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COA Resources
  • Driver's License - You must make sure you change your address with your State's department of motor vehicles (DMV).
  • Magazine Address Changes - We have collected some great information on how to change your address to keep getting the magazines you love at your new home.
  • Name Change Checklist - If you have recently gotten married, divorced, or changed your name for any other reason, then this list of resources will help you make sure you notify organizations that need to know your new name.
  • Driver's License - You must make sure you change your address with your State's department of motor vehicles (DMV).
  • USPS COA Site - You can pay a small fee to change your address here OR you can use our FREE service.
  • USPS Options for Receiving Mail - This is an interesting page where you can see what your options are for receiving mail. Did you know you had any?
  • Call to Change Your Address - This is an FAQ entry on how to change your address over the telephone.
  • USPS State Abbreviations - This is a real quick table for looking up State abbreviations.

Archive for June, 2010

10 Ways to Save Money On Electricity Bills

It’s that time of year again and as our central air conditioning units work overtime to cool our houses this Summer, our electricity bills start to skyrocket.  It’s not uncommon for a power bill to double through the Summer months and given the heat there is only so much we can do about it.  In a few States with deregulated electricity like Texas you can shop around for lower electricity rates (priced in kilowatts/hour).  If that’s not an option for you (or even if it is) you can still save a bundle on your electricity bills by following these 10 Ways To Save Money On Electricity Bills.

  1. This one is one you hear a lot yet most of us STILL do it.  You should try to not pre-rinse your dishes before putting them into the dishwasher.  Why?  Because you waste hot water and more has to be heated.  This of course applies to people with electric water heaters (you can also buy a gas model to reduce electricity consumption – but then watch your gas bill).
  2. Continuing with dishwashers, you should look into purchasing a new one because the newer generation is so much more energy efficient you can usually pay for the cost of the new dishwasher within one year due to decreased power consumption.  You can also save by avoiding the use of the heat dry option on your dishwasher.
  3. Surprisingly another great way to save money is to simply turn your ceiling fans off when you are not in the room.  For some odd reason people leave ceiling fans running most of the time and especially in a home with central air this should not be necessary.
  4. Lights, lights, and more lights.  C’mon already shutoff the lights when you are not in the room and you don’t need to use lights as much during the daytime.  This is a major pet peeve of mine and simply wastes electricity needlessly.  You should also consider switching to CFL bulbs to both last longer and reduce the amount of electricity that your lights draw.
  5. TV’s are everywhere!  If your home is like my home there is a TV in just about every room and generally the TV’s are on even if nobody is in the room.  Talk about lazy, we can even use the remotes to shutoff the TV’s when we leave the room.  This is a completely unnecessary use of power.
  6. Computers should also be turned off when not being used.  Why do we leave computers on all the time?  Do we expect that they will magically tweet everything going on in the home (I certainly hope not).  They should at least be using the built-in power saving features to turn off monitors, etc. after a few minutes of being idle.
  7. Washing machines can consume a lot of electricity.  Did you know that front-loading washing machines use 50% of the power and 40% less water than top loading wasters?  That’s a pretty ridiculous savings that again can quickly pay off an upfront investment in a newer washer.
  8. Clothes dryers are another power hungry appliance that you simply need to do basic maintenance on.  Make sure to clean the lint filter between each use.  Building up lint doesn’t only cause the machine to be less efficient it’s also a serious fire hazard.
  9. Refrigerator use needs to also be sensible.  Don’t over-cram food into your refrigerator as it makes it work harder to keep the excess cooled.  Also, don’t put hot food directly into the refrigerator (let it cool first).  You should also avoid putting the refrigerator right next to a heat source (like an oven).  Lastly, of course try to use an energy efficient refrigerator if possible.
  10. Ovens can also pull a lot of juice (microwaves, toaster ovens, and electric stoves).  Did you know that food cooks faster when placed as close as possible to the edge of the rotating tray in a microwave?  The faster it cooks the quicker the microwave is shutoff and not consuming as much power.  Also, try to use a toaster oven over a traditional oven when possible to reduce the amount of electricity used.  Lastly, don’t constantly open up the oven to check on food, use the light that’s what it’s there for (so you can see without letting a bunch of heat out of the oven).

Most of these tips are common sense ways to reduce your power bill and they generally help all year long (not just in the Summer).  We  definitely recommend that you keep power consumption in mind (more frequently than every time you receive your electricity bill).

10 Ways to Make Your Neighbors Hate You

There’s an important responsibility that comes with living in a neighborhood or apartment complex – you must have consideration for your neighbors, knowing that your actions could affect their sensibilities and quality of living. Sure, you can live to your heart’s content, but within moderation. After all, you don’t want to live at the mercy of their bad habits. Whether you care about how your neighbors perceive you or not, there are several behaviors, habits and activities – or lack thereof – that may be causing them to become passive-aggressive toward you and your family. If you wish to avert a neighborly feud, avoid these 10 ways to make your neighbors hate you.

