If you’re worried about ensuring your holiday gifts get there in one piece, put extra thought into the packaging. When you send off a gift through the mail, all that’s standing between it and destruction is the type of tape, box, or envelope you employ and the way you use them. Pick the right packaging and use these techniques to make sure gift opening for your out-of-state or overseas relatives isn’t a disappointing or irritating experience.
Pick the Right Box
A box is a box is a box, right? Wrong. Boxes come in a variety of styles that provide various levels of durability, depending on their thickness, composition, and size. For starters, select a box that’s slightly larger than the item you ship. That allows room for extra packing material that can protect your gift. Choose a sensible size, of course, because the larger the box, the more it’ll cost to ship, and the more you’ll have to spend on Styrofoam peanuts, bubble wrap, or other padding. Pick a box with corrugated cardboard walls for added strength. As the thickness of the walls increases, so does the price of the box. Of course, sturdier walls mean a more protected present.
One the best ways to work toward ensuring your holiday gifts get there in one piece is to pack smart. A good rule of thumb is to have at least one to two inches of packing materials cushioning the gift. As the gift’s fragility increases, so should the amount of packing material you use. Hollow things should get an interior layer of packing material to protect them from the inside. Multiple gifts should be wrapped and kept separate from others in bulk shipping envelopes, with a barrier of packing material between them.
Tape Is Your Friend
First, use the right tape. Not all tapes are equal in strength or adhesion, so forget about using masking tape, duct tape, or Scotch tape on your packages. These types of tape tend to come loose while enroute and can interfere with the equipment at the post office or shipping center. Choose either packing tape or water-activated packaging tape to seal up your goods. These tapes maintain a tight grip, hold the package together, and resist water and weather that can loosen and damage the package.
Address the Issue
Obviously, write down the correct recipient address on the outside of the package clearly and cleanly. Print it out to be extra sure it can’t be misread and therefore misdelivered. Ensure there’s a return address in the top left corner of the package, but provide a printed return address label inside the package as well. Hopefully, your gift will arrive intact, but if it loses its way and the address ends up defaced, you’ll have a backup plan in place. Happy holidays!