First and foremost, having the right shipping supplies is a moot point if you don’t even have a good shipping station. Keeping your supplies in a plastic tote and hefting it to the kitchen table does not count. I’m talking about a desk-like system, with plenty of cubbies at the top and many shelves underneath the actual table part.
On the flip side of that, it doesn’t matter how awesome your shipping station is if you are stocking it with crappy or inappropriate shipping supplies. When I say inappropriate I am not suggesting that the products are somehow rated PG-13, but I am suggesting that you might be too cheap to be buying the right tools for the right jobs. Because in the business industry, shipping supplies are absolutely tools.
Now that we have the most obvious, albeit necessary, topics out of the way, I would like to take a minute to share some suggestions of what exactly you could and should be putting in all of those cubbies and lining all of those shelves with:
A large tape dispenser. Please spare yourself, and anyone else that you might be working with, the absolute horror of trying to deal with scotch tape sans dispenser. Trying to find the end of the tape, and then having it break off at random individuals, reduces the most stoic individual into a bonafide toddler. Not to mention the end result is not very professional looking.
A rack for all of the rolls of wraps. Bubble wrap, foam wrap, rolls of brown packing paper… All of these rolls need to be hung at arm level so that you can just unroll the amount you need and make a proper cut to detach it. Any time I’ve ever had to cut a piece of bubble wrap off when the roll was just sitting on the ground I wound up making a seriously slanted cut that cut into the amount of bubble wrap I was trying to wind up with. A waste! And also, once again, not professional looking.
Folders. Don’t just haphazardly stack your inventory paperwork or all of the contact information for the retailer’s that provide your shipping supplies. Put them in a folder, and keep the folder at the shipping station. Or, better yet, but it in a binder and make sure that it stays in the same spot at all times.