Mail Boxes Etc. UK & Ireland's blog

How to pack the perfect Christmas Parcel

Do you have parcels to send this Christmas?  If you want to make sure they arrive safely, follow our tips for perfect packing.

  1. Don’t overload: if you’re sending big or heavy gifts don’t overload your boxes – many carriers have a maximum weight per box of 30kg.  Lower weight boxes means there’s less chance of your packages being heavily handled too (or dropped!).  Heavy boxes should be sealed with fabric tape rather than brown tape for maximum security in transit.
  2. Stay balanced:  balance the weight within the box – an unevenly packed box is more likely to suffer damage due to instability.
  3. Pack it in:  allow at least two inches of packaging around breakable or fragile gifts.  And don’t rely on shredded or torn up newspaper – use polystyrene peanuts and bubble wrap.
  4. Box clever:  use a big enough box – this will also help to stop you skimping on internal packaging.  Choose from a range of single and double-wall boxes from Mail Boxes Etc. – we have sizes available to suit every need, and can also create custom-made boxes for outsized or awkwardly shaped items.
  5. Keep still:  ensure there is no movement of items within the box.  This is the single biggest reason for damage to contents in transit.
  6. Spread the load:  if you’re sending several items to the same address, spread out any valuable items across a number of packages, instead of putting all of them in the same carton.  
  7. Cut it fine:  place some scrap cardboard under the final seal of each box so that, when the knife cuts in to open the box upon delivery, it doesn’t damage the contents.  Seal the edges too – this adds stability and reduces the risk of snagging and tampering.
  8. Write it large:  write the destination address clearly on the box – labels are fine but they can come unstuck.  Protect any labels by using clear tape and include your own full address on the carton in case of returns.
  9. Avoid the rush!  At busy times like Christmas, send your parcels well in advance – that way, not only can you be sure they’ll arrive on time, but there is less chance of damage under the crush of other seasonal parcels.  Aim for despatch by the end of November to be sure.  (You can check here for last posting dates.)

When in doubt call Mail Boxes Etc. on 0800 623 123 or visit to find the location of your nearest store, where you’ll find friendly advice and expert packing services, as well as all the packaging materials you need.

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