Wednesday, 12 October 2016

How To Steam Open An Envelope

Steaming open an envelope is one of the oldest tricks in the book. It's really easy, and, if done carefully, an envelope can be opened and re-sealed with a minimum of fuss. But don't use this trick to break into somebody else's post, that is a felony. There are less dubious reasons you may need to steam open an envelope, however. Perhaps you have envelopes which have become stuck tight, or you just realised you were had gotten letters or card mixed up. There are a number of ways to open an envelope so that it can be re-sealed and you can keep your mistakes hidden.

Method 1. Steaming It Open Over A Stove

1. Put a pot of water on to boil. You don't really need much water, but try to put an inch-and-a-half in the bottom of the pot, and put it on the heat. If you use too much water, it will take forever to boil, but don't use too little, or it'll evaporate before you can open the envelope. As you wait for the water to boil get ready with your envelope.

2. Hold the envelope over the boiling water. With the side of the envelope with the opening flap facing down towards the water, find a spot where you can gently ease your thumb under the flap. A good spot is at the very end of either side of the flap, because some envelopes don't have any glue there.

3. Apply constant light pressure on the flap. Be gentle, you don't want to tear the paper. Once the steam saturates the envelope (it will feel hot, damp and limp), the glue will melt, and the envelope will open.
Don't hold the paper in the steam for too long. You'll get it all soggy and give the game away. Hold the envelope over the steam for about 15 seconds, then start trying to open it, returning to the steam if it is still stuck.
Consider using a skewer instead of your thumb or finger to peel the flap up. It allows for more precise control and is especially effective if you place the skewer vertically underneath the flap at one end and twirl it along the length of the flap.
Method 2. Steaming It open With A Kettle

1. Put the kettle on to boil with plenty of water. Instead of using a stove, you can use a kettle. This technique tends to create a greater quantity of steam that is hotter. It also avoids the possibility of scorching the edges of your envelope if you have a gas stove.

2. Hold the envelope a little away from the spout. Don’t hold it too close and try to get an even distribution of steam across the seal. You can place a spoon into the spout of the kettle to try to have control over the direction of the exiting steam.  If it looks like it is getting too wet, move it away and be patient, you don’t want to have wrinkles give the game away.
As the steam from a kettle is more intense, it might be a good idea to wear an oven glove or something similar to protect the hand holding the envelope.
3. Ease open the envelope. Wait for a few seconds after removing it from the steam and then, in much the same way as with the stove method, gently slide a flat blade under the seal to open and release it. Be very careful not to tear it, and if it doesn’t come easily give it a little more time in the steam and try again.

Method 3. Using An Iron

1. Put some water in your iron and plug it in. An alternative way to steam open an envelope, with less steam, is to use your clothes iron. It works in a similar way, but can be less messy and easier than using a kettle or a stove. Simply heat up your iron as if you were ironing some shirts and get your sealed envelope ready.

2. Put the envelope on a suitable surface. Check the surface is clean with nothing that might mark the envelope. Place your envelope on a surface that will not burn or scorch under a heated iron, an ironing board is ideal. Be sure that you have the side of the envelope with the opening flap and seal facing up towards the iron.

3. Iron your letter. With the iron on a medium-low temperature, pass it over the envelope backwards and forwards gently pressing down. The heat from the iron will melt the adhesive that holds the envelope's sealing flap down. If the iron temperature is high the glue will melt quicker, but you risk burning or scorching the envelope, so don’t rush it.

4. Using a flat blade, break the seal. As with the other steaming techniques, once the glue has been melted you can carefully slide a dull knife under the flap and ease the envelope open. It’s best not to use a sharper knife as there is a greater risk of you tearing or damaging the envelope. As always, don’t force it open if it is still sticking, instead give it some more time in the heat.

United States mail hold

Junk mail

USPS mail forwarding

tracking usps

USPS delivery times 

How To Adorse A Check

Sign here please! Checks are negotiable instruments, which simply means they are a promise by one person to pay a specific amount to another. By endorsing a check made out to you, you can deposit or cash it to obtain the amount of money indicated on the check. Knowing how to endorse a check, and the different types of endorsement you can use, is a critical part of managing your personal finances.

Method 1. Endorsing A Check With A Signature

Make sure that the check information is correct. The person who gave you the check needs to have written your name, their signature, the date, and the amount of the check (both as words and as a number). Without all this information, your bank may not be able to process the check.
If the person who wrote your check made a mistake, go to the person and request a new check. Some banks will accept a check that has been corrected with initials, but this can also look suspicious. Getting a new, correct check will make it less likely that you will encounter any problems at the bank.
If someone wrote a check to you with incorrect information, then the old check will have to be voided. It is also a good idea to shred any checks that you cannot use.
Find the grey lines on the back of your check. Flip over the check and look for the grey lines located on the upper part of the check. Sign your name on one of the lines as it is spelled on the face of the check.
Most checks say "do not write, stamp, or sign below this line" beneath the endorsement area, because the bank needs this space to document their completion of the check.
Sign your name on one of the grey lines. To deposit or cash your check, all you need to do is sign on one of the grey lines. Nothing else is required to endorse a check.
If more than one person is listed on the check and their names are connected withand, then both people have to sign the check in order to endorse it. If the names are separated by or, then just one person has to sign the check.
Make sure your endorsement is within the endorsement area to prevent confusion or error at the bank.
Make sure the name you sign matches the name on the check. For example, if the front of the check says "Bob Johnson," don't sign your name "Robert Johnson." Likewise, if your name is misspelled on a check (e.g., Sara Jones, if your real name is Sarah Jones), then sign the check as it is written on the front of the check. You can then write the correct spelling for your name below it.

Take your check to your bank to cash or deposit it. Ask the bank teller to deposit the check into one of your accounts, or simply exchange it for cash. Keep in mind that an unrestricted endorsement (a signature alone) means that anyone who has the check can cash it. Because of this, you should protect a signed check like you would cash. Consider waiting until you get to the bank where you will deposit your check to sign it.
If you don't have a bank account, you can cash your check at the bank of the person who issued you the check. The bank's name should be written on the face of the check. Note that the issuing bank may or may not charge a fee for cashing your check.

Method 2. Endorsing A Check For Deposit Only

Write "For Deposit Only" on the top endorsement line. This type of endorsement restricts the way the check can be used, specifying that only the person listed on the face of the check can cash or deposit it. By using this restrictive endorsement, you ensure that if you lose the check or need to have someone else deposit it for you, no one but you will be able to use the funds.
This type of endorsement is most effective if you are mailing your check for deposit, or are giving it to someone else to deposit on your behalf.

Sign the check on the next line. Make sure that you conserve enough space to write the rest of the information you need. This signals that you wish to exercise your rights to the check writer's promise to pay. Your signature is required no matter what type of endorsement you exercise.
Note that if the signature is above "For Deposit Only," the check technically becomes a bearer instrument and could be modified by someone else.

Include your bank's name and your account number. On the next line down, you can write your bank’s name and your bank account number. This will ensure that the check can only be deposited at the bank you specify, and to the account you have chosen. Make sure you write the number of the account you want the check deposited into.
This is a restrictive endorsement because it specifies the account that you wish the check to be deposited to. This kind of endorsement is useful when you have someone else deposit your check, such as an employee. Anyone who has access to your check will only be able to deposit the check into your account.
While it may be a good idea to protect your check with a restrictive endorsement in some cases, you should also protect your bank account information. Your bank account number is important, and you should protect a check that you have endorsed with your account number to avoid identity theft or fraud. Place the check in a sealed security envelope and only allow people you trust to make deposits for you.