  1. Let your dog bark and roam freely

    Incessant barking is a classic annoyance endured by neighbors of dog owners. Nobody likes to be awakened and kept awake by the howling of a bored dog during the wee hours of the morning. Additionally, nobody likes to step in dog poop en route to their mailbox, pick up their overturned garbage can or find holes dug in their well-manicured flower beds.

  2. Neglect your yard

    A neglected yard affects the appearance of your entire neighborhood. It’s a visual annoyance that some people just can’t overcome. So, if you don’t mow often, fail to edge, allow weeds to spread, don’t trim trees and bushes on a regular basis, then chances are, a neighbor or two doesn’t like you. When it comes to your yard, it’s best to keep up with the Joneses.

  3. Neglect the general upkeep of your home

    Was your roof last reshingled during the Reagan administration? Is the siding literally falling off of your house? Is your fence a tap away from collapsing? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time to either fork over the money for maintenance, or dust off the hammer and get to work. Your home looks more inviting when it doesn’t look like it has been abandoned after a nuclear attack.

  4. Collect tacky yard ornaments

    Nothing says trashy quite like a few tacky yard ornaments. If your yard is adorned with a pink flamingo, plastic deer or a tribe of gnomes, your taste will be called into to question. One or two isn’t bad, but several may provoke yard ornament thieves who altruistically want to reclaim the normalcy of the neighborhood.

  5. Leave your Christmas lights up year-round

    Don’t be that house – each neighborhood has one. After the completion of the holiday season, you put off taking down your Christmas lights by a week or two. Soon weeks turn into months, and months turn into a year. You might ask, “Who doesn’t want to celebrate Christmas all year long?” Your neighbors’ answer, “Us!”

  6. Undertake loud DIY projects during odd hours

    Some people either keep odd hours or simply can’t be separated from their DIY projects. Resultantly, they’re up hammering, drilling and sawing when they’re neighbors are sleeping. If you just can’t wait to finish that hotrod you’ve been working on in your garage, take an Ambien, rest up, and get back to work the next morning when the world is awake.

  7. Throw noisy parties and random times

    Noisy parties are another common source of neighborhood noise pollution. Don’t relive your college years and throw rowdy shindigs at random times. Not only is it an issue of interrupted sleep for your neighbors, but it’s also the accompanying trash and parking problems that come with most large gatherings. Nobody likes to come home to find beer bottles in their yard or a parked car blocking their driveway.

  8. If you have a downstairs neighbor, walk on your heels

    There isn’t a better way to annoy your downstairs neighbors in an apartment complex than with your feet. If you dance or stomp frequently, they probably hate you. Some people are simply heavy-footed, and their movement resembles the sound of an approaching Tyrannosaurus Rex. The issue is made even worse if your floor is creaky.

  9. Fight with your significant other regularly

    The nightly yelling matches with your significant other likely have your neighbors concerned and/or appalled. They don’t understand that you two just happen to be hotheaded and believe in the healthy venting of emotions. Regardless, it disrupts the peacefulness of the neighborhood and creates gossip.

  10. Spy and gossip

    If you’re overly curious about the lives of your neighbors and purvey gossip related to them, it’s probable they’ve built up some resentment toward you. Unless you’re absolutely addicted to attention, you probably wouldn’t appreciate it if your neighbors gathered to talk about your supposed marriage issues or troubles raising your children. Gossip comes full-circle.

10 Tips to Avoid Foreclosure

We have all read the facts related to foreclosures and how they are rapidly increasing.  In 2009, 2,824,674 properties nationwide were in default and that number appears to be increasing.  This is alarming and can be devastating for families that find themselves in this situation.  Avoiding foreclosure is not easy and there is nothing that will make it feel any better to those that are going through it.  It’s a difficult and challenging time of life that can only be described as something that you have to force yourself to get through.  Knowing that there are millions of others going through the same thing is not overly helpful as in the end, you and your family are directly impacted and need help.  We put together this list of 10 tips to avoid foreclosure in an effort to try and offer some advice that you may not have thought of if you find your home in jeopardy.

