Relocating a Mailbox – Four Easy Steps for Moving Your Mailbox
If you are unhappy with the current location of your residential mailbox, you should take note of USPS rules on moving a mailbox before you begin the relocation.
In some cases, your residential mailbox may be hard to access or may be located in a position that makes the mail vulnerable to theft or vandalism. Usually, you can relocate a residential mailbox without violating USPS mailbox guidelines if you follow four easy steps.
1. Contact your local postmaster first
The USPS does not legislate the relocation of residential mailboxes nationally. Rather, they allow local postmasters to decide what is best for their geographic location and mail service. With a quick trip or call to your local post office, you can gain excellent advice from a postal expert on the best location for your residential mailbox. You might even get approval on your relocation. So, take the time to call or visit the post office.
If you plan to move your mailbox, consider how the location is affected by weather during different seasons. While it may be more convenient to move your residential mailbox to the front of your driveway in the summer, that same location may be buried by snowplows or snowdrifts in winter.
Also, if possible, consider locating your residential mailbox somewhere that is shaded from the sun. In direct sunlight, a mailbox may become a miniature oven cooking your mail.
While you might easily see the damage heat does to some mail-order items, you may never realize the damage done to other items. For example, it would be easy to spot crayons or makeup damaged by heat. But you might not notice the potential damage done to mail-order pharmaceuticals.
In the July 2011 heatwave, some mail-order customers began to complain to their family doctors that their medicine no longer seemed to be effective (read about it here). As the pharmaceutical companies investigated, they discovered the medicines that were shipped were placed in exposed mailboxes that exceeded the medicine’s tolerance for heat. Thus, the medications were rendered ineffectual in just a few hours.
All of that to say: be conscious of how long your mailbox will be exposed to direct sunlight.
When the weather is stormy, you might look out your window to see if the red mailbox flag has been moved to the down position. If you can see your mailbox from your home, then you might avoid an unnecessary trip to your curbside mailbox during inclement weather.
Before relocating a residential mailbox, check the sight-lines from your home. Ensure the mailbox can be placed in a visible location so you can check the delivery status from the comfort of your window. Highly visible mailbox locations can also deter thieves and vandals.
4. Avoid over-engineering your mailbox post
If you have been a victim of mailbox vandalism, you might respond by over-engineering your replacement post for the new residential mailbox. This may also seem like an intuitive response for homeowners who have had their mailbox post knocked over by a snowplow.
However, a mailbox post that will not bend can be a liability trap, which can backfire. For instance, imagine the liability you could incur if a neighbor lost control of their vehicle and hit your mailbox. According to the USPS, the mailbox should snap at the base and give way to impact.
By considering these four steps before relocating a residential mailbox, you can ensure that your new mailbox location is both legal and ideally placed for long-term service.
Mailbox installation services
If you are not comfortable relocating a residential mailbox, reach out to a licensed handyman in your area.
If you would like our help with your commercial mailbox installation needs, please visit our Installation page.
Tags: Installation, Mailboxes, post mount mailboxes, Residential Mailboxes