Holiday Packages – Packing & Sealing Tips

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,630
    Dolores Killette, Vice President and Consumer Advocate at the United States Postal Service demonstrates how to properly pack and ship holiday gifts including packing and sealing tips.

    Dolores Killette: Hi, I am Dolores Killette from the United States Postal Service and I am showing you how to properly pack and ship holiday gifts and we are ready to pack our holiday gifts now. Always practice right size shipping. A box that's too small will not give you enough room to put cushioning in. Also a box that's too large may leave too much room and the items can shift around. So somewhat like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, you need the box that's just right.

    Also, you want to remember that in shipping cost that you also pay for the shape as well as the weight of the box. So you don't want to make a practice of sending light weight items in large boxes. Don't wrap your package in paper and don't use twine to bind your packages. You will find that it gets caught up in our conveyor belt and can damage your package.

    Make sure to use sturdy boxes that can withstand the trip without contents in the box or the packaging breaking. A box that is sloppy and soft is not suitable for the shipping. For example, never use gift boxes or shoe boxes because they can easily be damaged during shipping. When re-using a box, make sure that you remove all previous labels or cover them up and make sure the structure of the box is intact.

    Packages can weigh up to 70 pounds and can measure up to a 130 inches or a little more than 10 feet in combined length and width. Now make sure that the width is measured at the largest point of the package. For your convenience, the postal service offers free supplies to include labels and custom forms. Choose from a variety of Express Mail and Priority envelopes and boxes on our website usps.

    com and the postal service will deliver your supplies to your door.

    In addition, a variety of holiday theme boxes are available for sale at the Post Office. Choose from the Holiday Penguin to the Ho Ho Ho. The boxes are self sealing so you don't need any tape. Also, they add that personal touch to the holiday season and for those of you who don't like to wrap gifts, they make excellent gift boxes.

    Cushion items with double wrap, newspaper, just to make sure that they don't shift in transit. Now I know some of you are wondering why I have the popcorn here? Well, it's been proven that popcorn makes excellent cushioning material. Make sure you cushion all sides of your article. Just make sure with the popcorn you hold about it close and shape the box just to make sure that it's well cushioned. If it's not, open it up and put more cushioning in. Wrap each item separately when you are packaging more than one gift in a box and remove that at least from all toys and electronic equipment. They have a tendency to get activated when they are being shifted. You see what I mean.

    Mark packages Fragile in large print on the outside of the box on any items that you are sending that might be breakable and it's a good idea to write it on all sides of the box. If the item is perishable, mark that also on that package in large letters on several spots on the package. It's also a good idea to include a label, a letterhead, a business card inside the package that contains telephone number, address of the sender as well as the receiver just in case the package gets damaged, we can still deliver the package to the recipient.

    Let's go back to our snow globe. You remember we have packed it, we have cushioning in it, we are ready to seal it. You want to make sure that you seal the top and the bottom of the box and use at least three strips of tape. Remember, you are using packing tape so it's the clear tape, the brown tape, or the paper tape. Just a little added security here. So as you can see that's how you properly tape up your box. Remember, three strips around, top, and bottom; just a little safety measurement on the side. Box is solid and properly taped. Next, we're ready to address our package.