  1. Don’t just ignore your problems hoping that they will go away.  Unfortunately problems with credit (credit cards, loan, etc.) and especially a mortgage don’t go away they simply get worse if you attempt to ignore them.  So first you have to be committed to tackling this problem head on.
  2. Contact your mortgage company as early as possible when you realize you have a potential problem making your payments.  This is the quickest way to get relief even if you have to really work hard to convince them to work with you.  You want to ask them about any deferred payment programs or anything else they might have in place that could help you at least temporarily.
  3. Refinance your loan if possible.  If you have equity in your home, then refinancing your loan over a longer period can dramatically reduce your payments.  You may also want to consider a home equity loan or a debt consolidation loan to try to reduce your total monthly payments (credit cards and other loans can be rolled together).
  4. Be responsive to your lender by opening and responding to all correspondence and taking their phone calls as difficult as that may be.  Don’t be tempted to throw away those letters, screen calls, or delete those phone messages as it won’t make them any more likely to work with you.
  5. Leverage other assets as best you can (jewelry, a second car, etc.).  As difficult as these can be to part with, what is more important than your home and providing shelter for yourself and your family?
  6. Look to friends and family for any monetary assistance they can provide especially if this is a temporary problem.  They are the most likely to understand and be willing to help you through this difficult time.
  7. Get a roommate if that is an option or see if other friends and family are facing a similar situation and are willing to live together at least for a while to help reduce expenses for all involved.
  8. Avoid foreclosure prevention companies.  Most of these are simply going to try to get money from you to act on your behalf with your lender(s), which you can already do for yourself.
  9. You need to learn your rights under federal and/or State law.  Know whether or not your State protects your home in a bankruptcy, etc.  Just be clear as to what your options are to get out from under your debts in the event you exhaust all other possibilities.
  10. Look into a short sale and see if your lender will work with you to satisfy the home debt that way (of course you still end up looking for a new home).  However, it can be a way to avoid bankruptcy and still salvage your credit.

15 Summer DIY Projects for Your Home

Summer is a time for being outside, vacationing and spending time with family and friends, but it’s also great time to fix up your house and summerize it for parties, family get-togethers and any outdoor festivity. The trick is doing these projects yourself, without professional help. Thanks to the many brave and creative souls, there are thousands of tried and tested do-it-yourself projects that are easy, affordable and perfect for summertime. Here are 15 summer DIY projects for your home:

  1. Build a BBQ Barrel
    Show off your craftiness and your barbeque skills by building this incredibly cool and economical barrel cooker.
  2. Install a Flagstone Patio
    Increase your backyard’s potential by installing this flagstone patio that gives it a customized, modern look.
  3. Screen a Porch
    Keep the summer bugs away and keep cool by installing a screen for your back or front porch.
  4. Build a Tiki Bar
    A tiki bar in your backyard screams summertime, and this project is one everyone will enjoy.
  5. Build a Fire Pit
    Get your s’mores ready for this homemade fire pit that is easy, affordable and oh-so fun to have all year round.
  6. Build a Tree House
    Make your kids’ (or your) dreams come true by building this tree house, where they can play all summer long.
  7. Build a Storage Shed
    Get your outdoor equipment organized and de-clutter your garage by building a weatherproof storage shed like this.
  8. Build a Porch Swing
    For those who are up for the challenge of building a porch swing, it is a great summer addition to any house and one you’ll thoroughly enjoy.
  9. Build an Outdoor Shower
    There are many perks to building an outdoor shower like this to cool you down on those hot summer days, wash off dirt and chlorine and provide a back-up shower for your overnight guests.
  10. Build a Doghouse
    Give your pup somewhere cool to sleep by building its very own doghouse, which can be painted and customized to your liking.
  11. Build a Hoop Frame Greenhouse
    Get your garden growing year round by building this simple hoop frame greenhouse
  12. Install a Sprinkler System
    Make things easier on yourself by installing a sprinkler system to water your lawn and plants in those sweltering summer days.
  13. Build a Butcher Block Work Table
    Prepare for cookouts and family dinners by building a butcher block work table for cutting meats and doing heavy-duty tasks.
  14. Build a Trellis
    This inexpensive and easy-to- make trellis will help support tomatoes, ivy, and other summer plants to ensure proper growth in your garden.
  15. Build an Arbor
    This arbor spruces up any backyard or garden by providing height and coverage in a modern, decorative way.

Top 15 Movies About Moving

There are an amazing number of movies that begin with a person or family moving into new surroundings whether they are going to school and moving away from home, taking a new job, or experiencing another  life changing event.  These movies can be really timely for people that are going through something similar in real life.  It’s great to be able to laugh, cry, and yell along with the characters at some of the events surrounding a normal move.  Accordingly, we put together the following list of the top 15 Movies About Moving (of All-Time).

