It takes seconds to address an envelope. And yet, we rarely receive a piece of mail with our name handwritten on it.
Sad, because this is the mail that makes our day!
When you check your mail, which pieces do you open first? That's right, the cards and letters sent to you from someone who cares enough to take a moment and write a few lines - no special occasion required.
In case you're out of practice, or were never sure how to address an envelope correctly, here are some basic rules for this meaningful task.
Men are addressed as Mr. and women are addressed as Ms.
Miss is used for girls up to the age of eighteen. It can be used for single women as well, but the use of Ms. is the standard for adult women today.
Mrs. is used with a husband's name for a woman who is married. If used with her given name, it signals that she is divorced or widowed.
Unmarried couples are addressed on two separate lines. The woman's name is listed first. For same sex couples, names may be listed alphabetically.
Married couples are addressed on a single line.
If both names do not fit on one line, place the second name on a separate line, and indent it.
When both recipients have military rank, the person with highest rank is listed first.
This also applies to non-military rank.
But if both are doctors, you may shorten it a bit.
Once you have the names of recipients listed correctly, be sure and double-check the mailing address. You can look up zip codes and find additional tips on how to address an envelope on the United States Postal Service website.
As you write the name and address on the envelope, think something positive about the person you're writing to. Not only does this give you a good feeling in that moment, you may find that it carries over to the moment the envelope is opened! Give it a try.