Mail soon to avoid last-minute rush |

Mail soon to avoid last-minute rush

Karol Mehan of Glenwood Springs was expecting long lines at the post office Saturday.Instead she got lucky when she mailed her holiday packages.”It was so fast. I told my husband I will probably be here for a half an hour,” she said. “And they are always so friendly, even when they’re under pressure.”Not everyone will so lucky this week as the last-minute crush of people mailing packages hits in full force in post offices across the country.With Christmas just around the corner, the U.S. Postal Service has deadlines for mailing packages so they reach their destinations in time for the big day.Using regular mail and Priority Mail service, mail holiday cards, letters and packages going out of state by Tuesday, Dec. 21. Mail to in-state destinations should go out Wednesday, Dec. 22. After those dates, use Express Mail to major metropolitan destinations.The deadline has passed for regular mail delivery for overseas military and international mail. Use Express Mail to ensure mail is delivered by Christmas.The Post Office now offers shipping online and free carrier pickup. Go to and then “Click-N-Ship” on the main menu page where you print out labels and postage. Then go to “Pickup Options” to request free pickup.Priority Flat Rate boxes for shipping anywhere in the U.S. or overseas to military, are $7.50 per box, regardless of weight or destination. They’re available at post office lobbies.Here’s a tip for mailing packages: Use a strong, sturdy box with no writing on the outside. Package the contents tightly and securely, using newspaper, bubble wrap or other cushioning material. Include the name and address of the person the box is going to on a slip of paper inside the box.Seal the package with strong, reinforced packing tape. Do not use paper or string on the outside. Print the compete name and address including the Zip code in large print on one side of the package only. Make sure to print your return name and address in the upper left corner.Finally, mail early. Avoid the last-minute rush at the post office, which can delay delivery.For information, call (800) ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777).

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