The holidays are upon us, and you will no doubt want to send things to loved ones through the mail. Some of the best boxes to ship in are illegal to use: bleach, alcohol, paint, etc. I simply refuse to let their political correctness stop me from using a box that is perfect for my needs. So, here is how to use them if you need them.
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
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!
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.
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 .
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.
I am the original poster. I get what some of the older posts said about the boxes not being safe. However, keep in mind they mean you can't use boxes that might have leaked bleach, paint etc.
I would never then or now propose to endanger any postal worker or any one for that matter.
Silly is as silly does I guess, but you wouldn't use any box that had a leak in it. Just sayin'...
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
TERRIFIC IDEA! (11/14/2008)
Just make sure you don't do that with USPS Priority Mail boxes. I mentioned that today at the PO and they said if a box comes apart and they find that's been done with one of their boxes, the recipient has to pay the extra postage. (11/14/2008)
Re: USPS boxes. If the postal employees think you have used an inside out priority box they will open your package and check.
But great idea for regular cardboard boxes. Auto parts stores are great places to get boxes for mailing. (11/14/2008)
I found out the hard way that if you use a bleach, any kind of alcohol or paint box, they won't ship it.
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)