Going on vacation this summer? This should be on your checklist.

Planning vacations takes a lot of brain cells. You have to make sure everything will be taken care of at home: the pets, the lights and sprinkler timers, and you'll need someone to stop by and get the mail.

But before you do, make sure that your mailbox itself won't be an additional issue while you're away.


Mailboxes can be a fun style choice, that's why we often see mailboxes shaped like fish. The style is up to you but the build of it is not.

To make sure you get your mail safely while you're on vacation, USPS really wants you to check your mailbox or P.O. Box to make sure it's up to their standards.

The USPS has requirements on where to put the mailbox (like 6-8" away from the curb), keep the path to the mailbox clear, and make sure you put your house or apartment number clearly on the mailbox. The other requirements you need to check it for include:

  • An approved mailbox by the Postmaster General (it will have the PMG stamp if you buy it)
  • It can protect your mail from the weather
  • It's safe (not rusted out with sharp holes or anything & no bugs)
  • Close enough to the roadside for the mail carrier

If you have a door slot or a wall-mounted mailbox, there are requirements for how those should be too. Wall-mounted mailboxes don't have to have the PMG approval but they need to be big enough to hold a fair (daily) amount of mail. Just like with the curbside mailboxes, if yours is on your door or wall, leave a path clear for the mail carrier to walk to.

The requirements aren't meant to make your life harder. They're meant to help out our postal workers, who already have a hard job. You wouldn't want unclear house numbers if you were delivering mail, would you?

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