Remembering These Simple Mailbox Rules Could Save You a Headache

by Lili Patch 11/25/2020

Photo by Lee via Pixabay

Putting a new mailbox up? Be sure to follow the official guidance from the U.S. Postal Service.® 

Here are a few rules, tips, and suggestions to make your mail carrier's day a little smoother.

Putting Up a New Mailbox

USPS-approved mailboxes have Postmaster General (PMG) approval labels. Have your post office approve your mailbox plans if you're making your box. Its height should be 41-45 inches above the ground, and set 6-8 inches back from the curb. Your number should be clearly marked on the mailbox. It's helpful to number your home as well. If on a corner, mark your mailbox with your complete street address.

Switching to a wall-mounted box? Get your post office's go-ahead first. No PMG approval label is required. Just be sure the box can handle your normal volume of mail, including magazines. Place it in a spot that's visible and convenient for the carrier. 

Tip: Think about your carrier (and the substitutes). If you put up wind chimes and garden lighting, hanging baskets and so forth, be mindful of the carrier's path.   

Installing a Post for the Mailbox

A proper mailbox post is strong and stable, but will bend or fall if hit by a car. It's two inches in diameter if made of metal. It's four by four inches if made of wood.

Posts should be buried up to two feet deep. (Concrete-filled containers are not recommended.)

Tip: When inclement weather arrives, remember that your mail carrier needs a safe approach — free of mud, ice, or snow — to the mailbox or mail slot.

Best Practices for Door Slots 

If the mail comes through a slot, be sure the opening is 7 by one and a half inches, or larger. The bottom of the slot must be thirty inches above the ground.

Is the slot horizontal? The flap should open upward, hinged at the top of the slot. If vertical, it must be hinged opposite of the door hinge side.

Tip: Be sure the opening is clear for the carrier to deliver your mail without struggling. There are approved inner shields for slots to use, rather than stuffing anything in the slot to insulate your place from a draft. Oh, and do you happen to have a cat? With claws? Be sure the cat isn't making a sport out of grabbing the mail or trying to catch the carrier's hand through the slot! Being mindful might not be a rule, but it's nice. 

Creating Carrier-Friendly Neighborhoods 

Sun, rain, snow, or wind... Mail carriers brave it all for us. Help your neighborhood stay carrier-friendly in return. Know the rules. Consider the mail from your carrier's point of view. 

 

About the Author
Author

Lili Patch

Radio Personality turned Realtor; I welcome the opportunity to turn house selling and house hunting into a fun and educated experience. House buying should feel like you're shopping with a friend, and I will keep you in the loop the entire time so you will not be wondering what you just signed or what happens next. It's that seamless, and we may even have lunch or dinner. I do this because when I started my real estate journey on the east coast, buying my first condo at the age of 18, I was clueless. I wished I had someone who had made that a stress free transaction- but it wasn't, and thats how I got the Real Estate bug. Let's take a step back first though to my first "job", I studied communications and entered the broadcasting industry. Through the years I purchased some more properties, and felt there was a gap that needed to be filled in the Real Estate profession. I set the bar very high on skill set & customer service. I have Real Estate Licenses in 4 states, which means I have more education, and training than most agents. My level of knowledge, strategy and experience is what sets me apart. I know how important being an astute negotiator is, being relentless, and answering the phone when it rings. I have earned certifications as a Seller Representative Specialist (SRS), a Certified Home Marketing specialist (CHMS), and a Pricing Strategy Advisor (PSA).

Meeting with people and traveling both east coast and west coast has given me a broad appreciation of the different laws, protections, and scenario's you encounter in real estate. Having the benefit of my communication background coupled with the vast knowledge of multi-state experience has been the backbone of my success.