Whitesburg KY

Apply A-B-Cs of proper packaging

Everyone loves the surprise that comes with getting a gift by mail. But a true “happy ending” depends on the gift getting there in great shape. If you want to delight your gift recipient, apply the “A-B-Cs” of proper packaging – addressing, boxing, cushioning, and dealing.

Addressing: Start by finding out the complete address of the destination. You want to include the name of the recipient, the street number or post office box number, the street name (including Ave., Blvd., St., etc., and directional (N, SW, E) where appropriate), the city, state and ZIP Code. Then address your gift with the same care you used to select it. Write legibly, and use a permanent ink pen, marker or label printer.

Boxing: Choose the right container. Whether it’s a box, a tube or a padded envelope, make sure it’s sturdy enough to protect the contents. If you reuse a container, make sure the seams are strong and there are no weak spots. You can find solid, durable packaging products at your local post office.

Cushioning: Protect your gift by cushioning the contents with polystyrene “peanuts,” shredded or rolled newspaper, or bubble wrap. An environmentally option is to use popped popcorn (no butter, please!). And before you seal your package, it’s a good idea to put a copy of the delivery address inside, just in case the outside address becomes illegible.

Sealing: Close and secure your container with the reliable sealant – reinforced packing tape or gummed paper tape. Never use masking or standard transparent tapes because they are not sturdy enough to protect your gift. Your local post office, office supply shop, hardware store or department store will have packaging tape or reinforced pressure-sensitive tape.

For a “happy ending” that will delight the recipient and your wallet, too, choose Priority Mail service from the U.S. Postal Service. It will get your special gift delivered in two to three days, on average, at a great price. In addition, Priority Mail containers are available in a variety of shapes and sizes at no extra charge.

For more information, just visit your local post office or go online to www.usps.com and look under “Shipping Tools.”

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