Category Archives: Packaging Tape

Working in a warehouse

Back in my college days I have the pleasure of working in lots of different roles.  The summers were filled with many different opportunities and jobs in lots of different industries.  One year I had the opportunity to work in the auto industry.  I found myself working at an Porsche dealer and found myself in the parts department.  My jobs was to manage the entire parts department and keep all the inventory in stock and in its proper location. This unique opportunity lead me to become good friends with lots of different parts of the business world and not just the auto industry.  I found right off the bat that being friends with the local delivery companies was paramount to having a shop that ran well.

Knowing what type of shipping boxes would work best in multiple situations was also key. I found that talking with my local FedEx and UPS delivery driver was a crazy amount of knowledge.  They understood warehouses and what made good ones work.  The vast knowledge was worth taking time out of my day to be friends with them and get to know different aspects of their life.  They were able to walk me through different ways to ship items to be the most efficient. They also told me their preferences as driver and deliverers as to how they were able to load their truck and keep items the safest.

In tern, I was able to take their advice and purchase the best shipping boxes possible.  It lead me to spending less on damaged parts and overall a more efficient parts department.  The cost of many of the high end sports parts I was purchasing and shipping across the country was in some times extravagant.  The cost of fenders and wheels for racing vehicles was nearly always in the thousands and having them arrive damaged would cost much more than the cost of proper packaging.  These small details meant the return rate for my products went way down to a nearly non existent percentage.

I was able to save thousands of dollars in a single summer and it lead to rave reviews from my supervisors.  From there I was able to take their praise and get a higher paying position for the next summer.  In tern, I was able to hand off my process to the company and give them a sustainable way of decreasing their costs on a yearly basis.  It was a great job to have and much experience was gained at it.

Collecting Cardboard Year Round for Gifts

Every single year, I remind myself to hold onto some of my old cardboard boxes and shipping boxes. From one year to the next, I do a pretty good job about swapping out older boxes for those that are newish, especially if I happened to order something large online that comes in a big box I can use around the holidays.

What’s funny is that I never would’ve gotten into this habit if it weren’t for my mom stashing away hundreds (seriously, hundreds) of boxes from one year to the next, all for the sake of the holidays. Of course, it helped that she worked at the post office all her life, meaning there was no shortage of cardboard around our house growing up. Still, having so many boxes on hand meant she could sift through what she had available and find the perfect size and shape of box for whatever it was she was wrapping.

Thus, I got into the habit of collecting cardboard for the purpose of using around the winter holidays. But what started as a collection for gift giving soon turned out to be far more useful throughout the rest of the year for other various scenarios.

For example, having a handful of decent sized shipping boxes meant I could make a little storage area in my basement that helped clear up a LOT of clutter in our home. We’ve also been able to utilize our cardboard whenever we go camping, go to music festivals, and go to family functions that required us taking a lot of hot food that couldn’t be spilled in the vehicle en route to the function.

Whether you’re using your cardboard for gift wrapping or other things around your own home, holding onto cardboard and reusing it throughout the year is actually a super great thing for the sake of sustainability and being environmentally friendly. You don’t have to ascribe to that line of thinking year around, especially if you’ve never bothered to recycle or care about the environment that much. Nonetheless, reusing your older materials for future things is an amazing way to reduce your waste on a yearly basis, and it’s something you should feel proud about even if you weren’t intentionally doing it in the first place. Sometimes your actions do good without you realizing it, and that’s definitely something you can feel good about no matter what your intentions were.

The Top 3 Items on My Christmas List

I don’t usually have a specific thing in mind I want for Christmas from one year to the next, and it’s not often at all that I have multiple things within the same category. But for whatever reason, I’m gung ho on getting a lot of kitchen appliances and tools. I’ve asked my parents, my partner, her parents, and my grandmother for something that will end up in our kitchen. It’s almost to the point that I’m really starting to see my age show. I recall the days I’d ask for video games, new technology, and even clothes (I thought my age was showing then). But when you just want to cook with new and cool things, it’s pretty obvious that you’re settled into life as an adult.

So, I figured I’d share some of my list with you guys to get an idea on the cool new things I’m wanting for my kitchen next year. Maybe you’ll see a few of these as essentials you’re missing in your own kitchen. For me, it’s been eye opening how much random junk we have in our kitchen, from tools and old pictures to shipping supplies, like packing tape. I want my kitchen to be a sacred space for me and my food and nothing else. It’s time we make the kitchen less of a storage place and more of an art space. Less of the shipping supplies and random things as storage, more of the artist’s tools for creating beautiful, tasty, healthy dishes. That’s my dream for my kitchen, at least.

