Kitting Out Your Travel Bus

Have you ever seen those crazy colored, hippie looking travel vans and buses that seem like they came straight out of the 60s? Whenever I see them I just feel like I’m bound to end up with one at some point in the next 10 years. I’ll have the income to throw at it on the side. I have the resources at my parents’ house to get it done and my dad’s assistance on anything vehicular that I wouldn’t know much about.

It’s an exciting thought to consider, especially as my partner and I move more and more away from a lifestyle that is work based and one that’s more home based. And while I don’t know if it would be possible to get away from the way of life everyone else calls the only way and just live on the go, I do know that I could easily take multiple weeks off to make road trips, go to music festivals, and take it camping. It’s my absolute dream of a vehicle, to be honest, much in the same way that so many other people want super expensive Corvettes.

So what goes into this process?

Make your mark on it.

Definitely where all the wild graphics and colors come into play. If you can personalize your travel bus and make it reflect who you are as a person, you’re doing it right. Remember that you’re doing this for the travel, for the experiences, and for the love of culture and people. This should be a fun design that’s roughshod and creative. Gather whatever packaging supplies you need for the inside of the bus too and you’re good to go.

Comfy sleeping.

Anyone seriously trying to make one of these will make it comfortable for sleeping and relaxing. I suggest that you may as well spend the extra cash to make sure the bed and its support is great. Why be miserable when sleeping at night if you’re going to make this a travel bus? Don’t even think about using some packaging supplies (like cardboard) as slipping under a cushion for your sleeping bag on the floor. Get yourself a nice bed.

Build out a kitchen area.

This is especially important for traveling so that you can save money by cooking on the go instead of eating out all the time. If you’re going to be living out of your bus, you absolutely have to have something to cook with and running water for dishes, cooking, and cleaning your hands. Without these two things, you’ll be stopping so much more frequently than you need to at grocery stores, pit stops, gas stations, restaurants, and campgrounds for what you need.

Posted in Packaging Tricks | Comments Off on Kitting Out Your Travel Bus

Keeping Up with the Times

I’m sure that a lot of people find themselves lost in the sea of social media that has swarmed our lives in such a quick hurry. Considering just 10 years ago social media was nothing like it is today, that shows how much a “thing” can consume a culture or even the world. Social media has, in fact, taken over the world, and it’s the reason so many are confused, angry, annoyed, estranged, and worried about social media.

But on the other side of the coin, people love it. People wouldn’t change a single thing about social media and how it’s taken over our attention more than anything else the world has ever produced in the past handful of decades. Social media has changed our lives for the better, in the eyes of some, by being able to connect with long distance friends and stay in touch with family. It’s created job opportunities via LinkedIn, made people money by being Instagram influencers, and helped candidates win political campaigns on the likes of Facebook. But what may be “beneficial” to some can be seen as harmful or even toxic to others.

It all depends on how you look at all of this social interaction that takes place digitally. If you rewound 30 years, you’d recognize that most people kept their photos stored in cheap moving boxes in their closet or on a bookshelf to access when needed. There was no way to upload photos to your computer and save them to a cloud. It wasn’t possible to pull up any single picture you wanted right away all thanks to advanced storage systems and file organizing. You had to dig around to find what you were looking for, and sometimes photos would be faded or damaged entirely.

So whether you fall in the camp of going back to how things were with your cheap moving boxes full of photos or you simply prefer to keep up with the times and love your digital storage systems, the fact of the matter is that social media is here to stay, and what you choose to do with your time and those applications or websites is up to you.

My suggestion? Look for ways to use these things that can directly impact your life here and now, but don’t spend over an hour a day on the various apps when you could be using that time doing much more important things like hanging out with your friends and family in real time or reading a book that will stick with you a lot longer than a nightly social media feed would.

Posted in Packaging Tricks | Comments Off on Keeping Up with the Times

Cleaning Up Your Bad Habits

Without a doubt, I could use with a little revamp of my current lifestyle. I find far too many clothes lying around my bedroom, too many unopened packages of food buried at the back of my pantry, and a slew of “things” scattered about my living room. If you walked into my home right here and now, you’d find a modern pigsty. The worst part? I have a partner who contributes to the mess as well.

Perhaps it’s the fact that we’ve both allowed the place to get this bad. Or maybe it’s some sort of complacency that has allowed this to build up. No matter the root of this evil, we’re both at fault for letting it get out of hand. What’s most unfortunate, though, is the fact that we haven’t really attempted to chunk our way out of this hole. In fact, it’s become such a mess that it’s now a beast we don’t want to tackle. Our weekends are spent relaxing from the woes of the week, and so of course we don’t pool our energy towards cleaning up our home.

