During the holiday season, a porch full of packages is a common sight. Many homeowners don’t want their magnetic screen doors and front gates to be propped open with a plethora of parcels! If you’re expecting an influx of packages this year, it’s a good idea to prepare for their arrival. Here are a few tips that will help keep you organized when all of those boxes begin to arrive!
Require the Personal Touch
The best way to make sure your packages are safe from bad weather or theft is to make sure someone is there to bring them in. If there is someone available to keep an eye out for deliveries, you can require a signature upon dropoff so you know the parcel isn’t left outside. Use a magnetic screen door on your front or back porch to help make getting back inside easier when your arms are full of packages, too.
One of the biggest hassles of trying to be home when expecting deliveries is that they always arrive when you’re making a quick run to the store. Installing a doorbell camera will let you know who’s knocking wherever you are. With the right setup, you can be alerted on the delivery driver’s arrival and can even talk to them through a speaker, telling them exactly where to hide it until you get home.
Alternative Delivery Sites
Being home isn’t always an option, and hiding the package under a bush won’t keep it protected while you’re at work all day, either. Sometimes the best way to keep your deliveries safe is to have them sent to a different location entirely. Some alternatives include:
- Alternate Address: If you know a neighbor is home or your boss is OK with personal deliveries at work, choosing a different drop-off is a great option.
- Ship to Store: Many retail chains offer in-store pickup for items ordered online. Many locations use lockboxes so you don’t need to waste time waiting at customer service.
- Shipping Centers: The postal service, UPS, and FedEx all allow you to send packages to their branch storefronts where you can pick them up at your convenience.
There’s no need to worry about packages being left to thieves and foul weather when you have your items sent to a location where you know they will be kept safe.
Securing Delivery Spots
Sometimes all you need to keep your items safe is a good, strong lock. Having a package lockbox is a great way to keep your things secure until you can get to them. These containers can be bolted to the front porch and they open with an access code you can share with the delivery service. If you have a closed-in porch, the driver can go through a magnetic screen door without fumbling with your parcels, either.
Amazon offers another delivery option that allows delivery personnel access to your garage to store packages. Called Amazon Key, this program requires homeowners to attach a special receiver to their garage door openers. This allows drivers to open the door to deliver a package and close it immediately after. Users can also use an app to open the door themselves from anywhere, letting houseguests in when running late or allowing the neighbor to borrow your lawn mower.
Protecting From Parcel Prowlers
Unfortunately, some people are willing to do their holiday shopping off of other homeowners’ porches. While a magnetic screen may keep insects off your porch, it won’t do much to stop a package thief. If you can’t be at home or have your boxes delivered somewhere else, there are several ways you can keep sticky fingers from your doorstep, such as:
- Visible Video Surveillance
- Remote Home Monitoring
- Special Delivery Requests
- Package Tracking
- Delivery Holds
The main thing to remember is if porch pirates can’t get to your packages, they can’t steal them either!
Improve Your Own Packing Skills
Chances are you aren’t just receiving packages, you’re sending out your own as well. Preparing your parcels for a trip during inclement weather takes a little extra attention. From the inside out, tightly encase the item in cling wrap to seal out as much moisture as possible. Use air-filled bubble wrap to create cushioning and provide some insulation from the cold.
Wrapping the outside with cling material is another way to keep moisture out, but you’ll need to make sure all shipping info is clearly visible. Sealed poly mailers are an excellent alternative for smaller items since they are generally waterproof and provide a good deal of protection from the bumps of the road.
The Sending Season
Gift-giving is an important part of the holidays, but no one wants to open a soggy present. Taking time to prepare your delivery area for shipments will help make sure no boxes go missing or are ruined by the weather. And don’t forget about the delivery drivers working hard to bring gifts to their destinations. Pass a hot cup of cocoa through your magnetic screen and the warm gesture will surely be appreciated!