How to Mail a Package Without Going to the Post Office

How to Mail a Package Without Going to the Post Office Back in the day, you had to go to the post office if you wanted to mail a package and stand in line there, wasting your precious time waiting for your package to be shipped. There was no way around it. Luckily, things have changed since then, and today you can ship packages from the safety of your home or office. So how do you mail a package without going to the post office?

Gather Your Supplies

If you want to ship parcels from home, you will need supplies to a) pack your parcels and b) print shipping labels. The good news is that there supplies aren’t anything special and are easy to come by.

The bare minimum of packing supplies you will need to ship packages includes sturdy corrugated cardboard boxes (theoretically, you can use regular cardboard boxes, but corrugated cardboard is reliable and at the same time lightweight, which makes it a much better option); cushioning materials (crumpled or shredded paper, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, etc.); packing tape; scissors; address pouches made from clear plastic for your shipping labels. Depending on the contents of your packages, you may need special supplies, for example, coolant or refrigerant for perishables.

To print your shipping labels, you will need a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or phone and a stable internet connection; a decent jet or laser printer (thermal label printers are a thing, but you can easily do without one); paper (again, ordinary office paper will do, you don’t necessarily have to use self-adhesive shipping labels, especially if you mail packages only occasionally). You’ll also need a measuring tape and a scale to determine the dimensions of your package and its weight; this information is required to calculate the shipping cost.

Pack Your Parcel

Packing a parcel is no rocket science, but it won’t hurt to remind you about the main steps of the process.

  1. Pick a box that is the right size for its contents: not too big and not to small. If you intend to reuse an old box, make sure it is sturdy enough and remove any old labels and markings.
  2. Line the bottom of the box with a layer of cushioning material.
  3. If the items you’re shipping need extra protection, wrap each item in bubble wrap and/or put it in a small box.
  4. Arrange the items inside the shipping box. Fill the remaining space with cushioning material.
  5. Close the flaps and shake the box gently to make sure its contents don’t jostle around. Add more cushioning if necessary.
  6. Tape the box securely shut.
  7. Mark and label the box if necessary (i.e. “Fragile”, “Hazardous goods”, etc.).

Print a Shipping Label and Attach It to Your Package

You can print a shipping label from your personal account on the carrier’s website or use a shipping label printing service. A lot of people prefer the latter option because shipping label services can offer considerable discounts and work with multiple carriers, allowing to compare shipping rates. For example, PostageMaker offers discounts of up to 25% on USPS and UPS shipping labels.

The process of printing a shipping label with PostageMaker is not complicated at all. First, you need to sign up for the service and add funds to your personal account in the system (postage will be automatically charged from your account when you generate a shipping label). Then you need to fill out an online form to provide the carrier with the information required to have your package delivered: sender’s and recipient’s names and addresses, preferred postal service, the dimensions and weight of your package (that’s where you’ll need a measuring tape and a scale), a list of items in the package for international shipments, etc.

Once you’re done, submit the form. Your shipping label will be generated within seconds, and you can print it right away or save it as .pdf to print later. Before attaching the label to the package, put it in an address pouch made of clear plastic to protect it from the elements. Place the label on the address side of your package and affix it with clear plastic tape.

Drop Your Package Off or Schedule a Pickup

All that’s left to do is drop your package off at the carrier’s drop-off location or a mail collection box. This way, you won’t have to stand in line in the post office. However, if you don’t want to leave your home at all, you can schedule a package pickup to have a courier come and get your package.

To schedule a package pickup, you need to go to the carrier’s website, fill out and submit and online form (we have more detailed instructions here). Please keep in mind that some carriers don’t allow to schedule a same-day pickup and don’t pick up packages on Sundays.