One of the tasks that I’ve been dealing with this week is the mail. Moving is one thing, you have your mail forwarded. Done. Extended traveling is a different thing, you have your mail held. Done. Traveling & working in a foreign country for 6 months with no real address … that’s a unique situation when it comes to mail.
I’ve been researching options for a few months now. Typing searches into google like “Mail Service for travelers”, “mail receiving service”, etc. There are not a lot of services out there that cover this type of situation, but I did find two that I was very impressed with. They both market toward small businesses that are travel based, but fit the needs of a family doing the same type of thing as well. One was significantly more expensive than the other, so we opted for the cheaper (less features) service.
Here’s how it works. We are using a service called MailboxForwarding.com. (Want a Free Month with MBF? Use Promo Code: 18674)
Once we set up our account (our new address is in Michigan) and fill out (and get notarized) the government paperwork that allows mailbox Forwarding to accept mail on our behalf, it’s super simple.
We will have the post office forward our mail for 3 months at a time to our new address in Michigan. All the junk and catalogs will be discarded and only the real mail will make it through. Once our mail is received in Michigan, they will scan the front and back of the envelopes and add them to my online account. I’ll get an email, log in and determine if I want anything opened or just shredded. Anything I want opened, I click, and the next day I’ve got scans of the inside of the letter waiting for me. I can save the PDFs and have the original shredded or saved. Super cool.
One of the big hurdles I’ve had to deal with are checks. I get a lot of checks with my business and a scanned copy of those does me no good. Those need to go to the bank. Mailbox Forwarding’s competitor (the expensive one) offers a service for $30 a month that covers depositing any checks into the bank, but MBF does not offer that service. SO, I will be using another feature they offer, single piece mail forwarding. Checks will get forwarded by me when they arrive in Michigan to my partners here in the states and they can deposit them.
In theory at least, this plan should work great. I’ll know more in a month or two when I actually have to start dealing with it, but for now it’s the best option I could think of. Who knows, if this works great, we may never receive mail at our house again, even when we return. Imagine not having to deal with junk mail ever again. hmm… 🙂