Monthly Archives: November 2016

Saving Money On Shipping Even with Dimensional Weight

If you are in the packaging and shipping world, even if its distributing shipping supplies and not actually doing the packaging or shipping, then you probably know what dimensional weight is.  If you don’t know what dimensional weight is, you probably aren’t even reading this post, but I will still take a minute to make sure that we are all (present or not) starting out on the same page.


Dimensional weight is the volume of any given package (DIM weight, for short).  For shipping purposes, this refers to the amount of space a package takes up, and not what it actually weighs.  So if your brain is beginning to wonder at the possibilities, then wonder no more.  Yes, it will cost more to ship a large box of pillows than it will cost to ship a smaller box of rocks.  Seems kind of ridiculous?  Maybe.


Maybe not.  With ecommerce at an all time high, companies aren’t paying close attention to the size of what they are sending.  Ever gotten a package in the mail and the item was about a quarter of the size of the box being used?  This oversight costs a shipping carrier money.  Don’t worry, there are still ways you can save money, even with dimensional weight:

  1. Even decreasing a box size by a couple inches will greatly decrease the dimensional weight. If you are shipping pillows, for example, what about vacuum sealing them?  This will not only save you on shipping supplies, but on dimensional weight as well.
  2. Talk to your shipping carriers, especially if they are FedEx or UPS. Go over your contract and negotiate a rate based on your shipping volume, how much you ship with them over a given period of time.  This is a really great way to save the most money.  If you do a lot of shipping, any carrier will recognize your potential.  If not, you can take your business elsewhere.
  3. On the other hand, you might need to consider splitting your shipping options. You might need to go with with a different carrier for your larger, lightweight options and stay with FedEx or UPS for the smaller stuff.  Try to negotiate a rate, first, but if that fails you have other options.
  4. Quite simple, pay attention to the size of the item you are shipping and the size of the package. Just because you have shipping supplies laying around doesn’t mean you should use them.  There is going to be a lot of waste if you go this route.  Not only for you, but for your carrier, and even for your customer.

It’s Gift Giving Season!

One of my favorite things about the holidays is giving gifts.  I can’t decide which is my favorite: seeing family and friends that I haven’t seen in a while, eating a lot of amazing food, or giving gifts.  They are all so amazing.  One of my favorite gifts to give are homemade candy boxes full of homemade candy.  They are simply amazing for every occasion, and everyone always appreciates homemade candy.


Recently, I’ve found a lot of really great ideas on the internet to get me thinking outside of the box, if you will:

  • Use unusual materials for gift wrapping. Your kids’ artwork, newspaper, calendar pages, paper bags…
  • Cards are expensive and immediately disposed of (usually). Have your kids make a homemade card, use cardstock to make your own, or keep on hand a stack of blank, multipurpose cards.
  • You don’t always have to give some”thing” as a gift. AKA clutter, AKA why I usually decorate candy boxes and fill them with homemade candy (they are guilt free).  Aside from homemade edibles, gifting an experience is right up there.  Take someone out to lunch.  Take someone to a concert.  Take someone somewhere that you know they love.
  • Keep a bottle of random stuff around for the time when you need an impromptu gift. Those DIY candy boxes take time to put together!  Sometimes I have to reach into the tub labeled “gifts” and pull out that candle from Bath and Body Works, or grab a ten dollar gift card to Chik Fil A.  That’s okay too!
  • One of my absolute favorite gifts is to make a donation in someone’s honor. Every other Christmas my husband I purchase ducks, or a goat, or put money towards a well through charitable organizations like Samaritan’s purse, and that organization will send a card to whomever you are honoring, letting them know.
  • Be sure to provide gift receipts, especially if you are giving a toy or clothes. People tend to be picky and exact about what they want, and it would be better for someone to exchange what you got them than for your money, and gesture, to go completely to waste.
  • When it comes to Christmas shopping, have a set budget and stick to that budget. I start my gift-buying early in the year, especially if I see something on sale that I know someone will like.
  • You don’t have to join the Black Friday rush, and ruin your Thanksgiving, in order to reap the benefits. By the afternoon of Black Friday most of the crowd is gone and all of the sales are still available.  They are usually available for the rest of that weekend, and now there is Cyber Monday, so there is plenty of time to get good deals while still respecting the holiday.

