From Ready Nutrition:

I know how you feel. It seems like the holiday season starts a little earlier every year.  Christmas is bearing down on you whether you like it or not, and you’ll have to start getting ready in the weeks ahead. However, this article has nothing to do with buying gifts or figuring out what you’re going to serve for Thanksgiving. It’s about the fine art of getting your packages to their intended recipients during what is arguably the craziest time of year for your delivery man.

The delivery system we use to get our packages from point A to point B is truly a marvel of modern civilization, but it’s also a vast and sophisticated machine that prioritizes speed over everything else. And the people who work in this machine, whether they be your mailman, a UPS driver, or just some anonymous guy sifting through thousands of brown packages on a conveyor belt, all have a thankless and difficult job that is even more challenging during the holidays. It’s safe to say that for these workers, your package is not a special snowflake that deserves their utmost attention and care.

In other words, it’s largely up to you to properly prepare your gifts for their journey, and extra precautions should be taken during the Christmas season if you want your packages to get anywhere in one piece. So here’s a few tips for making sure that these items can safely endure the rigors of our modern delivery system. Some of them aren’t as obvious as you might think:

Choosing the Right Box

You might think that any old box will do, but you need to be very careful about reusing old boxes. The delivery process is built with speed in mind, and your package is going to take a beating. Your box needs to be in excellent condition, especially for heavy items; and every time a box is reused it loses a significant amount of its carrying capacity. More importantly, every box size has a specific weight capacity that should never be exceeded. While at first glance your box appear to be stable, if you overload it the shipping process may very well destroy it.

As a rule of thumb, measure the length, width, and depth of your box, and if the total is less than 75 inches then it shouldn’t be used for any item that weighs more than 30lbs. Take a look at the UPS shipping guidelines for more details. They’re a bit more specific then you probably thought (you’d do well to follow company guidelines, because UPS and FedEx won’t reimburse you for any damages to your package if you don’t follow them). And if you have a really heavy item, consider using a box with double walled cardboard.

Securing Your Package

The guidelines are also pretty strict about how to secure your package, and they’re pretty much the same across all delivery companies. You can’t expect the box to stay closed during a delivery if it’s…

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