Packing It

Packing It

PACKING the Care Package   back
Let's face it packing a care package is as crucial, if not more so, than choosing what to put in it! So before you start let's think about what we are going to need.

Obviously a container... But what size? and where do you get it? Some cushioning material. Tape.

First things first. The container. What size is needed?

The answer is obviously predicated upon how much you are sending. Since 9/11 the post office has instituted a rule that essentially says "if the box has printed markings - that is what it contains!". So the old adage of use what is available is out of the question since most of the boxes always seem to have printed advertisements on them.

There are a couple of ways around this... If you don't care if the package looks like brown Gernsey cow - take a BIG thick black magic marker and go to work blackening out the words on the box. If neatness counts - get a roll of heavy brown wrapping paper and wrap the box like you would a Christmas package. HOWEVER - use packing tape to seal it instead of scotch tape. You can find both at nearly any hardware store and surprise surprise they are usually together.

Now, if you are really into this you can also visit the online store at the US Postal service site and guess what? Your taxes actually are doing something for you. The boxes they have for Priority mail are FREE!!! All you need do is order them. You can even order the custom forms so you have them too. And there is also packing tape. BUT please note that they are Priority Mail boxes which means you MUST send it priority mail. Who cares right? You want your package to get there as fast as possible so use the FREE boxes and tape!!!

To make it a tad easier to decide which boxes to order here is breakdown of the boxes, by the USPS number and their sizes.

#O-BOX4   7" x 7" x 6"
#O-BOX7   12" x 12" x 8"
#O-1092   12.125" x 13.375" x 2.75"
#O-1095   12.5" x 15.5" x 3"
#0-1096 S   8.625" x 5.375" x 1.625"
#0-1096 L   9.25" x 6.25" x 2"
#O-1097   11.25" x 14" x 2.25"
LABEL 106-A   Tape
Form 2976-A   Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note
Form 2976   Customs

Packing / Cushioning material

This can be an interesting proposition. Nearly anything could be used BUT you need to think about what it is you are protecting. Kinko's, and nearly every other shipping store offers bubble wrap. You could use those packing peanuts you been wondering how to get rid of. How about that shredded paper from the home/office paper shredder. And of course there is the old standby - homemade popcorn. Don't laugh! If you use ziplock bags not only is it absolutely GREAT for packing material but it is an added goodie for your loved one to devour.

Once you have everything together, place it in the box, aand seal the box! Great you're done.

A word of caution and something to think about - if you chose to wrap the box, make absolutely certain that you address the box before you wrap it. This is done in the event that the paper becomes torn, and the outside address gets ripped off. Just something to consider.