  1. Karate Kid (1984) – This starred Ralph Macchio as Daniel Larusso a teenager forced to move from New Jersey to California.  He has a difficult time at best making friends and in fact finds himself making enemies much more easily.  He ends up getting beat up by some karate students and finds himself saved by the handy man at his new apartment complex who is eventually convinced to train Daniel.  In the end Daniel ends up learning all kinds of maintenance tasks like painting fences, he defeats the bad guys, wins the local karate tournament, and gets the girl of his dreams, not bad.  Although most kids that move may not find all of the same opportunities they can relate to most of Daniel’s troubles.
  2. Toy Story (1995) – Lots of people get caught up in the fun surrounding the story of these toys that come to life and they forget that one of the important elements was Andy’s family preparing for a move.  Andy is the young boy that all of the toys belong to and the person whom they fight for love from.  In the end the toys end up becoming friends and they all make the move with Andy to the new house.  In the interim though there are all kinds of action scenes as the toys encounter many different threats out in the real world away from the protection of Andy’s room.  Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, and several other great actors do the voice over for the cartoon characters in this movie.  This is a pre-move movie more about friendship and fun than packing up your home, but there was some of that too.
  3. The Firm (1993) – A young lawyer graduates from law school near the top of his class and finds himself getting seduced by a small law firm in Memphis to join their firm.  He and his wife move to Memphis into a company owned home complete with a brand new car and furniture.  The whole thing almost seems too good to be true and sure enough it is.  They find themselves tied up in an FBI investigation of the business of the firm and some related murders.  It takes a great plan by the young lawyer and help from friends to escape from the firm with his life still somewhat intact. (and yes, he moves again).  This stars Tom Cruise, Gene Hackman, and several other well known actors and actresses.
  4. Money Pit (1986) – This is actually one of my favorite moving stories because it is about a couple that is looking for a new house and end up getting what appears to be a beautiful mansion for a steal.  That is, until they move in and find out that it’s in complete disrepair and is going to cost a fortune to fix up.  As one remodeling project gets started two more problems seem to pop up and they struggle financially and with their relationship to finally see it through to a happy ending.  It stars Tom Hanks and Shelley Long and is a great comedy.  Hopefully, you never personally experience a move quite this bad, but I know I have felt several times like my home is a money pit.
  5. Cheaper By The Dozen (2003) – This movie stars Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt along with several child stars (Hillary Duff, etc.).  This is all about moving your family from a small town to a big city as the father of twelve kids (Martin) took the head coaching job at his alma mater.  This movie does a good job of looking at the move from each of the character’s perspective.  It’s really funny and might be a good way to remind your family that moving is less about jobs and big houses and more about being there for each other and keeping the family unit strong.
  6. The Lost Boys (1987) – This is a story about a divorced, single Mom that has to move in with her father in order to make ends meet for her and her two sons.  They move into a new community and quickly befriend some vampire hunters.  One of the brothers finds himself in love with one of the vampires and the other brother enlists his vampire hunting friends to save his sibling.  This stars Jason Patric, the late Corey Haim, and Kiefer Sutherland.  There’s not much to draw from this other than making sure your family sticks together through everything (and of course don’t move into a town known to have vampires).
  7. Footloose (1984) – Starring Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer, and John Lithgow.  Kevin Bacon plays a city boy that moves to a small town where dancing and rock music are forbidden.  He immediately starts to fight the system by playing music and dancing eventually leading to him organizing a school dance.  He ended up making a big positive impact on the town and his small group of new friends.  This shows that one new person can make a difference and that you don’t always have to just accept the status quo.
  8. Funny Farm (1984) – The main star of the show is Chevy Chase and as you would expect from him it is hilarious.  Chevy plays a character that quits his job as a successful sports journalist to move to the country to write the Great American Novel he has dreamed of all of his life.  He finds country life to not be all that he thought it might be and gets distracted by local customs, wildlife, and more.  Eventually, he adapts to the surroundings and finds that he actually does become a changed man in the end.  This is a great example of moving with a purpose and struggling through epic failures to eventually fulfill your dreams.
  9. Twilight (2008) – Starring Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner this movie was based on the incredibly popular Twilight novel series written by Stephenie Meyer.  Bella Swan (Stewart) plays a character that moves to a small town and a new school and struggles a bit to make friends.  She eventually becomes attracted to Edward (a vampire) and begins to uncover his secret.  She actually is not very surprised by this discovery, which is an interesting reaction to say the least.  Bella ends up making the best of the situation and adapts well to her new surroundings.
  10. Odd Couple (1968) – The oldest movie in the list by far stars Jack Lemmon and Walter Mathau as the odd couple.  Felix (Lemmon) breaks up with his wife and is forced to move in with Oscar (Mathau) and the two begin learning to live together.  They couldn’t be more opposites, but yet somehow it works.  If you are moving in with a friend and/or find yourself in an odd roommate situation you may really enjoy this classic movie.
  11. Moving (1988) – Richard Pryor stars as a mass transit engineer from New Jersey that gets fired from his job and finds a similar job in Boise, ID.  He has to break it to his family that they will be moving and then begin the process of planning the move.  Hiring terrible movers (ex Cons) and a person with multiple personalities to drive his car across the country to his new home.  He ends up losing his new job and the movers never show up.  If you think your move is going poorly or went bad check out this movie and see if you still feel the same.
  12. Son In Law (1993) – Pauly Shore and Carla Gugino star in this comedy where Gugino finds herself moving from her family farm to the communal living in a co-ed dorm.  Shore is her resident advisor and he ends up helping her through the transition from the farm to life in the big city.  She ends up bringing him home for Thanksgiving and treating him to a bit of life on the farm.  This is a fun movie about dealing with being a fish out of water (finding yourself in new and strange surroundings).
  13. The Beverly Hillbillies (1993) – Jim Varney, Cloris Leachman, Lily Tomlin, Lea Thompson, and several more stars contributed to this movie remake of a classic TV sitcom.  Jed (Varney) is out hunting and a missed shot penetrates the ground and low and behold he strikes oil.  They end up moving from the country to Beverly Hills, CA from a small shack to a huge mansion.  This is another fish out of water type story but in the end they choose to remain who they are and it’s the people around them that end up adapting.
  14. Coyote Ugly (2000) – Starring John Goodman and Piper Perabo this is the story of a young girl that moves to New York from New Jersey to pursue her dream of becoming a singer.  In order to make ends meet she takes a job in a bar called Coyote Ugly, which has almost a cult following in the area.  She has to adapt to a new job, new city, and all kinds of trouble as she tries to become the star she knows she can be.  LeAnn Rimes lends her voice and several great songs to the soundtrack of the movie.
  15. Raising Helen (2004) – Kate Hudson, John Corbett, and Joan Cusack lead a cast of great actors that bring this story from tragedy to a happy ending.  After her brother-in-law and sister die in an auto accident, a young and up-and-comer in the fashion world gets custody of their 3 children.  She has to move and deal with getting the kids setup with a good school and other activities to keep them busy while she tries to squeeze in a career.  It’s a roller coaster ride but in the end they find a way to make it work.

