There are times when connecting with loved ones takes on an almost priceless value and more often than not, it’s when you can’t be there physically. Maybe it’s a long-distance relationship or a military deployment or illness or a global pandemic that requires isolation. No matter the reason, the times we are away from loved ones are the very times that connecting with them is most important.
So how do you stay connected to someone you can’t physically be with? Well military spouses have this down pat and the answer is care packages! The tangible reminder that someone cares can go a long way in brightening your loved one’s day, no matter where they are or what the circumstances may be.
Thanks to a little creativity and quite a few online resources, the world of putting together care packages has opened up so much, even when you’re stuck at home. That’s right, you can send a care package and get that bonus connection with your loved one without ever leaving home!
Before you get started on any of the fun steps, you need to do one very important thing: get some boxes! In order to make the shipping process as easy as possible, I recommend ordering flat rate boxes directly from the post office. The boxes are free, will come right to you and keep you from having to measure and weigh your care package when paying for postage.
How to decorate a care package from home
Online shopping is going to be your friend for this all-from-home care package, trust me. With tons of options at your fingertips and quick shipping, you have so many possibilities to help you brighten the day of a loved one!
Get decoration supplies shipped to you
A lot of craft stores allow you to shop online so go ahead and order your paper, stickers and glue! Keep in mind that selection may be more limited online than in-store and you may be forced to purchase items in bulk.
Have photos printed and shipped to you
I love using photos to decorate care packages and you can easily get them printed and shipped to you. Sites like Shutterfly or even Walgreens can usually turn them around pretty quickly. You will have to pay the extra cost for shipping, but keep an eye out for sales and coupon codes to use. Generally, if you’re a new customer, you can sign up for their email list and get a coupon right away.
Let little ones decorate the box
Make use of supplies you already have at home and keep little ones occupied at the same time? Talk about a win-win! You can have kids paint or color directly on the box or take some of their already-created artwork and attach it to the box. Here are more ways to get kids involved in care packages.
Order pre-decorated care package flap sets
Perhaps the easiest way to decorate your care package without ever leaving home is to have someone handle the decorating for you! Check out my Etsy shop for pre-decorated care package flaps that you can easily attach to your box!
How to fill a care package from home
Just like with decorating, online shopping will help you fill your box all from the comfort of your sofa.
Make use of Amazon Prime
I love Amazon Prime for so many things and care package shopping is high on the list! Here’s my list of care package must-haves from Amazon Prime to get you started. Not finding what you want from Amazon? Don’t worry! So many other stores have online shopping options, including Target and Costco. Take advantage of them and skip the grocery store.
Shop your pantry!
If your house is anything like mine, you likely have quite a few items in your pantry that would make great care package contents. Search through your pantry and cabinets for extra granola bars, tea bags, nut butter, snack packs and toiletry products to include in your box.
Include other items from home
Send things like a favorite t-shirt (sprayed with your perfume), a love note or words of encouragement, artwork from children, photos, a book that you’ve read and left notes in or even a cozy blanket.
How to ship a care package from home
After you’ve shopped and decorated, now it’s time to ship, which is where most people assume they have to leave the house. Well, that’s not the case anymore thanks to the USPS offering Click-N-Ship and scheduled pickup!
This video was created by the USPS and gives a good overview of how the process works. Definitely check it out before starting your shipment, but here’s a quick overview!
- Logging into or creating a free USPS account here.
- Fill in your label with the address information for both you and the recipient.
- Choose your shipping date and enter package details. Here is where it’s important that you use flat rate boxes because it takes out quite a few steps (measuring, weighing, etc.) in the process.
- Enter your package value, shipping method (generally Priority Mail) and package type (look for small, medium or large flat rate boxes). Hit continue.
- If you’re shipping overseas, it will take you to a screen that mimics a customs form. You’ll input your box’s contents, estimated values and weights. Hit continue.
- It will show a preview of the information you added and then you can proceed to billing information. Input your credit card information and then print your label!
Now you can schedule your pick-up online and your care package is ready to make its way to your loved one!
Want even more care package ideas? I’m giving away 165+ ideas (plus what to put in them) here.