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Tips for Holiday Mailing

Compiled by Times researcher Tracy Thomas

The U.S. Postal Service offers these suggestions:

CARDS OR LETTERS

Include apartment and suite numbers and directional terms (east, west, north, south).

Use the correct ZIP code. It belongs on the same line as city and state.

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Include a return address.

If possible, print address labels with a personal computer. (Computer-generated addresses can be read by high-speed automated equipment, which moves the mail more efficiently.)

PACKAGES

Use a container strong enough to bear the weight of the contents, with enough space for cushioning material. (No shirt boxes.)

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Use good cushioning materials: foamed plastics, corrugated cardboard or loose fills such as polystyrene or crumpled newspaper.

When wrapping, always use reinforced filament mailing tape, not string.

Packages must not exceed 70 pounds. They must be at least 3 1/2 inches wide, 5 inches long. Total length and girth cannot exceed 108 inches.

Place the address on one side only, in the lower right portion.

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Include your return address inside and outside of the package.

Don’t overinsure. The Postal Service pays claims based on the actual value of lost or damaged items and not at a higher insured amount.

BEST TIMES

Go during off-times such as midmorning and midafternoon. Post offices tend to be busiest early in the morning, at lunch and just before closing.

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SOURCE: United States Postal Service


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