How to Send Clothes via Post Office: Easy Steps and Tips

Murali Gottumukkala
Co-founder, COO
May 22, 2024

Sending clothes through the post office might seem like a straightforward task, but there’s more to it than just stuffing your garments into a box and handing them over to the postal worker.

Whether you’re shipping a gift, returning an online purchase, or sending your favorite outfit to a friend across the country, ensuring your clothes arrive in perfect condition requires a bit of preparation and know-how.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the essential steps to send clothes via the post office efficiently and securely.

From choosing the right packaging materials to selecting the best shipping method, we’ve got you covered.

By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with all the tips and tricks you need to make sure your clothes reach their destination safely and on time.

Why Send Clothes via Post Office?

You might be wondering, why choose the post office for sending clothes? Here are a few compelling reasons:

  1. Reliability: The post office has a long-standing reputation for delivering packages reliably. With various shipping options, you can choose the one that best suits your needs and budget.

  2. Accessibility: Post offices are widely accessible, with numerous locations in both urban and rural areas. This makes it easy to drop off your package or arrange for a pick-up.

  3. Cost-Effective: Compared to private couriers, the post office often provides more affordable shipping rates, especially for domestic deliveries.

  4. Versatility: Whether you’re sending a single t-shirt or a box full of clothes, the post office offers a range of packaging options and shipping methods to accommodate different sizes and weights.

  5. Tracking and Security: With options for tracking and insurance, you can have peace of mind knowing that your package can be monitored throughout its journey and is protected against loss or damage.

1. Preparing Your Clothes for Shipping

Shipping clothes via the post office requires careful preparation to ensure they arrive at their destination in good condition. Follow these steps to prepare your clothes for shipping:

Cleaning and Packing Your Clothes

Before packing your clothes, ensure they are clean and free of any stains or odors. This not only presents your items in the best light but also prevents any potential damage during transit. Here’s how to prepare your clothes for shipping:

  1. Clean your clothes: Wash and dry your clothes according to the care instructions on the label. This helps remove dirt, stains, and odors.

  2. Fold clothes neatly: Fold your clothes neatly to prevent wrinkles and save space in the package. Use tissue paper or plastic bags to separate delicate fabrics and prevent them from rubbing against each other.

  3. Use plastic bags for protection: Place each item in a plastic bag to protect it from moisture and dirt. This is especially important for delicate or light-colored fabrics.

2. Choosing the Right Packaging

Selecting the appropriate packaging is essential to protect your clothes during transit. Use sturdy boxes or padded envelopes to prevent damage. Here’s how to choose the right packaging for your clothes:

  1. Use sturdy boxes: For heavier items or multiple pieces of clothing, use a sturdy box that can withstand the weight. Ensure the box is not too large to prevent items from shifting during transit.

  2. Consider padded envelopes for smaller items: For smaller items like t-shirts or socks, consider using padded envelopes. These provide some cushioning and protection against damage.

  3. Use packing tape to secure the package: Use strong packing tape to seal the box or envelope securely. This prevents the package from opening during transit.

Types of Packaging Materials

When sending clothes via the post office, choosing the right packaging material is essential to ensure your items arrive safely and in good condition. Here’s a detailed guide to the various types of packaging materials you can use:

1. Polybags

Polybags are a popular choice for shipping clothing because they are lightweight, flexible, and cost-effective.

  • Benefits:

    • Lightweight, reducing shipping costs.
    • Flexible, accommodating different shapes and sizes.
    • Water-resistant, offering basic protection against moisture.
  • Best For:

    • Single garments or smaller items like t-shirts, shirts, and lightweight dresses.

2 Bubble Mailers

Bubble mailers combine the flexibility of polybags with the added protection of bubble wrap.

  • Benefits:

    • Cushioned interior provides extra protection for delicate items.
    • Lightweight, keeping shipping costs low.
    • Easy to seal with an adhesive strip.
  • Best For:

    • Delicate fabrics, embellished clothing, or items that need additional protection.

3. Corrugated Boxes

Corrugated boxes are sturdy and provide robust protection for heavier or multiple items.

