Category Archives: Packing Supplies

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.

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.

Odds and Ends for Your Hobbies

You know that hobbies can be quite niche, ranging from things like collecting rare spirits to raising a garden inside your house. People enjoy different things for different reasons, and almost always there’s certain gear that just cannot be substituted for extremely in depth hobbies like painting needing palettes and oil paints or even baking requiring specific pans and ingredients.

But for most hobbies, there are a few things that can be substituted, and this usually allows you to have an array of supplies that can span across multiple hobbies. When versatility is allowed, it’s best to make the most of it so that you can save money, save space, and ultimately still get the job done without losing out on whatever supplies you needed in the first place.

One of my favorite hobbies as of late is camping. While I enjoy hiking and carrying my pack with me to set up camp somewhere in the wilderness, I also don’t ever shy away from trips with friends that involve packing up the truck and getting on the road to the nearest campgrounds for a weekend of fun.

Sometimes, though, we’re in need of basic supplies that we always end up forgetting. So instead of planning last minute what we need, I like to keep these common shipping supplies in my truck to be accessible whenever we actually need them.

Scissors.

Scissors may perhaps be the most useful thing to have when you’re out camping and most people don’t realize how useful they really are. From cutting twine to opening foods, you can’t go wrong have a pair of heavy duty scissors available on your camping trips. Heck, they’re even good for cutting, cleaning, and preparing tougher meat.

Tape.

While tape doesn’t work so well on anything that’s dirty or wet, it can still do well patching any holes you have in your tent, binding together broken stakes, and even sealing together food packages that you don’t want being broken into by raccoons. Out of all the shipping supplies on this list, tape is probably the most versatile at repairing.

Cardboard boxes.

You can use them for kindling, for storage, or even as makeshift “pads” for the hard ground you’ll be sleeping on. The best part is that you can break them down to save space when traveling with them so that they’re not all boxy and in the way while driving.

When is the Right Time to Buy a House?

I’ve recently been trying to convince a friend to move to the city where I live, and I’ve had a rather tough time of it for reasons that are hard for me to explain. But basically, it boils down to him wanting to own a house here so he’s waiting a bit longer instead of getting an apartment here first to make sure he likes the area.

While we seemingly have differing opinions (and I know my own suggestion to him may not sit well with some of you out there who are advocates of pulling the trigger and buying a home), I’d like to think for someone his age at 26, he’s not ready to buy a house here considering he doesn’t even know if he’ll like it in whatever area he forecloses.

So, though not every item on this list is something you must stick to by the book, these are a few suggestions on when buying a home may make sense in your life.

When you’re getting married.

This one is fairly common among Americans. If you’re marrying someone soon and don’t yet have a house, it could make sense to do as the joint income will help with any expenses you may deem tougher to handle compared to being on your own. Just as well, married couples most likely lived in an apartment together prior to their marriage, so it’s only natural to make the step up to a home if you know that you live well together and are ready for your own place. All that’s required is a little sweat equity, some cheap moving boxes, and a trailer to move out of your old apartment and into your new home.

When you have a child.

While I’m fully aware that raising a child in an apartment can be a cost-effective way of handling child-rearing, I’m still of the mind that owning your own place can be safer for you and your child. Not to mention, you have much more space and privacy to yourself if you were to get your own home while raising your kid opposed to being sanctioned away in a smaller place connected to other tenants.

When it feels right.

Buying a home ultimately boils down to moving forward when you’re ready. There’s no one out there that can tell you you’re not ready or you should already be living in a house. It may never fit your agenda in life or it may only make sense for you to shop around from one home to the next rather than move into an apartment temporarily. Just trust your gut on when you should be looking to buy a home, but make sure it’s for the right reasons and you’re in good financial standing while you’re searching around.

There’s likely no worse feeling than moving into a place, looking at all your unpacked cheap moving boxes, and regretting what you just did if an apartment still makes more sense.

The Era of Quick Shipping

Today’s gold standard for shipping is getting tougher and tougher to refine simply because we’re maxing out the speed at which an item can be bought online, packaged, and shipped to that person’s front door. It doesn’t get much faster than 2 to 3 days without expecting someone to pay a ridiculous amount of money for one-day shipping.

