Make gift wrapping and delivery flawless this year - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Make gift wrapping and delivery flawless this year

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WILMINGTON,NC (WECT)- Many spend a lot of money and thought on the perfect holiday gift for the ones they love. However, wrapping the gift can be a challenge and sending it in the mail can be a risk if not careful.

USPS sent the following tips to keep your gift mail-safe:

1. Print addresses clearly and in all CAPS and be sure to include all address elements — apartment numbers, suite numbers, directional information for streets. For example: 123 S Main St. or 12456 Elm St. N.

2. Include both "to" and "from" information on packages — and only on one side. Mark packages, "Fragile," in large print on the outside of the box when shipping breakable materials.

3. Never guess a ZIP Code. Visit usps.com to find all ZIP Codes.

4. Select a box that is strong enough to protect the contents. Leave space for cushioning inside. Do not reuse mailing boxes — they weaken in the shipping process. Customers can purchase ReadyPost boxes at a local Post Office. Express Mail and Priority Mail boxes, envelopes and tubes are free. With Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes, if it fits, it ships.

5. Cushion contents with shredded or rolled newspaper, bubble wrap or foam peanuts. Plain airpopped popcorn also is good for cushioning — it's inexpensive and environmentally friendly. Pack contents tightly to avoid shifting during transit.

6. Always use tape that is designed for shipping, such as pressure-sensitive tape, nylon reinforced craft paper tape or glass-reinforced pressure-sensitive tape. Do not use wrapping paper, string, masking tape or cellophane tape.

7. Place an extra label or notice with the delivery and return address inside the package. This ensures the safe return of an item that could not be delivered should the outside label become damaged or fall off.

8. Remove batteries from toys. Wrap and place them next to the toys in the mailing box. Customers should include the new batteries in the manufacturer's packaging.

9. Stuff glass and fragile, hollow items, like vases, with newspaper or packing material to avoid damage. When mailing framed photographs, take the glass out of the frame and wrap it separately.

10. Customers preparing international packages can complete customs forms, pay postage, print a shipping label and receive a discount, too, online at usps.com/clicknship.

And don't forget — Express Mail delivery occurs on Christmas Day in many metropolitan areas. Dec. 22 is the mailing deadline to most locations.

Please see the attached video as Leigh Murray, owner of The Sterling House in the Hanover Shopping Center, demonstrates some gift wrapping tips.

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