ahhh a little known secret about bones...she can pack any damned thing and get it anywhere in one piece....boorah!... and guess what you can do it too! why pay the ups stores to pack that stuff for you when you can do it with a few little tips...now lets review some rules here..packing is simple common sense...if the object is worth over several hundred dollars then consider having it packed at the ups store...reason being...if it is broken you will not have to hasseled with the insurance... Things to consider: ups will pretty much pay out any claim under a 100 bucks ...no questions ask. for higher scale claims you are gonna have to prove the packaging was done right. that is why they always ask you to keep all the packing materials when they come out to review a claim. If it is worth packing, it is worth NOT USING PEANUTS FOR. now pay attention this is important, when you are packing unbreakables just wrap them up in newpapers if you must and toss in a box...but for breakables here is the method used: think of the object in the box...the mission...to make that entire box...one solid object...you do not want the object moving inside the box...most breakage occurs when the object is pounding on the sides of the box as it rolls down a converyor belt. so lets take grandmother's priceless vase that need to go to bum egypt....1st you must stuff the inside of the vase...best material to do this...a mixture of the dreaded peanuts and packing paper...why are peanuts dreaded, well they get all over the place when you are opening the package but worst...peanuts will breakdown as they roll about...you can stuff a vase with peanuts but by the time it reaches houston....the volume is maybe 1/3 rd down...that is why you use packing paper to stuff inside the vase and hold the peanuts..reducing the banging about..gently layer the peanuts and packing paper in the vase..making sure to press down enough to make the inside of the vase full...for very delicate vases use tissue paper and no peanuts....now you have a solid object..in the vase...so now pick out the box to make the vase in...normally you need to allow...2 inches between the object and box...but this being grandma's priceless vase we are going to double box it...so measure the now peanut/packing paper packed vase and add 2 inches to the sides and that will give you the size of the first box...next wrap the vase in bubble wrap... use the bigger bubble wrap...i know that little bubble wrap is cute and easy to get...but bigger is better in the world of bubble wrap...wrap the bubble wrap so that you have 2 inches surrounding the vase on all sides...then drop that in the first box...tape that box shut...tape will strenghten a cardboard box by 50%...you want to use the "h" method of taping. Pull the tape down from the top to the side...then run a piece of tape down the front of the box...i need to find an illustration of this....now you have the first box packed....shake it...do you feel the vase move? if so..reopen and repack...the package should be solid...as in no movement....now....measure the box and add 2 inches to it..that will give you the size of the 2nd box...wrap the 1st box in bubble wrap...till you have 2 inches of bubble wrap all the way around the 1st box...normally you wrap it end over end then roll bubble and tape to the sides. you now drop that 1st box all bubbled into the 2nd box...and tape shut....shake it again...if you feel movement or it rattles...open and repack. now i have seen very valuable things tripled boxed etc. the same applies...2 inches of packing and the next box...you can be as neurotic as you want with this method..for most items...double boxing will do....this method will work with most food items also...if you are mailling cookies...be sure the cookies cant move around into the tin..or else they will be cookie powder for someone...tissue paper is normally used with cookies.... tissue paper vs packing paper: tissue paper is used for finer items that might get scratched by packing paper...most of the time. packing paper which can be newspaper (be careful of staining things with newspaper)...one great thing is the end rolls of paper if you live near a printing company...call and ask about "end rolls" they are the end of the rolls that are too short to use in a print run but are great for packing. new boxes vs them old boxes: boxes are not cheap...but they come in uniform sizes and have more strength when new. packing material is not cheap so do not use larger boxes than needed. you can buy any box at a ups store or simply go to the post office and get the priority mailer boxes. use them for any inner boxes you need (and we wonder why the post office is going broke? they give away boxes) large bubble wrap versus small bubble wrap...always use the large...size does matter... some hints: do not mail perishables at the end of the week...they may end up sitting for weekend in the shipping hub. realize that in the shipping hub your precious package is riding a converyor belt from hell..and being dropped into bins...and being dropped on by bigger and heavier packages...you want to shorten the time being there for your package as much as possible... o back to being cheap...if you do have something you really want packed professionally..call around..prices vary a great deal in that aspect...and why do you want to do this after my great advice...insurance reasons...you ship that damn 800 buck vase and it breaks...i dont care how many inches of what you have on it...ups is gonna say it was not packed properly and then point to the evidence...the broken vase...once you pay a professional to do it..they assume the whole insurance thing and will fight ups for you. and if ups rules against them..they will pay you...its the old cover your ass thing. now your ups and fex ex is cover for the first 100 dollars of insurance only...you must purchase addition insurance for anything valued over that. how you can enhance the odds of that package getting there: okay you got the package packed...now all you have to do is address it..how hard can that be...rule 1: you must have a physical address...you cannot use post office boxes. rule 2: have the correct address and the correct zip code rule 3: have a phone number of where the package is going to, they will print that on the label if you supply it. rule 4: ask when the package will arrive, if you are paying for upgraded shipping, make sure you really get it. track the package for proper delivery time big hint about this: if you can have a package coming from a commerical address shipped to a commerical address it will be delivered faster. you can get boxes at most large box hardware stores now...avoid that small bubble wrap..you can buy the larger wrap at ups stores. o last big hint: remove the batteries from toys etc. and tape them inside the box. sure its cute when the kid opens it and it is all ready...it is not cute when the package flips over and begins to play some tune never toss the packing materials till you have everything accounted for...you would be surprised what gets tossed out with the packing materials.