Pack a Shipment

Before you select a shipping carrier for U.S. and overseas packages, it's important to pack your box with care. Using substandard shipping materials or packaging items improperly may result in damage to mailed goods and valuables, which costs you time and money.



  1. Select a sturdy box that is slightly larger than the shipped items. This allows you enough space to properly cushion the contents.
  2. Use heavy-duty, 2-inch packing tape to secure the bottom of the box along the center and side seams. Add additional tape layers for boxes that will contain fragile or heavy items. Tape is inexpensive, so don't skimp.
  3. Place a layer of bubble wrap, foam peanuts or wadded up newspaper in the bottom of each box. This initial layer helps with shock absorption, and keeps items from tearing through the bottom if the tape gives way.
  4. Wrap each item individually in bubble wrap, tissue paper or newspaper. Fill hollow items with packing material, as well.
  5. Place your items in the center of the box, and surround them on all sides with foam peanuts, shredded newspaper or additional bubble wrap.
  6. Close the box and gently shake it to determine whether the contents are shifting. If you feel the items moving, add more packing material to ensure that all items are suspended, and will not continue to shift in transit.
  7. Add a final layer of peanuts, bubble wrap or packing paper to the top of each box and place a label on top of the packing material. This label should include your return address and the shipping address, and will aid postal workers if the external label incurs damage or falls off in transit. Close the box securely.
  8. Tape the box shut using your 2-inch packing tape. In addition to taping the seam shut, reinforce each edge with one to two layers of additional tape.
  9. Label your box with a Sharpie permanent marker or other waterproof marking pen. Remember to include a return mailing address in the upper left corner, in case your package does not arrive at its destination and needs to be sent back.
    If you're reusing a box, make sure that it is structurally sound. Completely cover previous markings, labels and stickers with a large, black marker or a layer of brown wrapping paper. Ask postal workers to use their "fragile" stamp if you're shipping delicate items.
  10. Do not tie boxes shut with twine, cords or string. They may tear through the box or become hung up on conveyor belts.

Things You May Need

  • Packing box
  • 2-inch packing tape
  • Styrofoam peanuts
  • Bubble wrap
  • Tissue paper or newspaper
  • Sharpie marker
Packing Supplies