MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The holiday shopping season is in full swing with Christmas now just 20 days away.

Many of us out there shop online to avoid the long lines at stores, and with that companies like FedEx and UPS are preparing for yet another busy shipping season. Officials said they recommend having people buy their gifts, then bring them into a FedEx or UPS store to have employees there pack the gifts for the consumer.

But if you want to put those gifts in a box yourself before you head to ship them out, here are a few things to avoid.

Officials said there are three common mistakes people make when they’re shipping gifts. First off, you want to use a high-quality box like a corrugated cardboard box. Next when you’re taping the box, you want to make sure you get the seams in an H pattern on the sides and top. Many just do one or the other and it’s not strong enough to hold up in shipping.

Lastly, you don’t want to allow the items in your box to shift around during shipping. You don’t want any motion in the box whatsoever and allow the chance that a gift inside could break during shipping. You can avoid that by packing paper with your gifts or bubble wrap and even newspaper. Fill the voids in the box with that material to support it during shipping.

Also in the shipping process, make sure you give your gifts plenty of time to get to their destinations. As the holidays get closer, businesses like UPS and FedEx bet very busy and often shipments take longer to get to where they need to go.