Renters Solutions: 4 Ways to Manage Home Deliveries

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I live in one of those big corporate apartment communities with a resort-style pool and a leasing office that keeps abbreviated hours. Delivered packages — like the online impulse buy I can't wait to get my hands on — are always dropped in that leasing office, which keeps roughly the same schedule I do at my office across town. Without rearranging my work schedule, I can never get back home in time to grab my eagerly anticipated parcel. Even though I see it was delivered on Tuesday, I won't get my hands on it until the weekend.

Truthfully, I'm grateful that we have the office there to collect packages. I hear stories from friends, in walk-up buildings with one landlord and four units, about coming home to day after day of "sorry we missed you" notes, or having packages stolen after delivery drivers left them conspicuously on the stoop. Even homeowners aren't immune to delivery woes. But with a little forethought and planning, anyone can get a grip on their home deliveries and grab their packages exactly when they want. Here are a few ways to make that happen.

  • In-home delivery: Ask your landlord or community manager if they'll drop your package inside your apartment. I went this route once a few weeks ago when an important delivery coincided with long hours at the office. Unless you've got a super-friendly super, it's not likely a solution you can (or want to) use all the time.
  • Get a P.O. Box: Post office boxes can receive packages from any service and are usually accessible to their owners around the clock (or at least for longer hours than the leasing office).
  • Deliver to a friendly neighbor: If you're good friends with a work-from-home type — whether they live down the hall or down the street — have important packages delivered to their address so you can grab them after hours. If you have a community office like mine, you can also authorize friends or family members to pick up packages in your name during office hours.
  • Sign up at the source: Both UPS and FedEx allow customers to manage their home deliveries through services UPS My Choice and FedEx Delivery Manager. Sign up for a free account to virtually sign for packages, re-route deliveries, request a new delivery time, or have packages delivered to a retail UPS or FedEx location.

(Image credits: Natalie Grasso)