Moving for the first time

If you find yourself leaving your place of residence for the first time then you are in for a surprise.  Lots of things you have probably never thought of will soon become very important.  What sort of things am I talking about? Well things like, costs for insurance on the rental truck.  Extra tape you may need for the boxes that started to bend and break.  You may also need to go out and purchase cardboard boxes in order to pack your things up.  These little things all take time and also money. 

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I have moved at least 10 times in my life for all types of various reasons and I have moved during different aspects of my life as well.  The differences between moving young, at college, moving into a home and moving from one home to another all have different aspects to them.  It also means you may be adding different types of things to the list of moving.  So let’s go over just a few tips on moving out for the first time.

First things first, congratulations on moving to a new location.  Even if you are moving for a sad reason, take this time to realize that a new start is about to occur.  It can be negative if you let it, but it can be very positive because you get to start someplace new and start over in a way.  Now that is just exciting.

The next thing to do is think about moving all your things and finding out how much you have.  This is pretty easy and I like to get a few cheap moving boxes and compare the sizes and think about how many I would need to get my things from one place to another.  This is called planning, and it also help you know how many cheap moving boxes you may need to actually move or purchase.  I like to ask people for old boxes or even companies for boxes so I don’t have to pay for them, but there is a benefit to getting brand new corrugated boxes. 

This is that they are usually stronger and less likely to bend or tear.  I have hurt my back before due to a box bending and the weight shifting while I was carrying it.  This caused a muscle in my back to pull and that was certainly not fun.  New boxes eliminate this issue usually and can be worth the cost of purchasing if that is what may happen. So happy moving!

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Selling on Ebay

Have you ever decided to branch out and put your products out to the world to buy?  There are lots of different platforms of selling and one of the most common is ebay.  This is a big company that ends up taking 10 percent and then paypal takes 3 to 5 percent of each purchase you sell.  But it is a great way for lots of people to see your product so you are essentially paying for the audience they have created. 

The best part of this program and company is that it is rather easy to use and you are able to sell and make some money on products that you may not use anymore or if you want to start a business.  There are thousands of businesses on Ebay and I have found that this is a great way to see how much an item is worth as well.  This platform shows what people are willing to pay for a specific type of item. So I will walk through the process of how to sell on this platform.

First you need to know what product you are going to sell.  This is important because if you don’t know what you are going to sell you really can’t sell it.  You are required to know the title and have item specifics on that product so it is important to do your research as well.  Know what you are going to sell and be able to type out and explain what it is and the condition it is in. 

The ebay app will walk you through the type of product it is so it can place it in a easy search section for people to find.  Then you will type in specifics and be able to take photos of the product.  So for this I like using my phone and app so that I am able to take a picture and upload it right then and there. Once it is listed then you are almost there. 

You can choose to buy now or set up an auction for your product and then you wait for someone to buy.  Once they buy you must then ship you item.  It is important to have the packaging supplies on hand before you sell the product.  Speed is important for getting good reviews so get your packaging supplies ready to ship the product right away once it sells. I like to actually pre-pack the items before they sell. Then ship it out and you are done! Congrats and enjoy the extra money in your pocketbook. 

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Thinking outside the construction box

This week I had the hard task of improving the value of my home.  This was not really a task that was done in a week all in all it was a month long process of hard work and improvement.

So how did I improve the value of my home, by building a fence around the back yard.  Looking around at comparables in my neighborhood it was an absolute must in order to make sure our home value was up to par.  So my wife decided it was time to create this beautiful masterpiece and do it all ourselves. 

To start with we had to find the fence.  We had decided on working with a rod iron fence to keep the class high and make sure the value was also high as well.  What we found was this was indeed one of the most expensive types of fences and it made the search process hard to find an affordable section.  So my wife found a deal on facebook marketplace and we loaded up a truck and lined it with cheap moving boxes and headed off to pick it up.  I am really glad we went with the cheap moving boxes as a liner because we would have scratched the truck very badly.  Once we got it loaded up we headed home.

