Category Archives: Packaging Tape

Overnight Hiking Trips and Proper Supplies

This past weekend I made my first overnight backpacking trip at a local state park. I’ve been meaning to go for months now, but the stars finally aligned for me and my friends with good weather, an open weekend, and the right supplies.

I will say that it was one of the more taxing endeavors I’ve ever carried out. I underestimated just how much work it takes to hike 10 miles with a 30 pound pack on my back and lots of up and down hills to navigate. By the end, though, I felt extremely accomplished, and I was proud of everyone for having a great time, roughing it for a night, and getting up early the next morning to hike the last half of the trail.

Those sorts of trips are wildly underestimated in terms of the preparation needed. And I say this from a physical perspective and accounting for appropriate gear and things to bring along.

One thing I realized we could’ve used more of was supplies. Be it office or shipping supplies, we could’ve afforded to take some extra cardboard or paper for kindling. In fact, other shipping supplies like tape would’ve also been extremely useful in binding our food packs together for the night. We ended up tossing all of our open food bags and uneaten snacks into a sack, tying that sack to a string and a rock, and tossing the rock over a tree branch to suspend it in the air for the night, out of reach of raccoons and other critters.

But had we had some tape, we could’ve further sealed the bags in order to prevent any scents from escaping. Unfortunately, we did attract the attention of a few raccoons that evening (which impacted my sleep some). But overall, everything worked out quite well.

Going forward, another thing I’ll be keeping in mind is water supplies. We underestimated how much water we would need for camp, and that accounts for cooking and having something to drink with dinner while also having some water for sleeping at night (which I’m often found slugging water in the middle of the night).

So maybe I need to ration my water better while on the trail. Or perhaps we didn’t try hard enough to go out of our way to reach a water source to filter and have along the way. Whatever the case, packing more water from the get go isn’t the best idea considering your pack being weighed down is something you don’t want unless those things are absolutely necessary. And since we could get water out in nature, there’s no reason to carry more than needed.

3 Packaging Supplies You Didn’t Know You Needed

When it comes to being the most prepared you can be for a move or even just for transporting new furniture and decor back into your home, there’s nothing better than having the right shipping supplies available to make transportation of certain materials and items much easier, safer, and efficient.

The thing is, there are a lot of shipping supplies out there that some of you may not be aware of. While moving boxes, bubble wrap, and packing tape may be quite familiar to you, would you be able to name off other products that movers use on a daily basis to make their job easier and more efficient? Probably not.

With that said, check out these three moving supplies to increase your knowledge on the wide variety of supplies out there for your own convenience.

Moving blankets.

These are some of the most handy things out there that have more than one use for your move. More than anything, moving blankets are like large, thick quilts used to protect bigger furniture from rips, tears, scratches, and more. Basically, they’re just cushioning and a material in between to help preserve the nature of your furniture and belongings so that nothing becomes damaged or broken. The last thing you want to happen when moving is add more to the stress of the move.

As another use, though, moving blankets are amazing for transporting heavy pieces of furniture without wheels across flooring that’s prone to scratching. Not only do the blankets protect your floor, they also make it a heck of a lot easier to move things around in tighter spaces.

Padded wrapping paper.

As an alternative to moving blankets, you can use padded wrapping paper instead. Basically, this looks like brown paper bags that have cushioning built in so that it can be wrapped around pieces of furniture to prevent any sort of scratching or tears. While this is more of a temporary, lighter weight material for moves compared to the permanent heavy duty nature of moving blankets, it can be quicker and easier to use in a pinch.

Stretch plastic wrap.

This kind of looks like Saran wrap and is available in different dimensions to fit your needs. They’re great for wrapping drawers so that they don’t come flying open in transit like you’re probably used to. This stuff is pretty great for protecting softer furniture from rips and tears, too. Heck, it prevents your furniture from getting dirty or wet, too.

Picking Up Your Home Can Pick Up Your Mood

I get pretty stressed when the house is out of order, things are laying around in places they shouldn’t be, and for the most part, everything is just in a state of constant disarray.

Honestly, I’m probably like most people who find these things bothersome and stressful, and by the time you even want to do something about it, it’s too big to tackle all at once (which only adds to the stress even more).

The problem with handling this sort of recurring situation is getting to the root of it all: and that’s organization.

But organization is an intangible sort of thing, you know. It’s hard to nail down what it means to be organized and how to instill such a “skill” in yourself. The good thing is that a lot of it starts with the type of storage and supplies you have around your home. The more tools and containers you have to be organized, the more likely you are to be successful at keeping everything cleanly and in order.