10 Most Well-Known Addresses in the World

We thought it would be interesting to put together a list of the 10 most popular and/or well-known addresses in the World.  Now the tenants in several of these addresses (at least #1) change on a regular basis, but the fact that these addresses are significant does not change.  The structures and history surrounding each of these will keep them well known for years to come.

  1. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC – This is the address where arguably the World’s most powerful man lives: the President of the United States. Known as the White House, it is located in Washington, DC and it is a national treasure.

  2. 11 Wall Street New York, NY – This is home of the New York Stock Exchange.  Tourists travel here year-round to visit the charging bull statue and to take in the hustle and bustle of one of the financial centers of the world.

  3. 350 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10118 – This is where the previous world’s tallest building stands: the Empire State Building. It’s 102 stories high, and is a world-famous attraction for tourists and locals alike.   In addition, it is featured in several Hollywood movies.

  4. 221 B Baker St, London, England – This is the address to the Sherlock Homes Museum (given the address in March of 1990).  When the Sherlock Holmes series of books were written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, street numbers in London mostly stopped at 100 and even to this day the Museum’s address is out of sequence on the block.  That didn’t stop it though from becoming one of the most popular addresses of all time.

  5. Tour Eiffel Champ de Mars, Paris – Paris’s number one attraction is this address where the Eiffel Tower stands. For tourists, going to Paris is never complete unless you’ve been here. At night, there are beautiful lights you can’t help but stare at.

  6. 4059 Mt Lee Dr. Hollywood, CA 90068 – This is the exact address where the Hollywood sign stands. It’s a mountain, but is now a preserved site to prevent its destruction. It’s featured frequently in Hollywood movies as well.

  7. Buckingham Palace, London, England – The most famous place in the United Kingdom. This palace is where the royal family lives and is often a place of attraction because of its important and beauty. It’s very old and retains its classic yet elegant look.

  8. Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island New York, NY 10004 – This is yet another attraction in New York, the Statue of Liberty.  This is a symbol of America’s open arms and welcomed many immigrants into the country.  It’s known around the world and a top tourist destination in the U.S.

  9. Manger Square, Bethlehem, West Bank – The Church of the Nativity is located here and this is a very well known and holy site for Christians from around the World.  This is cherished as the site where the baby Jesus was born and laid in the manger.

  10. 2 Macquarie Street, Sydney – This is the most popular place in Australia, the Opera House. Here, you can watch plays, operas, etc. and enjoy the beauty of the place at the same time. It’s a must-see if you’re in Australia and is no doubt the most recognized place in Australia.

It’s actually difficult to stop with just 10 famous addresses from around the World there are so many great places to go and visit and addresses that are extremely important to individual nations and to various religious groups.  There are lots of honorable mentions from the Vatican to the world’s tallest building in Dubai, we hope you spend a few minutes to think about all the addresses that you think should be in the top 10 of the World.

