I attached a new mailbox to the porch door about 6 months ago.
Unfortunately, it doesn't have a mechanism to firmly grasp outgoing mail.
Presently, we place the outgoing mail between the lid and the lower section
of the box, The lid holds the mail down against this lower portion. This
works most of the time. Occasionally, the system fails and the mail falls
to the ground or goes back into the box. This might happen when the door
slams shut or opens suddenly.
I have a couple ideas of what I might do..,none really appeal to me. I
wrote them below. Other suggestions are welcome.
1. place magnets on the inside of the lid to give it more weight. I might
try that as an immediate fix, but I don't think that is a secure method.
2. attach some sort of large office paper clip type unit to the top of the
box. I'd have to paint it black as it might look silly if it were chrome
colored. How I would attach such a clip, I am not sure. I don't know how
to weld and I don't know if soldering would work.
I could move the mailbox, but my elderly father finds this door location
easy to access.
It's better (safer) to place your outgoing mail in a mailbox at the post
office. There are creeps who go around looking for mail sitting around.
They steal the envelope because probably you are paying a bill. They then
make a copies of your checks and have some method of taking money from your
Here are 3 lost cost low tech solutions:
Use an old fashioned spring loaded clothes pin to pin the mail to the front
of the box. When not in use in can stay inside the box.
Buy a magnetic clipboard type clip that can just stick to the mailbox
(provided it isn't brass).
Buy or build a small holder like brochures are displayed in to mount beside
or above the mailbox for outgoing mail.
How about a picture of the plastic kind.
I would use plastic so the mailman can see the mail.
Go to Froogle and type in brochure +holder
to see all the different kinds. You can most likely buy at your local
Office Depot, Office Max or Staples.
We use a large BINDER CLIP, used to hold 20-50 or more sheets of paper
together . It's very strong, already black, and has foldback levers on
it to open and close it. We just clip it to the top edge of the
mailbox and slide envelopes under it, between the box and the clip.
Even the strongest wind would not be able to blow the envelope out
from under the clip -- it really clamps it to the mailbox.
Clips are available at any office supply store, like Staples or Office
Max. Very cheap.
Buy a package of elastic at the local fabric store, or a length of
bungee cord. Elastic is available in black, and in wide widths. Make a
loop that stays on the lid. Stick the mail under the elastic. Could
use flat black elastic, also, to hold a large paperclip. Would have to
paint the clip, of course.
Buy a couple of those spring clamps used for small glueups, and either pop
rivet it to the mailbox lid, or attach it on a short cord. Make sure your
Dad can comfortably squeeze it and manipulate it- some of these are pretty
strong. Most of these today are black plastic, but that may not hold up
under the UV of the sunlight. Several years ago, I bought a six-pack of the
silver anodized steel ones, and use them for all sorts of stuff like this
around the house, including holding food bags shut. Need to get some more-
they keep wandering off on me.
Other alternative- stop by local sign company, and buy one of those clear
plastic flyer boxes realtors add to their signs to hold flyers, and mount it
on door below the mailbox. They come in several styles- one huge one that
holds flat 8.5x11 flyers, and a tube style, for rolled flyers. This would
have the advantage of protecting outgoing mail against rain showers. Label
it 'outgoing mail', so the substitute on the route will understand it.
Third alternative- add a flip-up red flag to existing box, like a rural
roadside box uses. (or maybe a red on one side, black on the other, flat
magnet, shaped like a flag.) Carriers are not obligated to pick up outgoing
mail, especially if there is no incoming mail so that they need to open box
anyway, but almost all carriers do so as a matter of course. Most carriers
will be extra-accommodating for seniors. My grandmother's used to knock on
her door if she forgot to put stamps on the letters. (Not an infrequent
occurance in her later years....)
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