Why the USPS is urging homeowners to fix their mailboxes

(KTLA) – The United States Postal Service is encouraging Americans to clean up and fix their mailboxes as part of an annual campaign.

Mailbox Improvement Week takes place every third week of May and is meant to gently urge homeowners to perform maintenance on their mailboxes and repair regular wear and tear.

Among the improvements the USPS suggests, homeowners should consider replacing loose hinges on the mailbox door, remounting a loose mailbox post, adding or replacing house numbers and repainting mailboxes that are rusted or peeling.

“Replacing rusted hinges or remounting loose posts will help ensure safe and timely delivery of your mail,” USPS said in a news release on Monday.

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You can also replace or upgrade your aging mailbox by purchasing a larger capacity “next generation” mailbox.

“Today’s newer mailboxes are wider and taller to accommodate delivery of items you’ve ordered online and reduce the need for notices left and trips to the Post Office to retrieve a package,” the USPS said.

Those larger “package-friendly” mailboxes can be purchased at many local hardware stores. For more information, click here.

An extra-large mailbox compared to a standard size mailbox. (USPS)
An extra-large mailbox compared to a standard size mailbox. (USPS)

For those opting to replace their mailboxes or install new posts, the USPS is urging homeowners to keep their mail carriers in mind so they can safely and conveniently make their pickups and deliveries without having to get out of their vehicle.

Mailboxes should generally be installed with the bottom sitting at a vertical height of 3.5-4 feet. But due to varying road designs and curb positions, the Postal Service recommends contacting your local postmaster or carrier before installing or replacing a mailbox.

In addition to repairs and upgrades, USPS also urges homeowners to make sure obstacles are removed and out of the way to ensure an efficient delivery or pickup.

The Postal Service says participation in Mailbox Improvement Week will be greatly appreciated by those who brave the snow, rain, heat and gloom of night to make crucial deliveries to more than 167 million addresses.

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