Perhaps we could benefit from an organization guide, like that Netflix show with the woman who shows you how to keep an organized life (Marie something?). Or maybe it’s just a matter of having the right organization “things”, like packaging supplies or storage totes to put away all of the clutter.

I feel like our productivity levels are at an all time low around the house simply because we see this mess that we’ve created and our will to clean it up constantly deflates because the mess grows. It’s like a siphoning effect where the monster in the house grows as it sucks the life force out of our desire to clean it up.

I’m sure that the fact I sit here and act like it’s some sort of monstrosity (i.e., personifying a mess I’ve created) doesn’t help in the slightest. And acting like the solution is an abundance of packaging supplies or storage gear will get the job done is no good either.

What this problem takes is genuine after-hours work and some motivation to have a cleaner, healthier lifestyle. If you can’t muster the energy to tackle those things, well, it’ll be a long time coming before you can get anything else important done in your life. Own up to your mess, take responsibility, and let the cleaning begin.

Posted in Packaging Tricks | Comments Off on Cleaning Up Your Bad Habits

Packing Up

Mr. Kane has been teaching at the same school for nineteen years. Not only has he taught at the same school, but he has taught in the exact same classroom. Being a 7th grade teacher he never had to put up many decorations-the kids never cared that much anyways. He had collected posters, an entire library of books, and a few other items tucked away in his closets for lessons he enjoyed teaching over the years. He honestly expected after nineteen years that he would retire in this room. When the school announced an extension he never expected to have to part ways with the only room he had ever known.

The thing is his room was going to be made into another set of bathrooms. The school had grown so much over the past five years that one set of bathrooms was servicing over 240 students and there definitely needed to be a change. Along with the new bathrooms another four classrooms were to be added. And the hallway connecting the building to the new expansion was going to go right through Mr. Kane’s original classroom.

He was going to have to pack up his whole classroom to move it to one of the four brand new rooms. On the last day of school he enlisted the help of his entire class to start packing his things into cheap moving boxes. He was, afterall, a teacher so he wasn’t about to spend a fortune on nice boxes. So his cheap moving boxes would have to do.

They loaded about fifteen boxes full and that was just the cabinets! Mr. Kane really thought he didn’t have that much stuff, but there’s always more than we originally think there is. He had crates for all of his books and those were carried seamlessly over to the new classroom. It was lucky the kids were there to help or it would’ve taken way longer.

Although he was sad to see his old classroom go, he knew this would be an upgrade. The school needed to grow and he was happy to give up his old room. Hey, they even decided they were going to put in a new staff bathroom. He wouldn’t have to walk to the other side of the school just to use the bathroom now. As he unloaded his last box into his classroom he smiled to himself knowing he could spend nineteen more happy years in this room.

Posted in Packaging and Shipping Supplies, Packaging Tape, Packaging Tricks | Comments Off on Packing Up

Is Christmas Still Around?

Although I’m sure a fairly big chunk of people have already done this by now, bear with me with what you’re about to read. I’m writing this mostly as a motivational post in order to get myself to do what I’m proposing, so just take this as a little venting post about my own tendencies rather than advice for what you should do.

So, are you ready to hear what I’m about to advise you to do? Here is is: It’s time to take your holiday decorations down. Yes, I know. That’s not a radical piece of advice or proposal in the slightest. Here we are almost a month after Christmas, and I’m saying it’s finally time to take the holiday decor down. But what gives?

Well, I’ll have you know that I really do still have a lot of Christmas decorations up, like a tree, garland and lights, and other small baubles. But I’m justifying this by reminding people that my partner and I didn’t get any holiday decorations up until December 10th this year. Considering that’s a mere 2 weeks to really get the most out of your decorations, it’s really not surprising that we’ve had it up this long after.

But I do realize how crazy it is to still have decorations up when Groundhog’s Day comes around, so I’m definitely going to be taking my stuff down this next weekend. And if you’re remotely like me, well, you probably should do the same.

So grab your packaging supplies and cardboard boxes and set aside 4 or 5 hours on your Saturday this next weekend. You won’t want to let your decorations truly make it to February, and next weekend is all you’ve got remaining to make sure they don’t make it that far. If you’re like me and have a lot of totes and cardboard as your go-to packaging supplies, it won’t take long to really take everything down.

This is especially true if you’ve got a buddy or two who will accept alcohol or lunch as payment for their help. And even better, you can catch up with some friends whom you haven’t talked with in awhile and invite them to stay the night. As much as people would likely say that they aren’t that age anymore, there’s nothing more fun than hanging out with old college friends long after college. Maybe it’s just the energy you all get when finally hanging out again or maybe it’s something else. Nonetheless, it’s fun!

