(Shows intro card, USPS.com Shipping Tips.) If you've ever sent a package that ends up looking like this. (Shows a shipping box marked "Fragile" that has one side crushed.) You should try a few of these tips the next time you ship. Selecting the right size, strength, and shape of your shipping container is a key to successful mailing. (Shows 3 different-sized Priority Mail boxes.) (Shows Step 1: Selecting the Right Box.) It's a good idea to select a box that is slightly larger than the content you're putting into it. (Shows a see-through view of Priority Mail box containing several plastic containers, where each is separated and surrounded by packing material.) If the box is too small, it can get overstuffed, forcing the box to bend, tear, or break open. (Shows an overstuffed Priority Mail box bulging in the middle and tearing at the seams.) Whereas if it's too big, your content can shift and shake inside the box as it's transported, possibly damaging your goods. (Shows an inside view of a box, where the items are rattling around because there's too much space and not enough packing material around them.) Stress from outside the box can cause it to collapse or crush. (Shows a Priority Mail box getting smushed from the top and sides.) That's why it's important to reinforce the box from within. The content you place inside might provide some natural reinforcement, but you don't want your content to bare the brunt of the load. (Shows an improperly padded glass vase inside a box breaking). (Shows Step 2: Packing Materials: Packing materials provide the perfect protection.) Whether it's one item, or multiple items that you're packing, you want to stuff bubble wrap, crumpled paper, or other soft absorbent materials along the bottom, sides, and top of the box. (Shows Step 3: Fragile Items.) Fragile items need to be individually wrapped or stuffed. Add heavier, sturdier items on the bottom. (Shows a side view of the inside of a shipping box, with larger boxes on the bottom, medium boxes in the middle, and small boxes on top, each separated by packing material.) And make sure the corners and sides of the box are well braced, but not overstuffed. ultimately, the shipping contents plus the packing materials should fill up the entire box. (Shows the inside of a full box, with packing material filling gaps between the items, and the entire inside of the larger box lined with bubble wrap.) If there are empty spaces within the box, compensate by adding more packing materials. This is especially important when shipping books. (Shows books inside a box, with crumpled paper filling the gaps around them.) It's also encouraged to include the to and from information on a card on the inside of the box, in case the box gets damaged or the label falls off. (Shows a Priority Mail label card with return and delivery addresses on top of books being shipped in a box.) (Shows Step 4: Reinforce the Box.) Finally, reinforce the box from the outside, by properly closing the box and adding packing tape--not string or ribbon--along the folds and edges. (Shows a Priority Mail box with seams getting sealed with packing tape). You want to especially reinforce the bottom, so heavy items don't fall through. (Shows items falling through the bottom of an inadequately sealed box.) When adding tape, be careful not to mask any labels. (Shows Reusing Boxes?) If reusing boxes, be sure old labels are covered or removed. To make sure your box is labeled and addressed properly, check out the "How to Address a Package" video in our Shipping Tips series. And be sure to visit usps.com for more information. Thanks for watching!