Christmas is right around the corner, and it’s time to ship presents to your friends and family members who live far away. Not only do you want to ensure that your gifts get to your loved ones on time, but you want to make sure their gifts arrive at their destination safely. Get your precious cargo to its destination unscathed using these tips.
Choosing the Right Packing Materials
Use bubble wrap and packing peanuts to cushion your gifts. Real Simple suggests placing several inches of eco-friendly packing peanuts around the present in its shipping box. The packing peanuts help absorb vibration and prevent the gift from shifting during transit.
For especially fragile gifts, you may want to double-box. Wrap the gift in bubble wrap, and place it into a snugly-fitting box. Seal the box with tape, and place the box into a larger box filled with packing peanuts. Gently shake the box before you seal it. If the gift shifts around, place more packing material in the box before sealing it. This method will also allow you to ship a wrapped gift without worrying about the wrapping paper being torn.
Choosing the Right Box
It’s best to choose a shipping container made out of corrugated cardboard. Corrugated cardboard containers are made with ridges of air cushions, which make it stronger. Corrugated cardboard containers also absorb shocks better than plain cardboard containers.
When selecting a shipping box for your presents, you want to choose one that fits snugly. The more your gift can shift around inside the box, the more likely it is to arrive at its destination damaged. On the other hand, you don’t want to overstuff the shipping box, either. Check the bottom of the box for the maker’s certificate. This will tell you how much weight the box can safely hold.
Mailing tubes can be useful for mailing oddly-shaped gifts. Mailing tubes come in a range of lengths and diameters to meet your needs. In fact, shipping your gift in an appropriately-sized mailing tube may give it less room to shift than a box. Mailing tubes are capped on both ends and are a secure way to ship gifts. Similarly, cardboard tubes are suitable for shipping posters and mailing documents to secure packages.Tube shipping is a great way to ship photo enlargements, posters, and other paper-based products.
Double-box electronics whenever you ship them. If your gift is still in its retail box and doesn’t shift when you gently shake it, you can use this box as your inner box. Otherwise, wrap the gift in bubble wrap before placing it into your inner box. Pad the gift on all sides. Stuff the entire box with enough padding so that the gift does not shift around. Use foam or bubble wrap to pad the inner box rather than loose-fill, such as packing peanuts. Seal the inner box. Place this box into a larger box, padding all sides of the box with 2 inches of bubble wrap or foam inserts.
Shipping Baked Goods
Are you sending your loved one a baked treat? Wrap the cake, pie, cupcakes, or cookies in plastic wrap. Place cupcakes into individual cupcake holders. Place cookies into a container or tin. Cakes and pies should go into an appropriate container for shipping as well. Make your container airtight by wrapping it in plastic wrap or using sturdy tape to seal its edges. Wrap food containers and tins in bubble wrap before placing them into a padded box. Put enough padding in the box so that the container or tin doesn’t shift around.
Shipping Fragile Items
If you’re shipping a hollow glass item, such as a vase, stuff bubble wrap inside it before wrapping the entire item in bubble wrap. This will help prevent the gift from getting damaged during transit. If you are mailing a picture frame, take the glass out of the frame, and wrap it up separately.
Shipping High-Priced Items
Look into insuring the item through your own insurance company as many shipping companies place limits on claim amounts. Getting a tracking number from the post office will allow you to follow your gift’s progress as it travels to its destination.
Reinforce and Label Your Box
Use packing or shipping tape to tape along all the seams of the box, on the top and the bottom. Write your recipient’s address clearly on a white label. If you’re using an old box to ship your gifts, take all the previous labels and bar codes off the box. Include a second label with your recipient’s address and your return address on it inside the box in case the box’s label gets damaged or becomes illegible. The post office will open the box and look for another label if this occurs.
When you can’t be with your loved ones on Christmas, you may want to send them their gifts to open on Christmas Day. Using these tips, you can ensure that your gifts will get to their destination unscathed and in one piece.