There's one thing you need to do before you leave for your summer vacation.

When we go on vacation, we ask someone to check our mail for us to make it look like someone is home, and keep the mailbox clear for the mailman, plus it keeps thieves from taking any of your mail.

Some of us don't hardly ever check our mail, and when we do, it's chock full with smushed mail and packed to the brim. Postal workers have to deal with this often, along with mean homeowners, bad weather, unclear addresses, angry dogs, and weird mailboxes.

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

Even though mailboxes can be used as an expression of your style, there are some requirements for them - regardless of whether or not your choice is tacky.

To make sure your mail is safe, USPS would like you to check your mailbox right now to make sure it's all up to snuff.

Man collecting mail from mailbox
Image Source

The USPS requirements are clear cut and on their website, and putting your house number on them, and where to put them are two major ones you should pay attention to.

Post Master General Approved

US mailbox from the front with upright flag
Ralf Geithe

Your mailbox should be approved by the Postmaster General - and it'll have a stamp saying it's "PMG Approved" or "Approved by the Postmaster General."

Protect Your Mail From The Weather


Your mailbox should be able to protect your mail from the elements.

It's Safe


Your mailbox should be in a safe condition, not with a bunch of rusty holes.

Close Enough To The Road

Mail Delivery

If your mailbox is near the road, it should be close enough to the road - 6-8" away.

See all the requirements on the USPS Website.

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