Simply split them and reverse them. The inside will always be clean and easy to make labels for, so just retape, fill, seal, and send. I hope this helps everyone searching for that perfect box.
Source: Too many times being turned away at the post office!
By Poor But Proud from Yorktown, VA
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By Anonymous 11/28/2009
I agree with sterghe.
If the box is considered illegal for reuse then there is a reason for it especially when it comes to harmful chemicals which are in bleach, alcohol, paint, etc, etc, etc :-( You can't always readily tell if there actually was a spill or not. One time recently, where simple shampoo and conditioner were sent to me, both bottles had leaked in transit but the 'spill' was not 'easily apparent' in the box but it indeed was there upon further inspection.
Think about all the people handling those boxes that might have had a chemical spill in them even if turned inside out. It could be the postal workers or the person who you are sending the package to that has no clue they might be handling or breathing a possible harmful chemical. And what about the items you are shipping in that reused box? Have they been contaminated?
Please follow the law because there truly is a reason for them even if we don't like them :-( There are so many other safe reusable boxes other than ones having held chemicals.
By Weavre Cooper 11/28/2009
This is generally a good idea, but I wanted to add one thing. The USPS restrictions aren't about "political correctness." Things like bleach and paint can be dangerous in a vibrating, unpressurized airplane cargo hold. Reusing a clean box from a product that couldn't itself be shipped normally is fine if you turn it inside out as suggested--but be sure that it doesn't have a leaked hazardous material soaked into it. You wouldn't want your package to be the cause of a fire in the airplane, for example!
There are lots of laws about transporting alcohol, so the thing about not showing alcohol labels on the outside of the box is also done to make sure USPS stays in compliance with those laws.
You can get the details about what you can ship at www.usps.com/aviationsecurity .
By Noella 11/28/2009
That's a wonderful idea. Just make sure to not use the priority mail boxes. If the post office suspects that you've used those, they will make you pay the priority rates.
By Ann Winberg 11/28/2009
Excellent idea, I use the cereal etc, boxes the same way but hadn't thought about using the larger "unusable" boxes the same. Duuhhh on me!
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When I need to ship an item and do not have a box that isn't covered in color and writing (like a diaper box for example), I take the box apart at the seams. I then turn it inside out and hot glue it back together, with the brown side out. It is easier to read and keeps the postmaster happy!
By Marcie from Gray, Maine
But great idea for regular cardboard boxes. Auto parts stores are great places to get boxes for mailing. (11/14/2008)
If it's already packaged up good, some places will put that box inside their own recycled boxes and send it, but that is generally private mail box companies. All great info this time of the year! (11/15/2008)