Protecting your Packages this Holiday Season

parcels boxes with kraft paper,

If you’re anything like me, you worry about having packages delivered to your home when you’re not there especially during the holiday season. So how can you ensure that your package will be delivered to you?

1. Install Security Cameras:

When looking at security cameras try to get one that is motion censored and Wi-Fi capable so that you can receive alerts to your smartphone when you’re not there or the police will be alerted. Important security camera features are; motion detection, field of view, night vision, movement, Wi-Fi capability, cost, sound, and resolution. security cameras can be a double task not only can they alert you when there is a trespasser but they can also get a facial reaction if the thief or intruder gets away. Security Cameras are always good to have around your home just to help keep your home secure at all times.

2.  Get to Know your Delivery People

Being friendly is always a great option. When you know your delivery people you can let them know if you will not be home or if you prefer an alternate delivery time. Also if there seems to be a suspicious activity or it does not seem safe to leave your package they can let you know that they did not leave it and an alternate way to receive your package.

3. Team up with Neighbors

Teaming up with your neighbors is another good practice, you can help them and they can help you. You could send packages to their home if you’re not going to be home but they will, or you can ask them to grab your packages for you, or just to help keep an eye on your home. Keeping your neighborhood safe and friendly should be in the best interest of all who lives there.

4. Change your Mailbox

There are package mailboxes that you could get, you just need to make sure it is USPS-approved before purchasing. This is a great idea because your packages will always be secure.

5. Require Signature or Pick up in Person

Requiring a signature is an option that can help secure you are the person receiving the package and if no one is home then the package will not be left. Picking up in person is a great idea especially if you know you will not be home for a few days or are in and out. Picking up in person is the most secure method.

6. Package Guard

Package Guard is a frisbee-sized disc that is Wi-Fi capable sending an alert to your phone when your package is placed on from the disc. This is a great way to ensure that your package is arriving.

7. Reroute the Delivery

If you know that you will not be home for the delivery time you could reroute it to your workplace or a family or friends home. This is a secure way to ensure safe delivery.

8. Request Vacation Hold

If you’re going away for the holidays then you can request a vacation hold until you return. Most places offer free holding of packages, you will just need to check before making the request.

Sending packages can be just as stressful as receiving. You do not want to send a package that gets lost or broken. Check out these tips to help avoid an upsetting holiday package arrival.

1. Remove Old Shipping Labels

Reusing old shipping boxes is financially smart, but if you leave those labels on the box it could make for a stressful time. If you leave the old shipping labels on the box it could go to the wrong location or at the very least make the job more difficult for the delivery person. Plus, leaving those labels on makes it looks like you do not care or did not take your time with this package.

2. Use H-Tape Method

H Taping

H Taping is the correct way to tape packages, this method secures the package from opening. When using the H taping method be sure to use packaging tape which is 2 inches thick and can withstand 60lbs. If you have an irregular shaped box just be sure to tape along all the open seams when you seal it. Do not use duct tape.

3. Box-in-a-Box


If you have a very fragile item it can be unnerving to send, especially if you’re like me and have had a bad experience of someone receiving a broken present. It’s not always the deliveries person fault, the holidays are very stressful time for them. Help make their jobs easier by doing everything you can to ensure the safety of your package, box-in-a-box is a great method, while it may cost a little more due to weight it is better than the receiver receiving a broken package. First, this is first sure your item is securely cushioned about 2 inches thick, then place your item inside your smaller box filling all open space with loosefill peanuts minimum of 2″ thick, then place the small box in the outer sturdy box filling the excess space minimum of 3″ thick with loosefill peanuts. Now you have yourself a securely packaged item.

4. Sending Baked Goods

Who doesn’t love receiving homemade cookies, especially ones that you used to make with your grandma or mom for holidays? The perfect gift for college students who won’t be going home for the holidays are their favorite baked goods. However, packaging these baked goods can be worrisome because what if they receive them and they are no longer good? Domino Sugar has a set of instructions to follow to help ensure a yummy received treat.

5. Provide an Internal Shipping Label

If your package got damaged and the delivery service needs to repackage make their jobs a little easier by providing information of where to ship to. This could include providing a business card with name, phone number, and address or just a piece of paper written on eligible with that information. It is safer to make sure you are doing everything you can to make the deliveries job easier so that you do not have to work harder if something were to happen to your package.

