(Family Features)--It's the most wonderful time of the year, and holiday gift-giving and receiving is at the top of everyone's to-do list. There are several simple steps you can take to make those deliveries a little easier.
1. Pack like a pro (or rely on one).
Be sure your packages arrive intact by using the proper materials. Use sturdy, corrugated boxes as well as foam packaging peanuts and bubble cushioning to protect your gifts. Allow at least 2 inches on all sides of the items being packed, including the top and bottom.
2. Secure delivery locations
. If you're expecting deliveries of online purchases or gifts, you may hesitate to leave the house and enjoy holiday outings and family activities. Some companies allow you to redirect packages to a neighbor or a nearby business so you can rest assured your packages are in good hands.
3. Ask for a guarantee.
After spending precious time selecting each gift, you need assurance and peace of mind that your efforts won't be for naught. For example, The UPS Store offers the Pack and Ship Guarantee, a service that covers lost or damaged items. Some providers even offer coverage for the cost of packing materials, service and shipping.
4. Use tracking tools.
The holiday season is no time to wonder when or if your package will arrive. Using a trackable delivery service helps ensure you can monitor your package's progress and receive an alert when it is successfully delivered.
5. Ensure gifts arrive before Santa.
Timing is key when it comes to holiday shipping. Mark the calendar with these shipping deadlines so all gifts arrive just in time.
Published with permission from RISMedia.