I'm sure that your phone's calendar has already chirped out a notification to let you know that next week is Mailbox Improvement Week. In case your phone forgot, I'm here to remind you.

You probably didn't need the reminder, right? You're plugged in to these kinds of events, of course.

Just in case Mailbox Improvement Week has slipped your attention in the past, its title is self-explanatory enough that even media people can figure out what it's all about.

According to the United States Postal Service (USPS), Mailbox Improvement Week has been around for quite awhile, having its beginnings in 1938 with what was then called Clean Up Rural Box Week. Not nearly as catchy as today's title.

Clean Up Rural Box Week was a pre-World War II effort to get rural mail customers to make sure their mailboxes were reasonably clean, free of overgrown vegetation, and accessible to the mail carriers who had the misfortune of having to navigate America's backroads and farmlands to deliver the mail. With America's entry into WWII, the program was mothballed until 1949.


Mailbox Improvement Week is a great time to fix hinges and make sure your mailbox works in all the ways it should — as landscape artwork and to protect your mail.

Maybe you read our post last week on postal carriers and others putting dryer sheets in mailboxes as a way of keeping wasps from building a nest in the mailbox, and you've done the same thing with yours. While you're at it, the USPS would just like you to "make sure that your mail receptacle is fully operational, weather resistant, safe, convenient, neat and sized to support their daily mail and package volume."

If you want to go beyond that, and get creative with your mailbox, here are a couple of ideas for you:

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