Pak Mail Colorado Springs
4419 Centennial Blvd
Colorado Springs, CO 80907
Tel: 719-593-1212
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Spring Fever: Downsizing Tips for Spring Cleaning

March 25th, 2014 by

Have you ever been to London? In March? Three weeks of visiting our son, riding the Tube, and seeing the sights… what fun! After an up-and-down-cold winter in Colorado, it was a pleasant surprise to hear birds singing, see flowers and trees blooming, and soak in the color green. Every plant imaginable was putting on a show! Spring fever hit me with a passion.

Jet lag took a few days and then out came the cleaning supplies. Mind you, my husband and I have already downsized (from a 1200-sq-ft house to a one-bedroom apartment to a 35-ft fifth wheel) so spring cleaning doesn’t take a lot of time. Yet I remember our first steps after our decision to sell the house and can empathize with anyone going through the process. Essentially I followed my own downsizing tips and the task became less daunting.

Now I’m anticipating springtime in Colorado… probably in May. That will lead to another round of cleaning caused by spring fever. It’s amazing what you can accumulate in a home on wheels.

daffodils and green grass

daffodils and green grass

forsythia blooms

forsythia blooms

weeping willow

weeping willow

magnolia blossoms

magnolia blossoms

farm in Wales, UK

farm in Wales, UK


Goodbye to a Great West Wind Marketplace Business Neighbor – The Peak Grill

September 2nd, 2013 by

August was a busy month at Pak Mail 232, especially the last two weeks. We conducted five pickups and shipped three pallets in one day, and prepped another two for departure after Labor Day. We shipped documents to India and other parts of the world, collectibles from an estate, furniture used in staging a home for sale, household goods across the US and also to Canada and Europe, and care packages to college students.

It came as a shock when owners Randy and Nancy Bolen of the Peak Grill closed their doors after 15 years in the restaurant business. They’ve been good friends and business neighbors since I bought our store in 2008. In talking with them, they cited a significant downturn since the Waldo Canyon Fire and then the Black Forest Fire.

The Race family will miss the Bolens and their friendly service and business camaraderie… and the Peak Grill’s BLT with homemade potato chips! We wish them well in their next venture.


Packing and Shipping Students to College

August 9th, 2013 by

It’s that time of year… summer is waning and students are heading off to school. College freshman and upper classmen alike are wondering what they should take with them. The list includes bedding, books, computers, toys, and sports equipment, to name a few. If the college doesn’t provide a “to-do” list, there are plenty of resources online – College Packing List and Dorm Room Checklist are just two of them. A list like one of these can help simplify the process of gathering belongings needed for the school year        .

Once all the items are collected, the next question is how to pack and ship them. Some simple steps to follow are:

  1. Make a complete list of all items including the value of each.
  2. Separate the fragile items from the non-fragile ones.
    – Don’t pack glassware and computer equipment wrapped in clothing or bedding.
  3. Pack similar non-fragile items together for easy unpacking in the dorm or apartment.
    – Don’t make the boxes too heavy; you might have to carry them up a few flights.
    – Pack books in smaller boxes no larger that 16”x16”x16”.
    – Pack bedding or clothing in boxes that are easy to carry 18”x18”x18” or 20”x20”x20”.
  4. Pack fragile items allowing for at least 2″ of protective packaging materials around all dimensions.
  5. Decide whether you’ll move the boxes with the family car or ship them.
  6. Check with the college about receiving and storing a shipment until the student arrives.
  7. Ship with a reliable carrier with tracking and declared value coverage.

If you decide to ship, choose a professional packing and shipping store. They can assist with the packing, especially the fragile items, and help determine the most cost-effective shipping method. If the load is small (two or three boxes), UPS or FedEx ground service will probably do. If the shipment is larger (all items needed for a dorm room or small apartment), LTL freight on a pallet will most likely be more economical.

College student shipping – their stuff, that is – can be simple and easy. Get that part of the “leaving home” process out of the way and enjoy some time together before the big day.


Moving Boxes and Shipping Boxes Are Not Created Equal

July 21st, 2013 by

Customers walk through our front door and say, “I need a box.” Our first response is, “Are you moving or shipping?” What’s the difference? Standard moving boxes from big-box stores, moving and storage rental businesses, or packing and shipping stores are not as sturdy as shipping boxes. Some have pre-cut side handles, which work well for moving. A box shipped with UPS, FedEx, or DHL does not necessarily remain upright in its journey, so small items might escape through the holes. Moving boxes are great for packing and moving everyday items, but even packing a heavier item for moving requires a sturdier box, or possibly a crate.

How do you know the strength of a box simply by looking at it? The bottom flap will most likely contain one of two stamps indicating the strength test certification for that box. For single-wall corrugated boxes, the stamp indicates Edge Crush Test (ECT 32) or Bursting Test 200#. Lee Fredrickson, owner of the Cedar Rapids Pak Mail, co-authored a franchisee newsletter article a number of years ago about box quality. The difference between the two tests (ECT and Bursting Test) is the orientation of the testing equipment – up and down on a vertically oriented sample of the corrugated (edge crush) or from the sides (burst). The strength of an ECT 32-stamped box can vary depending on the weight of the facing paper, which is not part of the ECT process and subsequently not controlled. A 200-pound Bursting Test carton will have minimum rated facing weights totaling 100 pounds (half the Bursting Test), using at least 50-pound paper on each facing.

Some moving and storage businesses claim their boxes are approved for shipping with UPS and FedEx. That’s true, but the statement is typically based on the ECT 32 rating and the box would only be suitable for soft light-weight, non-fragile items. Even when using the small moving box for moving books, the pre-cut handles should be reinforced with tape.

Are you moving or shipping? Choosing the right box can make all the difference in getting your treasures to their new home safely.

Bursting Test 200# stamp

Bursting Test 200# stamp

Bursting Test 200# stamp

Bursting Test 200# stamp

Edge Crust Test 32 stamp

Edge Crust Test 32 stamp




Why Choose Pak Mail

Pak Mail Colorado Springs is a full service shipping store located in Colorado Springs that specilaizes in custom packing, custom crating, and specialty freight shipping. Request a Free Online Estimate or call us at 719-593-1212.

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