  • Benefits:

    • Strong and durable, preventing damage during transit.
    • Available in various sizes, suitable for different quantities of clothes.
    • Can be reused and recycled, making them an eco-friendly option.
  • Best For:

    • Large shipments, multiple items, or heavy garments like jackets and coats.

4. Padded Envelopes

Padded envelopes offer a balance between protection and flexibility, ideal for smaller, delicate items.

  • Benefits:

    • Padded interior safeguards against impacts.
    • Compact and easy to handle.
    • Generally more protective than polybags but lighter than boxes.
  • Best For:

    • Smaller, fragile items like silk scarves or delicate blouses.

5. Plastic Mailing Bags

Plastic mailing bags are durable and resistant to tearing, providing a higher level of protection than standard polybags.

  • Benefits:

    • Tear-resistant, reducing the risk of package damage.
    • Water-resistant, protecting against moisture.
    • Available in tamper-evident designs for added security.
  • Best For:

    • Items that require extra protection against rough handling.

6. Recyclable and Eco-friendly Options

For those looking to minimize their environmental impact, recyclable and eco-friendly packaging materials are a great choice.

  • Benefits:

    • Made from recycled or biodegradable materials.
    • Reduces your carbon footprint.
    • Often reusable, promoting sustainability.
  • Best For:

    • Eco-conscious individuals and businesses aiming to reduce waste.

7. Custom Packaging

Custom packaging can provide a unique unboxing experience and added protection tailored to your specific needs.

  • Benefits:

    • Tailored fit reduces movement and potential damage.
    • Enhances brand image with customized designs and logos.
    • Can include special features like tamper-evident seals or reinforced corners.
  • Best For:

    • Businesses looking to enhance their brand presence and ensure the safe delivery of high-value items.

By understanding the different types of packaging materials available, you can select the best option to protect your clothes during shipping, ensuring they reach their destination in perfect condition.

4. Understanding Different Shipping Options

When sending clothes via the post office, it’s important to choose the right shipping option to ensure timely and safe delivery. Here’s a comprehensive guide to understanding the various shipping options available:

1. First-Class Mail

First-Class Mail is an economical option for sending lightweight packages.

  • Benefits:

    • Affordable rates for packages weighing up to 13 ounces.
    • Typically delivers within 1-3 business days.
    • Includes tracking services for added security.
  • Best For:

    • Small, lightweight clothing items like t-shirts, baby clothes, or accessories.

2. Priority Mail

Priority Mail offers faster delivery times and is ideal for mid-weight packages.

  • Benefits:

    • Delivers within 1-3 business days.
    • Flat-rate options available for various package sizes.
    • Includes tracking and up to $50 of insurance coverage.
  • Best For:

    • Medium-sized packages or heavier items like jeans, sweaters, or multiple clothing pieces.

3. Priority Mail Express

Priority Mail Express is the fastest USPS shipping option, perfect for urgent deliveries.

  • Benefits:

    • Guaranteed overnight delivery to most locations.
    • Includes tracking and up to $100 of insurance coverage.
    • Money-back guarantee if not delivered on time.
  • Best For:

    • Time-sensitive shipments or high-value items that require rapid delivery.

4. Retail Ground

Retail Ground is a cost-effective option for heavier packages that don’t require fast delivery.

  • Benefits:

    • Lower rates for large or heavy packages.
    • Delivers within 2-8 business days.
    • Includes tracking services.
  • Best For:

    • Non-urgent shipments, bulkier items like winter coats, or large quantities of clothing.

5. Media Mail

Media Mail is specifically for sending educational materials and is not suitable for clothing. However, it’s important to know this option exists to avoid mistakenly choosing it for clothing shipments.

  • Benefits:

    • Low rates for books, media, and educational materials.
    • Delivers within 2-8 business days.
    • Includes tracking services.
  • Best For:

    • Not applicable for clothing, but useful for educational or media-related shipments.