Do not get caught up in the stressfulness of sending packages this holiday season, just be prepared, plan ahead, and have a wonderful holiday season! Happy Holidays!

If you’re interested in purchasing a residential home in Central Florida, please contact Mike Rance at

To see residential home listings in Central Florida, please visit Central Florida Homes.

Mike Rance
RE/MAX 200 Realty in Winter Park, Florida
P: 407-629-6330 ext. 255

By: SaJorden Miller/ Mike Rance Team



Have the best Black Friday Yet


It is that time of year again when everyone is out shopping for all of his or her Christmas gifts for the best deals. It is fun but can be overwhelming especially if the store you’re heading to runs out of what you need. However, there are ways to avoid the frustration of Black Friday. You need a strategy, follow these tips and strategies for your most successful Black Friday yet!


Start early before Thanksgiving go to the stores that you know you are going to want to go to on Black Friday and check the deals. Some retailers have their best deals on Thanksgiving. Check ads, it is easy to skip over stores that you do not usually shop at but one of those stores might have a better deal. Some deals may only last until a certain time pay attention to that.


Set a budget and do not go over it. This will help with impulse buys. At the time an impulse buy may not seem to make a difference especially if it is a good price but if you make one or two impulse buys in the 5 stores you go in, that’ll add up. Stay safe carry a small purse that closes all the way that remains in front of you at all times. Cash is a great way to stay on a budget but is more likely to be stolen or lost, a debit card is ok but fraud protection is weaker, credit cards are better with fraud protection but allow you to overspend. It sounds like I just told you every method of payment has a downfall and it does, but to remain on the budget keep a checklist, prepare ahead and do the math. Add up every receipt make sure you’re not going over your budget.

3.) Do your Research

Several sites will begin posting the Black Friday ads when they become available. Be sure you are getting the best for your buck, while it may look like a great deal you may be able to do better somewhere else, check these sites for price comparison and You can check these sites for the latest deals:

4.) Bouns Discounts

If you enjoy going out at the crack of dawn, then this is the deals for you. Some stores will offer early bird specials which could be gift cards for the first 500 customers to walk in the store. Stores that provided the “early bird” deal last year was H&M which gave the first 100 people in line tickets for up to $300 in-store credit. Another store Sports Authority at midnight, Sports Authority rewarded the first 80 customers to walk through its doors with cards worth up to $500. They always say “the early bird gets the worm” check out which stores are offering it this year!

5.) Deepen your Discounts

Paper coupons are back, be sure to fill your purse will Black Friday coupons. Don’t let your smartphone die because you will need coupons on there. Prepare early check the coupons and save them to your wallet. Download DealNews to stay on top of all the latest deals on the go.

6.) Be a Social Media Butterfly

Follow your favorite stores on whatever social media platform you enjoy most, turn on notifications and keep an eye out for coupons, sale previews, or even Black Friday ads can appear on their social media. Don’t search for the social media deals while standing at the register do it before you arrive, screenshots are a great way to have easy access. Be sure to look at promo codes from the website, or manufactures website you can watch right here on DealNews these can net some serious savings.

7.) Read the Fine Print

While most stores keep their return policy the same for Black Friday. There are the exceptions of the shops who do not receive some even charge restocking fees as high at 15%, primarily for electronics. Check the company website you can usually find the return policy information there or signage at the customer service desk. While asking the sales clerk is an option if they give incorrect information then the written policy will trump whatever they may have said. Just be careful when asking the clerks because they are under much stress and sometimes they may not fully know the return policies especially if they changed for Black Friday.

8.) Split Up

While shopping with friends can be fun. Use your numbers to have more extensive coverage areas. Have a game plan and have people in designated stores.

You can find more great tips, strategies, deals, and not what to buy at DealNews under the Black Friday section.

With all the great deals on Black Friday, go to a toy store and pick up a few things to take to a homeless shelter, an orphanage, or Operation Chrismas Child. It is always a good time to give back you the deals to help you save while helping someone.

Remember Black Friday is usually not a place for young children, it can be dangerous and stressful. Leave them at home and enjoy a ladies day shopping.

