Monthly Archives: November 2018

Practicing Proper Boxcutter Safety

Boxcutters are an essential item for cutting cardboard, especially on items like shipping boxes or other cheap moving boxes. However, though most people have seen them and likely used them, an overwhelming amount don’t practice boxcutter safety because they’re always in a hurry or simply don’t know how to use it correctly. Check out these safety tips below.

Always point the blade away from your body.

And be sure no one else is around you when you make your cut. This is the first thing most people will teach you about boxcutters, and yet it’s something people still fail to heed. Cutting away from your body is much easier to do in the first place, but it also ensures that you don’t cut yourself (or any of your clothing, for that matter).

Make sure your other hand or other parts of your body aren’t in the path of the knife.

This is especially true for your fingers. It’s easy to get used to cutting shipping boxes and other cardboard with a boxcutter, but don’t ever slip up and hold a part of the box in the direct line of the cutter’s path.

Keep your eye on the blade as you’re cutting at all times.

Rather than watch where you’re going to be cutting, watch the blade itself as you move it along the box. This ensures you don’t accidentally misjudge where the knife’s blade is because you’re looking ahead. Avoid messing up your cut or, worse, cutting yourself and simply keep your gaze on the boxcutter’s blade.

Store boxcutters in a safe place when you’re not using them.

If the blade is retractable, which most are, make sure the blade is fully covered and locked if it has a locking option. You don’t want to reach in a drawer for something else and cut yourself because you left the blade exposed. It takes no time at all.

Don’t toss a boxcutter to another person.

Even if you think the blade is closed or fully retracted, you should safely hand boxcutters to other workers or people with the handle first.

Don’t try to catch a falling boxcutter.

Just move out of the way and let it fall to the ground if it falls when you’re using it. Whether or not you think the blade is retracted, it could come loose and cut you if you attempt to grab it. Most boxcutters are cheap enough that if they break, it’s not a big deal to get a new one.

3 Ways to Use Packaging Supplies Around the Holidays

It happens often—you stock up on office supplies, many of those including stuff you can use to ship items, and then the supplies sit there unused for years. You forget about them (much like other home essentials that have been untouched for ages) and they continue to sit there.

What gives? If you’re going to spend the money on supplies, you surely meant to use them at some point, right?

Well, we all have good intentions on most of our purchases. Shipping supplies are no different. Life just gets in the way. But luckily, there are ways to make use of those supplies you once intended to use, and you can have fun using them this holiday season, too. It may take a tad bit of work on your end, but it almost always guarantees to make someone else (and yourself!) happy around this time of year.

Send a small gift to an old friend.
When life gets in the way of your household and items you don’t use, it also tends to impede close friendships. People move away. You fall out of touch. What better way to rekindle a friendship than to randomly send a small bauble or a book as a gift to an old-time friend of yours? Pack it in a box, tape it up, wrap it, label it, and ship it out. They’ll be surprised and see that you cared enough to think of them.

Mail a family Christmas letter.
Whether you choose to send one of these to your elder family members that you can’t always visit, family friends, coworkers, or someone you know who’s away at college, family Christmas letters are nice little surprises for people that may not always be able to keep up with your life. These also show you care when you send them to someone close, and it’s a great way to show off the family and home!

Decorate your house.
Use your scissors, tape, twine, and packing paper this year to spice up your decorations, whether you’re wrapping “fake” gifts as decorations with packing paper or using twine as draping on your trees.

And for the decorations that don’t make it up this year, think about using some of your cardboard boxes and packaging tape to store what you don’t use. You can simply box up the clutter and store it in the attic, basement, or a closet (especially since it’s tough to throw certain things away).

There you have it. Three simple ways to repurpose the shipping supplies you once bought but never got around to using. Whether you’re making an old friend’s day, touching base with a distant family member, or decorating your home, you can be sure to get some use out of these common items that you’ve neglected for too long.


4 Essential Items for Shipping Packages

When you need to ship something off, whether it’s a returned item, a gift to a family member during the holidays, or something that is pressing and needs urgently sent, you want to have the bare essentials for getting your package there. While going to a delivery store solves a lot of those needs, they will always be more expensive to rely on for materials than having everything ready on your own.

Next time you’re at your local office supplies store, consider picking up these shipping supplies to ensure you’re ready for your next impromptu (or planned) item to be sent.

Packaging tape.

Also called packing tape or shipping tape, this is essential in making sure your box is properly sealed and won’t come open in transit. Packing tape is made to hold cardboard flaps tightly together, and it’s an all-purpose, easy-to-use item for other projects or things around the house when needed.

Packing paper and bubble wrap.

Having both may seem overkill, so having at least one of the two helps to keep your item secure and protected from the jostling around that happens when being shipped. Packing peanuts also fall into this category, but that seems like extra if you at least have packing paper to fill the empty spaces within your box.

Black marker.

