USPS offers gift packaging tips


The holiday gift-giving season is almost here. Santa and the Postal Service™ want you to remember that preparing strong, secure packages with complete, legible addresses will ensure your precious gifts arrive as quickly as possible and in good shape.

Here are some packaging tips for your holiday gifts:

Sturdy-n-Stable. Start with a strong carton large enough to hold your gift, with some cushioning material all around to protect it from impact and keep it from shifting around inside the box. To get your gift there safe and sound, make sure your package is sturdy and stable.

There-n-There Again. Before you seal your parcel, put the delivery address on a sheet of paper inside the package. Then, if something happens to the outside address, Postal Service personnel will have a back-up copy of the address to identify the destination and get your parcel delivered.

Strong-n-Secure. Give your gift a “seal of approval.” Use pressure-sensitive tape, filament tape or 60-pound paper tape to seal your package securely. Don’t use cellophane or masking tape — they aren’t strong enough.

Clean-n-Simple. Remove or mark out any conflicting address information or markings already on the carton. Don’t wrap the box with paper, string or twine — paper can rip, and string can get tangled in mail processing equipment.

Accurate-n-Complete. Put your return address in the upper left corner of the parcel, and make sure it is complete, including your ZIP Code™. Place the recipient’s name and address in the center of the largest surface area (unless the shape of the box or contents require a specific orientation for stability). Use a permanent pen or marker and make sure the recipient’s address is complete, including:
• The recipient’s name
• Complete street number or Post Office™ box number
• Street name, suffix (AVE, ST, etc.) and directional (E, W, SW, etc.)
• Apartment or suite number
• Town or city and state
• ZIP Code

These five tips will help you wrap things up for the holidays. And for more information on how to protect your shipments, just go to and search for “Prepare Packages.”

Editor’s note: To guarantee delivery of domestic mail by Christmas Day, mail letters, cards and Priority Mail no later than Dec. 20 and Express Mail by Dec. 22.

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