As a first time around newly wed army NG wife I had no idea what this deployment would be like. I knew there was a chance of my husband being deployed but it’s never set in stone. I knew I would be sending a package almost weekly. The husband has a gluten intolerance so I knew I would be quick to become a pro at this but first I needed to learn how. I searched the internet for hours looking up how to send things what the best things are to send etc. I’ve come down with some basic tips for new spouses. (and or anyone who likes to send food care packages )
1. You can get free boxes to apo/fpo/dpo addresses from the postal service here. I made it that easy for you. It’s free to order them too. No shipping cost required. IT IS FREE. I currently have about 60 boxes sitting in my living room. These boxes cost $14.95 to ship to your soldier! But it is free to get the boxes sent to you, so you can fill them and then pay to send them. Make sense?
2. You can call usps and ask for free military packing supplies at 1-800-610-8734 (Packing Supply) check out this usps website (scroll to the bottom) for more information on it.
3. Filling out customs forms. Go to the post office. Get as many customs forms as you can each time you go. Fill them out in your free time. Here is how to fill out customs forms. It’s a great article. The first time I looked at a customs form I wanted to cry. I had no idea how to put in an APO address in this or where everything went. Check the airmail box and return address.. or at least I always do
4. Fill up your boxes. Make sure nothing moves around. Anything that can get smashed probably will. Put liquids in bags, vacuum seal things like carbonated beverages changes in air pressure can make them explode. Some people line the sides with bubble wrap. Just be sure nothing moves around in the box before you seal it. If you need to, shove toilet paper in there to fill empty gaps.
6. Put the contents on the inside of the box along with the address and return address. I hear some people can snitch things while the boxes are in transit. Not sure how true this is but I’m not taking chances.
7. Tape every single edge of the box, multiple times. It should form an H. It makes complete sense when you put the box together. I also put a piece of tape across the address so if the box were to get wet the address would not be affected.
8. If you are shipping overseas, do not expect it to show up quickly. You don’t know where the box is going, how often they get mail, or if it gets held up somewhere. My boxes have taken anywhere from 7 days (this was a miracle I cried when he told me he got a package in 7 days) to 3.5 weeks.
9. Be really nice to the post office workers, they handle your box.
10. Don’t decorate the outside of your box. You do not want it to stand out. Decorating the inside is completely acceptable
Those are some of my most basic tips I have gathered so far, if anyone else has anything to add feel free!