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mail at vacation home - especially junk mail
Old 02-11-2017, 06:34 AM   #1
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mail at vacation home - especially junk mail

I've searched through old threads and didn't find an answer to my specific question about vacation home mail. First, I used vacation home to mean a non-primary residence that is used periodically for getaways of 1-4 weeks per getaway. This would not be a winter/summer home where you're essentially splitting each year's month something like 6/6 or 8/4 in one large block. Because of this, no mail that I care about should ever arrive at the vacation home address.

So for a vacation home, how does one best handle USPS mail? If I do a USPS change of address (old address = vacation home new = permanent residence), will that ensure that no mail is put into the vacation home's mailbox? I thought that forwarding didn't do junk mail and therefore over several months of not visiting, junk mail would accumulate? Even if it does forward junk mail, doesn't it only last one year?
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mail at vacation home - especially junk mail
Old 02-11-2017, 06:46 AM   #2
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mail at vacation home - especially junk mail

We own a vacation home at the beach in NC. When we bought it, there was no mailbox out front. That is the common thing to do on that particular island.... many of the houses (maybe a third or more?) don't even have a box at all.

We receive all the bills at our primary home or internet billed, so, like you mentioned, there is no need to receive anything there.

Maybe you could ask at the post office about removing the mailbox entirely?
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Old 02-11-2017, 07:19 AM   #3
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I have same issue. Still haven't figured it out.
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Old 02-11-2017, 07:24 AM   #4
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In your case, I would consider renting a box at the nearest post office you pass on your way to the home. Remove the mailbox entirely.
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Old 02-11-2017, 07:29 AM   #5
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Prior to retirement we had no mailbox on our weekend home. After retirement we went down to one home.
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:07 AM   #6
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We used to get junk mail at the vacation home mailbox. After a while I think the mailman just threw it away. I looked in the mailbox once and saw a card to fill out stating what names correspond to the mailbox. I never filled it out and never got junk mail since. We have received a few legit pieces of mail in the last 15 years.

Op - maybe try calling the post office and tell them that you are no longer living there and not accept mail for that address.
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:10 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies so far. I definitely like the thinking, uh, outside the box

Those who removed or went without a mailbox, two follow up questions:
1) Did any of you have roadside mailboxes on posts and if so, any issues with HOA and;
2) Did going mailboxless cause any issues in terms of gossip or issues with neighbors?
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:14 AM   #8
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Op - maybe try calling the post office and tell them that you are no longer living there and not accept mail for that address.
+1

Then tape the mailbox shut.
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Old 02-11-2017, 10:10 AM   #9
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Those who removed or went without a mailbox, two follow up questions:
1) Did any of you have roadside mailboxes on posts and if so, any issues with HOA and;
2) Did going mailboxless cause any issues in terms of gossip or issues with neighbors?
It might depend on the local postmaster, but around here it's very common for houses not to have a mailbox at the driveway when all around them do. Everyone simply assumes they get their mail at the post office.

In fact, one of my neighbors removed his just a couple of years ago. He simply got tired of having it bashed by the snowplow.
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Old 02-11-2017, 10:19 AM   #10
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We have this issue for our home in Arizona. However, since this is our only US address we do, on occasion, get important mail, like insurance stuff. We get our security company to get all the mail, save it for us, then drop it at the house before we arrive back.
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Old 02-11-2017, 10:21 AM   #11
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We snowbird, so it's not the short term issue that you are having. But I do the same temporary change of address, and the mail carrier has never put mail in the "inactive" mailbox in either side. I think once your change of address takes effect junk mail doesn't get bundled for your address, so the mail carrier doesn't have anything to deliver to that address.

My method is: a week before I leave for Address B I do a temporary change of address (6 months, usually). I also do a hold mail request for a week at the Address B. This starts the mail going to the Address B and I have a week at Address A to make sure nothing slips in.