Sharpies are great for labeling on cardboard. Not only does this handy marker serve as useful around the house very often, it’s perfect for writing addresses on cardboard if you don’t have prepared labels. The post office is especially fond of these packages, as slapping on postage is all that’s needed beyond your already-written address.

Shipping boxes.

Shipping boxes serve as the container itself. While you can have this done for you wherever you’ve having your package shipped, buying a few different sized boxes to have at your house is a good idea in case you need something in a hurry or you just want to save money. You’ll likely also have some of these sitting around from previous packages that have been sent to you, so using these is even cheaper (i.e., free!).

No matter how few packages you think you’ll send in the future, you’ll want each of these shipping supplies to at least be prepared for when the time comes. And as I’ve mentioned for almost every one of these things, they have household use outside of shipping packages, to boot. You just can’t go wrong with having these essentials at the ready.

4 Tips on Being Crafty with Your Kids

Let’s get this out of the way: I’m not a crafty person. In fact, I consider myself quite bland when it comes to my creative side. I like unique and creative ideas, but my skills in creativity with art and hands-on activities are very lacking.

But let’s be honest, getting crafty with the kids is something that is great for their own expression, their tactile development, and simply bonding with them. Even if you also consider yourself as uncreative as me, you can do these few things to bond with your children and have fun doing it, too.

Be cheap.

There’s no reason to spend a lot on art supplies or specific, high-dollar tools and paint when you can use a lot that you have around the house already. You’d be surprised at what all you can get out of your assortment of things at home, such as packaging supplies: scissors, packaging tape, cardboard boxes, and bubble wrap are all things that you could use to get crafty with your kids.

Limit the time.

I think we all seem to think that craft time requires a lot of time to think, do, refine, and clean up. You should really only spend time setting up, getting at it, and cleaning up. Art is messy and art is fun because it’s messy. Don’t overthink whatever it is you’re doing, as you may be less interested in doing it again for your children in the future. Spend no more than 30 minutes doing something with your kids.

Prepare a mess-free area.

You don’t want paint, glue, and paper scraps everywhere on your nice hardwood table, do you? Buying some sort of cheap plastic tablecover will protect your furniture (and even floor). This also saves you a lot of time during the cleanup process.

Have. Fun.

Don’t stress about the mess. Don’t worry so much about the time or thinking about the next project. The whole point should be to have fun with your kids and encourage them to have fun. Bonding and laughing and being creative together is very beneficial to your children. If they see that you’re not having a good time, they’ll be far less likely to enjoy it themselves.

No matter how much you lack creativity, it’s easy to set aside time to just do something new and hands-on with your kids. You’ll love it. They’ll love it.

See? Craft time with the kids isn’t as hard as you thought. Bust out the packaging supplies you cast aside long ago. Grab some cheap paint and plastic table covers. Get to crafting.

How to Maximize Your Storage During the Holidays

When I think of Christmas, I think of my mom pulling out the decorations from under the staircase just before Thanksgiving would come around. Her storage typically consisted of big, long cardboard boxes containing her 7-or-so synthetic Christmas trees. Of course, there were other containers and boxes of ornaments, decorations, and wreaths—but Christmas, to me, felt like a house with long brown boxes strewn about. I even recall it being hard to walk around the house simply because everything was so crowded and out in the walkways. Nothing embodied the Christmas spirit better than getting ready for the season with decorations and the house undergoing a lot of change.

As I got to thinking about other storage purposes in which cardboard boxes could be used, seasonal decorations came to mind. Here’s a list of things you could possibly use them for:

  • From fake pumpkins with cords to synthetic spider webs and sheets, Halloween usually inspires people to put up decorations that surround the house (inside or out). Lights, children’s costumes, and various other fall decorations can be stored away easily in boxes.
  • As already mentioned, almost everyone seems to have a fake tree in a big box, whether it’s the one that the tree came in or otherwise. Ornaments, wreaths, stringed lights, and other baubles need put away for that one month a year!
  • Now, while not a holiday that one typically thinks of for decorating, spring has many “things” that need stored away. Whether it’s baskets and multi-colored grass or egg-coloring kits, there’s enough that could be put away in a single box.
  • Fourth of July. Spare fireworks, an assortment of American flags, and other patriotic accessories can be put away until summertime. Whether you store them in your attic, the garage, the basement, or elsewhere, boxes—yet again—come in handy.
  • Back to school. We all know that the kids celebrate summer break and can put the backpacks, books, school supplies, and sports equipment away. But you don’t want all those things tossed around haphazardly. Having it in an easily accessible location allows you to keep everything organized and at the ready for when it all starts back up again.

So, if you’ve got a few spare boxes lying around the house, put them to use! Don’t even think about discarding them or burning them—you know there’s always a section of your house or season of the year that could use some organizing. Think seasonally! Any holiday can surely spark your imagination to consider putting things away neatly. What most people regard as fodder for fire or simply trash, you can use for tidiness.