Recently, my mom sent me a small parcel as a joke based on something we had just talked about a few days prior. I was so surprised that the package made it in two or three days time, simply because it wasn’t labeled as having been shipped on one or two days shipping but was merely priority mail through the post office. Yet still, here the package was in just a matter of two days. While the contents weren’t anything special or a must have for me, it was just funny how quickly it got to my doorstep without having extra postage on it for quicker shipping.

Much in the same way, I recently bought gifts for my girlfriend since her birthday is fast approaching, and those shipping boxes arrived at my doorstep two entire days before they were supposed to. Was I bothered by this? Not really at all, no. Sure, I had planned on them arriving two days later, so I wasn’t even looking for them on my doorstep in the snow this past weekend, but nonetheless, they made it to my door on a “non business day” and came as quite the surprise to me. I was pretty happy to have them safe and stored inside rather than having to worry about it sitting out in the open on my doorstep while I was at work two days later.

It ultimately surprises me how quickly items are shipped without paying extra for shipping these days. If we wanted things this fast just a decade or two ago, the price for shipping would’ve increased significantly. But again, today’s gold standard is just two or three days with hardly any extra cost, making online shopping seem as if it were on par with shopping at the mall.

Shipping boxes need merely a label and their contents to get out on the road and onto your doorstep nowadays, especially with streamlined shipping processes in bigger companies. If your shipping setup has a hitch in it or seems outdated by any means, customers will move on to other companies, because today’s era is one of demand and impatience.

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?

Building the Right Office for You

Having a good set up in your office is essential for keeping your productivity high and your motivation higher. Without a comfortable and familiar setting in your office, why would you have any will or umph to get stuff done? I sure know I need familiarity, style, and a personalized environment that fits my working mood.

For example, I’ve recently added a couch to my office in order to keep it “homey” but also just to fill space. The more space there is that’s empty in my office, the more I just feel . . . meh. But with an environment more conducive to relaxing every now and then, I feel like I can knock a lot of work out at once at my desk and then kick back on my couch for 30 minutes to wind down and reset for another productive bout of work.

So, now that I’ve got that locked down, I’ve been looking at new desks, office chairs, and desk lamps. As it stands, my desk is pretty plain and my chair is alright. And I have no desk lamp. Things could be spiced up with more drawers, better (and prettier) wood, and a more comfortable chair. I really feel like these things will allow me to knock out even more things during the periods I’m at my desk for a long time.

Additionally, I just got myself a great new mouse. Before, I was simply using my track pad on my laptop. It wasn’t that great, and I’ve been pretty in need of something better. Luckily, I just found a $50 mouse on sale for $30. I’ve mapped a lot of different buttons to things like controlling my volume for the music I play while also including different “productive” buttons like cut, copy, and paste. This, I feel, will give me a big turnaround in productivity as well. No longer do I have to worry about my stupid track pad actually registering me highlighting an entire paragraph for which I can copy and paste. Instead, I’ve got a reliable piece of technology that won’t leave me frustrated.

From here, it’s really just decorating the rest of my office with interesting trinkets and useful office and shipping supplies like staplers, new pens, and abundant tape. In fact, having the appropriate amount and kinds of office and shipping supplies will help me to remember I’m at work and not in my living room, considering I’ll be quite comfortable once I’ve got the dream set up of an office.

So, in all, it’s all about surrounding yourself with enough stuff to feel familiar with the office and comfortable where you work while also remembering to stay quite productive throughout the day. It’s a balance to maintain for sure, but one that’s worth striving for and buying a few extra items to attain.

Super Bowl Ads Are Coming Soon

(Mention shipping boxes in regards to advertising of delivery products and subscription boxes)

With this weekend’s culmination, the next two teams to head to the Super Bowl have been determined. Say what you will about the way the Rams and Saints game ended and talk as much smack as you want about the Patriots, but none of that will change the outcome of who our next contenders will be for this Super Bowl: the Rams and the Patriots.

A lot of times, people like to meet up with friends, family, and even coworkers to watch the Super Bowl. Finger foods are prepared and thoroughly enjoyed, fans become ravenous for a win, and those who aren’t invested in the game wonder why the heck it’s such an American tradition to watch the silly game.

But perhaps one of the biggest things people talk about concerning the Super Bowl in the last decade or so is commercial presence.

Super Bowl ads become hugely discussed in early February simply because of how many people watch the game each year. It’s a no brainer for companies to spend tons of money just to secure a spot, but it ends up paying off big time considering the tens of millions of eyes who are watching their commercial.