Posted in Packaging Tricks | Comments Off on Is Christmas Still Around?

Change Is Coming

The time for immense change is upon me. 2020 marks a new year for most and a new decade for some who choose to think of it that way. For me and my partner, it’s a little bit of both while also being one of the biggest years of our lives. Normally, I don’t buy into the whole “This year was the greatest of my life!” or “Last year was the most I’ve ever learned.” But with 2020, well, it will literally be one of the years with the most change in my life.

First off, we’re getting married in October, so that alone makes this year worthy of being one of the biggest, most momentous years for me. Most would say a wedding marked the biggest time of their lives, and while it’ll be a memorable occasion, we like to look at weddings as a little party for a couple celebrating life rather than some “huge day with a huge amount of change.”

In addition, we think that buying a home fits perfectly with getting married and inspiring new change in our lives. So we’ll be enlisting the help of our families to help with the home buying process and the steps of moving into a new home. I foresee a lot of cheap moving boxes in our near future, and with those come a lot of sweat and blood. But in order to look out for our own equity, a little sweat equity is needed.

If those two things right there don’t mark a single year as one of the most change-inducing years for someone, I don’t know what else would. Considering we’ll be switching jobs in one month, buying a home a few months later, and then getting married not long after that, a lot is going to be different for us. And they’re the sorts of changes we need in our lives. With increased square footage, we can feel free to do more projects around the place, do a lot more cooking in a bigger kitchen, and even renovate a room to make as an audio room. (And that may involve bringing some cheap moving boxes full of vinyl records along with us to supply for that very room.)

I think 2020 will be one hell of a year for us, and though change can be a cause of anxiety, we’re in it together, meaning it’ll only strengthen our relationship and our lives for the better once it’s all over.

Posted in Packaging Tricks | Comments Off on Change Is Coming

Moving Into a House

With a new decade comes lots of change. And though I’ve long been a naysayer concerning new year’s resolutions, I know that this year more than any other makes sense to have resolutions. And that’s because it’s the turn of the decade.

You see, from one year to the next, people seem to make the same resolutions for themselves and constantly fail to uphold what they’ve promised themselves they would do. I think this happens because a year is just not enough time to really buckle down and do some pretty major changes. Yes, it’s possible to complete most things in a year’s time. The problem is, to do this you would either need to focus all your time and effort on that thing or you’d need to be superhuman. Considering most people have a full time job and social life outside of that, the big resolutions we set for ourselves can be too lofty to complete.

But now that a new decade is here, things look a little different. And I’ve been encouraging people to tackle their own new decade’s resolutions instead of new year’s resolutions.

For me, this entails finally seeking out a home to buy with my partner. I think it’s the point in our lives where it makes sense to buy a home and help build our equity. Just as well, we’re both becoming more established in our fields, and so our financial situation allows for such a big change.

But it’s not something I’m trying to cram into a single year. Consider we’re also getting married this year, the year itself is already full of new changes. Who wants to be messing with packaging supplies and moving boxes in the middle of the year when a wedding still needs planned?

So that’s why I’ve set out a few goals to accomplish this year that helps me reach my loftier goals that exist for the decade. Yes, we’ll eventually have to tackle the project of finding a new home and moving, and yes, that involves so much packaging supplies. But if we can break down our goals into more achievable tasks that aren’t jam packed into a 12 month period, well, I think we have a much better shot at accomplishing those goals or “resolutions” in due time.

Ultimately, it’s about looking multiple years down the road and not focusing on the here and now. With this sort of perspective, anything is possible.

Posted in Packaging Tricks | Comments Off on Moving Into a House

Embrace Your Inner Child

Sometimes I get to thinking about how grown ups (adults, in adult terms haha) don’t do enough things that children would do. This is an easy way to keep their lives interesting, always on the move, and unique enough to be interested in something new, but everyone says they don’t have enough time to do the little fun things that instill happiness. It’s quite easy to fall into a boring, monotonous lifestyle that consists of work, cooking dinner, cleaning up the place, putting the TV on for an hour or two, and falling asleep to get ready to do it all over again. For me? That’s not a life I want to lead if I’m seeking happiness and fun.

Kids seem to have an extremely fresh perspective on the ways of the world, and that’s because they haven’t lived long enough to let their mind’s filter get in the way of fun. I envy them for that reason alone and wish I could go back to a time when everything was new and weird and interesting. It’s that thought alone that makes me realize that I truly do want to be a kid at heart for the rest of my life. Some people throw that phrase around like it’s a bad thing, but to me, it’s one of the best things you can be described as.

