If you're like me, whenever you need to mail something for a relative's birthday or a special holiday, you get everything ready and boxed/enveloped, you put the address on the package, and then ... you procrastinate until you're forced into the most expensive option to get it there on time.
Well, the U.S. Postal Service can't help you there. But it DOES clearly state holiday mailing deadlines and publish tips on how you can best prepare your package for delivery.
According to the USPS website:
- Double-check all addresses. Make sure to include all street address elements, include both "to" and "from" addressees, and never guess a zip code. Make sure the "to" and "from" are on the same side of the package.
- Shake boxes to make sure they're well-packed. Select a box that's strong enough for the contents, and use tape manufactured for shipping. Take packages that weigh over a pound into your post office for mailing.
- Pack delicate items well. Stuff glass and hollow items with packing material. When mailing framed items, take the glass out of the frame and wrap it separately.
- Remove batteries from toys or other devices you are mailing. Place them next to the item in the package.
- International mail should be mailed as soon as possible.
- Parcel post mail should be mailed by the second week of December.
- Priority Mail should be mailed by the third week of December.
- Express Mail should be mailed by Dec. 21.
For more information and mailing deadlines for international and military mail, check out the U.S. Postal Service's website.