6. International Shipping

For sending clothes overseas, USPS offers several international shipping options:

  • Global Express Guaranteed (GXG): Fastest international service with delivery in 1-3 business days to many destinations, includes tracking and insurance.
  • Priority Mail Express International: Delivers within 3-5 business days, includes tracking and insurance.
  • Priority Mail International: Delivers within 6-10 business days, includes tracking and insurance.
  • First-Class Package International Service: Economical option for lightweight packages, with varying delivery times depending on the destination.

7. Additional Services

Consider adding extra services for added security and convenience:

  • Signature Confirmation: Requires the recipient to sign upon delivery, ensuring the package reaches the intended person.
  • Insurance: Provides coverage for lost or damaged packages, valuable for high-value items.
  • Registered Mail: Offers maximum security for valuable items, with detailed tracking and secure handling.

By understanding these different shipping options, you can choose the best method for sending your clothes via the post office, balancing cost, speed, and security to meet your needs.

5. Comparing Costs and Delivery Times

When it comes to sending clothes via the post office, two critical factors to consider are the shipping costs and the delivery times.

Understanding these aspects can help you make informed decisions and ensure your packages arrive on time without breaking the bank. Here’s a detailed guide to help you compare costs and delivery times effectively.

How to Calculate Shipping Costs

Calculating shipping costs involves a few key elements:

  1. Weight and Dimensions:

    • The weight and size of your package play a significant role in determining the shipping cost. Use a reliable scale to weigh your package and measure its dimensions accurately.
  2. Shipping Zones:

    • Shipping costs vary based on the distance between the origin and the destination. Post offices typically have different zones, with prices increasing as the distance grows.
  3. Shipping Method:

    • Different shipping methods come with varying costs. Standard shipping is usually the cheapest, while expedited and express services cost more but offer faster delivery times.
  4. Additional Services:

    • If you opt for services like insurance, tracking, or signature confirmation, these will add to the overall cost.

To get a precise estimate, you can use the post office’s online shipping calculator. Simply enter the package details, choose the shipping method, and review the estimated costs.

Estimating Delivery Times Based on the Chosen Method

Delivery times vary based on the shipping method you select. Here’s a general overview:

  1. Standard Shipping:

    • This is the most cost-effective option, but it’s also the slowest. Delivery times can range from 5 to 10 business days, depending on the distance and the efficiency of the postal service.
  2. Priority Mail:

    • Priority Mail offers a balance between cost and speed, with delivery typically within 2 to 3 business days. It’s a good choice if you need your package to arrive sooner but don’t want to pay for express services.
  3. Express Mail:

    • For the fastest delivery, choose Express Mail. This service guarantees delivery within 1 to 2 business days, often including overnight options. It’s the most expensive but ensures your package arrives quickly.
  4. International Shipping:

    • If you’re sending clothes internationally, delivery times can vary significantly. Standard international shipping might take several weeks, while express options can reduce this to a few days.

To estimate delivery times accurately, always check with the post office for the most up-to-date information. They can provide specific delivery estimates based on your package details and destination.

6. Addressing and Labeling Your Package

Properly addressing and labeling your package is crucial to ensure it reaches its destination without any issues. Here’s how to do it right.

1. Correctly Addressing Your Package

Format for Domestic Addresses

For domestic shipments, follow this format:

  1. Recipient’s Name:

    • Write the full name of the recipient.
  2. Street Address:

    • Include the street address, apartment or suite number if applicable.
  3. City, State, and ZIP Code:

    • Clearly write the city, state abbreviation, and ZIP code.
  4. Country:

    • For domestic packages within the same country, the country name is not necessary.


John Doe
123 Main St Apt 4B
Springfield, IL 62704

Format for International Addresses

For international shipments, use this format:

  1. Recipient’s Name:

    • Full name of the recipient.
  2. Street Address:

    • Complete street address, including apartment or suite number if needed.
  3. City or Town:

    • The city or town name.
  4. Province/State/Region:

    • The relevant administrative division.
  5. Postal Code:

    • Postal or ZIP code.
  6. Country:

    • Write the full name of the destination country in uppercase letters.


