As the long weekend comes to a close, many of us are slowly returning to our routines, tackling the chores that piled up while we enjoyed some well-deserved rest. However, there’s one crucial task that might have slipped your mind: checking and maintaining your mailbox.

Typical american outdoors mail box on suburban street side.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Why Do I Need To Check My Mailbox?

It might sound trivial, but ensuring your mailbox is up to the United States Postal Service (USPS) standards is more important than you might think. For some, checking the mailbox is a chore that’s easily forgotten, even if it’s just steps away from the front door. Yet, the mailbox is where essential documents and important notices are delivered, making it vital that your mail is received safely and securely.

Read More: This North Carolina Hospital Received a "D" In Patient Safety 

There Are New Mailbox Standards You Need To Meet

Postal workers have a tough job, contending with all sorts of challenges—from unpredictable weather and difficult-to-find addresses to unusual and sometimes downright bizarre mailboxes. To support these hardworking individuals, the USPS held Mailbox Improvement Week last week. This initiative encourages homeowners to inspect their mailboxes and ensure they meet postal regulations, making mail delivery smoother and more efficient.

Canva/Getty Images
Canva/Getty Images

Here are some key requirements set by the USPS for your mailbox:

  • Placement: Your mailbox should be positioned 6-8 inches away from the curb, with a clear path for the mail carrier.
  • Identification: Clearly display your house or apartment number on the mailbox.
  • Approval: Use a mailbox approved by the Postmaster General, identifiable by a PMG stamp.
  • Protection: Ensure your mailbox can protect your mail from the elements.
  • Safety: Your mailbox should be free from hazards like rust or sharp edges, and free of insect infestations.
  • Accessibility: The mailbox should be easily reachable from the roadside.

What If I Don't Have A Roadside Mailbox?

If you have a door slot or wall-mounted mailbox, there are additional guidelines. These do not need PMG approval but must be large enough to hold a substantial amount of mail. Just like curbside mailboxes, ensure there is a clear path to these types of mail receptacles.

Getty Images
Getty Images

97X logo
Get our free mobile app

Maintaining your mailbox not only helps your mail carrier but also ensures you receive your mail without any issues. Next time you walk by your mailbox, take a moment to check if it meets these standards. It’s a small task that can make a big difference for you and your postal worker.

Mailbox that has been hit and damaged by car
Getty Images

By keeping your mailbox in good condition, you’re contributing to a smoother, safer, and more efficient mail delivery system. After all, no one likes a confusing mess, especially when it comes to something as important as your mail.

Things You'd Find in Every 90s Home Back in the Day

The tell-tale signs of a home in the '90s.

Gallery Credit: Danielle Kootman

More From 97X