The U.S. Postal Service said with 15 billion cards, letters and packages expected to be sent over the holiday season, correct packaging will help your gifts to their destinations quickly and safely.
The Postal Service recommends using the Priority Mail and Express Mail boxes it offers for free. They may be ordered from www.usps.com or picked up at a local post office.
It's also recommended you cushion items with bubble wrap, newspaper or foam peanuts to prevent shifting during transit. You should wrap items separately when packing more than one item in the same box.
It's a good idea to close and shake a box to make sure there's enough cushioning. If items are shaking, add more cushioning.
If you're reusing a box, make sure old labels and markings are covered before shipping.
Also, mark "perishable" on packages that contain food or other items that can spoil.
It's recommended you place an extra address label with delivery and return addresses inside the package. This will ensure the safe return of an item that could not be delivered should the outside label become damaged or fall off.
Always use tape designed for sealing shipping boxes rather than string, cellophane and masking tape.
Packages can weigh up to 70 pounds and measure up to 130 inches in combined length and width for shipment through the Postal Service.
It's very important you print complete addresses clearly and print the delivery and return addresses on the same side of the envelope or package.
If you're using postal stamps, packages that weigh more 13 ounces must be presented to an associate at the post office and cannot be placed in blue collection boxes.
For a complete list of holiday shipping deadlines, click here.
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