Letter Boxes – Is Bigger Better?

One of the big signs to potential burglars that there is no one at home is a letter box stuffed with post and junk mail after its gone dark in the evening.

In a  post about letter boxes I talked about minimum sizes.

After seeing a couple of larger letter boxes I can see some real advantages in thinking again about you letter box.

For Instance:

        • Not everybody has neighbors, or nearby relatives that can clear your letter box when you are away.
        • Why do most houses still have a tube for the newspaper when most newspapers now get wrapped in clingfilm and thrown from a moving car.
        • A large letter box means that a week or more of post and even junk mail stays hidden and dry
        • Some boxes have spring loaded flaps can trap the mail half in / half out exposing it to the weather, and the gaze of anyone passing by.

    My next mail box is going to be big enough to take several days post and junk mail and have on open slot, with weatherproofing, so the post drops out of sight.

  • Perhaps something like the one in this photo.


    The Settling In Section contains lots more advice on what to do after you have moved in your new house


Your letter box

I know that a lot of communications come via Email  and Facebook now but I still like to receive mail.

A nice card means a lot more to me than a Happy Birthday tweet.

If you are like me and like to get letters, make sure that you take a bit of care with your letter box.

After all how hard can it be?…………Unfortunately from my experiences its too hard for lots of people!

Here are just some of the faults that I commonly come across:

  • Difficult to find
  • The box behind and below the fence line
  • The letter slot too small
  • The box can’t fit a normal envelope without folding
  • The box is too low

So what should you do about a letter box for your new home?

  1. Have a look at a DIY store you will see plenty of choice. A good tip is to get a piece of card at least 230mm x 325 mm and try it in each box you like.
  2. If you have the skills why not make one. I think they are far more interesting than the run of the mill boxes.
  3. Make sure the box is on the boundary and not obscured by the fence or bushes.
  4. These are the important dimensions when choosing, making, and installing a letter box:
      • A delivery opening of at least 235mm x 30mm
      • Minimum internal dimensions below the delivery opening of 240mm x 340mm x 160mm
      • The delivery opening should be no lower than 900mm and no higher than 1200mm above the ground.

One question I do have is . . . . . Why do they still have a newspaper tube? . . . . I have had a daily newspaper delivered for more than 25 years and its always thrown on the garden. . . . never put in the tube!

NB These dimensions are slightly different to the Australia Standard Dimensions, but better too big than too small.

For more thoughts why not see Is Bigger Better


The Settling In Section also has advice for after

you have moved in your new house


Chinese Lucky, and Unlucky, Numbers

I see from the papers that a significant number of properties are bought by Chinese Investors.

Also I have noticed many visits to my web site are referred from Australian based Chinese language website oursteps.com.au

So for all my fellow Gweilos’ (Ghost men) here is a quick guide to checking if the street number of the new house block you are buying is, or isn’t, auspicious.


Best Number is 8  八, which signifies Money

Could add thousands to your house price!


Worst number is 4 四,  when spoken sounds like Death

Get in some lifts in china and you will find no fourth floor, or 14th floor!


Auspicious Numbers

3 三 – The Mandarin word sounds like “life”.
9 九 – Sounds like the phrase longlasting, also associated with the emperor.


Unlucky Numbers

5 (五 Associated with the word “Not”
13 – Although a Western Superstition this has been adopted by some Chinese


Combination Numbers

A repeated auspicious number like 88 is extremely auspicious

The first number can multiply the effect of an auspicious number – 28 means “Double Money” and 38 means ‘Triple Money’.

5 can negate the effect of an inauspicious number so 54 can become ‘Not Death”


Also check out some Aussie Feng Shui


Post Boxes & Security

Do you think the people at this house are away?

Is this overflowing post box telling a thief that they are unlikely to be disturbed?

It used to be easier when I was young as we knew our neighbours and we could ask someone to check the mailbox.

Otherwise we could get a family member to call round every 2-3 days.

These day people seem more mobile and may not live in the same state, or in my case, the same country as relatives.

Working long hours and driving everywhere many people don’t really know their next door neighbour!

Rather than get the cheapest and smallest post box when you move in perhaps you should think about a box Big Enough for several days post (and Junk Mail)


See Letter Boxes and Numbers for more posts


Hydrant Letter Box – Fail


Another one of those houses where I walked up and down the street 2-3 times before I realised the owner had used a hydrant cover as a letter box.


Don’t people want to get any post? . . . . . . .

It seems not if you look at the size of the slot or the door at the back, they are both tiny! . . . .  . . . . definitely a FAIL!

Not sure about the legality either!


See Letter Boxes for the minimum recommended sizes.


For more Fails and unusual houses go to What the………….?



Letter Box Fail

Can you see the mail box?

Do you think the people in this house don’t like to get post?………or do they like to give their postie a challenge?

The only way to deliver a letter is to push the bush aside.

The Your letter box post explains what you should provide.

Have you seen any unusual letter boxes?…..why not send me a photo?

For more Fails and Unusual houses go to What the………………….?


Street Numbering – Win!

You would think that some houses were owned by secret agents as there are no traces of a street number.

You couldn’t accuse either of the properties featured in this post of being shy about letting people know the house number.

I particularly like the one below with the numbers fabricated out of Corten Steel with the post box built into the number 1 ( Sorry about the picture quality but the sun was very low and behind the number when I saw it)


For Fails and Unusual Houses go to What the………………….?

See Letter Box for more information on the standards.