How to Properly Pack a Box for Shipping

pack a box for shipping, package packing


There are ways to pack packages that increase and decrease your final cost, as well as ways that increase and decrease the safety of your items. Here are some tips to help you get your shipment to its destination as affordably and safely as possible.

Make what you’re sending as small as possible

Many things can have their size minimized for shipping. Compress stuffed animals, put small pots inside larger ones, you can even deflate that football. Think of the items you’re sending and consider how they may take up less space. This will help them fit in a smaller box and same you postage.  


Consider an envelope

Many smaller items may not actually need packed in a box at all. With padded envelopes available, you can easily send books, DVDs, items of clothing, and other fairly sturdy goods without a box.


Use padding to protect your item if needed

It is a rare item that is the exact same size and shape as an available shipping box. And if the fit where so tailored, your item would be in danger of damage for lack of protection anyway. Put packing foam, peanuts, plastic air pockets, shredded paper, or something else compressible or shock absorbing around all sides of your item for its protection. Packing materials should be as light as possible, because you will probably be paying by weight.


Use the Goldilocks box

The “Goldilocks box” is not too big, not too small. It’s just right. If your box is too small, your item is in danger of being damaged by knocks and pressure the box is subject to. If your item is in a box that’s too big, you’ll probably be overcharged to ship. Plus the item may move around during shipping, potentially getting damaged.


Fold and tape correctly

I think we’ve probaly all seem some pretty whack tape jobs on packages. You don’t need tape everywhere. You DO need tape along the seams where the flaps meet on the two closing sides. There should NOT be a “+” shape to tape, the cardboard flaps should not be folded over and under each other. Just close one set of opposing flaps, then the other, and tape the outer set along the seem. If you’re concerned that the box might pop open yet, you need a heavier weight cardboard box.


Address it right

Be sure tape isn’t covering any part of the return or destination address. This includes any barcodes or scannable areas generated by shippers. Double check that addresses are legible and complete. With access to the internet as easy as it is these days, there’s really no reason not to look up the extended zip code, which helps route your package to its destination faster.


For help getting your package ready to go safely, Mail Boxes Times is happy to advise you, plus we sell supplies and you can ship your package directly from our counter.  Contact Mail Boxes Times today to get your items on their way.