Monthly Archives: October 2019

Essential Supplies for Decorating Your Home

When it comes to decorating your house for the fall and winter holidays, there are a lot of different accepted tricks of the trade that you’re likely quite familiar with. Most people don’t just decide to decorate their entire house out of the blue if they haven’t done it before. Rather, they’ve been doing it for years and have learned the do’s and don’ts of decorating for the holidays.

Today, we wanted to remind you of some lesser used items that can make all the difference in your festive endeavors to end the year right. A few are basic shipping supplies, items that almost everyone has lying around in their drawers. Others are simply materials that get overlooked in favor of other more expensive options.

Nonetheless, if you’re looking to try something new, save time and money while decorating, and have it all come out looking exactly as you envisioned, you’re in the right place. Read on!

Zip ties.

Honestly, this is my number one item year in and year out, no matter if it’s for Halloween, Christmas, Easter, or just summer seasonal decor. Zip ties get the job done without fail, and they’re incredibly easy to use and to remove, and they’re very affordable and abundant, at that.

Don’t forget to buy a pack of these whenever you’re low. Zip ties serve many more uses outside of putting up wreaths or garland or other materials. There’s a reason they’re everywhere.

Box cutter.

I’m not sure about you, but I like to use cardboard and other shipping supplies when I’m decorating my home for the holidays. First off, a boxcutter can get cardboard panels much more specified than ripping it, something you don’t ever want to do if you’re looking for uniformity. Just make sure to hold the box cutter away from your body and cut away as well. There are some safety mechanisms in most box cutters, but you don’t want to risk something if you don’t have to, right?

Command hooks.

Ahhh, the ease of use with command hooks is so welcomed. There’s no more guessing and stressing about how you’re going to get something to hang from your concrete wall. Instead, just slap on a few command hooks and hang whatever it is you’ve been trying to put up. (Make sure to check what hooks can hold how much weight.) You’ll be surprised at how handy these are, and there’s a lot to be said about their adhesive being quite strong.

It’s All Around

On a day to day basis, we all seem to ignore or gloss over commonplace things and items and concepts without truly recognizing their importance. It’s as if we have a filter over our brains that shuts us off to the items we know well enough, so that we’re always only looking for something new or interesting.

The first thing that comes to mind for this? Technology. It’s truly astounding how much of it is around us without actually being visible. Smart phones practically line every single pocket around the world, computers are in every building, and speakers and monitors riddle every room. This list doesn’t even include the numerous and random pieces of tech around kitchens, offices, and so forth.

But something that really sticks out to me on the daily is shipping boxes. For something so simple, cheap, and easily destructible, cardboard is quite honestly everywhere. I see it at work. I see it in my home. I see it in restaurants, outside along roads, and in stores wherever I shop.

One of the places I recently saw it was at a concert. The venue was quite small but the headlining band was actually a rather popular group. I was quite surprised that the venue was the size it was for the name of the band performing, but that wasn’t something I’d ever be upset about. The show lasted around 3 hours considering there was an opening act, too.

But the cardboard I saw around the place was just interesting to me. I saw a few boxes sitting up on the stage behind the bands’ gear, first off. This was something I don’t usually see at concerts, but it was interesting nonetheless.

Also, one place I saw other shipping boxes that wasn’t surprising was at the merch table. There were at least 20 different boxes containing shirts, stickers, albums, hats, and an assortment of other gear.

It’s just funny to me how often these sorts of things show up in your everyday life, yet half of the time or more you don’t actually pay attention to those everyday items. It’s not necessarily to say that you need to consider all sorts of commonplace things on the daily, but from time to time, it’s worth stopping and taking the time to appreciate the things that go unnoticed yet are used more than so many other things. Another one is plastic. Whether it’s containers, bottles, pens and other office supplies, or random things around your work office or home, plastic is absolutely everywhere.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Oftentimes, it’s nice to have heavier furniture or appliances simply so they don’t move around when they’re nudged, sat in, opened, and so forth. It can be bothersome to constantly fix where they’re sitting on your floor, and even then, you may worry about the safety of your hardwood flooring or nice tile. But you may come to dread such weight in appliances and furniture simply since moving it whenever you move in or out of somewhere can take forever while also put significant physical strain on you.

