6 Tricks for Packing and Mailing Packages

Make sure goods arrive intact with these handy packing tips.

Disposable Diapers
You want to mail your friend that lovely piece of china you know she’ll love. But you don’t have any protective wrapping on hand. If you have disposable diapers, wrap the item in the diapers or insert them as padding before sealing the box. Diapers cost more than regular protective packaging wrap, but at least you will have gotten the package out today, and you can be assured your gift will arrive in one piece.

Egg Cartons
Here’s a great way to brighten the day of a soldier, student, or any faraway friend or loved one. Cover an egg carton with bright wrapping paper. Line the individual cells with candy wrappers or shredded coconut. Nestle homemade treats inside each. Include the carton in your next care package or birthday gift, and rest assured the treats will arrive intact.
See more uses for Egg Cartons.

Foam Food Trays
Why buy expensive padded envelopes to send photographs to loved ones? Cut foam trays slightly smaller than your mailing envelope. Insert your photographs between the trays, place in the envelope, and mail. The photos will arrive without creases or bends.

If you’re shipping or storing small, fragile valuables that won’t be harmed by a little contact with water, sponges are a clever way to cushion them. Dampen a sponge, wrap it around the delicate item, and use a rubber band to secure it. As it dries, the sponge will conform to the contours of your crystal ashtray or porcelain figurine. To unpack it, just dip the item in water again. You’ll even get your sponge back!
See more uses for Sponges.

Next time you’re preparing a box for mailing, take a second to make it easier for the recipient to open. Place a piece of string along the center and side seams before you tape, allowing a tiny bit to hang free at one end. That way, the recipient just needs to pull the strings to sever the tape without resorting to sharp blades that might damage delicate contents. Do the same for packing boxes when you move.
See more uses for String.

You’d like to use foam to ship some fragile things, but all you’ve got is sheets or blocks of foam, not pellets. No problem. Just break up what you have into pieces small enough to fit in a blender and pulse it on and off to shred the foam into perfect packing material.
See more uses for Styrofoam.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest