You know how good it feels to find something in your mailbox other than a bill or an ad for windows? Well, just about everyone else feels that way, too. In this digital age, letters, notes, and cards – written with real pens on real paper – feel like gold arriving in your mailbox (and are probably even more priceless).
Not only is April ‘National Letter Writing Month,’ but science has found that that writing a letter can also improve your mood, reduce stress, and create an overall sense of well-being. Talk about triple points for your health score!
In order to make all those feel-good snail mail connections, you’ll want to make sure your envelope game is on point. You may not know, but there’s an official way how to correctly address an envelope. When you want to give someone that “Yay, it’s not a bill!” feeling, follow these quick tips to make sure your priceless piece gets where it needs to go.
1. Recipients Name. What’s in a name? Everything. And it goes first.
2. Optional: Use c/o (“In care of”) next. You’ll need this if the person you’re sending to
is somewhere else other than their home address:
- Want to brighten their day at work? Use “c/o” before the company name.
- Are they visiting Grandma in Hawaii? Put her name after the “c/o.”
(Ex: c/o Edith Gotitgood, and then Grandma’s address would follow.)
3. Add the address or post office box number. This is their usual lair — their yurt, glamping tent, she shed, etc. Basically, where they hang their hat. Use abbreviations for directional notes like “ST” or “AVE.” (*See our handy list below!) But please, no descriptors here like, “the last house on the left.” (Awesome scary movie, though!)
4. City, State, Zip. Use only 2 letters for the state, and forget what you learned in grammar school: commas, periods, and all punctuation go out the window. (Sorry, Ms. Crabtree!) This will actually help your mail zip through processing equipment faster. (And if you really want to be best buds with the post office, USE ALL CAPITAL LETTERS.)
Mailing from outside the U.S.? Add “United States of America” beneath the city, state, and zip.
Don’t forget the return address!
This goes in the upper left corner, in the same way that you wrote the recipient’s address. Or you can pop one of those pre-printed fancy labels there, too.
If you use the zip code + 4, which are four extra digits after the 5 digit zip code, the odds are in your favor for a speedier delivery. Look up your zip + 4 code here.
(Btw, ZIP = Zone Improvement Plan. Now you’re ready for Jeopardy!)
*Here’s a helpful list of abbreviations commonly used in addressing:
|Northeast – NE
Northwest – NW
Place – Pl
Post Office – PO
Road – Rd
Rural Delivery – RD
Rural Route – RR
Saint – St
South – S
Southeast – SE
Southwest – SW
Spring – Spg
Springs – Spgs
Square(s) – Sq
Street – St
Suite – Ste
Terrace – Ter
Turnpike – Tpke
West – W
|Apartment – Apt
Avenue – Ave
Boulevard – Blvd
Building – Bldg
Center(s) – Ctr
Circle(s) – Cir
Court – Ct
Drive – Dr
Expressway – Expy
Extension – Ext
Fort – Ft
Freeway – Fwy
Height(s) – Hts
Highway – Hwy
Island – Is
Junction – Jct
Lane – Ln
Mount(ain) – Mt
North – N
You’re all set! Grab a card or some stationery and jump into ‘National Letter Writing Month’ to send a thoughtful jewel to someone’s mailbox that will totally make their day.
If you’d like some inspiration to help get your pen moving, be sure to check out our helpful what to write ideas and you’ll be good to go.