Jane Smith
456 Elm St Apt 7C
Toronto, ON M4B 1V7

7.Adding Return and Contact Information

Importance of Including a Return Address

Including a return address is essential for several reasons:

  • Delivery Issues: If the package cannot be delivered, it will be returned to you.
  • Communication: It provides a way for the postal service to contact you if needed.

Format your return address similarly to the recipient’s address but place it in the upper left corner of the package or on the back flap of the envelope.

Including Contact Information for the Recipient

Including the recipient’s contact information, such as a phone number or email, can be helpful. It allows the delivery service to reach out if there are any issues with the delivery. Write this information below the address or on a separate label.

8. Ensuring Secure and Traceable Delivery

To ensure your package arrives safely and can be tracked, consider the following steps.

Using Tracking and Insurance

Benefits of Tracking Your Package

Tracking offers several advantages:

  • Real-Time Updates: Monitor your package’s journey and know when it’s delivered.
  • Accountability: Tracking provides a record of where the package is at any given time.
  • Peace of Mind: You can ensure your package is progressing as expected.

Most postal services offer tracking for a small fee, and some methods include it automatically.

When to Consider Purchasing Insurance

Insurance is worth considering in these cases:

  • Valuable Items: If you’re shipping expensive or irreplaceable items, insurance can protect against financial loss.
  • Fragile Items: Extra coverage can be beneficial for items prone to damage.

Insurance costs vary, but it provides additional security for your shipment.

9.Handling Lost or Damaged Packages

Steps to Take if Your Package is Lost

If your package is lost, follow these steps:

  1. Check Tracking Information: Verify the last known location.
  2. Contact the Postal Service: Report the issue and provide tracking details.
  3. File a Missing Mail Search Request: Many postal services offer this option online.

How to File a Claim for Damaged Items

To file a claim for damaged items:

  1. Document the Damage: Take photos of the damage and the packaging.
  2. Gather Documentation: Keep receipts and tracking information.
  3. Submit a Claim: Complete a claim form with the postal service, providing all necessary documentation.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure your packages are addressed correctly, tracked, and insured, providing a secure and efficient delivery process.

Tips and Tricks for Sending Clothes Efficiently

Sending clothes via the post office can be efficient and cost-effective with the right strategies. Here are some tips and tricks to help you save money and adopt eco-friendly practices.

Saving on Shipping Costs

Using Flat-Rate Boxes

  • Flat-Rate Boxes: USPS offers flat-rate boxes that can save you money, especially for heavier items. With a flat-rate box, you pay one rate regardless of the weight (up to 70 lbs) or destination.
    • Small Flat Rate Box: Ideal for small clothing items or accessories.
    • Medium and Large Flat Rate Boxes: Perfect for bulkier items or multiple pieces of clothing.
  • Benefits: Predictable costs make budgeting easier, and flat-rate boxes are available for free at your local post office or can be ordered online.

Taking Advantage of Discounts and Promotions

  • USPS Click-N-Ship: Use USPS Click-N-Ship to print postage labels at home. This service often offers discounts compared to retail rates.
  • Seasonal Promotions: Keep an eye out for seasonal promotions or discounts offered by USPS. Signing up for a USPS account can help you stay informed about these deals.
  • Bulk Shipping Discounts: If you frequently send packages, consider enrolling in a USPS business account for bulk shipping discounts and other benefits.

Eco-Friendly Shipping Practices

Using Recycled Materials

  • Recycled Packaging: Opt for packaging made from recycled materials. Many packaging suppliers offer eco-friendly options that are just as durable as their non-recycled counterparts.
  • Reusing Boxes: Whenever possible, reuse boxes and packing materials. This not only saves money but also reduces waste.
  • Recyclable Mailers: Use mailers that can be recycled after use. Look for products labeled as recyclable or biodegradable.

Choosing Eco-Friendly Packaging Options

  • Biodegradable Packing Peanuts: Instead of traditional plastic packing peanuts, use biodegradable options made from corn starch or other natural materials.
  • Eco-Friendly Tape: Choose packing tape made from recycled or biodegradable materials.
  • Minimal Packaging: Reduce the amount of packaging you use by choosing the right-sized box or mailer for your items. Avoid excess padding or oversized boxes.


