Whether it's the holiday season or just a normal week, getting packages delivered to your apartment often leads to stress. Living in a building with people coming in and out all day leads to the possibility that your package may be damaged or stolen.
Yet, online ordering is popular with the majority of people today. We order everything online, from books to clothes to complete kits to make dinner at home.
The question is how to keep your packages safe after they're delivered to your apartment. Here are a few helpful tips.
No longer do we live in limbo waiting for a package to arrive. Companies today keep detailed tracking records, which you can easily access, in order to know when your package is coming.
Sites like UPS even let you register for notifications for packages coming to your address. You'll get an email when a package is on its way and another when it's delivered. These are independent of the shipper. Even if you can't be home to receive the package, you'll at least know when it has arrived.
If you're worried about packages sitting too long before you're able to get home, you can require a signature for delivery. If you pick this option, a note left at your door tells you when a delivery attempt is made. The note may include when they'll be back or give you instructions on how to schedule delivery.
Additionally, if packages have to sit for a while before you can collect them, but there's an area near your door where a package can “hide," include that information on the shipping instructions when you set up an item for delivery. Telling a delivery person to place your package behind a large hallway decoration like a plant or lamp can keep it out of sight.
If you'll be away from home for a longer period of time, don't forget to put a hold on your mail. Even taking a quick weekend vacation means mail can sit longer than you'd want. A simple hold ensures nothing is delivered until you're back.
If you live in a building or complex with an on-site management office, verify their policy on receiving packages on your behalf. They might hold packages for you in a safe spot. Just be sure to pick them up in a timely manner.
You may also want to notify the office when you're expecting something. Don't forget to double check that they have good contact information for you to let you know when there's mail waiting.
Living in a building with a doorman or concierge has quite a few perks, including having an on-site person to watch out for your deliveries. A typical part of their service, doormen will accept delivery of your packages and hold them until you're able to pick them up.
Getting to know your neighbors not only gives you the added security of being more aware of who will be coming in and out of your building, but it can also introduce you to someone who's home more frequently.
Asking a neighbor who works from home to grab any packages left at your door until you're able to get home from work or school could save you from worrying about them. Just make sure you're gracious that they're doing this favor. Ask if there's anything you do to reciprocate their generosity.
While not all apartment buildings allow you to improve security on your own, it never hurts to ask. Installing a camera at your door or a doorbell with a camera included allows you to see who's knocking.
If it's a delivery person, you can again ask them to leave your package in a discreet location (like behind a hallway plant.) If you see something shady going on, you can let them know they're on camera and that you can't come to the door at the moment, hopefully encouraging them to leave empty-handed.
If a camera isn't an option in your apartment building, consider getting a secure lock box you can attach to your door or another hard-to-move item. These boxes won't fit all packages, but they lock with a padlock and keep your items secure. You simply leave the padlock in the box for the delivery person to use once your package is safely inside. You may want to notify your landlord that you've installed the box so they don't accidentally remove it.
At-home security is a big business, and this includes protecting your deliveries. Companies like Amazon are working to make package delivery more reliable through Amazon Key.
This service lets a delivery person gain access to your home to drop a package just inside the front door. Access could be granted to get inside your apartment or just past the secure entrance to your apartment building. This limits the amount of access others have to your packages.
There's even an alarm system for packages. A disc, about the size of a frisbee, is set outside your apartment and is activated when a package is placed on it. You're then notified there's a package waiting. To remove the package, you have to disarm the alarm from your mobile device. If you don't disarm it, a loud alarm goes off. If someone tries to grab your package without your knowledge, they're in for a noisy surprise.
You may live somewhere that you just don't feel confident having packages delivered. When you find yourself in that situation, you can always:
Regardless of how you ship packages and where they're delivered, if you've purchased something expensive, it's a good rule of thumb to ensure the package. Not everything always gets to its final destination, and replacing a big ticket item can cost a lot. Insurance is usually not that expensive and it helps give you peace of mind.
By protecting your deliveries using these tips, you can feel confident that what you buy online arrives safely at your apartment.