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It’s the last Thursday in May, and to end my series of onsite nuggets, I’m writing about packing up your meetings for the return trip.

When you’re shipping items back to the office, do you take the time to organize your shipment as well as you do when you’re sending it to show site?  You should!  It will make it that much easier for you to return your supplies to their proper storage areas, as well as speed up the process of closing the meeting once you’re back home.

Here are some quick and easy things you can do to ensure your return shipment doesn’t cause you headaches!

  1. Toss damaged items onsite.  Don’t pay to ship damaged or sub-par pieces (pens without caps, broken pencils, dried out highlighters, crumpled copier paper) back to the office, when you’ll only end up throwing them away as you unpack.
  2. Pack like items together.  If some items will be returned to your marketing department, pack all of their stuff together.  Same with office supplies, registration supplies, education materials, etc.
  3. Use small boxes in good condition.  Larger boxes get heavy and tend to be placed on the bottom of all shipments (often damaging contents).  Smaller boxes are easier to move, require fewer packing peanuts (yay, environment!), and don’t get damaged as often.  They have the added benefit of helping you limit the number of different types of items you pack in one box.
  4. Remove old shipping labels.  Use scissors to peel off any old labels (don’t just cross them out with your Sharpie), as automated routing machines may pick up on the wrong bar code and misdirect your whole shipment!
  5. Create a shipping manifest.  Note the contents of each box on a shipping manifest, and then number each box to track what’s where.  This becomes so much easier when you pack like items together.

Finally, be sure you make a copy of all of the tracking numbers for your return shipment, in case anything does go missing (or in case you’re bored at the airport and want to see where your highlighters are).

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