Most Popular Pages

Address Change Checklist  DMV Change of Address  USPS Change of Address Form

7 Common Mail Forwarding Errors to Avoid

There are a lot of tasks to take care of when you are moving and it seems like one of the last thoughts to cross a person’s mind is making sure that they fill out a USPS Form 3575 (change of address).  This delay to file tends to fuel the fire around post office delays and efficiency problems when in fact, many times it’s the consumer that failed to act in a timely fashion.  We put together a list of 7 common mail forwarding errors below:

  1. File your change of address BEFORE you move if you want to be sure to avoid service disruptions.  For whatever reason, it’s very easy to procrastinate or simply forget to change your address with the post office when you move.  This is important as well due to the confirmation that will be sent to the old address to verify that indeed you are moving.  This is the most common source of frustration especially when people rely on their mail for social security or other critical checks coming to them.
  2. Remember to confirm receipt of the change of address from the USPS.  The USPS sends out a notification to the old and new address that acts as a notice to people at those addresses that the change has been started and that unless they contact the USPS, the change will go through.  If you follow the advice above you should know that your mail is going to get forwarded before you leave your old home.  When you get the form look it over carefully and make sure it is 100% correct, if not get it fixed as soon as possible.
  3. Call immediately or go to your local post office if you get a change of address confirmation that you didn’t request.  For whatever reason when the USPS sends out a change of address notice if people didn’t place the order they choose to ignore it.  Don’t ignore a change of address notice that you didn’t initiate.  It could easily mean that someone is scamming you and/or trying to steal your identity.
  4. Forwarding the mail for the whole family when only one family member moved.  Another common mistake is when one person moves out of the house whether it is a child going to college or the result of a spouse or roommate deciding to leave, they may inadvertently check the box for “Family” so that all mail goes to their new address.
  5. Forwarding the mail for one individual when the whole family moved.  Just like the scenario above, it’s also common for people to select to only forward the mail for one person instead of the entire family (that is the first selection and people tend to select the first checkbox).  If your whole family is moving you can do this with one form as long as you check the box that represents all people at the address.
  6. Not providing the post office with contact information.  In this age of protecting addresses, email, and phone numbers sometimes people choose to not provide contact information to the USPS.  That’s a bad idea because if a problem or concern arises with your change of address, the USPS won’t be able to reach you.
  7. Lots of people will use other “FREE” online services that simply turn around and prints the change of address card (most of the time unless they lose the request or card) and delivers it for you to a postal carrier.  It’s much better if you do this yourself and/or leave it in your mailbox for your mail carrier.

Changing your address shouldn’t normally lead to problems but it can if you don’t allow enough time or if the process is tampered with in any way it can take a long time to resolve.   Your snail mail is more important to you then you might think so act accordingly and stay diligent.

10 Jobs Where People Move A Lot

There are a lot of jobs that require people to travel a lot.  For instance, truck drivers are constantly on the road, pilots are always in the air, and Red Cross workers are often sent to help people that are suffering around the World.  For this article though we wanted to focus on jobs that require people to move to a new home on a relatively frequent basis.  These are 10 Common Jobs Where People Move A Lot:

  1. Missionaries – These are members of various religious groups that are sent out to spread the word about their religion to people around the world (usually in undeveloped or underdeveloped areas).  The job has its roots in 1598 when Jesuits sent members abroad, but is not specific to any one religion.  Jehova’s Witnesses, Islam, Buddists, and more all practice this and generally the missionary will move fairly frequently as they bring their religion to new people.
  2. Clergy (Minister/Priest) – Similarly but generally not in undeveloped areas are pastors of churches and other church leaders.  Many Christian denominations set limits on how long a pastor can be in one church and/or their governing bodies move clergy every few years.  Catholic priests experience something similar as they move about to different parishes.  Again, this is not limited to Christian denominations, but it is prevalent there.
  3. Coaches (High School, College, and Pro) – In order to advance their careers baseball, football, basketball, and coaches of other sports often find themselves needing to move to a new town in order to advance their careers as they work their way up the coaching ladder.  Unless they have been ex-athletes it is rare for coaches to immediately jump to top levels without working their way up the ranks.
  4. Consultants (Road Warriors) – Here we are talking about the core consultants that make the Big consulting companies what they are that are on 3 month, 6 month, or longer assignments.  Generally, that is the same as moving at very frequent intervals.  This is a great way to build a very diverse business background to prepare you for just about anything whether you are an accountant, IT consultant, or engineer.
  5. Military Personnel – This is something that many people have experienced firsthand or at least know someone that grew up with a parent in the military (a military brat).  They generally have to move to new assignments on a regular basis, which requires them to move to a new base.  Generally, the military does a good job of helping the troops move, but it’s never easy especially when families are involved.
  6. Hotel/Restaurant/Travel – We aren’t talking about having to take trips here on a frequent basis.  We are talking about large corporations like Wyndham Worldwide and other large hotel or restaurant chains.  Normally the people working their way up in organizations like these will pickup and move on a very frequent basis as they work their way up the corporate ladder getting larger and larger hotels/restaurants to manage.
  7. Professional Athletes – Pro athletes or the vast majority of them move on a frequent basis, especially as they just break into their Sport.  In the case of baseball, an athlete can spend several years in the minor leagues moving from smaller to larger teams as they make their way to the big leagues.  This also happens in hockey, soccer, and other sports.
  8. Carnival Acts – While this might seem obvious many carnival workers actually live in trailers that move from city to city as the carnival makes it’s way to new places every few weeks (sometimes more often).  This isn’t a large group of workers, but putting on these carnivals is much harder and requires more organization than most people realize.
  9. Migrant Farm Workers – Spending much of my life in rural areas, the migrant workers became more and more important for getting the field work done before the harvest was over.  They walk beans, detassel corn, and harvest crops and since the timing of harvest changes for each crop and area of the country they move from place to place to keep working.
  10. Entertainment/communications – Actors, musicians, dancers, newscasters, radio DJ’s, journalists, and more find themselves moving frequently for new gigs and to advance their careers as well (especially earlier in their careers).  It’s a tough field to break into and even harder to rise to the very top levels but normally to get there you have to move quite a bit.

