In addition to our storage and moving services, Chenal 10 Storage is a contract unit for the United States Postal Service (USPS). We offer the same postal services to accommodate your holiday shipping needs without having to wait in line at the post office. You can mail your holiday packages and buy stamps, priority boxes, envelopes, tape and other shipping materials (you can find your post office’s hours of operation here.) Plus, you can pick up any storage or moving supplies you might need, as well as use one of our storage units to store away any large gifts you received that you might not have space for yet.
We also want your gifts to arrive safely and timely at their various destinations, so we have a few shipping tips to help you this holiday season.
First, try to stick to items you can ship easily and that you know will most likely survive the shipping process. This includes smaller items such as clothing, accessories and toys.
Second, you should know the postal laws and regulations of the states or countries you’re shipping your gifts to. USPS restricts what can be shipped domestically and internationally. Things like ammunition, drugs and gasoline are among the more obvious items that can’t be shipped domestically, while restricted international items expand to include nail polish, perfumes, alcohol, cigarettes and more. The full list of USPS shipping restrictions can be found here.
Next, don’t use old boxes. The more worn and used a box is, the more likely it is to break. Use newer boxes and make sure that it measures a few inches larger (on all sides) than the gift you’re putting inside of it. That way, the box will also accommodate whatever packing materials you use to secure the gift (whether that’s bubble wrap or packing peanuts).
Depending on the size, shape and weight of your gift, you might be able to use flat-rate boxes, which will save you money on the larger and heavier items. USPS allows for up to 70 pounds within a flat-rate box. Be sure to use quality packing materials, and use as much as possible. One unnamed mailing service also suggests using packing materials made from polyurethane or polyethylene because it can take multiple impacts compared to standard polystyrene cushioning. Line the bottom of the box with packing material before putting your gift inside, and then surround the sides and top of the gift with more packing material. You’ll know if you’ve used enough material once you see that no part of the gift is touching any part of the box and you don’t hear much of anything when you shake the packed box.
Make sure you also know what the USPS deadlines are for holiday shipping. Note that this might vary depending on your location (contiguous U.S. versus Hawaii or Alaska). Knowing these deadlines will help you allow enough time for your gifts to arrive at their destinations. You can find USPS’ holiday shopping deadlines here.
Also be sure to insure your gifts if you can, just in case they become damaged or lost in transit. Priority Mail includes up to $50 of free insurance, and Priority Mail Express includes up to $100 of free insurance. Additional shipping will cost you extra. Other insurance availability can be found here.
You might want to ask the recipient where they’d like their gift sent. They might want it shipped to their workplace or a P.O. Box to avoid having anyone snooping around—or worse, having their gift stolen off their porch or deck. You can also require that the package be signed for on delivery; if no one’s home, the local post office will hold their package.
Last but not least, get a tracking confirmation number. This way you can track your package along its journey and ensure it makes it safely to its destination. These tips should help you send gifts to your loved ones safely this season. But if you have any other questions about shipping, please feel free to contact us.