Before you make the terrifying trek to the Post Office, stop! It’s quick and easy to send mail from home through the USPS. Just use your mailbox!
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The Steps to Send Mail from Home
First, make sure to seal your envelope properly. Next, make sure all your address information is filled out correctly. Finally, make sure you have the proper amount of postage. Depending on how heavy your letter is, you may need multiple First Class stamps to cover the right amount of postage.
Here’s another quick tip: you can buy stamps online with certain shipping software options and skip the hassle of going to the Post Office! When you’re ready to send your mail off, simply place your envelope in your mailbox and lift the red flag UP. This signals to your local postal worker that you have mail waiting. You can also buy stamps for your First-Class letters directly from the USPS website.
When the red flag is down again, you’ll know that your mail was picked up!
You Can Also Drop Mail in the “Outgoing Mail” Slot in Your Building’s Cluster Box
If you live in an apartment complex, chances are there’s a cluster of mailboxes where you have mail and packages delivered. Every single one of these cluster boxes come with an “Outgoing Mail” slot—or even several of them, depending on how big your complex is. As long as you have affixed the proper amount of postage on your letter, you can drop your outgoing mail in these slots for USPS to pick up…though you can’t use “Outgoing Mail” slots to send packages or envelopes.
Sending Packages is a Different Story
A lot of beginners often mix up mailing and shipping, but the difference between the two couldn’t be more apparent. Sending mail refers to sending lightweight letters and documents that are covered by First Class Stamps; shipping packages refers to sending parcels that either come in boxes or poly mailers most of the time.
Also, unlike mail, USPS WON’T pick up your package unless you schedule it! They prefer people to schedule pickups for packages so postal workers can plan their routes accordingly. For example, they might park their truck closer to your house before they start walking around the neighborhood, so they can grab your package and put it in the truck first. It’s easy to schedule a pickup for your package. We’ve included some quick links below to get you started.