But typically you’ll almost always need someone else to come help you move something for your own safety. Our few solutions? They’re no different: be sure to have someone helping you, even if these methods only require one person to do the moving itself. Getting items underneath big items still requires someone else to tip a piece of furniture or an appliance on its side so that you can slide a shim or whatever beneath the object.

Check out these easy and cheap ways of moving your furniture when its just too heavy.

Lifting straps.

Furniture lifting straps are relatively uncommon, yet they’re some of the most genius things to assist lifting heavy items. Some straps hold onto your forearms inorder to quickly and easily get started on moving items, whereas others have a harness that goes around your midsection for even heavier items. We suggest that you start thinking about investing in these if you’re young enough to need them for the rest of your life or old enough to need them for the safety of your back.

Using basic packaging supplies.

Honestly, this is a pretty much free investment in moving heavy things. Excess cardboard boxes can be broken down into little buffer pads that allow you to drag heavy things across carpet, hardwood floor, and linoleum easily enough to not have to really lift the object off the ground. When the cardboard is flat and on the ground, it’s not hard to move things around by sliding them, and you don’t have to worry about the furniture damaging your floor.

And this is the reason why this method really shines. Protecting your floor means you won’t have to worry about the feet of the furniture or appliance dragging against whatever flooring you have down since the cardboard will be between the two. And a bonus? Such packaging supplies are absolutely cheap (or almost free) considering everyone has some laying around.

Moving blankets.

These are best for protecting furniture during the shifting caused by moving vehicles, but they can also double as a dragging blanket. Much like the use of cardboard, putting a furniture blanket beneath heavier items makes it easy to drag your furniture along flooring without damaging the flooring or the item. This method makes it much easier to actually drag heavy items in comparison to small shims that could accentally be thrown away.

Making Do with What You Have

I never would’ve understood how useful some old shipping boxes really were until taking in a rescue cat. Let me just put it this way: those boxes are coming in clutch right now while we figure out what supplies the cat needs from an actual pet store.

It’s funny how you learn to be resourceful when you’re forced to be resourceful. When my fiancee came home with a kitten this weekend, we didn’t have much outside of a litter box and some cat food in a dispenser. Luckily, placing an old blanket in a small cardboard box creates a perfect little area for a small animal to sleep, and she’s been making great use of it as a little “safe area” ever since we brought her home.

Of course, we’re only 24 hours into the adoption, but we hope that in time, she grows more confident in walking around, checking things out, interacting with us, and approaching the dog. (Though to be honest, I think we’re more worried about how the dog handles interactions with the cat rather than the reverse!)

Nonetheless, making do with what we have at the moment has been going quite smoothly. I know we’ll be making a trip to the pet store this week for a proper scratch tower, a few toys, and perhaps even some wet food to help her gain weight. It’s just that a last minute decision to bring a cat home on the weekend can put you in a small “do what you can with what you’ve got!” situation.

We’re quite fortunate to have a big basement with plenty of places for her to get comfortable, explore, and hide in. And it’s perfect for separating her from the dog during the day when we’re at work. Luckily, the dog never used to go down there in the first place, so she can claim it as her own.

I think while we make do with what we have, we may even use a few more shipping boxes as multiple little places for her to play in, almost as if it were multiple different rooms to lay in and hide in. At least, from what I know with cats and cardboard boxes, they quite enjoy squeezing through them, hiding, and jumping in an out.

As with anything in life that catches you off guard, you’ve got to learn to roll with the situation, handle as best you can with what you’ve got, and prepare better the next time. Thankfully, the cat is very easy going and we’ll have everything she needs in no time.