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USPS Says Make These Changes to Your Mailbox to "Ensure Timely Delivery"

The agency just unveiled its "next generation" of mailboxes.

The infrastructure of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is more complicated than most of us can fathom. How does one organization process an average of 20.2 million pieces of mail per hour? According to, that's more than 146 billion letters, envelopes, and packages a year. Of course, if you send birthday letters, holiday cards, or frequently shop online, you know that the USPS isn't exactly known for its swift, on-time delivery—and there have been endless reports of excessive mail delays in 2024. But while the USPS is making changes inward, the agency is also alerting the public of a few housekeeping tips that can help streamline the mail delivery process, and it starts with making changes to your mailbox.

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In honor of Mail Improvement Week, the USPS is encouraging customers to perform health checks on their mailboxes, following several months of harsh winter weather and a busy holiday shipping season. Those with "box-on-post-delivery" are requested "to examine, and where necessary, improve the appearance of their mailboxes," the agency said in a May 6 release.

The USPS suggests replacing rusted or loose door hinges and remounting unstable mailbox posts to "help ensure safe and timely delivery of your mail."

Your mailbox's aesthetic is also important, the agency notes. If you notice the paint beginning to rust, crack, or peel, a fresh coat can help brighten up your post box. Moreover, adding or replacing your house number can help postal workers quickly and easily identify your mailbox.

But these suggested changes aren't just cosmetic. If you receive packages regularly, your mailbox might need a bigger upgrade. For these customers, the USPS just unveiled its "next generation of mailboxes."

New larger capacity package-friendly boxes are both wider and taller, measuring 13.63" wide x 7.75" tall on sides, and 12" tall at center x 16.5" deep, per the USPS website. The re-designed mailboxes can comfortably hold multiple packages—in a wide assortment of sizes, including Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express boxes—alongside standard letters, cards, and magazines.

RELATED: USPS Is Planning One of Its Biggest-Ever Price Hikes for July.

According to the agency, the rollout of these new mailboxes is to help "reduce the need for notices left and trips to the Post Office to retrieve a package." Plus, it's an added safety measure that could protect your deliveries, as opposed to leaving visibly unattended packages near the front door.

Customers can purchase an oversized mailbox at retailers like Home Depot, Lowe's, Walmart, Menards, True Value, and BudgetMailboxes. Prices range from $65 to $130 for a standalone mailbox, though some sellers also offer a mailbox and post combo.

"Generally, customers should install mailboxes with the bottom of the mailbox at a vertical height of between 3 1/2 to 4 feet from the road surface. However, because of varying road and curb conditions and other factors, the Postal Service recommends that customers contact the postmaster or carrier before erecting or replacing mailboxes and supports," the USPS said in a statement.

The agency added, "Mailboxes should be placed so the carrier can safely and conveniently serve them without leaving the vehicle. Customers must remove obstructions, including vehicles, trash cans, and snow, that impede efficient delivery."

If you're investing in a new mailbox, a full guide with installation instructions can be found on the USPS website. But regardless, the agency is reminding customers that keeping your mailbox up to code means doing your part to make sure mail arrives smoothly and safely.

Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more
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