Sending clothes via the post office can be straightforward and efficient with the right approach. Here’s a quick recap of the main points:

  • Prepare Your Clothes: Ensure they are clean, neatly folded, and well-protected.
  • Choose the Right Packaging: Select from polybags, bubble mailers, or boxes based on your needs.
  • Understand Shipping Options: Compare costs and delivery times to select the best method.
  • Save on Costs: Use flat-rate boxes and take advantage of USPS discounts and promotions.
  • Go Green: Adopt eco-friendly shipping practices using recycled and biodegradable materials.

By following these tips, you can enjoy a hassle-free shipping experience. So, next time you need to send clothes, trust the post office to deliver your items safely and efficiently. Happy shipping!

FAQ’S ON - How to Send Clothes in the Post?

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Box of Clothes to the Post Office?

The cost to ship a box of clothes to the post office varies depending on the weight, size, and destination of the package. The United States Postal Service (USPS) offers several options for shipping clothes, including First-Class Mail, Priority Mail, and variable pricing.

First-Class Mail: For packages up to 13 ounces, First-Class Mail is the cheapest option, with prices starting at $3.80.

Priority Mail: For packages over 13 ounces, Priority Mail flat rate shipping is often the cheapest way to ship boxes of clothes. Priority Mail flat rate shipments are delivered in 1-3 business days, and you must use USPS packaging to qualify. The cost of your shipment depends on the size of your box—package weight does not factor into your shipping costs (as long as you don’t exceed the maximum limit of 70 lbs), nor does distance or speed of travel. Three box sizes are available:

Box sizeFlat rate price

Variable Pricing: USPS also offers variable pricing for shipping clothing. These rates depend on the size and weight of the shipment, as well as distance travelled, and are typically higher than Priority Mail flat rate shipping. Multiple speeds are available, including overnight shipping, making variable pricing a good option for time-sensitive shipments or overnight deliveries.

How Do I Send a Package in the Mail?

To send a package in the mail, follow these steps:

  1. Prepare your package: Clean and pack your clothes neatly, using plastic bags for protection if needed. Choose a sturdy box that can withstand shipping, and secure your package with packing tape.
  2. Select a shipping method: Decide on the best shipping method for your package based on its weight, size, and destination. Compare rates and services offered by the USPS, UPS, and FedEx.
  3. Address and label your package: Correctly address your package with the recipient’s name, street address, apartment or suite number, city, state, and zip code. Add a return address and any relevant handling instructions.
  4. Purchase postage and shipping labels: Buy postage and shipping labels at a post office or online. Prices start at $9.25 at a post office for Priority Mail.
  5. Track your package: Use tracking services to monitor your package’s progress and ensure it reaches its destination.

What Is the Best Way to Ship Clothes?

The best way to ship clothes depends on what and how much you’re shipping, as well as how fast you need it to arrive. Consider the following options:

  • Single clothing items: Use plastic mailers or envelopes for small, lightweight items.
  • Small quantities of small or medium-sized boxes: Flat rate shipping from the USPS or parcel shipping services like UPS or FedEx is often the cheapest way to ship boxes of clothes.
  • Large quantities or heavy boxes: Consolidated freight services may be the cheapest option for shipping large quantities or heavy boxes.
  • Fast or overnight delivery: USPS, UPS, or FedEx variable pricing is the best choice for time-sensitive shipments.

Can You Ship Clothes at the Post Office?

Yes, you can ship clothes at the post office. The USPS offers various services for shipping clothes, including First-Class Mail, Priority Mail, and variable pricing. You can purchase postage and shipping labels at a post office or online.

Can You Send Clothes in an Envelope?

Yes, you can send clothes in an envelope, but it’s recommended for small, lightweight items only. Use a sturdy envelope and consider adding extra protection with plastic bags or padding. Keep in mind that envelopes have weight and size limits, so larger or heavier items may require a box.

Try it out now!

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