Getting moved into your tiny home comes with many exciting challenges such as picking out the perfect appliances for your tiny house, but one thing people often forget to address is how and where they will receive their mail. Unless you are planning on living completely off the grid, you will need a way for people to reach you. Friends and family may have a special phone and social media access, but it is highly likely you will need to provide an address for things such as government documents and to stay current on your bills.
The circumstances of your tiny home’s location may vary, but there are plenty of options for every situation.
Sharing a Box
Some people living in tiny homes find it easier to share a mailbox with a close friend or relative than to get their own mailbox. The United States Postal Service allows for one primary box holder but allows that individual to add applicants to their box. All you need to do is complete a form, available in person and online, and provide two acceptable forms of identification. This has its perks, like having a reliable location to send your mail and the possibility of splitting the cost of the box. This may be the most convenient option, especially if you plan on traveling in your tiny home. But it can also cause some stress when it comes to things like taxes and driver’s licenses, as you will likely need proof of residency. If sharing is not feasible, there are other options for both permanent homes and on-the-go homes.
Street Addresses and PO Boxes
Depending on your city and county, getting your mail delivered to your tiny home might be as easy as installing a mailbox. If your tiny home is on a city-approved plot of land, you should be able to apply for an address. This process varies from county to county but can be resolved within your local government, usually with the Department of Public Works or the Planning and Zoning department. Once approved, you will be appointed a street address and house number. Then you select the type of box you want. You can use the classic post mount, a sleek wall mount, or an extra-large package mailbox if you want to plan ahead for your future online shopping endeavors.
If you plan on living in or near a city for a long period, the safest route might be to purchase a PO Box of your own at the nearest United States Post Office (USPS). You can apply for a box online or in-person and can renew your application in three, six, or 12-month increments. Prices for a box can vary and, in some cases, can be owned with no fees. With a box, you have a designated place for your mail, and you have some control as to when you can pick it up; not all post offices offer 24-hour lobby access. It also helps prevent mail theft, since your box will be protected by lock and key. Of course, this option does not come without its flaws. You will have to consider things like having the extra expense of keeping it open and making the trip to retrieve your mail. There is also the possibility that the place you are ordering from will not accept a post office address. In such cases, you can usually accommodate them by providing your house number and street since most delivery services use a GPS system.
Getting Mail on The Road
There are plenty of options for people who plan on moving their homes from time to time and for those who opt for RV living, as well. If you are looking for a quick way to get your mail, you may consider signing up for a mail forwarding service. Depending on the company and plan, the cost is typically $15 to $30 a month. These services receive your mail in multiple ways, but the most common is by providing a new street address for your future mail. Some companies offer the option to attach a PO Box or former street address so you don’t have to go through the hassle of completing a change of address form. Once they receive your mail, they will create a digital scan and email you a PDF. They might also hold the physical copies for you so you can have them sent to you wherever you find yourself next.
Another service you may want to consider is the General Delivery service provided by the USPS. This is a service available for individuals without a permanent address or who are traveling for an extended length of time. This service is only offered at one facility under the administration of a post office with multiple facilities. So it is best to talk to the local postmaster to make sure your location is accessible in this way. If it is, all the information anyone needs to reach you is your name, city, and ZIP Code™.
You can also look into services like rental UPS boxes and Amazon lockers if you are expecting frequent packages while you travel. These are popping up almost everywhere so it wouldn’t be hard to find one near your home.