How to Hold the Mail: A Quick Tip

girl.jpgHeather says:

Mr. Heather and I are going to be taking a short trip in the near future.  Rather than pester our neighbors, I thought I would see how difficult it was to place a hold on the mail.  I remember my mother having to head down to the post office, stand in line, and fill out a form.

A quick Google search revealed the form is online and can be used to stop mail as soon as the next business day. Mail can be held for 3 – 30 days.  How nifty is that?  This service may not be available in all areas.  I was pretty excited to complete this chore in under a minute.


  1. Haridas Pal on December 26, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    Did not work for me at all. Turned in the yellow card in person three days before going on vacation. Mail was delivered while the hold was effective. This is scary and dangerous. The whole idea of the hold is to keep burglars away and the USPS incompetence is defeating that purpose.

  2. Adam Taylor on June 29, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Thank you for the tip.

  3. Barbara Dale on May 18, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    We did it in person at our local post office. When we returned we had tons of mail at home, including our income tax return. The post office managed to hold a small handful of mostly junk mail (probably one day’s worth of mail). I even spoke directly with the carrier when he dropped off mail the first day of the hold and told him we had a mail hold.

    We’ll never try that again.

  4. Tracey on June 26, 2008 at 8:35 am

    Thank you! I have been procrastinating on this for weeks and finally was able to check it off my list with your easy link.

    Funny, but I am still a little nervous that they will forever stop delivering our mail. Oh, me of little faith. 🙂

    p.s. I found you through Like Merchant Ships

  5. Tracey on June 26, 2008 at 8:35 am

    Thank you! I have been procrastinating on this for weeks and finally was able to check it off my list with your easy link.

    Funny, but I am still a little nervous that they will forever stop delivering our mail. Oh, me of little faith. 🙂

  6. Leigh on June 23, 2008 at 9:22 am

    Thank you for posting this! I actually went and filled out the form for our vacation next week before I read the comments – and now I hope it works! I’m not worried – we probably wouldn’t have anyone pick up our mail while we are gone anyway, but it would be awesome if this works well!

  7. Kris on June 23, 2008 at 12:45 am

    The last time we mail hold, it didn’t work–and I gave the form to a postal worker in the office. I suggest that you hold the mail a few days before you leave so you can see if it’s going to work. And then pick up your mail from the office.

    My parents live in a smaller city and they’ve never had any problems. I wonder if it has to do with how well managed a particular post office is…All I know is that not having mail holds work is very stressful to us b/c we don’t know our neighbors. I hope your warnings are needless!

  8. Carissa on June 22, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    I’ve attempted to use this service twice, and it didn’t work at all either time. I stopped at the post office to pick it up on my way home, they had nothing for me, and I came home and found my neighbors took pity and collected it because it was piling up on my porch. I had confirmation numbers and everything. The people at the post office told me to just come in and fill out the form in the future.

  9. imabug on June 22, 2008 at 6:51 am

    I’ve used USPS’s online mail hold and address change almost since they introduced it a few years ago. Used it many times and have never had a problem with it. I’ve submitted mail hold requests anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 days prior (USPS’s online form won’t let you submit requests more than 14 days in advance). it’s convenient and saves me from having to remember to make a trip to the post office.

    @Leslie – you can choose to either have your mail delivered at the end of the mail hold or go pick it up at the post office. If you’re gone a while and get a bunch of mail in the meantime and have it delivered, your held mail may end up showing up over a period of 2-3 days (depending on how much fits in your mailbox).

  10. Jasi on June 21, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    Worked great for us. But we did it in person and know our mail people.

  11. leo on June 21, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Please test this out once or twice long before your trip. This has never worked flawlessly for me. I used to use the yellow mail-in form, and if I sent it in too soon, they would forget to hold my mail. A relative who used to be a postmaster told me to send it in only a week ahead. However, If I sent it a week ahead, they would not have enough time, and so I would have a little mail waiting, and the rest held. In another city, I’ve been using the online service, and this has worked horribly for me. It might be just where I live. No matter when I submit it (and confirm) I end up with some mail (I’m guessing a day or two) and it almost always takes them DAYS after my resume date to get all my held mail. I usually go pick it up and sure enough there it is days later still in a rubber band somewhere in the back of the PO. This is because in my area they put the “hold mail” in a different PO building than my main one. So I guess they take longer to get to it. Also, I have started to call to ask if the PO got my “hold mail” dates, and have very politely explained that my mail hasn’t been held properly. They are offended because as nicely as I say it, it is not nice for them to hear. So they are mad. So now I only call to confirm. As back up, I ask my neighbors to take in any mail they see hanging out of the mailbox. OK, now what do you do about the flyers left on your door while you are away? How can I stop those? Can they be stopped? I am putting up a no solicitors sign, but those flyers are a doozy.

  12. Leslie on June 21, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    Awe, I wish I had known this a few short weeks ago. I will file this away in my memory for next time. I wonder if they will bring you your mail when you get back or if you have to go get it. :o)

  13. smd on June 21, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    I’ve used the online deal many times and have never had a problem.

  14. Tammy on June 21, 2008 at 11:10 am

    oh and to add he did have a confirmation number.

  15. Tammy on June 21, 2008 at 10:55 am

    BEWARE!!! My hubby did that online before our trip in May and we came back to a stuffed mailbox!
    Call to make sure it took!

  16. Paula in NH on June 21, 2008 at 10:46 am

    Thanks for the link! DH and I are going on vacation next week and I had the post office on my list of errands. Now I don’t have to go there and fill out the form.

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