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How to Address a Package

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Moving can be complicated sometimes. It can be hard to keep track of everything that's going on: what's going where, when it's going, how it's going. If you plan on shipping some things as part of your move, it is important that you address everything properly. Save yourself a headache by following these guidelines:
  • If you are going to handwrite the addresses, make sure you write legibly and in print.
  • Write a return address in the top left corner of the package. You are relocating, so you might not have a reliable address for yourself yet; choose someone you trust.
  • The delivery address should be parallel to the longest side of the package.
  • Try to include the full ZIP code + 4. If you aren't sure what it is, use this link.
  • Packages with postage stamps must weigh 13 ounces or less.
  • If you want to calculate your postage ahead of time, or even pay it online, go here.

TIP: In some cases, you will receive a discount if you handle your postage online. Check it out before you drive to the post office.

If you are shipping internationally, consider the following:
  • The address should be written in English or, if it is written in another language, at least the city, province, and country should be indicated in English.
  • Print the address in all capital letters to make it more legible. The United States Postal Service suggests the following format:
    • CITY OR TOWN NAME, OTHER PRINCIPAL SUBDIVISION (such as PROVINCE, STATE, or COUNTY) AND POSTAL CODE (IF KNOWN) (Note: in some countries, the postal code may precede the city or town name)
  • The return address should include a full name (no initials, if possible) and the country of origin.
  • Shipping to Canada should follow this format:
    • 1010 CLEAR STREET
    • OTTAWA ON K1A 0B1
    • CANADA
  • It's a good idea to include a card inside the parcel that details the names and addresses of yourself (or the return address you are using) and the addressee.
Just make sure all the information you have is accurate before you send it off!

Patrick Hanan  Posted by Patrick Hanan on August 27, 2009

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