Upon getting home we found that some parts were missing from the used fence.  This was a bit annoying because we had to find a maker for the fence parts and that did take some time.  The benefit of having the fence put together already was that it was drilled and tapped for all the attachments and the concrete lines were still visible so we knew how far to put the holes down to make the fence sit perfectly above the ground. So not only did we save money, but we saved lots of time by having a good amount of the measuring work done for us.

Then we had to map out our yard section by section in order to drill the holes in the ground for the fence posts. This was a long process which was very hard.  Once we finished we rented an auger from our local hardware store and dug the holes.  This was the hardest part, but once done we were able to set a time to actually install the fence.  It took 15 solid man hours between my wife and I to install the fence sections alone.  This was tough but worth it in the end. We saved 2 thousand dollars on a diy and added 4 thousand in value to our house for the cost of 1 thousand.  Definitely a good pay off!

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Christmas Wrapping to the Extreme.

One of my favorite times of the year is the Christmas Season.  This is mainly because of all the time I get to spend with my family.  It is not just my immediate family either, but my wife’s family as well.  I find that I get to spend a whole week visiting and talking with all sides of my family each year and I absolutely love it.  Seeing all the kids from my family is a wonderful thing and watching them grow and hearing all the things they are doing is just fun! But probably the best thing about it is the gift giving.  My side of the family has a fun tradition between the guys in the family. We love to make wrapping and unwrapping gift extreme.  How do we do this?  We use packaging supplies!

My favorite tool to use is the glorious use of packaging supplies and especially tape.  Duct tape in particular is my favorite due to its ease of use and ability to be used as a wrapping paper. It makes gifts really hard to get into and now duct tape comes in lots of different colors so its more holiday friendly. Back in the day we used to simply use the grey tape and it made the Christmas tree seem very industrial.  This was a thing back in the day my mother was not a big fan of.  So we originally had to wrap the gift in duct tape and then wrap them in paper after we were finished. Now I always thought it was a waste to do this and in reality since we didn’t recycle it was a great waste and I am very happy that we no longer double wrap gifts because we don’t have too.

Now Duct tape is available in a multitude of different patterns.  I love the camo patterns personally but my family does enjoy the christmas wrapping look that duct tape also comes in.  So the candy cane stripes are one type of tape I now pick up.  There is also packing tape which is a favorite of my brothers. I will admit it is much more effective at making it hard to get into packages but it is also more time consuming and harder to wrap gifts. So if I am in a hurry duct tape always wins, but if I have the time to add a layer of packing tape it does make it harder to get into a gift.

Usually with packing tape a knife is needed in order to get into a packing tape package.  Great times are always had!

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Making a Warehouse

One task I found that really taught me many lessons was the process of actually creating a warehouse.  This was not simply making the building but taking a completely full area and turning it into a useable, working, productive business section.  This was a very complicated and yet overly simple process that took time.  This was originally at a company that sold old surplus gear and had stored 5 decades of old military gear in piles and massive cheap moving boxes. 

When I first was tasked with taking a several thousand square foot room stacked to the ceiling with gear and making it a usable warehouse I had my doubts it could be done well.  The process took a long time because hidden in every pile was simply money.  All the gear could technically be sold and a profit made on all of it.  Literally everything in the room was money that was sitting there.  The first step was to actually plan out the idea of an end game.  We wanted to create a working moveable shipping area and have a storage area for not only all the old inventory but also the new inventory the store purchased on a daily basis.  

This meant first sorting the thousands upon thousands of items in the warehouse.  This was a task I put multiple hourly workers on every single day.  We created systems for going through each pile and sorting the gear.  Each time we had enough gear to fill a box of the same items we would label and store that box in a corner.  The process took about a year to sort through all the gear.  We used cheap moving boxes to stack all the gear up and ended up throwing out hundreds of square feet of gear that simply could not be sold.  Some things are too far deteriorated or not safe to sell and thus they were dumped.  Each week we filled a dumpster full of gear for a year and then stored whatever was left.  In the end we cleared enough space to begin construction.

The next phase was to create storage for each of the items we needed so we hand built shelves that reached the top of the ceiling and stored the average size boxes we were using. After each shelf was built we would then move the boxes from one corner onto it and then build the next shelf where the old boxes were.  THis process continued until the end when it was turned into a beautiful working warehouse.

