Selected tips from the U.S. Postal Service:
– Print addresses clearly. Include all address elements — apartment numbers, suite numbers, directional information for streets. For example, 123 S. Main St., or 12456 Elm St. N.
– Include both “to” and “from” information on packages — and only on one side. Mark packages “fragile” in large print on the outside of the box if the shipping materials are likely to break.
– Never guess at a ZIP code. No ZIP is better than a wrong ZIP.
– Select a box strong enough to protect its contents. Leave space for cushioning inside the carton.- Cushion contents with shredded or rolled newspaper, bubble wrap or Styrofoam peanuts. Plain air-popped popcorn is also good for cushioning. It's inexpensive and environmentally friendly. Pack tightly to avoid shifting during transit.
– Always use tape designed for shipping, such as pressure-sensitive tape, nylon-reinforced craft paper tape, or glass-reinforced pressure-sensitive tape. Do not use wrapping paper, string, masking tape, or cellophane tape.
– Place an extra label or notice with the delivery and return address inside the package. This ensures the safe return of an item that could not be delivered should the outside label become damaged for fall off.
– Remove batteries from toys. Wrap and place them next to the toys in the mailing box. It's recommended that customers include the new batteries in the manufacturer's packaging.
– Stuff glass and fragile hollow items, like vases, with newspaper or packing material to avoid damage. When mailing framed photographs, take the glass out of the frame and wrap it separately.
– Express Mail delivery occurs Christmas Day in many metropolitan areas. The mailing deadline is Dec. 23, though the Sitka post office recommends adding an extra day to anything being shipped outside Alaska.
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