Happy Life

#happylife: Sending holiday packages as cheaply and easily as possible

SPOKANE, Wash. - December is an overwhelming month for shipping. So many people around the world are trying to get packages sent to their loved ones in time for the holidays.

4 News Now spoke with Mail Box Center in Spokane Valley about how you can ship your packages as easily and inexpensively as possible.

Mail your packages early

Standard shipping is the most inexpensive way to send your packages.

All mailing services have deadlines you have to meet, if you want your package to get to its destination in time for Christmas. Mail Box Center said the rule of thumb for a deadline to ship is December 15. This will allow you to ship off your gifts without any additional fees. Most shipping services need you to bring in your package by December 18, but the December 15 will buy you more time, if there are any issues.

If you're really in a pinch and running last-minute on sending out gifts, most mailing services will be able to send out packages through December 23 with overnight shipping. This will get your gift to its destination by Christmas Eve. 

Go for the smaller box

The smaller the box, the cheaper it is to send. You want to pay attention to space, rather than weight. It's all about how much space your box takes up on a delivery truck.

For example, if you're shipping the same five-pound bag of sugar in a small box versus a large box, you can expect to pay a lot more for the bigger box. Even if the two boxes weigh the same, the bigger box will always cost you more.

Be efficient about how you package your items

The last thing you want is to pay all this money for a nice gift and shipping, only for your box to break halfway through its journey. When you pack your gifts in a box, make sure they're wrapped. Mail Box Center recommends bubble wrap. You can use foam packing peanuts, though that may take up more space in a box. 

You can do a shake test with your box. Listen for any rattling. If you can hear your materials clinking around in the box, you need to go back and rewrap. 

When you tape your box up, use packing tape. Masking tape, scotch tape, or paint tape don't hold well. If your box rips, it might not make it to its destination in one piece. Don't be stingy with the tape!

Call in for reinforcements

If you need help packing a box, you can always take it to the Mail Box Center in Spokane Valley. They have packing experts with a lot of experience who can help you. If you're short on time, they can even pack your box for you. You can come in with your items in the shopping bag. They will gift wrap it, bubble wrap it, and box it up for you right in the store. Mail Box Center is located at 9116 E. Sprague Ave. in Spokane Valley. 

RELATED: #happylife: Make it a family tradition going to the Christmas Tree Elegance

RELATED: 101 Things to Do in the Inland Northwest this holiday season



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