Then, when I get to Address B the mail gets delivered once the hold is off. Then, when we're heading back to Address A we reverse the process. We've never missed any mail, and never had any junk mail get left in the empty mailbox.

Personally, if I was going somewhere just for a few weeks, I would only have a mailbox at the primary residence and just do a hold mail when I'm gone. Pretty much all my bills are electronic, and the few that aren't can wait until I get home.
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Old 02-11-2017, 01:28 PM   #12
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Personally, if I was going somewhere just for a few weeks, I would only have a mailbox at the primary residence and just do a hold mail when I'm gone. Pretty much all my bills are electronic, and the few that aren't can wait until I get home.
Mail at the primary residence isn't the issue -- it's mail at the vacation home while we're (most of the year) away. I don't want to be an obvious target for break-in or unnecessarily be a PITA to the mail carrier.
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Old 02-11-2017, 01:52 PM   #13
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For my Dad's place I talked to the local post office and told them mail had been forwarded and we didn't want junk mail left in the mailbox. They said they'd leave a note for the carrier, and it seems to have worked.
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Old 02-11-2017, 01:54 PM   #14
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Mail at the primary residence isn't the issue -- it's mail at the vacation home while we're (most of the year) away. I don't want to be an obvious target for break-in or unnecessarily be a PITA to the mail carrier.
Then get rid of the mailbox at the vacation home. You probably don't need it. How much important mail do you get in a month? For me, that would be approaching zero.

If it's a condo or something with a group box, just stick a note in it saying not to deliver to it. Only the mail carrier will see it.

But even if you want to have the mailbox, doing the change of address process should keep the box empty. Even though the mail system here in SWFL really sucks, I've never gotten mail when I'm not there.

If you absolutely want to get mail there and are still worried about it, get one of these, and take the bottom out. Any mail will drop down and won't fill up your box.
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Old 02-11-2017, 04:29 PM   #15
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At my high-country boondocks home, the US Postal Service does not deliver mail. One has to get a free PO box at the nearest postal office, and it has just a number. So, the street address is only good for FedEx and UPS delivery.

I got a PO box, and have never given it out. In fact, I do not know what my PO box number is offhand. So, all I get is junk mail, which I need to go clear out every few months. Don't know why I even bother to keep it, as it has to be renewed each year in person.
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Old 02-13-2017, 08:32 AM   #16
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Thanks everyone! I figured there must be a way to handle it and it sounds like plan a is simply ask the USPS to not deliver any junk mail and plan b is remove the mailbox.
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Old 02-13-2017, 08:39 AM   #17
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In Phoenix, the mail person leaves a note in the box asking for the new resident info. I just leave the notice there. A couple of times the mail person approached me to ask if I am the new resident. I simply tell him or her the house is vacant and they will be notified when a new tenant moves in. I would never remove a mailbox, as that is a clear indication the property is vacant.
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Old 02-13-2017, 10:48 AM   #18
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I was talking to my USPS rural carrier Friday, and I told her I was going to take down my mail box. She asked me not to, which makes me think she gets paid by the number of boxes on her route.

She said that she can note to place only 1st Class mail in the box and to not put any mailers, circulars or junk mail into the box.
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Old 02-13-2017, 11:30 AM   #19
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Our carrier at the lake house has her own system. She delivers up to two editions of the weekly local paper, if you haven't taken them and the junk mail out of the box by week three she stops delivering anything until it's emptied. The homes and cabins in the area are probably 70/30 weekenders vs full time residents. Works well for me.
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Old 02-14-2017, 08:16 AM   #20
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Our carrier at the lake house has her own system. She delivers up to two editions of the weekly local paper, if you haven't taken them and the junk mail out of the box by week three she stops delivering anything until it's emptied. The homes and cabins in the area are probably 70/30 weekenders vs full time residents. Works well for me.
I figured if we let the box fill up the carrier would stop further delivery but I wouldn't want to leave a full box for weeks or months at a time -- seems like a big indicator to a would-be thief that this house is unoccupied.
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