Packaging & Addressing Tips
Get it right the first time. Make sure your mail is addressed correctly and easy to read. Please read these helpful tips and services to make mailing more efficient and effective.
It is very important that your letters and packages have a complete address for proper handling.
- Accuracy of Address
Correct addressing affects efficient delivery of your mail. ZIP +4 code helps direct your mail. Be sure to use accurate abbreviations or spell out all words in the address to improve the quality. For a listing of proper mailing abbreviations click here.
To look up a ZIP code click here.
Print the delivery and return address on the same side of your envelope or card
-Addressing Letters & Packages
Print or type clearly with a pen or permanent marker so the address is legible from an arm's length away.
- Return Address
A return address helps return the mail to you if it is undeliverable.
- Express Mail
You must use the free address labels provided by the United States Postal Service.
- Military Mail
You must show the full name with a middle name or initial and PSC number, unit number or ship name. Replace the city name with "APO" or "FPO," and the state with "AA," "AE," or "AP" and use a special Zip Code.
- Letter, Bills, Greeting Cards
These and other documents can be sent in standard white, manila or recycled paper envelopes. Items needing extra protection can be sent in bubble-lined, padded paper or waterproof envelopes.
- Express Mail and Priority Mail
Your post office has envelopes of various sizes available, at no additional charge, for items sent using either of these services.
For International addresses please follow the guidelines from the USPS' Web site.
- The BoxWhen preparing Packages for shipping, remember that a safe delivery starts with careful preparation.
Choose a box with enough room for cushioning material around the contents. If you are reusing a box, cover all previous labels and markings with heavy black marker or adhesive labels.
Place the cushioning all around your items. Close and shake the box to see whether you have enough cushioning. If you hear items shifting add more newspaper, Styrofoam or bubble wrap.
Tape the opening of your box and reinforce all seams with 2” wide tape. Use clear or brown packaging tape, reinforced packing tape or paper tape. Do not use cord, string or twine because they get caught in mail processing equipment.
- Correct Address
Using a complete and correct address is critical for efficient delivery. Use ZIP Code + 4 when possible.- Drop Off
Packages may be handed to your carrier or taken to the Post Office. Packages may also be dropped into a blue collection box with the following restrictions:
Stamped packages must weigh 13 ounces or less. Packages over 13 ounces must be brought to a postal center. Due to the heightened security, all mail that bears postage stamps and weighs more than 13 oz must be taken by the customer to a retail service counter at a Post Office. Failure to do so will result in the return of your mail piece.
Packages with postage printed using Click-N-Ship or another PC Postage provider may weigh more than one pound, but must fit in the collection box.