Category Archives: Packing Supplies

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!

Updating Our Basement

My fiancee and I are revamping our apartment over the next few months, something I think we’ve both been wanting to do for awhile now. As a little bit of background on our place, we’ve lived in it for just over a year now and renewed our lease for one more year. While next year is looking like the time we’ll buy a house, we still have an entire 11 months left in our cute little apartment and felt there’s still plenty of time to switch things up and make it look even nicer and homier.

I think the way we’ll go about our small “renovation” process is from room to room. Read on to follow our steps for doing so.

The basement.

I think this is the place most in need of some updating, so this is where I’ll start. First and foremost, the basement as it currently is does have a nice sectional couch, a small home entertainment stand, a big oak table with 6 chairs, a washer and dryer, and a dartboard. Oh, and there’s a standing lamp too!

So, to kick things off, I think the biggest problem with our basement is the fact that the walls are pretty barren. Ultimately, this gives off the effect of “Oh, this is clearly a basement.” Because the walls are white cement blocks stacked on one another and the “ceiling” is floorboards from above with nails sticking through, not much in there seems like an actual room despite all of our other furnishings and decor.

This is where some cheap, easy “renovation” comes in to help fill the walls. While there’s not much we can do about the ceiling being floorboards since we’re renting the place and don’t own it, there is quite a bit of room on the walls to put up posters, to paint (we’re allowed to do this), and even hang tapestries. We’ve currently got a few old Bonnaroo posters hung up with some shipping supplies (mostly packing tape), but shipping supplies won’t cut it when it comes to heavier duty items or even painting the walls.

My first idea with renovating this part of the basement will probably stick with my fiancee, and that’s painting the walls a darker, more colorful shade of green. We’re huge naturalists and love the idea of green all over our home (mostly plants!). So, having the back wall a forest green would give a sense of atmosphere in the basement that looks great with ambient lighting while also being a color that’s not too “out there.”

Life Changing Things Are Everywhere If You Look

For the last three or four months, my fiancee and I have talked about getting into yoga.

For a hobby that can be very life changing, it’s not as simple as just saying “Hey, I want to do yoga.” Or, perhaps it really can be. But considering we said that over 150 days ago, it goes to show there’s got to be some sort of intentionality and will behind the words in order to enact such a life-changing hobby.

Like most things, I think you kinda just need to dive in head first if you want to see if you’re even remotely interested in something. And the best way of doing that is ordering yourself an okay yoga matt, firing up some sort of free YouTube tutorial, and trying your best to follow along. How else are you supposed to get a taste test for such a unique activity? I suppose there’s the option of paying a monthly fee and going to a yoga studio for better hands-on guidance.

My way of looking at things, though, is trial and error on your own. I’d rather order a few shipping boxes worth of yoga gear, get a feel for what I’m about to do, and just sit and learn. It’s how I’ve picked up running (i.e., buying nicer running shoes and doing a little bit of research). It’s how I suppose I’d tackle anything in front of me from here on out, really.

I really think something like yoga would benefit the entire world if everyone just gave it a chance. Unfortunately, that’s just not how things work in people’s lives. Not everyone will give everything a try, despite there being some amazing things out there that could be healing and beneficial to all.

I just think there’s a turning point in everyone’s lives where they made a specific decision and things blossomed. Of course, this is true for the opposite, too. People can make a big decision that sends them down the wrong path. It’s up to us to have the intuition to know which one is better or worse.

Anyway, I’m quite stoked to see those few shipping boxes on my front porch in just a week or so. Yoga isn’t something that’s easy for beginners to take on without a professional. But lucky for my fiancee and me, there are plenty of videos out there on the internet with professionals giving the tips you need to get started on just about anything.

A Unique Summer Job

I love my job and I truly enjoy showing up to work each day. However, I sometimes think what else would I be doing if I were to take up a different profession, and I continually arrive back at the thought of becoming a teacher. I love communicating and explaining things to people. I love challenging people and engaging with them to help them think differently on topics of interest. Selfishly, I think one of the main reasons why I would like to be a teacher, is that I would not have to work for two to three months of the year and get to enjoy the best part of the year, the summer, in any way that I want!

One of my best friends is a teacher, and while she does enjoy having her summer’s free, she often times tries to find a summer job. The extra income is nice, but it is also nice to have something to pass the days in case she gets bored of lounging by the pool. She has tried many different things: working at a boutique, working at a winery, coaching kid’s camps, and waitressing. However, the job she is trying this summer is probably the one that she has loved the most out of all of them.