I’m sure we could all list several more jobs that require people to move on a frequent basis.  There are so many interesting careers out there.  The good news is that moving a lot expands your experiences and allows you to grow in new ways.  While some of the jobs listed above explicitly require people to move in many cases like so many other careers people move to get a job they will enjoy more, to make more money, or to expand their horizons.

10 Moving Tips for Packing and Unpacking

How many of us consider ourselves to be expert packers and unpackers and/or movers?  There are several of us that have moved many times and gotten a system down that at least works for us (granted, it may not be for everyone).  Yet, it still takes time to get all your belongings packed up at the old place and moved into the new place (unless you are a permanent road warrior and just take a few things from place to place).  Here is a list of 10 moving tips for packing and unpacking that make things easier (much, much easier at least for me).

  1. Packing: Mark your boxes with old room and the new room so you know where to take them. Unpacking: Always take the boxes directly to the new room they are going to instead of having a central storage location.
  2. Packing: Include a quick description of what is in each box not just the old room it was in and if possible prioritize the contents as well (A – need immediately, B – need within a week, C – need within a month or more). Unpacking: Using the descriptions you can choose which boxes to unpack first based upon priority.
  3. Packing: Pack your old home one room at a time starting as early as possible with the least used rooms in the house.  Unpacking: Unpack your belonging in the new home one room at a time using the markings on the outside of the box as your guide.
  4. Packing: Pack your clothes by season if possible (Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall). Unpacking: Unpack the clothes you need last toward the back of the closet or bottom of the drawer.  So if it is Spring, put your Winter clothes in the back of the closet.
  5. Packing: Pack each drawer in your bedroom dresser in a separate box and mark the location that it came from (top/bottom and left/right depending on how big your dresser is). Unpacking: you can quickly unpack your dresser using this technique and know right where everything is.
  6. Packing: Pack your kitchen cupboards by cabinet and mark the location of the cabinet in the old home on the box as well as the contents. Unpacking: Using your old home as a guide you should be able to find a new home for everything in the kitchen more quickly.
  7. Packing: Pack your kitchen drawers each in separate boxes and mark the location in the old home. Unpacking: Using the location in the old kitchen as a guide you can quickly find a new place for your utensils, junk drawer (we all have them), etc.
  8. Packing: Pack the contents from your refrigerator and pantry in clear plastic tubs and very carefully. Don’t keep anything that you don’t absolutely need.  Plan ahead and reduce the amount of food and consumables you have on hand to a minimum.
  9. Packing: Pack and keep critical paperwork somewhere readily available at all times. This includes any documents from the new home, your will, your insurance papers, your tax filings, and anything else that you absolutely need to have.  Unpacking: Keep them together until you are positive you know where they are going to go in your new home (together in a box is better than roaming the house loose to possibly get lost or thrown away).
  10. Packing: Pack liquids, cleaners, medicines, and other items that could spill or be dangerous in clear plastic tubs. Unpacking: Get all of these out and in their new places as quickly as you can these are usually items you need sooner rather than later.

In terms of furniture, electronics, and other items that need to be moved.  Pack them as best you can being sure to protect anything that could easily break in transport.  These items are big and usually the first on the truck and the last to get off the truck.  When you unpack them just move them to their new location right away and before you know it your new place will feel like home.

After getting going on this article I realized that I could go on and on about moving and I’m sure I probably will in future articles but for now this should help give you some quick tips for packing and unpacking that you can probably apply to other areas of your house very readily.  Have a great move!

