Everybody knows someone who can use a little surprise, someone whose day will be made brighter by receiving a little love in a box. Seriously, who doesn’t enjoy finding something in his or her mailbox, especially if it contains goodies?
When was the last time you sent a care package to someone “just because?” Even better, someone who wasn’t your own immediate family member? I’ve sent several packages recently, but all to my own kiddo. Now I think it’s time to send a little love to someone else! I know you know someone, too! “Why Not?” brighten his or her whole week with an unexpected piece of snail mail?
Don’t know what to send? Consider some of these suggestions!
- Toiletries: Shampoo, razors, shaving cream, soap, makeup, aftershave, etc; anything that can be safely shipped.
- Medicines: Over-the-counter cold and allergy meds, first aid supplies, stomach meds, pain relievers, cough drops.
- Gift cards: Favorite restaurants, iTunes, Target/Walmart, local grocery stores, movie theaters for that needed break!
- Food: Lots and lots of food! 🙂 The type of food is, of course, dependent on who is receiving it. I have found that cookies only last a few days, but magic bars, quick breads, chocolate covered peanut butter balls and similar items, last longer (especially with refrigeration). If you are sending to young men, expiration time might not be as important ( 🙂 ), but I’ve noticed my daughter and her friends can sometimes make the sweets last longer. Unless it’s finals week. Nothing lasts long during finals week! Homemade is always a treat, but non-perishables are great, too! And even though your excited recipient may whoop at the sight of a box of candy and chips, a large supply of healthy snacks will keep him whooping longer when energy and focus are needed.
- Miscellaneous: Articles of clothing, socks, scarves, gloves, etc.
- Handwritten Notes: So important! The goodies are wonderful, but don’t you always crave the note and hate it when the writing ends??
If you are like me, the easier something is to do, the more likely I am to do it! Let me just put it out there: I am a bit lazy. The worst part of any job is getting ready for it. Wait, that’s not quite right. The worst part of any job is not being able to complete it because I don’t have everything I need! I have, therefore, tried to streamline this process as much as possible, and here are some of the things that I’ve found helpful:
- A gathering place: Pick a place where you can collect items to be mailed. It can be a basket, box, surface of an unused bed, whatever! For me, it is usually my dining table — probably not the best choice, though any friends who know me well enough to stop by in the middle of the week also know me well enough to overlook the pile! 🙂 I’ll probably relocate my gathering place, but remember, convenience is key here, so do what will work!
- Mailing Supplies: Keep a roll of packing tape on hand. The good stuff — you don’t want those cookies flying all over the back of the shipping truck! Save packing paper and small mailing boxes. Better yet, pick up a supply of free Priority Mail and Flat Rate boxes and envelopes from the post office. These come in a variety of sizes and are easy to package.
- USPS Online: One word: Lifesaver! (Or is that technically two words??) I love, love, love USPS online! No lines, cheaper rates than purchasing at the post office, and did I say no lines?? They will even pick up your packages free of charge! Go to USPS.com to set up your account and enter your frequently used addresses. Select the address to which you are sending, the size box you are using, the service you request (Priority Mail or Express Mail), pay with a credit card or Paypal, hit print, and voila! Easy-peasy! I don’t even buy labels; just print on regular paper and tape it to the box! Whenever I ship packages, I prefer to use Priority Mail or Flat Rate boxes. I can fit a whole lot into one of those “If it fits, it ships!” boxes! Additionally, they typically arrive in two days, and since I am almost always sending some type of food, this is especially important! The Priority Mail prices range from $5.75 – $15.90, and some of the prices are discounted if you print the postage at home. If you are organized and schedule your pickup before 2 AM on the day you want to mail, you are done! But if you forgot to schedule it you can catch the mail carrier in front of your house or just run it to the post office and drop it in the box. Even then you still don’t have to wait in line! Did I already mention that??
- Notecards: You should never be without a variety of blank notecards! Or even special occasion cards! Just always have cards on hand — remember, that is the most important part of the package!
- Ziploc baggies: Have some of every size available! When packing perishables, make sure all of the air is squeezed from the bag (think “vacuum packed”!), and double bag it. Make sure the bags are packed securely in the box so the food doesn’t crumble unnecessarily (though I’ve known a few college kids and deployed military to “drink” the crumbs right from the baggie!).
Now I must run — I have a whole bunch of love to mail! “Why Not?” grab a box and do the same!
I would love to hear some of your ideas — how did your box of love make someone’s day this week?
This post was shared at Tip Tuesday #4