Finally be kind to everyone, especially the sale clerks they are dealing with thousands of people in short time. Giving up their Black Friday shopping so that you can have yours, so be respectful to them, many may be sleep deprived. Just be courteous, everyone wants to have a good time.





Your Guide to having the Perfect Thanksgiving


The Holidays are fun but can be stressful especially if you are the host. But they do not need to be stressful, a host should have a good time as well. Check out all of these great ideas for you and your guest to have the best Thanksgiving.


Courtesy of Country Living

First thing first the decorations. Decorations do not need to be expensive. DIY decorations are cheap and look amazing! Also get the kids to help. For the kid’s table, a roll of kraft paper and crayons in terra-cotta pots are great to entertain the children during dinner. Are give them cute placemats with their names, so no one is fighting over seats. Get the kids to help, have them put fun thanksgiving stamps on cocktail napkins, or have them paint mason jars or wine bottles which then could be used as vases or candle holders. Go to the dollar tree, you can find cheap fall decorations that can quickly be transformed into your beautiful masterpiece. Take large felt leaves and convert them into a door greeting. Or use artificial fall leaves to frame your door. Remind people what Thanksgiving is all about with a thankful tree that your guest writes what they are grateful for. You could have a family tree perfect for the Thanksgiving holiday. Thanksgiving banners are always an excellent addition to the fireplace. Find more great decorating ideas at Country Living.



Courtesy of Country Living 


Can’t forget about the food, there would be no Thanksgiving without a Thanksgiving feast. Part of being the perfect host is to have food for everyone. With these 20 great menu ideas from Country Living you can! You can mix and match or pick your favorite. These are all simple ideas, and there’s enough to go around.


Courtesy of Country Living 

With all the delicious food, we cannot forget the drinks. Get your guest in the spirits with these 19 delightful thanksgiving cocktails from Country Living.



Courtesy of Serious Eats 


Thanksgiving should be a time for everyone to enjoy a sweet drink. Check out these 7 delicious and somewhat unusual non-acholic beverage ideas from Serious Eats.



Courtesy of Country Living 


Cannot forget about the best part dessert! Try these 45 sweet and satisfying from Country Living to make the perfect ending to your delicious feast.


thanksgiving traditons

What would Thanksgiving be without any traditions? If you do not have any yet that is ok, you can start this year!

Thanksgiving traditions:

  • After the meal lay out a white cloth tablecloth and everyone write what they are thankful for this year with a sharpie, don’t forget to put the date and their name. Then wash it on gentle cycle then put it up until next year.
  • Create a chain of things that everyone is thankful for. Everyone will get a strip of colored paper write what they are grateful for then go around reading what everyone writes down later for a paper chain.
  • Feeding the homeless this is a great way to help others and share the love of Thanksgiving.
  • Spreading some love at your local nursing home, by taking the family with leftovers and listen to the stories of the people who may not have a family.
  • Is there someone in your community without a family? Invite them over to enjoy Thanksgiving with you and your family, take a picture of your “new” new family then send that person home with leftovers and everlasting memories.
  • Thanksgiving Olympics you can do this with just your guest, or you can make it a community event. Have different activities for everyone like basketball, flag football, frisbee, scramble, hangman, or whatever you can imagine. Then there will be prizes afterward, for example, a tin of popcorn, a box of chocolate. Or get competitive and great a Thanksgiving Olympic trophy the winner takes it home then brings it with them the following year to either compete to keep their place as the champion of a new champion will be crowned.
  • Watching Thanksgiving day football.
  • Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
  • Living in Florida take your feast outside and turn it into a picnic.
  • Children help set the table.
  • Children serve dessert.
  • Break the wishbone.
  • If you have a large family and it would be too difficult to host everyone on Thanksgiving. Have a Thanksgiving leftover day, this would be the day after Thanksgiving eating leftovers and planning for Christmas.

Whatever you do this Thanksgiving just remember it is a time to be thankful and remember all of the blessings you have in this world. Share the love and give thanks, this Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving!


If you’re interested in purchasing a residential home in Central Florida, please contact Mike Rance at

To see residential home listings in Central Florida, please visit Central Florida Homes.

Mike Rance
RE/MAX 200 Realty in Winter Park, Florida
P: 407-629-6330 ext. 255


By: SaJorden Miller/ Mike Rance Team