How long will the post office hold a package?

Understanding Post Office Package Hold Times: What You Need to Know

When you’re expecting a package to arrive at your local post office, it’s important to know how long they’ll hold it for you. Understanding the policies and procedures regarding package hold times can help ensure you receive your mail in a timely manner and avoid any inconvenience. In this article, we’ll explore the typical duration that post offices hold packages and provide tips for managing your mail effectively.

1. Standard Hold Times:

  • In most cases, post offices will hold packages for a certain period of time before returning them to the sender or sending them to a central mail facility.
  • The standard hold time for packages at post offices is usually between 7 to 14 days, though this may vary depending on the specific postal service and location.

2. Notification Methods:

  • When a package arrives at the post office for you, you may receive a notification in the form of a slip left in your mailbox or an email or text message if you’ve provided your contact information.
  • It’s essential to check your mailbox regularly and keep an eye out for any notifications regarding incoming packages to ensure you don’t miss any delivery deadlines.

3. Extending Hold Times:

  • If you’re unable to pick up your package within the designated hold period, you may be able to request an extension from the post office.
  • Contact your local post office directly to inquire about extending the hold time for your package and any associated fees or requirements.

4. Special Circumstances:

  • In certain situations, such as during holidays or emergencies, post offices may adjust their hold times or make exceptions to accommodate customers’ needs.
  • It’s always a good idea to communicate with your local post office if you anticipate any challenges in picking up your package within the standard hold period.

5. Retrieving Your Package:

  • To retrieve your package from the post office, you’ll typically need to present a valid form of identification, such as a driver’s license or passport, as well as any notification slips or tracking information.
  • Be sure to check the operating hours of your local post office and plan your visit accordingly to avoid any inconvenience.


Understanding how long the post office will hold a package for you is crucial for ensuring you receive your mail in a timely manner. By familiarizing yourself with the standard hold times, staying vigilant for notifications, and communicating with your local post office when necessary, you can effectively manage your packages and prevent any delays or complications. Remember to check your mailbox regularly and retrieve your packages promptly to avoid any inconvenience or potential return to sender situations.