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How much tape do you need?

This question is something that always pesters me.  I am a regular guy who lives in a house and always find that I am needing lots of different tapes to get through my daily life.  This is a bit strange but when I started to lay out the different tapes I use throughout the year I was amazed at the quantity and frequency we used them all. So if you just got a new home or are starting out I want to lay out some packaging supplies that are worth stocking up on so you don’t get stuck without the right sticky item!

The first tape that surprised me was actually a type of plumbing tape.  If you have a house at some point a pipe is going to start leaking.  This could be as simple as the weather changing and condensation causing a separation in the pipe.  The way to combat this is to pick up some teflon tape.  It simply wraps around the threads of all pipes and allows for a firm seal.  If you also have a hose outside the house it is a great way to keep it from spraying water all over!  So add this tape to your list of things to have on hand for those emergency leaks that can be fixed in a matter of minutes!

The next and most often used tape was actually packing tape.  This is the item that we found we purchased the most often and used for the most strange things.  We used it for boxes, and shipping and as a safety way to cover items that may be market on.  So having a lot of this item around is a really smart idea because you never know when you are going to use it for interior things in the house.

The best exterior item we found was the old classic duct tape. The usefulness of this goes beyond legend.  It was created for World War II military use and has become known as a fix all for lots of items.  Just last week I taped a paint brush to a pole and helped get the high spots in my house on the outside.  The tape held like I had nailed the brush to the pole. So if you are going to pick up a lot of tapes, find a good Packaging Supplies store and get it all in bulk to save money. Keep these tapes on hand and save yourself lots of issues in the future!

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Best Targets Possible

Many people know I am an avid hunter and shooting enthusiast.  Yes I love guns and believe every law abiding citizen should have one.  Before you get too far down the wrong path of understanding. I am a Doctor and specialize in law.  Thus I am not an incompetent redneck instead I am more educated and udnerstand more of our consitutinoal rights and criminal law than the most people on earth.  With all of this knowledge I still love shooting.  It is simply fun and can save your life.  But through all my experience with firearms I have also gained lots of experience with targets. I want to go over some of the best and most affordable targets to use while at the range or at your own property.

First I am a big safety nut.  Firearms are first and foremost a tool meant to kill.  That is their purpose and it is our right to be able to protect ourselves with every tool the government can own and use against us.  It is the law and should always be so.  Now knowing that every gun is a weapon first, safety must come first.  Every gun should only be pointed and discharged at something you plan on killing or a proper target meant to stop the round from causing any harm. So when it comes to targets I think placement is most important.  Every target rather it is made from cheap moving boxes or steel needs to be set in a safe direction where the bullet has zero change of going in an unsafe direction. 

So for myself on private property this means creating a rage that has a backstop and side walls around it.  Being safe is more important than anything while practicing on my property. So the backstop is created by woods behind for yards upon yards and a dirt mound that initially stops all bullets.  This creates a wall so that no round can escape. 

Now for targets I love using cheap moving boxes that people throw out or donate.  It is an easy way to set up a backdrop for paper or sticky targets.  This is for me free and recyclable as well.  So when I am done shopping my paper target on my cardboard box I can simply recycle them when I am done.  To me I know most people wont recycle so I am doing the world a favor when I go shooting.  So be safe. Protect your family and your rights. And have fun shooting.

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Organizing the Garage.

Moving into my first actual house that I own has been an amazing experience.  I purchased a home that was in need of remodeling and was actually the worst house on the block.  This allowed me to get into the nicest part of town for a very low price.  Doing this was a great benefit financially due to the increase in value that the home is now worth, but I have also been needing more and more space to work due to the state of the home.  I have realized that the garage is one of the most important areas because I need it to build and repair items when it gets cold.  This means for half of the year I actually need to build in the garage.  So I am planning on organizing it to the best of my abilities.

The first and most important thing to do is simply to move everything out of it.  I know that sound like a terrible and long winded plan, but it is indeed the only way.  The best way to reorganize is to start from scratch.  It is also the only way to make additions.  So move your cars out of the drive way and start working.  Pull everything from bikes, tool, and brooms out of the garage and onto the driveway. Now that you have it all out, then you know all that you want to keep.  Yes, this is the best time to get rid of unwanted items. There really is no point in keeping things that will simply take up space.