15 Online Apartment Finder Sites

When you are searching for an apartment it’s great to be able to go online and quickly browse through what is available in your area.  Ideally you can search for the size you are looking for, number of bedrooms, and any other features that you would like to have in your next apartment.  There are several sites out there that can help make it really easy for you and we have sought out the top 15 sites based upon functionality, traffic, and usability.  We are not affiliated with any of these websites we just think they are really good.

  1. Apartments.com is the largest of all the apartment finding sites and has a great user interface.  They even offer an iPhone application so you can browse for your new apartment wherever you are.  In addition to helping you find an apartment, condo, townhome, or house to rent you get some great moving tips on their site as well.
  2. Rent.com – This site gets straight to the point.  It’s very simple to use and gets you looking at apartments quickly using a well-built search feature that resides front and center on the homepage of the site.  They cover the U.S. and have some quick links at the bottom of their home page to several major cities where their inventory may be a little better.
  3. ApartmentGuide.com – ApartmentGuide.com put together a great site that looks deceptively simple.  I’m sure the algorithm for helping you find the perfect apartment is pretty complicated but they make it look super easy with their page designs.  They also make it easy to look for military housing, college housing, senior housing, and more specialized communities.
  4. ApartmentSource.com – To be honest, some of these sites really start to look the same very quickly.  This is another simple interface but they also add the ability to find a roommate quickly if that is something you are also interested in locating.  It’s a clean site that is very easy to use.
  5. CorporateHousing.com – This is a great site especially if you are looking for something temporary or something completely furnished and really easy to move into.  In most cases you can do a 360 degree tour of the facilities and then they will put you directly in touch with the management company to setup an appointment.  It’s great for job transfers and weekend warriors!
  6. RoomMates.com – This is a quick way to help you find a new roommate whether they are on the other side of the street or in a city in another State, roommates.com can hook you up with a great roommate and a new apartment with shared costs and all of the other benefits that go with having a roommate.  Be prepared to upload a picture of yourself and to spin a great profile to attract the best roommates possible.
  7. ApartmentLinks.com – They have a great blog that gives you a bunch of ideas and and tips from how to deal with landlords to dealing with problem roommates.  In addition they also provide a great listing of apartments and a quick search facility.  It’s not the most advanced site, but it is a useful source of information in addition to a listing site.
  8. ApartmentSearch.com – This is owned by the folks at CORT (furniture and relocation services). They can certainly help you get some great furniture for your new place along with helping you find the perfect floor plan for you.  This site looks great and is simply a joy to use.  I definitely recommend a deep dive into this one on your next apartment search.
  9. CampusRent.com – If you are going to college, then this is a site that you simply must check out.  It’s great for college students.  They have a ton of advice to help you get the most out of your college living environment.  They even have job listings for college students to help you pay for your new pad.  It’s fun, and it’s a solid site.
  10. Realtor.com – Yep, it’s not just for buying houses.  The National Association of Realtors have put together a complete site that makes it easy for you to find a home to rent or lease.  They will help you find condos and other types of housing as well.  If you aren’t sure whether you want to rent or buy then this is the perfect site for you.
  11. EasyRoommate.com – Whether you need a place to stay or just want to find a roommate, this is a great site for you to meet people in a similar situation.  It looks a little like an online dating site to be honest but it definitely gets the job done.  They have hundreds of thousands of profiles in their database and will help you find someone quickly to shack up with (not that kind of site, but you know what I mean).
  12. RoommateLocator.com – This is a world-wide roommate locating service that looks more like an apartment finding site than a dating site but it has some similar features.  You still have to get to know the other person so pictures, profiles, and more are on this site too.  If you need a roommate or want to explore that option this is another good choice.
  13. Sublet.com – You can get some great deals by sub-letting an apartment from someone with a long-term lease.  This site is unique in that it helps you find people that couldn’t get out of their lease and need someone to take over their rent payments (or a portion thereof).  It’s a great site if you are looking for a good deal on a great apartment that may normally be out of your price range.
  14. Places4Rent.com – This is more of an aggregated site that has a bunch of related sites for you to link off to and get more information.  Everything from credit scores (which you may need to know before you rent) to actual apartment finding services.  If you don’t see what you are looking for in this list you may want to try this site for more ideas.
  15. ApartmentRatings.com – This site is interesting because you get to see the ratings of previous tenants so you know a lot more about what you are getting into before you setup an appointment to look at the apartment, condo, or home.  I think this type of direct feedback can be invaluable in helping you choose your next home.

While each of these apartment finder services offers something a little bit different you can’t really go wrong with any of the them if you are just wanting to know what is available.  You can also always go to craigslist.com and see what is available in your area via their service.