Happy Mail How-To

08.15.12

send off some school supplies in a bottle, get the full details here

Hello everyone! How has your summer been? I hope it has been exciting and slow and wonderful all at once.

I have been meaning to get back to blogging for some time, I have missed everyone! I thought maybe the beginning of a fresh school year would be just the time. I snapped a few pics last week of some new happy mail we sent, so I will put those together and share here tomorrow.

But before I share something new, I’ve had several questions (and several reactions!) about the things I’ve mailed, and I thought it might help to go over a few basics of sending happy mail that I’ve learned along the way.

So here we go, a few happy mail tips for anyone wanting to try:

1. Write the mailing address and return address on the same surface. My friends at the post office taught me this one. It’s best to avoid any chance of confusion over who is sending and who is receiving.
2. Mail that weighs 13 ounces or less qualifies for USPS’s wonderful, inexpensive first-class shipping rates. The things I have mailed are, of course, considered first class parcels, not envelopes. You can download the parcel rates here on the USPS shipping sight, but I’ll include the current rates as of 3.15.13 here

Weight Not Over (ounces)
1 2.07
2 2.07
3 2.07
4 2.24
5 2.41
6 2.58
7 2.75
8 2.92
9 3.09
10 3.26
11 3.43
12 3.6
13 3.77

3. You can take your mail to the post office desk to be metered or add stamps yourself and drop it in a mailbox. Both are fun. Stamps are pretty! And it is fun just sticking stamps on a package and dropping it in the big blue mailbox to send it on its journey. But I always enjoy going to the counter and seeing my postal workers either grin or subdue a grin, depending on who is helping me behind the counter.
4. You can mail something without a box!? Yes. So far, I have never had a package returned, and never been turned down at the post office desk. I have, however, heard from readers who have happily walked into the post office with a frisbee to mail, and had the central post office managers of the whole country, I imagine, phoned on their behalf, and then been turned down. But the majority of my friends and readers have had no problems. You can always send something in a box, but there’s something about catching a person off guard. It’s kinda fun.
5. And now, the controversy! I have had some post office workers comment on how it makes their day to see a fun piece of mail come through, that they spend the day chuckling to themselves, and a couple tell me what a pain I am for workers who have to hand meter the mail. I have had one reader suggest that I might be single handedly taking down the struggling USPS post office (and another comment that happy mail might help save it!) To tell you the truth, I have thought quite a bit about this, as an ardent fan of the USPS and a sucker for a hand-written letter. I often have readers make me well up on the spot or laugh outloud telling me about eggs and frisbees and ribbon wands they’ve sent to a husband serving in the armed forces abroad or little kiddos who need an extra dose of support and love. I’ve also sent a few of that type of package myself. So far, I am thinking that happy mail is worth the effort, and am hoping that if the USPS should find that sending bouncey balls and flip flops and other items that need to be hand metered is costing more than is covered in their parcel rates, they inch up their rates a bit, I will pay.

MORE happy MAIL:: more fun mail inspiration from the archives:

(or follow my 13 oz or less Pinterest board, or see it all right here)

A Disposable Camera | A Sponge | A Tube of Bert’s Bees | A Wreath and Twinkly Lights | A Disguise | School Supplies | A Pair of Flip Flops | A Big Ball | Plastic Eggs 1 and 2 | Silly Putty |Shovel & a Bucket | Ribbon Sticks | Bubblewrap Hopscotch | Fan Mail | Waterbottle Care Package | Bouncy Balls | Sticky Notes | Jr Mints | Frisbee | Mini Banner and Mini m&ms

find postage rates for happy mail right here along with other mailing details

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