When to be inactive for moving


I’m relatively new here. I’ve already sent and received postcards. I know I will be moving in about 2 months. When should I set my account to inactive? I’d like to keep receiving them as long as I can but also want to prevent lost cards. Should I do it now? 2 weeks before?

Would love to know if anyone has firsthand experience :slight_smile:

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I’d recommend about 60 days before because that’s the maximum time a postcard is expected to take to arrive. Any that take longer than that will be forwarded by the USPS to your new address when you submit your address change paperwork


That depends on where you are moving to.
If it is possible to have your mail reliably forwarded to your new address, then you don’t have to set yourself to inactive at all.

If that is not possible, then you should set yourself to inactive now.

Also, when you change your address in your account, you have the option to choose whether or not to automatically register all cards that are on their way to you.

You should select this if you set the account to inactive now.
Then all cards that have not made it to you after 60 days would be registered automatically.

However, if you have your mail forwarded to your new address, then you don’t need the automatic registration.


I moved 2 years ago within Switzerland and I told the postoffice to forward me all the mail for one year. This worked pretty well and I kept receiving some letters and cards due to this service.

I also recommend otherwise to get inactive now. It may sound like a long time to have to wait but I’m sure you are busy with moving preparation so once settled in your new home you can easily speed up writing cards again.

Good luck with moving and hope you love your new home.


I also recommend to get inactive at least 60 days / two months before.

And I don’t know how trustful the USPS forwarding service is but in Germany this could be a disaster, depending on the region. I moved in 2003 and only a handful of mail was forwarded to me. The other I had to get from my old neighbour. In 2007 a friend of mine moved and she had the same problem.
(In 2021 and in 2022 two neighbours from our building moved and until today there comes mail for them. I told our mailman, he’s aware of that problem and says it is known but no one seems to be able to solve it. Sometimes it works proper, sometimes never - depending on the sorting center. So now I collect their mail and forward it)


Hi !
I’m currently inactive because I’m moving this week-end.
I set my account inactive 1 month before moving. (After this, I have a redirection system to transfer to the new address in case).
I think it’s ok but according to the delays of deliveries (I live in France).
I still can send postcards.
I’m going to activate again my account today (I have access to my new mailbox)

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I am also moving and my advice would simply be as soon as you possibly can. When you reactivate the account you’ll get all the postcards you are owed. Far better to wait for the cards to arrive at an address you can actually collect them from than risk them arriving at a place you may not be able to retrieve them. Although most cards arrive within 60 days, they can take a very long time so I’d just say as soon as you know you are going to move, set your account to inactive, there is no reason not to.


I’ll be moving next year in August. I’ll be setting my account at least 3 months before that inactive as some cards take a long time to arrive, esp. from China or Russia. As I move to another country I don’t have to option to redirect my mail to my new address. If you have that option however 1 month or less or being inactive should be fine.

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I’m moving in a couple of weeks and I switched my account 2 months ago, and I’m glad I did because I keep receiveng a few delayed postcards every now and then

I went inactive 2 month before moving because I know Postcrossing likes to give out my address in advance and I didn’t want cards to arrive to my old place.


I appreciate you thinking of this in advance, and asking for advice! Are you moving within the USA, or is this an international move?
Last year I moved to Portland, Oregon from Seattle. Despite the relatively short distance between the two cities, I set my Postcrossing profile to inactive two months in advance.
One reason I did two months out is because I knew cards from some certain countries frequently take two months to reach me.
The other reason is that I didn’t entirely feel confident to rely on the USPS to make sure all my personal mail would reach me via their mail forwarding service (I even use the paid forwarding service for an extra extension of time). Because the USPS doesn’t forward everything, like free circulars and advertisements, etc, and I have found my postcards sometimes caught up in the folds of those advertising freebies that USPS places in mail is, so I was concerned this might happen during the transition period too.
As far as I know, none of the postcards sent to me got lost during my move. And if I remember correctly, I did not receive any forwarded postcards at all. I also used that email service USPS offers to receive scans of my incoming mail via email. It takes all the fun and element of surprise away, but it was sort of helpful.
Two months sounds like a long time, but the reality is that I continued to receive postcards for weeks! Up until about two weeks before I physically moved.
I then set my account to active again a few days after arriving at my new home, I started receiving cards as quickly as 8 days later!
Good luck with your move!