Lightweight wok.

I think the wok is an incredibly underrated kitchen cooking pan. I use it for all the east asian dishes I make, but I also use it for a quick saute of some veggies or even for just mixing large quantities of noodles or something else. It’s too useful and versatile to not have an amazing wok

Food processor.

With this, you can make your own salsa, you can make your own hummus, you can make pastes and sauces, and you finely chop anything you need. This is a vegan’s dream appliance, and you better believe it’s at the top of my list.

Air fryer.

This is an easier, healthier, cleaner way to fry your foods in quick order. Oil frying just takes so long to mess with the cleanup that it’s not even worth it. And if you do it inside? It stinks up your house. I can’t wait to have an air fryer.

Order Your Holiday Gifts Now Instead of Later

Now that we’re officially into the thick of holiday season, time starts to feel like it dilates a lot simply because there are so many holidays in such a short time span. Think about it: Halloween at the end of October; Thanksgiving at the end of November; Christmas at the end of December; and New Year’s also at the end of December. It’s quite the lineup of holidays in essentially 2 entire months (Oct 31st to Dec 31st).

But what makes it so entirely packed for me in particular, though, are birthdays. When my dad’s falls on at the end of October, mine falls mid November, my brother’s falls late November, and my mom falls in late December, well, you’ve suddenly just introduced 4 more important dates alongside the 4 I already named that are holidays.

Needless to say, around this time of year you can find quite a bit of shipping boxes sitting on our front porch thanks to online shopping. And while a lot of people mumble and grumble about how online shopping has ruined this era, I think they’re just resistant to any sort of change in the first place. In all reality, shopping online has helped unique stores sell their niche products to niche audiences, and retail companies have been forced to shift their thinking and practicality of selling products by also moving online. Without such a boom in Internet sales, malls would be overcrowded like they used to be and traffic would be worse around this time of year. At the very least, Black Friday may be less ridiculous than it used to be.

The thing is, procrastination still happens no matter what type of shopping you’re doing, so it’s important for us to stay on top of our holiday and birthday gifts early and often. In fact, we’re sitting down this weekend to order multiple items for our parents and family members to have it done here and now instead of waiting until December to have things shipped. As everyone knows, the longer you wait, the better chances that a few shipping boxes won’t arrive to your home on time for a certain holiday or birthday. And I’d rather not stress this year about holiday gifts like I did last year. It’s just not worth it and takes no time to do.

Overall, I’m stoked for the holidays this year simply because it seems like I’ve got everything planned out much farther in advance than I ever used to. It’s smooth sailing from here!

Travel Plans? Forget Them

I just got back from a weeklong trip with my fiancee. It was one of the first times I was able to get out on my own with her, do whatever planning we wanted to do, and see it come to fruition. I’ve got to say, going with the wind on some of those days and just seeing where we ended up was exhilarating. I’d say the only downside to it all is that “real life” now feels pretty bland and structured, now. It’s no fun having to do what you must instead of whimsically going with your gut any given moment.

This sort of living excited me for our future, though. We definitely plan to make more trips across the US and sort of just wing it. Of course, even when you’re winging it you have to be prepared in some sort of capacity. That, we came to learn, mostly manifests itself in the form of what you brought along with you while traveling.

Here’s the thing. We could’ve used more shipping supplies, such as cardboard boxes and packing tape, while we were out on the road. The amount of trips I made into and out of someone’s AirBNB just to unpack and pack the vehicle was more than I’d like in the future. So, though shipping supplies seem kind of like an odd option to include for the next few trips, it’ll make a ton of sense when we can load and unload our vehicles so much easier.

I think what makes a good trip (especially on true vacation) is not much of a plan at all.

That may sound contradictory, but I really mean to say that too much of an itinerary can stress people out, especially if people are late or at the wrong place or in a hurry. Rather than building out this elaborate plan of things to do for each day, why not kinda see where things go from one day to the next?

My fiancee and I managed this perfectly. We knew which places we were visiting on certain days (in terms of the actual cities). And we had an idea of what it is we wanted to do, such as see certain breweries or beaches. But in terms of when we did it and exactly what time? Well, that was left to the wayside. We had much more fun just kinda showing up when we wanted to, having fun for as long as we wanted to, and leaving when we wanted to.

I know this is an entirely different model of vacationing that most people aren’t accustomed to, but we were entirely stress free the entire time. And did we argue or fight at all? Not once.

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.