The Best Tip I’m Gonna Give All Month

How to Ship a Package

So, I’ve been temporarily located in Chicago for the last six months, its been great, laid back and a very nice welcome change from Brooklyn and NYC. This is relevant because my time here is coming to an end and next week I will be driving back to Brooklyn. Because I’m driving I have to make sure everything fits in my car. Therefore, I’ve been going through my stuff and editing. A few weeks ago I put together all my winter stuff and shipped it to myself in Brooklyn.

It got lost in the mail.

Last night I received a letter from the United States Postal Service, along with the label I had affixed to the package that I had sent to a few weeks ago. When I got the letter, I avoided reading the contents of the letter itself because I was distracted by the label–which was in my own handwriting–stapled to the letter. Upon seeing the label I instantly knew what happened– the label had gotten separated from the package. The letter would later confirm this. My heart sank, my boots, my cold weather accessories, my cold weather work out gear (that I never use but still), my fancy bag for job interviews, book bags, hiking boots, sweaters– ALL GONE. Living in some lonely post office warehouse never to be seen by me again.

Annoyed yes, but I was not devastated– I walk a fine line when it comes to stuff and I am dangerously close to being a hoarder if I am not careful– this seemed like a message from some higher power to learn to live with less, something I’ve been striving for when I make life goal lists for a long time. When I told my girlfriend what happened she immediately told me to just let it go, not of the incident itself but specifically to let go of the stuff.

 The realization of what was in the huge 20 x 24 box I sent to Brooklyn kept washing over me and I kept shuddering at she sheer value of what was in the box– a most uncomfortable anxiety producing feeling. Save yourself the trouble of this particular experience and implement the following simple tip the next time you send a package or an entire seasons worth of clothing to yourself.

The Post Office letter contained a tip to avoid this in the future. To me the letter sounded a bit smug, to me the letter had a very strong “I told you so” vibe. Here is what they said:

 “Experience has shown that proper packaging, including your name and address with the contents inside the parcel in most instances will avoid this inconvenience. To assure our customers the service they deserve it is suggested that these measures be taken in the future.”

 At some point in elementary school I learned how to write a proper letter and address an envelope, at no point did we cover the proper form to send a package. I scrupulously honor the rules of the Post Office and was really surprised that I did not know about this particular protocol.

Here is the take away: When you send a package, take the time to include within the package itself an invoice including who its from, where its going and the contents. Therefore, if the label you carefully affixed to the box itself with practically a whole roll of heavy duty packing tape falls off, the Post Office people can open it up, find out where its going and get it there– without this you are shit out of luck. This simple tip, something I would have never thought to do myself, would have saved me the heartache of loosing all of my winter stuff.


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