Intro and care package question — The Bump
Military Families

Intro and care package question

Hello everyone. My name is Sarah and my husband is a dentist in the Army. He's deploying in a matter of days. We have three children who are 5, 3, and 1. I've been lurking here for about a month or so and look forward to being part of this community.

 My questions is regarding sending care packages to my husband. I know that I have to fill out a customs form declaring everything I'm sending to him. On the form there is a spot to fill in the exact weight of each item. Do I really have to weigh everything down to the ounce? Also, should I wait to seal the package up until I'm at the post office? Do they have to make sure I've listed everything correctly? I'm asking these questions here because the last thing I want to do is show up at the post office with my three small children and have to redo something I didn't do correctly the first time.

 Thanks so much!

Sarah

My blog! Our kids: Natalie 6 Colton 4 Adelyn 1 1/2 Easton Si Hu (in Korea) 1 Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Re: Intro and care package question

  • When my H was deployed, I would just guessimate how much each thing weighed and always sealed my box before taking it up to the counter. No one ever questioned me about the customs form or asked to see inside the box. Each time you go to the Post Office, grab a box or two and a handful of those forms so you can fill them out at home and save yourself some time and trouble at the PO. :)

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  • You do not have to put the weight but they will ask for he value of each item.  You can seal the box prior to going to the post office.  Make sure you use the APO/AFO boxes.  The rate is a little cheaper than regular flat rate.  Also you can add tracking to the package.  Eventhough it is going overseas they have to scan the package in using USPS software once it arrives to your H's main camp.  It is important to have all the forms filled out but the postal workers will let you know if you ar missing anything.  Seal the boxes good.  You can request free packing supplies online as well. 
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  • Whenever I sent packages to my husband they never made me write down the weight of everything, and I also taped up the boxes before I got to the post office. If anything, they'll probably just make you guess the weight or something.
  • Seal it beforehand. My post office wanted me to write in the weight of everything, but I would leave it blank, take it in and have them do the total weight and then just divide that up against the listed items.

    I also always fibbed about what was actually in the box. I didn't send anything I wasn't supposed to send, but I always just listed food and books even if it was more along the lines of Nerf guns, towel or new alarm clock. And then I just listed things as $5 each or some other made up amount.

    ETA: I should add, my post office had the same worker at the front desk every day. She wanted me to be super specific on everything, like what kind of food did I put in, what book titles were in there, how many cookies were in the tin. If she never made me unseal the box, I can't imagine anyone else making you do it.

  • I just write "gifts" and let the postmaster fill in the weight.  Have never had problems with it.
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  • imagegigismomma:
    You do not have to put the weight but they will ask for he value of each item.  You can seal the box prior to going to the post office.  Make sure you use the APO/AFO boxes.  The rate is a little cheaper than regular flat rate.  Also you can add tracking to the package.  Eventhough it is going overseas they have to scan the package in using USPS software once it arrives to your H's main camp.  It is important to have all the forms filled out but the postal workers will let you know if you ar missing anything.  Seal the boxes good.  You can request free packing supplies online as well. 


    You don't need to use the special APO boxes. They see that there is an APO/FPO address and give you a discount on any package. 
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  • I've never put weights or everythign that's in the care package. some items they wont let you send even though they are harmless. if you always put clothes and dvds they generally dont look. my hubby and i have had to take turns sending care packages. from the receiving side, it was always great to get my favorite deoderant, clean toothbrush, snack foods, a new movie, silly things (holiday themed), anything really that wasn't 'normal'. I was on a carrier so he kept everythign small so i could fit it. he always sent a sweater soaked in his "scent". eventually i'd send it back smelling like me.... he'd send me another one the same way. as silly as it was, it made me miss him less when i could curl up in his sweater at sea.
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