So, that’s where I started recently with my girlfriend. We got a few containers meant for storage purposes and some other basic shipping supplies like packing tape and sharpies so that we could mark on the containers to show what goes where. The good thing about such tape, too, is that it can easily be peeled off and replaced if you happen to dedicate that container to other items.

Since we’ve taken the time to actually get things in order and have dedicated spaces for an assortment of items, things have been so amazing around our home. Nothing is ever scattered out and about anymore. And we’re so, so much better about keeping things picked up and in their right spots. It’s amazing how a few containers, some shipping supplies, and a will to do it all can completely transform the way you keep your home in order.

And even better than all of that is how happy and relaxed we are in our home as of late. The amount of stress that can build up within you when you’re surrounding by a state of disarray is criminally underrated. Only after getting everything cleaned up and constantly spotless did I realize how much less stressed I felt each evening after coming home from work. There’s no other way to put it than saying I’m just genuinely happier and healthier (mentally, especially) because of the changes we’ve made.

What Is “Too Many” Boxes?

I grew up in a household absolutely stocked with cardboard shipping boxes. While that may bring to mind a house stuffed full of different sizes and shapes of boxes in every room, that’s not exactly the case.

For a little bit of context, both of my parents have worked for the post office all of their lives. So, it’s really no surprise that we always had a gajillion cardboard boxes on hand for any given scenario.

Heck, Christmas time was always super easy considering there was always another box to use for wrapping gifts in. I never had to seek out bags or other containers to wrap any gifts in. I’d just go to the back room, grab a handful of boxes that fit the various items I wanted to wrap, and went to work. It was always super convenient around the holidays that we had so many boxes.

The funny thing, though, is that we never really got much use out of these abundant shipping boxes for the rest of the year. I mean, if we ever actually had to ship something, I’d know where to look for a box that fit whatever it was I’d be sending. But in regards to other uses for boxes, we didn’t find many.

It comes as no surprise that we’d have such an overabundance of cardboard boxes in our home, though. Considering that my parents basically lived at the post office, they happened to bring home a lot from time to time to keep our stash up to date and fully stocked.

When I look back on all the boxes we had, I can’t help but feel like we could’ve made more use of them throughout the year. Whether we wanted to do crafts, use them for practical things like kindling or storage, or even recycle half of the stock of boxes since we never used even that many, I feel as if we had far too many boxes.

In reality, though, my mind is probably imagining far more boxes than we actually had, especially because my most vivid memories of that back room were from my childhood. And when you’re a kid, everything is much bigger and grandiose than when you’re an adult and have a greater sense of perspective. Overall, the impressive collection of boxes never cost my family a penny, so I suppose that’s why we always had an “overstock” of boxes. Why not have more than you need if it’s not costing you anything, right?

Gifting in Boxes or Bags?

With spring finally here and Easter around the corner, gift giving is in session. It’s only been a few months since Christmas was here, but a few months is all it takes in the gift-happy culture of the US.

When it comes to giving gifts, though, I prefer to wrap mine in boxes. Any old shipping boxes usually do for whatever I’m giving away. I just think that a gift in a box wrapped up shows a lot more effort went into the gift than just placing something in a bag, stuffing some tissue paper in on top of the item, and calling it a day.

But that’s to each their own, I suppose. While I like to have my recipient think there was a lot of thought that went into the gift, not everyone else does. And I can’t fault others for being more efficient with their time and gift giving even if it does make their recipient think of the gift as less special than a wrapped box.

My gifting habits are a main reason as to why I do have a lot of old shipping boxes and other cardboard laying around my home, though. I’m always using them for something with how versatile they are.

It’s funny to see what people think when I give them Easter gifts all wrapped up in the style of a birthday or Christmas present, though. People always expect baskets or bags around this time of year, but a fully wrapped box just seems to say a lot more in my opinion. It stands out a lot more, too.

I’d say my favorite part of wrapping gifts in boxes is honestly the type of paper I wrap it with. Whether it’s a specific pattern tailored to the occasion or just plain, thick brown paper (which is actually pretty classy, I must say), it’s fun to change it all up and keeps me, the gifter, interested and excited in the whole process.

That’s not even to say how many compliments I usually receive on my wrapping and the paper I chose. I’m always getting asked where I got my paper or how I wrapped my gift, and it’s honestly kinda nice to have that recognition for my efforts.

Overall, though, I do it for the recipient. I get joy in the whole process because I know it’ll bring joy to whomever I’m gifting the item to. If you can’t get joy out of that, what’s the point in gifting someone a thing you don’t truly care to spend money on? If that’s how you approach it, don’t bother giving them anything at all.

