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December 2015

Question

My neighbours never seem to be at home and I frequently have to take in packages for them. It’s not too bad for most of the year but at Christmas it’s ridiculous the amount of stuff they have delivered – to my house. I have to keep checking to see if they are in to pass on the items. I don’t want to be their mail man. What can I do?

Answer

With online shopping becoming ever more popular the situation you describe is becoming more common, particularly in the build-up to Christmas.

While everyone is happy to help their neighbours out from time to time, no one wants to be taken advantage of.

To ensure neighbourly relations continue perhaps you might let them down gently by saying you expect to be out of the house quite a bit over the next few weeks and may not be there to accept deliveries. This might be a way of encouraging them to explore possible alternatives.

For example they might consider getting items delivered to their workplace or, if that isn’t feasible perhaps another friend or family member might be willing to accept them.

An Post also offer facilities such as MailMinder which might be of interest. This suspends delivery of mail to an address for a set period and then all items are sent out at a date of your choosing. While traditionally used by people going on holiday, it would enable your neighbours to receive all their items on a set date that suits them.

There are also private facilities such as Parcel Motel, which allows a person to have parcels delivered to an address of their choice and to collect them in their own time. Alternatively Parcel Connect can deliver items to a local store, from which they can be picked up.

Both of these services are available for a fee of less than €5 per package. Hopefully your neighbour will avail of one or a mix of the options outlined above and you’ll have a parcel-free and stress-free Christmas.

James Rogers is site and communications editor of MyHome.ie