She works as an independent contractor for a fulfillment company and absolutely loves the flexibility that it provides for her schedule. She can literally create her own hours and work whenever she wants to. Her job involves her gathering curriculum and other textbooks to sell, and then putting the books in shipping boxes to send out all over North America. The more items she sells and fulfills, the more money she makes. So there is a lot of incentive to work as much as possible, which she does try to do, but it is nice because if something else comes up or she is not feeling like working, she does not have to.

The main part of her job involves going to the local post office and gathering the correct shipping boxes and the shipping labels so she can then send out the orders. Since she privately buys curriculum and other text-books from anywhere beforehand, all she has to do is show up and put the books in the boxes.  She receives a percentage of each of the sales she fulfills and sends out. It is truly amazing how many orders she can fulfill at one time.

I am not ready to switch and become a teacher yet, however when I hear of things like this, it does sound pretty appealing. If you are looking for a summer job, remember to think creativity and check out as many places as possible!

Plans for 4th of July Weekend

It’s hard to believe that the 4th of July is already upon us, especially considering it felt like the new year just began. But maybe that’s me and my wonky internal clock feeling like it’s not here yet when it actually is.

No matter what way you look at it though, it’s here and there’s almost too little time to plan out what’s happening and where I’m going. That always seems to be the case with me, though. Before I know it, holidays are upon me and I make last minute plans with friends or family. Still, I always get it to work out well enough.

Anyway, this year I think I’ll be heading to a friend’s new house for some fireworks in his neighborhood. I’ve yet to visit his new home, so it’s the perfect excuse to go down, hang out, have some drinks with old friends, and relax.

I’m pretty sure he’s got a grill, too, so we’ll likely be grilling out as well. Nothing more “American” than a grill out on the 4th of July.

I’m certain that means we’ll all be responsible for bringing our own drinks, some snacks or meats, and relevant things like particular shipping supplies (think tape and boxes) for storage and carrying things around. There’s never too many supplies to bring, whether they’re office or shipping supplies.

The cool thing will be that the park that’s showing fireworks will be just a few minutes walk away from his house, so no matter how much partying we do during the day, we don’t have to drive anywhere to see them and can be safe by just meandering on over to the park with our lawn chairs, some brews in tow, and good company.

I think that’s all it really takes to have a good time on a holiday, really. So long as everyone is relaxing, there’s good food, conversation to keep everyone engaged, and some drinks, people seem to have fun. I know I love that sort of environment and scenario, at least.

Now that I’ve related my plans to you for this upcoming American holiday, what do you plan on doing for your 4th of July weekend? Considering the holiday falls on a Thursday, I’m guessing most of you have taken off the following Friday so that you can have a 4 day weekend. If you haven’t, submit your request for PTO now!

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?

Your Hobbies Should Make You Happy

For the past half year or so, I’ve been talking about how great it would be to have live plants in our home. I mention it to my family on phone calls home to check in. I mention it to friends in random conversation. I’ve mentioned it to my girlfriend a heck of a lot.

But I finally found an excuse to get a handful of houseplants this past month with my girlfriend’s birthday coming and going, and we’re proud parents of about 6 different succulents and two other houseplants.

It was actually quite a fun process to go pick them out and find the pots we thought would fit the aesthetic of our home. While buying plants at a local shop and not a department store likely cost us more than it could have, we felt better knowing the plants were taken care of and probably healthier in general.

Repotting when we got home, however, was slightly more of a task than we realized considering we haven’t done such a thing ever, so we wanted to make sure we had the right soil, were handling our plants and their roots with care, and knew what pots were perfect for which plants.

One thing we were lacking, though, was gardening supplies. Luckily, we had a few different shipping supplies that sufficed, such as a boxcutter to churn up the soil and a few cardboard boxes to put excess soil in.

The process was more fun than I would’ve imagined, simply because it felt like we were really taking care of the plants as living beings, not just as “decor” to our home. Sometimes, it got tricky to plant some of the succulents since they had spines that would prick my hands, so nestling one of the chunkier guys into a small pot and putting new soil in with it was extremely tough. Again, we were lucky to have some of those shipping supplies handy, though.

But so far, it’s all paid off. We get compliments on our succulent table. We enjoy having the blinds open far more often so that they can get sunlight. We feel happier to have them around. And heck, they’re great for giving us a sense of responsibility while also having us respect the life around us outside of each other and our dog.

It’s just been one of the best decisions and I feel we’re only bound to get more here in the next few months while summer starts to pick up.