Possibly making matters more confusing is that post offices will be open and collecting mail on Saturday, and collecting mail from some of the iconic blue mailboxes. But the mail won't actually be stamped and sent off for delivery until Monday. Packages, however, will be mailed out on Saturdays.
As for any bill confusion, DeLancey says, "That's why we wanted to give six months' notice. We hope the mailers, like people mailing out checks, will make adjustments. We wanted to give everyone enough time to make any changes they need to."
On the plus side for many consumers, plenty of people don't want to see bills—or junk mail—on the weekends.
Some adjustments ahead. If you're already missing the idea of Saturday mail service, it may be that you're simply feeling wistful that another part of your life's routine is slipping away, perhaps in the way some people a half-century ago hated to see American culture and technology make virtually obsolete the concept of cold, fresh milk being delivered at the front doorstep.
"I think Americans care to the degree that it's the removal of something they've grown accustomed to, but on a larger scale, it's minor," says Lou Manza, professor and chair of psychology at Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Penn. "People will be able to adjust, but I think any immediate pushback is more of an emotional response to the removal of something more than the result of a logical analysis of why it's being done."
And, indeed, DeLancey says the Postal Service hasn't been overrun with complaints. "People seem to be telling us that they're in support of this, that they understand why we have to do this. No matter what we do, people are moving to the Internet," says DeLancey, citing not only letters turning into email but checks being sent electronically. "We have to focus and adjust."
As will customers. DeLancey says the Postal Service hasn't worked out every detail, but more comprehensive details will be forthcoming in March. Meanwhile, for anyone who is truly upset about not receiving their Saturday mail, DeLancey offers an option. People can always rent a P.O. box at their local post office. Fees are as low as $14 for six months (but also considerably higher, like $60 for six months; it depends on the size and location).
"For those who don't mind going to the post office, that's a good fail-safe," says DeLancey. "We'll still put your Saturday mail in your P.O. box."
Corrected on 02/15/2013: A previous version of this story misstated that mail collected by the Postal Service on Saturday would be stamped for that day. The Postal Service will collect mail Saturday but it will not be stamped and sent until Monday.