How to Ship Boxes in the Mail
Mailing boxes is a great idea.
Mailing your moving boxes can be far cheaper than hiring a moving service, a you-pack service or a delivery service. The average moving box filled with $35/lbs will run you about $50 online. Not cheap, but far cheaper than hiring someone. Even better, you can also schedule USPS to come get your stuff; you don’t need to wait in line at the post office (and you shouldn’t, because online rates are cheaper).
However, if you want to use the mail to move your stuff, you’ll need to play by the Postal Service’s rules. Read on to learn what those rules are and how they’re to be played.
What You Can Ship in the Mail
- Boxes Under 70 pounds – 70 pounds is USPS’ limit, so make sure your boxes weigh less than that. If possible, pack them at less than 35 lbs so as to avoid extra postage, too.
- Boxes Under 130 inches – Boxes can’t be more than 130 inches large. Calculate your box size by adding the length (the longest part of the box) to the girth (the distance around the thickest part of the box, including all four sides).
- No guns – Just carry those on the plane with you… wait, no… check here for information about how to move with guns.
- No alcohol tobacco, or prescription medications
- No hazardous materials – The Post Office has a broad definition for what’s hazardous. Here’s an incomplete list: perfumes, nail polish, batteries, paints, matches, glue, and cleaning supplies.
- No illegal items – Don’t try to ship your meth pipe. Just leave it behind, man.
How to Ship Items Through the Mail
- Get Moving Boxes – First, get a bunch of moving boxes that don’t surpass the 130-inch limit. Check here for ideas about where to find free moving boxes.
- Pack & Weigh – Pack your items securely, using packaging if necessary. Also, weigh them by first weighing the box alone, then weighing it with the contents. Subtract the weight of the box itself from the total.
- Print a Shipping Label – If you have the weight, you can determine how much it will cost to ship and pay for postage online. Go onto USPS.com and print a shipping label for your items. Tape the label to your box.
- Schedule a Pick Up – While on USPS.com, you can schedule a time for the Postal Service to come pick up your boxes.