So this year, we wanted to make a game out of the commercials. Count how many times you see shipping boxes throughout the 3 to 4 hour event.

Some companies like to show their national and even international presence by showing packages shipped to new areas. Others are simply showcasing their brand identity through their shipping boxes. And even other companies want to highlight the presence of a new fad: monthly subscription boxes.

I’m here to say that I fully expect to count at least ten instances of cardboard boxes showing up in Super Bowl commercials. With at least 50+ companies slinging their ads at your eyes, you’re bound to see some of the things I’ve mentioned. Just keep your eyes peeled and watching for the likes of parcels and packages on the go.

And no matter what happens, enjoy the game for what it means: bringing together friends and family. It’s a good way to follow up the winter holidays and will tide you over to those on the horizon. Considering there aren’t any major holidays for awhile, a lot of Americans like to regard the Super Bowl as a faux holiday. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t as well.

Getting Started on Your Goals for the Year

Getting started on goals, be they life changing or minor goals you want to get yourself to conquer, can be tough simply because it means going away from your daily routine to tackle new things. And for the most part, the majority of people fail their set goals because they never even attempt them in the first place.

But who can blame those people? That’s the normal thing to do. With good intentions in their minds, they write down goals and feel all excited about what they’ve written down. They feel good about getting the pen to paper. But when it comes down to it, they say they don’t have enough time, enough money, or enough energy at the end of the day.

Excuses. These are excuses to get out of accomplishing a new goal. It does take more time, more money, or more energy to get ahold of a new task, wrestle with it, and defeat it. It does, and that’s the whole point. You’ll never accomplish goals by conserving time and energy. Never. You have to go above and beyond and dedicate more of yourself to grow yourself. That’s the entire point of it all.

If you have to grab a roll of tape or other shipping supplies just to tape up a to-do list to your fridge or cabinets or wall (anywhere visible, really), then do it. Get messy, cheap, or dirty, it doesn’t matter. Those shipping supplies will be the best things you ever had so long as your list of goals are visible to you every single day. Multiple times a day. Whatever it takes, get it in front of your eyes so that those goals are staring you down every single day.

When you think about it, who out there ever felt good about accomplishing a task they put no effort into? No one. If you didn’t do it yourself, put in the sweat and blood, then there’s not much reward or payoff in terms of feel-good emotions. You may feel efficient, sure. But it doesn’t feel as good to finally get there.

So I’m here to tell you that accomplishing your goals is hard work and that’s why most people don’t ever get around to it. Because they don’t change up the way they’re living. Don’t be a part of the minority, though. Do it for yourself and because you know it’ll feel all the sweeter once you’re done.

The Past, Present, and Future of Shipping

Goods that are shipped across the country and internationally are something relatively new in the history of trade. It was only a century ago that most things were bought and sold in a brick and mortar shop. Sure, people would send items long distance, but those were almost exclusively to friends or family members, not for business.

The problem wasn’t that we didn’t have the technology to ship containers or boxes or parcels. It was the technology of payment that was lacking. Think about it. Why would a company want to send you a product if you couldn’t pay them until after you received it? Similarly, why would you want to pay for something across the country and only be sent it after they received your check or cash?

The internet, however, has solved this problem. Credit cards make it easy to put in your payment information in a matter of seconds, and before you know it, your items are being packaged in shipping boxes and loaded up in a truck to start their journey to your house.

It’s taken quite a bit of time for our conception of trade to evolve to the state it has, but it begs the question: What will our business model be like in another 50 or 100 years? Will shipping be twice as quick? Will things remain as they are since our transportation is pretty high speed and efficient as it can get as is? It’s too early to tell what will happen, but I can bet that autonomous vehicles will be a cog in the system that speeds the process up even more. Sure, everyone seems to be a bit timid or even afraid of the idea of vehicles driving themselves, but by taking the human component out of the model, business is actually faster, more efficient, and more objective. (Yes, we’re gonna leave the whole can of worms that is jobs vs. AI out of this article.)

So, what do you think? Will our idea of shipping boxes evolve in the next century, too? Will cardboard be outdated by a newer, cheaper, sturdier substance that is just as eco-friendly? Will shipping become a cheaper thing overall, or will prices rise simply because the efficiency will increase?

If only we could peer just a few decades into the future, I’m sure a lot of these questions would be answered in short fashion.