(NAPSI)—Packing and shipping gifts across town, across the country or around the world for the holidays is easy, provided you follow simple tips from the United States Postal Service.
To ensure items arrive safely, leave space for extra cushioning inside the package. Stuff glass and fragile, hollow items, like vases, with newspaper or packing material to avoid damage. Mailing a framed photo? Remove the glass and wrap it separately. Items powered by dry-cell batteries may turn on during handling and make noises or emit light. Make sure the device is turned off or package the batteries separately, preferably in the original manufacturer’s packaging. For rules on shipping Hazardous, Restricted and Perishable Mail, please see Publication 52.
Once the box is packed, make sure the address is printed clearly on the outside. Include all address elements, such as apartment numbers, directional information (ex: 123 S Main St. Apt. 2B), and the ZIP Code. Don’t forget to include a return address. Also, place a card inside the package that contains the delivery and return addresses. This ensures the package can be delivered or returned should the mailing label become damaged or fall off.
For information on sending packages internationally, visit the USPS International Shipping page.
Also, check for restrictions on what can and can’t be mailed. The Postal Service has a website that provides information on hazardous, restricted and perishable mail.
It’s advised to not reuse boxes because they can weaken in shipping. Instead, you can get free Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express boxes at your local Post Office. If customers choose to reuse boxes, it’s important to note that logos and all extraneous markings or labels must be covered or removed.
If you can’t get to the Post Office to mail your packages, the Click-N-Ship feature and other online services allow customers to order free Priority Mail boxes, print shipping labels, purchase postage and even request free next-day Package Pickup. Priority Mail includes delivery between one to three days, Priority Mail Express includes delivery between overnight up to two days. Tracking is also included. For more information and restrictions visit usps.com.
The Postal Service also offers shipping tips in a variety of online “how to” guides. Each video is less than three minutes long and shows how to address packages, ship packages and pack a box so items arrive safely.