It’s interesting how we can get caught in our own little bubble and cannot see beyond what we consider normal. It takes someone looking from an entirely different perspective to help us see something new. When a neighbor asked me last year how I always knew when and what packages or letters were going to arrive, it didn’t dawn on me that I was sitting on a goldmine of information.
A few months ago something interesting happened. My MIL asked me to let her know when a letter arrived. I was on the phone with her and said “Oh, it’s supposed to come today. But I’ll make sure to confirm when it actually does.” When I followed up with confirmation, she asked how I knew and I told her I get notifications about my mail. A long conversation ensued and she set up the service as well. Then last week, she was visiting and we stopped to see the home my mom and dad are building. We were following them out of the neighborhood when they stopped at one of those community mailboxes to see if they had received anything at the future address. It was at that point that I realized I should have shared these secrets long ago and saved a lot of people some unnecessary trips to the mailbox or at a minimum, relieved some anxiety about the status of a package delivery.
The best part is that all these options are free. All you have to do is set up online accounts with UPS, FedEx and USPS. These aren’t the kind of accounts that require credit cards or payment either. It’s simply an account that connects your name to your address. Here are your options:
UPS My Choice
Sign up for UPS My Choice so you can check on the status of your incoming shipments and get alerts on your phone or email. Options include when a package is ready for shipment, the day before delivery, the day of delivery, a delivery date change, when it’s ready for pickup and of course, when it’s delivered. In addition, you can add notes for your driver such as an entry code if you live in a gated community or if you prefer that your package be delivered to a garage, deck, shed or side door instead. You can place a vacation hold on your account for pickup at a UPS Access Point location upon your return so you don’t have to worry about packages sitting on your front porch while you’re gone. If you upgrade your account to a premium service, there are additional options available. I’ve looked into this before, but found that the free service offers plenty of benefit and that I wouldn’t use the premium services enough to warrant the cost. I just find it nice to know when packages are coming… especially during the holidays!
FedEx Delivery Manager
Don’t be confused with setting up an account vs setting up FedEx Delivery Manager. Once you sign up, you can set email, automated call or text alerts to notify you when FedEx has a package addressed to you, the day before delivery, the day of delivery, when a package is ready to be picked up and when they’re delivered. You can also set a vacation hold. Of course, it’s also fun to log into the website to look at the calendar of prior and upcoming deliveries as well as see the location scans for your incoming packages.
USPS Informed Delivery
But this one is probably the hidden gem of the bunch… Informed Delivery by USPS. In a time when most of the mail we get is junk or advertisements, sometimes it doesn’t feel like it’s worth it to even check the mailbox. But not only can you receive notifications about packages that are being delivered (and when), with this one you can also see what mail is scheduled to be delivered today. And when I say “see what mail is scheduled” I mean literally. Your dashboard shows an image of the envelope or postcard. Something on the list not arrive? Check the box to report that it wasn’t received! My MIL said she now checks her Informed Delivery to decide whether she even wants to check the mailbox that day. Junk mail? Nope. It’s not worth the trip. That little tip could have saved my parents from having to go out of the way to check their mail at the new address.
Let me reiterate that these services are excellent for finding when packages and mail are scheduled and are fantastic for when you’ll be away from your home. Getting notifications on your phone is a bonus so be sure you download the free UPS, FedEx and USPS apps to allow you to easily get details while on the go!
How often do you receive real mail?