If you need to deal with many relocation-related responsibilities in order to move efficiently and you do not have much time, hiring professional Sacramento movers may be a good option. Trained professionals can remind you of many great relocation hacks and other important steps you should take during this process. They can also remind you to change your own address since it is an important part of the process. Hiring professional movers in Sacramento is a great thing you can do for yourself to make everything much easier. Apart from many amazing local moving services, they can help you pack fragile items such as plates for moving or help you move a piano and other bulky objects from your home.

How Do I Stop Mail From Coming to My House?

We understand that this situation might get annoying and uncomfortable, especially if you just keep receiving other people’s bills and magazines, even months after you relocated. For the first couple of weeks, it can be normal, so there is no need to panic. There is a chance that former residents notified authorities about changing their address but did it at the last moment because they moved in a hurry, so some of the letters still ended up at your new house. 

This is usually a letter or a package that was sent before the authorities were informed about the change. To prevent this unpleasant situation from happening all over again, there are a few simple things you should put on your to-do list, and we’ll further explain each of them in the following lines. Start with the basics and continue with more advanced moves by following this order:

  • Put a note on your mailbox to inform your mailman about the former resident’s address change,
  • Leave a sticky note on a wrongly addressed envelope,
  • Cross out the barcode on the envelope,
  • Notify your postman or other delivery service workers about the problem,
  • File an official complaint.
You’ll learn how to stop mail for previous residents in the following lines

Step One: Put Sticky Notes on Wrongly Addressed Letters

One cool thing you can do to stop other people’s bills from coming to your place is to put sticky notes directly on envelopes and write a clearly visible message on them. Why use sticky notes instead of writing directly on the envelope, you might wonder. This is a more effective method, but the most important thing is that there is no way to damage sensitive content inside the envelope.

If you choose to write a message directly on the envelope and ink from your pen goes through the thin paper of the envelope, it might ruin important documents and information inside. There is no need for this kind of risk whatsoever, so sticky notes should be your best friends in this process. Plus, they are usually in some loud colors that will maximize the chance that people working at the post office will notice them and get your message.

The Best Method Is to Add Sticky Notes to Your Mailbox As Well

If you already marked the envelope and have sticky notes in your hand, why not double your chances of capturing your postman’s attention and leave a sticky note on the mailbox as well. Postal employees will read your message and follow the necessary procedure afterward in order to prevent further complications.

Do Not Hesitate to Try Some Other Method if This One Doesn’t Work

Leaving sticky notes should be a clear sign to authorities to act according to their rules and regulations in this case. You can do this as the first and easiest step, but if it doesn’t work and someone else’s magazines, bills, and letters keep on coming, you can try some of the tips mentioned below. The best part is that most of these things won’t cost you a dollar, so you do not have to worry about adding additional costs to your relocation expenses checklist and experiencing more relocation stress.

Putting sticky notes is one of the best methods on how to stop getting mail for previous residents
Sticky notes can prevent potential complications

Another Great Tip – Cross Out the Barcode, It Has to Work

After you successfully moved to one of the best neighborhoods in Sacramento and a wrong letter was delivered to your new home, you might want to find out more about letters’ classification and how this process in the post office works. In the US, every letter usually has a barcode on the envelope that can be scanned for the address info. If this information is incorrect, and it obviously is because it ended up in the wrong hands, you can simply cross out the barcode on the envelope to signal that the information is no longer valid and return this envelope.

Crossing out the barcode is one of the most popular methods

Letter Carrier Is Someone You Can Talk to Directly to Make Sure They Are Notified

Living in one of the safest neighborhoods in Sacramento has many advantages – your neighbors are so friendly, you’ll often catch yourself chatting with them on the street. If it happens that during this time, you accidentally see your local postal carrier, you should definitely grab a chance to speak to them and explain the details of your situation. They will tell you what steps to take or give you tips on how to solve the problem in the most efficient way.

USPS van on the street
Notify your post carrier if something is wrong and that former resident moved away

File a Complaint With the Postmaster – That’s the Last Thing You Can Do if Nothing Else Works

If you hire a reliable Sacramento moving company, you won’t be a part of a moving scam, so it won’t be necessary to file a complaint, but what about the way you’ll stop receiving mail from previous residents? If you already tried everything and still don’t know what to do with letters from a previous resident, the USPS official website should be your next destination.

Take a look at their tips and try to find a convenient solution. Filing an official complaint is the final step. You can do this at the closest post office – write a short letter with your current situation described in it or contact their employees to schedule an appointment where you can discuss further actions.

Person signing a document
One of the suggested steps is to file a formal complaint

What Do I Do With Previous Residents’ Mail? First of All – Don’t Open It

One of the basic rules, not only when you get former tenants’ letters but when someone else’s belongings get into your possession, is to not disturb other people’s privacy by checking what is inside their packages or letters. This is considered a federal offense, so you could face some charges if you choose to open them. Why put yourself at risk when you can simply return these letters and don’t stick your nose into other people’s business?

What to Do When You Get Mail for a Previous Resident? Is It Illegal to Throw Away Someone Else’s Mail?

Even if you get extremely annoyed and this situation gets out of control, please try to ignore the urge to throw former tenants’ letters away. We get that you might be upset – but this is also against the federal laws and regulations, plus throwing something away requires the same physical effort as simply returning it.

So, you wonder what to do with mail for a previous resident if USPS doesn’t offer you a solution? You should know that throwing things away won’t help you, but it can make things much worse. You can collect everything instead and keep it in one folder or a box, so you can give it to the person it was addressed to once when everything is solved.

Person putting letters into a mailbox
Don’t throw things away if you’re not sure what to do with mail from previous tenant USPS delivered to you

Now That You Know How to Stop Getting Mail for Previous Residents, You Can Solve This Problem Easily Every Time it Occurs

Relocations are challenging, so there is no need to overwhelm yourself with many tasks and obligations when you can hire professional Sacramento movers instead. If you want to relocate your household belongings and don’t know how to pack books for moving or wonder how to handle all of your clothes and bulky furniture, a residential relocation service might be a lifesaver. Our professional moving company in Sacramento can also offer you a convenient commercial relocation service in case that you want to relocate your business office somewhere around the area.

With their timely assistance, your only concern should be items movers won’t move and following the law when it comes to the address change – everything else is up to us. There is no need to worry about potential complications – we’re a trustworthy company with many years of experience in providing our clients with the best moving services in Sacramento. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions, and we’ll give you all the answers.