I understand that there are a lot of responsibilities I need to consider as an adult, but why would I want to be the same boring adult that everyone else out there seems to be? Especially when I could still have fun with my own interests and hobbies while also trying out new things with my friends and my partner. Something I’ve come to realize is that crafts are a super simple answer to that problem. I’ve always thought that I was pretty uncreative and bad at art, so it was a bit daunting at first to even consider crafts.

But my suggestion? Grab a few cheap moving boxes and break them down into flat pieces for painting. As a medium, cardboard is a very industrial variant that can be rough, everyday, or quite clean. The good thing is, you’re not spending anything out of pocket for those cheap moving boxes. The better thing is that you can scrap the piece once you’re done if you’re not satisfied or just don’t have the room for it.

Posted in Packaging Tricks | Comments Off on Embrace Your Inner Child

Gift Giving and Its Implications

Holiday gift giving is a tradition that always piques my interest, if only for the fact that people in America have grown so accustomed to the idea that they feel obligated to be a part of it all. The fact of the matter is that no one has to do it. It’s just what families and even friends have come to expect from one another, and so everyone continues to give gifts as if they each owe each other something.

Of course, gift giving can be a negative thing if one party has a lower socioeconomic status, because then the gifts exchanged between two parties aren’t “equal” in terms of value. This can cause resentment from either party, or it can cause people to fall out. Obviously I’ve never met someone who has fallen out of good faith with their family all over mere presents, but I definitely have heard stories of certain families becoming angry with one another around the holidays for very similar reasons.

If anything, I think the presentation of it all can make up for the price differences between gifts, and that’s something that packaging supplies companies benefit from largely around this time of year. When you think of some of the coolest gifts, the first thing you probably think of is uniqueness and application to you and your own interests. There’s no substituting for something that just speaks to you when you open it. THAT is the greatest feeling about loving something someone got for you.

But when you think about some of your other favorites, I guarantee you that the presentation and packaging played a big part to you without ever probably realizing it. Whether it was the twine or bows on the gift wrapping, the pattern or design of the wrapping paper, or just the color scheme that your gifter came up with, these things can really be memorable and stand out. Who would’ve thought packaging supplies would influence your perspective on a gift so much?

I think that, ultimately, we all need to temper our expectations around the holidays when it comes to gifts. For me, I ask for less and less each year and also give less and less. Sometimes people find this weird, but I think that my presence at holiday functions and the ideas I share with people close to me are what matter most. Sure, I could buy you a $20 trinket that I’m not sure you’ll ever use, but what’s the originality and genuine interaction in that?

Posted in Packaging and Shipping Supplies, Packaging Tape, Packaging Tricks | Comments Off on Gift Giving and Its Implications

A Simple Gift for Those You’re Not as Close To

It always surprises me how quickly Christmas comes around from one year to the next. One moment you’re out celebrating the 4th of July with family and friends on a lake, barbecuing it up and soaking in the sun, and the next moment winter is upon you, you’re wearing multiple layers just to stay warm, and your holiday shopping has snuck up on you.

Obviously this is a good problem to have considering the winter holidays bring lots of food, time off, drinking and cards with the family, and gift giving galore. But still, it just baffles me how quickly a year can go by when you’re living every day to its fullest. More often than not, the more fun you’re having in your day to day life, the quicker a year goes by. It’s a weird correlation, but it’s the same as it always has been: if you’re waiting around for hours for something to happen, time goes so slow. But if you’re occupied and having fun, that event will arrive in no time.

So, I’ve been trying to think of a catch all gift that I can give to my friends, family members, and coworkers that wouldn’t be the primary gift for each of them but rather something small to get the holidays kicked off. And after thinking up a ton of different cheap items, I settled on one that is likely super easy to pull off while not breaking the bank in the slightest: candy boxes.

Don’t get me wrong, I know candy boxes don’t suffice as their own gift. But for something that can accompany other gifts, they’re really not a bad idea at all. From trying out new flavors of chocolate to being able to share multiple candies with the rest of your family, boxes of candy are great for thoughtful holiday gifts.

The other thing to consider is that you can gift these to family members or coworkers whom you’re not that close to and it’ll pass off as a “thinking of you!” gift without making anyone upset they didn’t get anything at all. I know politics within the workplace or family can cause you to grow distant to a handful of people, so getting them something small but traditional is never a bad idea. All it takes is going out to get the goods and making the presentation somewhat nice and you’re golden with those people.

Posted in Packaging Tricks | Comments Off on A Simple Gift for Those You’re Not as Close To