The Usefulness of Random Supplies

The other day my parents were over dog sitting for me and my girlfriend while we were out of town. They live 2 hours out of town in a small rural town, so coming to the city for a weekend has been their little getaway from the rise and grind of their jobs. I was happy to let them stay at our place for the weekend.

While they were at our place, I asked my dad if he would install a steel tip dartboard cabinet that we got for Christmas. I would’ve done it by now, but the problem was we were going to put it in our basement, but the walls are concrete. So, we were pretty reliant on the tools he had at home, meaning we had to wait for them to make their way to our place at some point to help put it up.

Anyway, they were able to eventually get the board and cabinet up, but not without some hitches in the plan. Apparently we were missing some sort of screws and the alignment of the board was off in such a way when it was hanging that we needed to shim the backside of the board it was adhered to.

Luckily, we had some random shipping supplies laying around the apartment that he was able to use to make final adjustments, even if it was a bit of a roughshod piece of work.

I couldn’t believe he made it work with mere shipping supplies. Somehow, though, it worked, and that’s all I really care about. It just goes to show that having some things laying around can be used in a pinch.

It reminds me of the usefulness and utility of other common items we overlook all the time. For example, cardboard can be used in so many different ways that you’d never really think about. I’ve made compost with cardboard, shredded it up and used it as mulch, and even used it to soak up things like oil leaks in the garage.

All of this is just proof that you can make something out of seemingly nothing. By giving your house a quick sweep through anytime you’re missing an item or need something in particular and don’t seem to have it, you’ll be able to find a lot of things that may actually be of use to you in your current situation. It only takes a little bit of creativity and a will to get the job done.

You Can Never Have Too Much Supplies

Growing up, I learned the value of work ethic applied to your life because of the diligence and respect that my parents treated their job with. They always made it a point to show up early, work hard, and put their careers at the forefront of their lives. No matter what happened, they never missed work. Heck, I don’t even recall them ever missing because they were sick. Work was, quite frankly, non-negotiable with other things in their lives.

Now, while I think that at some point they could have relaxed a hair, they had had this work ethic instilled into them through their parents (and their parents through theirs). It’s no doubt what has happened to me. I take my job seriously and realize that it’s a top priority in my life that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Just like my parents, I don’t miss work just because I’m sick or something else has come up. I make it to my job no matter the cost.

One thing they also instilled in me is having an appreciation for everyday things. In particular, they always had an incredible stock of shipping supplies and the likes. (And I think it’s because they always had worked for the post office, because they never ran out of postage, cardboard boxes, or any other shipping supplies.) While these things seemed mundane to me when I was a child, I realize now that it’s the commonplace items that we rely on (otherwise they wouldn’t be commonplace).

Nonetheless, I now make it a point to keep my place stocked with all sorts of packaging and office supplies, because when something needs shipped, it needs shipped right away. And all of these supplies have served me quite well beyond just shipping things. I can use my boxes for storage, my tape for repairing small things, and labels for other projects, too.

Without fail, I come to think of my parents when I see who I’ve become. From day-to-day items to the common tasks involved in my dayjob, I know that my work ethic, habits, and ideals were bred out of their own hard work and ways. I’m definitely interested to see all the traits, habits, and preferences that my children take on from me, though there are a few bad habits that I’m hopeful they will drop, too. I guess that’s not up to me to decide, though, is it?

Three Kinds of Packaging Tape

Most people don’t know that there are three kinds of packaging tape.  This is one part of a three part series in the “the three kinds” of a certain packaging or shipping supply.  The other two parts are about shipping boxes and shipping bags.  Today, it is packaging tape.  Once again, this claim that there are three kinds is just that: a claim.  It isn’t an official designation but one based off of observation.  The consistency is why the theory proves true, in my opinion at least.  So, the three kinds of packaging tape are: casual, serious, and professional.  Below, I will explain in greater detail the characteristics that make each of these categories distinct from one another.

Casual: something that is done without much thought, effort, or concern.  Now, allow me to clarify that this doesn’t mean that you just don’t care.  This means that you aren’t trying to impress anyone, or come across a certain way.  As far as packaging tape is concerned, duct tape is pretty much the king of casual.  If you are trying to do a quick patch job, or tape up a box to send to a friend and all you have is duct tape and you aren’t going to buy more tape for no reason, than you would use duct tape.  For instance, I once had a roll of duct tape that had pieces of bacon printed all over it, and this is what I would use when sending my sister care packages in college.