Helpful Tips for Helping Your Elderly Parents Move

You may be in the season of life where your parents are getting older and you’ve talked with them and decided that it’s not the best idea for them to continue living on their own, or so far away from you.  Either way, the process can be full of emotions and challenges that are unique.  It helps to be as prepared as possible when taking this under and, thankfully, there are plenty of resources available to help you along the way.


Here are is an abbreviated version to get you started:

  1. People experience a range of emotions when it comes to moving, and most elderly people have been in their homes for a long time.  They have memories there, often of a spouse that has already passed away.  Your aging parent, even if they agree to the move, are going to need a lot of time to grieve and process their feelings.  Give them a hand in as much of the process as possible.  You don’t want to leave your mom or dad feeling like they are being stripped of all control as they start out their new life.
  2. Set aside some time to really lay out the process in its entirety.  Know what kind of space your parent/s are going to be moving into.  Is it another house that is closer?  Is it an apartment?  Is it a room in your own home?  This will determine the extent of your downsizing and moving operation.  It would be great idea to print out a floor plan of the new place and help your parents decide where they will want to position their belongings.  This is the time you are going to want to start accumulating as many cheap moving boxes as possible.
  3. Communicate with as many members of your family as possible about what is going to be happening with Mom and Dad, or Grandpa and Grandma.  Ask for everyone’s help.  The job is going to be much bigger than you think it will be (because it always winds up that way!).  Even the little ones can play a part by keeping their eyes open for free or cheap moving boxes.
  4. Packing and Moving. Regardless of where your parents are going, even if its to another home in an adult community, the reality is that they are going to need to do some downsizing, to some extent.  Hopefully that pile of cheap moving boxes has been growing steadily.  There are so many different options for the actual pack-up and move, and those are readily available for you as well.



DIY Storage Solutions

Let’s talk DIY storage solutions.  Everyone’s doin’ it.  That doesn’t matter to you?  Fine (also, I’m proud of you).  But that doesn’t mean that DIY storage solutions shouldn’t be utilized by everyone.  Let’s face it- storage is ridiculously expensive.  Most of us simply want we can’t have.  What’s the point of going into debt because of storage?  There isn’t one!  You can create your own storage solutions primarily out of recycled materials like cardboard boxes, and here’s how:

Project One) Antique wooden crates might make me break out in hives with longing, but I’ll be darned if I’m going to dip into my retirement to get my hands on some.  So instead of shelling out the cash, I used some sturdy cardboard boxes and an old sweater I didn’t wear anywhere to make an adorable nest for stuffed animals.


Project Two) Use your own cardboard boxes to come up with a tea organizer that fits easily into your drawer and also comes out easily enough when you have guests over.


Project Three) Use your empty disinfectant wipe canisters to make a hanging wall system.  Instead of me trying to explain it to you, look it up on pinterest and find tons of different options.  An easier project, using the same materials, is to cover one of the canisters with spray adhesive and fabric, and then use it to store your rolls of doggy bags.



Project Four) I’m pretty sure you’ve seen the PVC pipe shoe rock, and there’s good reason for it.  It’s because the system is freaking amazing, and is highly recommended.  If you have a whole mudroom you can even go up the entire wall and store lesser used shoes (like snow boots) at the top.


Project Five) Use wire mesh filing trays as a storage solution by screwing them to the insides of your closet doors.  You can fit a lot of obscure stuff in there that just winds up taking up room elsewhere, like hats and gloves and scarves or some sports uniform accessories.


Project Six) One of my personal favorites is using bulk spice containers to store batteries in.  These even fit perfectly inside of a refrigerator door if you are the kind of person who keeps their batteries chilled at all times.


Project Seven) I couldn’t end this post in good conscience without going back to cardboard boxes.  You can cover cardboard boxes with fabric, paper, paint… You can use chalkboard paper, label stickers, or anything other label available at your local craft store…


You can literally transform any kind of cardboard box into a solution for storage and be happy with it.  But don’t take my word for it!  Let Pinterest prove it!