Amazing ways to safely ship gifts
With the holiday season upon us, it’s time again to start thinking about how to safely ship gifts to loved ones. Selecting the perfect gift for each family member and tying the red bow on top is the fun part, the challenge begins at the post office! What box to choose, will it arrive in one piece, what’s most cost-effective, and how do you still make it look festive when squeezed in a box? These are just a few of the many questions we’re left asking ourselves. We’ve gathered some best practices that we believe will leave you feeling more prepared than ever this season!
Wrap: When shipping breakable items, the way that you wrap them is often the key to keeping them in one piece during their voyage. When shipping glassware, always stuff bubble cushion wrap inside the objects before wrapping the outside. Shipping dolls or china? Wrap each item in acid-free tissue paper and then protect with bubble cushion wrap. How about jewelry? Put each piece in its own resealable plastic bag, then place in a box filled with tissue paper.
Pack: The best choice to ensure a safe delivery of breakable items is corrugated cardboard. This type of cardboard is made with ridges of air cushions, and absorbs shocks better than plain cardboard. Make the inside of the box cushy with loose fill to ensure the gifts don’t shift. For the most effective packing, double box your items and eliminate open space with more loose fill. Lastly, be sure to select a box that fits your item size best—selecting something with less space, is always better because it prevents things from jostling around.
Ship: It often pays to consider insurance when mailing breakable items. After the basic no-cost coverage (usually the first $100), the standard charge for insuring with UPS, FedEx, and DHL is 55 cents to $1.50 for every $100. Check your home owners’ insurance policy and deductible to see if damage to an item in transit will be covered.
Wrap: Over sized items like stringed instruments, large furniture accessories, or even snow boards and surf boards are among the most challenging to prepare for shipping. The general rule of thumb(s) for these items include:
- Always use a hard-shell case with packing paper inside for stringed instruments and it’s recommended to loosen the strings to relieve pressure on the neck.
- When shipping glass, apply masking tape in a grid pattern across the surface of the glass to protect from cracking, then, wrap in bubble cushion wrap or foam.
- Snowboards and surfboards ship best when you attach pieces of cardboard to the top and bottom of the board. Always tape the cardboard to itself, not the actual board to protect the surface. Lastly, wrap with padding paper.
Pack: Don’t be afraid to ask your local packing-supply store for large, unique shaped boxes! They often have them for items such as these.
Ship: If your item weighs 70 pounds and under, you’re safe to ship at the local post office. UPS, FedEx, and DHL accept packages up to 150 pounds with some restrictions, and if it’s more than 150 pounds you’ll have to ship it freight.
Wrap: For cookies and cakes, utilize an airtight plastic container, lined with wax paper and fill the spaces with bubble cushion wrap. As an extra precaution, seal further with plastic wrap. Meat and fish, use a foam cooler, thick enough to maintain a cool temperature.
Pack: Fresh baked goods will stay fresh on their own, while perishables will require a cooler filled with dry ice. Items like cheese are best kept cold with gel coolant packs.
Ship: Two words: Overnight shipping! Be sure to send the package early in the week to ensure it makes its way onto the trucks, rather than sitting in a warehouse over the weekend. Don’t forget to label the box “perishable”.
This holiday season, as you package up your loved one’s gifts—don’t forget that even if you’re shipping them in a box, you can still decorate to make for a memorable and fun unboxing experience! Adding small touches like tissue paper, wrapping paper, confetti, glitter, bows, and stickers can make all the difference. Make them smile from hundreds of miles away!
Happy shipping from your friends at Amazing Spaces!