Packaging Tape

Serious: involving or deserving a lot of thought, attention, or work.  For the piece about shipping boxes I used the analogy of sending off your manuscript, and I’ll use the same one here, for packaging tape.  If you are sending off your manuscript to an editor or publishing company you probably wouldn’t be using the bacon duct tape to ship it off in.  A serious businessman would take one look at that package and probably toss it in the trash, assuming that you aren’t serious enough to be a part of their community.

Professional: exhibiting a conscientious and generally businesslike manner.  This is where an individual or organization takes extra care that their product is being correctly represented right from the get go.  Packaging is part of the “package deal” of first impressions for a customer.  It is included with the website experience (and even customer service, if you needed to talk to someone when making your order).  Professional packaging tape would be the kind that you had special ordered with your company’s logo on it.

Rewind the Packaging Tape Pt. 2

Continued from Part One…

Garrett didn’t notice that he was dealing with the packaging tape rolls with such quickness that the edges were nicking his flesh like razors.  In his mind he was tearing down the streets of Spain with a hundred mad bulls trying to light the back of his pants on fire with their breath.  The faster he ran, the more people he dodged by, the faster his hands on the assembly line worked.  When the horn sounded at the end of his shift his eyes would flutter open, and he would stare blankly for a minute, trying to figure out where he was.  He would look down, and his hands would be red, and there would be drops of blood on the floor.

“You have to be more careful, Garrett,” his supervisor told him, squinting at him doubtfully.  This was a problem he was not prepared for.  How did you tell someone to stop cutting themselves on the job?  When the job was boxing up packaging tape, at that?  “We can’t keep sending off boxes with blood stains on them, and it’s becoming a waste.  Maybe you should consider wearing some gloves…”

clear-packing-tape

So Garrett purchased some mechanics gloves, and he factored them into a mountain expedition.  He studied and trained with his guide books in the evening, while he was at home, and then when he was at work he would put his training to use.

His family would ask him to come over for the Superbowl, for Easter, for fireworks… “I’m training,” he told them over the phone.  He didn’t know that his voice was shaky, and that his breathing was heavy.  His mother was telling him, “You have me worried, mijo-“ But he was already hanging up.  He was already reading the next sentence, that he already knew by heart, knee deep in snow again, clawing his way up the side of an icy glacier.

It was the packaging tape factory who called Garrett’s family and said that he hadn’t been to work for two days.  They found him in his apartment, inside of an igloo made out of travel books.  Each book was heavily worn, with tabs hanging out of them, some of them streaked with blood when he had forgotten to his bandages.  The strangest thing was that he was found to be hypothermic, actually frozen to death, with frostbite on his face and hands and feet.  It didn’t make any sense, but Garrett’s family thought they knew what had happened.  It was the books that did it to him.

Rewind the Packaging Tape Pt. 1

Garrett liked to whistle while he worked.  His hands moved quickly, accustomed to the task, but his mind was able to wander effortlessly.  Over hills and through large cities, the tempo of his tune fluctuated with his inner destination.  During his off hours, Garrett pored over books about exotic locations, or featuring key spots throughout the world.  He knew as much as there was to know about the Arc de Triomphe and Victoria Falls.  On the assembly line his hands boxed up packaging tape with lightning speed, but his eyes were even closed and he was walking the streets of Paris, remarking on each of the sites and calling to mind the facts as he envisioned going over them in the guidebook.

Packaging-Tapes

It was something of an obsession of his, you could say.  Of course Garrett wouldn’t say that.  He would call it a passion.  That’s what it had started out with.  A true, unadulterated appreciation for travel and experiences and adventures.  That he would probably never have, of course.  He started working for the packaging tape plant with the hopes of saving up money to go sight-seeing.  To actually get to ride on an airplane!  Just the thought of it made Garrett swoon.  Once he started working he started getting books from the library, and then buying his favorites.  He started studying the places he wanted to go to.  Slowly, over time, he began to let go of his dream of seeing the actual places, and touching them, because he was able to get every single detail on the printed page.  And much faster.  And in much greater quantity.

His family says that he began to talk less about “When I go to Stonehedge”, and instead began to say, “Stonehenge is almost three thousand years old…”.  There was no longing left in his voice, but rather a sense of ownership.  It was as if he had already been there.  And then it became almost as if he had had his hand in it to begin with.  You would think by listening to him talk that he had been one of the men who erected Stonehenge, who had participated in the ceremony at its erection.

Garrett started having to bandage his hands, which were becoming covered in “packaging tape cutes”, as he called them, like you would refer to a paper cut.  He had bandaids on almost every one of his fingers.

To be continued…