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How to Mail a Care Package

The holidays are approaching fast, and this time of year many people are starting to think about holiday gift giving. One way to send a gift during the holidays is to send a care package to a friend or family member that lives far away. What better way to show someone that you care than by mailing them some home baked goodies during the holidays? Here are some tips for keeping your baked items safe during shipment.

Packing Cookies

When mailing cookies, there are several important things to keep in mind.

First, it is important to select a type of cookie that holds up well in the mail. Crisp or brittle cookies will likely break during shipment. Try to mail cookies like oatmeal cookies, bar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and they will likely make it to their recipient in one piece.

It is also important to wrap the cookies well. Try to double box them to keep them as safe as possible. Pack them in a rigid container such as a ziploc container and then pack that container into the shipping box.

mailing care package

When placing cookies in the smaller container, first wrap them in plastic wrap, wrapping 2 to 3 cookies together and then placing them in the container.

It is not a good idea to pack two different kinds of cookies in the same package. For instance if you pack peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies together, the chocolate chip cookies will likely take on the flavor of the peanut butter cookies. Try to keep different kinds of cookies as separate as possible.

Pack the container as full as possible so that the cookies don't have very much room to move around. Less room means less chance the cookies will break during transit. If you do have extra space in the storage container, crumble up some small pieces of waxed paper and place them in the gaps between the packages of cookies.

After placing the ziploc container in the packing box, fill in all the gaps between the ziploc container and box with crumpled up newspaper so that the ziploc container does not move around during shipment.

Packing Canning Jars

If you have canned some jams and jellies that you would like to mail to someone special, then it is important to wrap these jars very carefully so that they don't break while being shipped.

When packing mailing jars for shipment, first you want to place each individual jar in a ziploc bag. This step ensures that if one of the jars break during shipment that the contents of the jar will not spill all over the box.

Roll any excess portion of the ziploc bags around the canning jars and then wrap each individual canning jar in bubble wrap, using tape to secure the bubble wrap in place.

Place the wrapped canning jars in the mailing box and then place extra bubble wrap and/or crumpled up newspaper between the jars. Make sure the box is packed tight, but the lid on the box should lay flat on top. Make sure the jars aren't bulging out of the package.

The most economical way to mail canning jars is by using flat rate priority mail. You can pack quite a few jars into a large flat rate box, and as you can imagine how heavy that would be, you are not charged for the extra weight when using flat rate.

When labeling care packages, make sure to label the package "fragile" and "handle with care" to help reduce the chances of the package being handled roughly during shipment. There is no 100% guarantee your package will arrive safely, but by following these tips, the recipient of your package is likely to receive your care package safe and sound.

Copyright 2014, Creative Homemaking, LLC. This article may not be reprinted.

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Rachel Paxton
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