This is also the best time to pull out some packaging supplies and pack up the items you use infrequently.  So take the items and put them in boxes that can either be stored on shelving or put in the attic.  I do suggest putting items in the attic of a shed if you have one.  It is so much nicer to have space to work than the convenience of getting one item once a year.

Now I suggest making any changes to the garage you would like.  The most common change is to add or move shelving for storage.  By being able to store items vertically you can save lots of space .  Using the vertical space is generally the wisest move.  If you are afraid of things falling, then grab your packaging supplies again and box up the items on top shelves.  This keeps things safe and less of a chance for problems to occur.

Now that the garage is your open space, put the items back in an organized fashion.  Be wise, take your time, and give yourself the room to work on cold days. 

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History of Cardboard

This year has brought on many thoughts that would not normally be brought to mind.  The Covid 19 pandemic has changed our entier way of life in the United States and most likely the world as a whole.  Our economies have in many inteses been shut down temporarily.  Way of providing certain products have actually been changed entirely.  The ability to go to a store and pick up items has been limited and people are now purchasing more and more online.  This has brought the use of cardboard to an all time high. I myself have a garage full of cheap moving boxes now due to all the excess items I have ordered.  They have all arrived in oversized cardboard boxes. So I had wondered where these lovely cheep moving boxes originated from.  When was cardboard created and where was is created. 

After a quick search I have discovered that cardboard began its life in China.  It began as taking thick amounts of paper and smashing it together to create packaging material.  This was not just a hundred years ago but back in the 17th century. It has a long lasting history which dates back longer than I believed it would.  Now it is known as the most frequently used packaging material in the world and has been of rover a century. It has been used for most retail and wholesale items which all usually have a component of cardboard in them.  It is amazing to note that it took Europe 200 years to start using it after it was created in China.  This is most likely due to the lack of simple transportation back in those days. 

Now cardboard was not actually called cardboard until recently.  It’s first actual mention in history by that title is in 1848.  The novel, “ The Tenant of Wildfell Hall written by Anne Bronte was the first ever to write about it.  Her book is now a part of history for being the first to ever mention the name cardboard.  It was not till the 19th century that cardboard became a world wide phenomenon. 

It was discovered that it could be easily molded into specific shapes and that it had the capability to hold a lot of weight for its own mass.  Hence it became more economical to make packaging supplies out of cardboard due to its qualities.  Now it is commercially one of the most important products used and will most likely be for the foreseeable future.

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The cost of supplies for a second job

Last year was a learning experience in joining the business market.  I chose to take on a second job to help boost the income for my family.  In doing so I learned a plethora of things about business and how to spend more money than I needed.  One major area I neglected was the cost of packaging supplies.  I had decided to sell all my products based on cost of the product, shipping costs and labor and I neglected to add in the cost of the packaging supplies that it took to ship them out.

So knowing all aspects of a business is key to being able to learn and grow in the business world.  This means learning different areas that even I didn’t enjoy and or want to learn.  Running a business as a soul proprietor meant that I was in this case all alone. I didn’t higher any other employee, thus I was forced to take on all of the tasks myself.   This means I took on the task of procuring my products and also selling them as well. The sales cycle was much more complicated then I ever would have imagined. I understand now why many companies create sales divisions to funnel customers and clients into the proper place.  I did not understand the man power and time it would take to go through the sales process and also confused sales and marketing.

Marketing is the process of getting clients to find and want to purchase from my company.  What I did not know was there was an entire sales process after and moving clients from marketing to sales was a task that took me a long time to understand and be successful at. There was also a much added cost in the process of purchasing the software to make the transition of marketing to sales.  I had to learn different software and implement it successfully and in all honesty I probably lost 50 percent of my actual sales to failed software implementation.

The biggest cost was failing to see the need for extra time in actually putting the products together to ship.  I should have simply hired a hourly worker a few days a week to put things together and get everything ready.  Instead I took all my time to package them myself and it took away from me doing marketing and sales.  It was a tricky time and in the many lessons were learned.

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