Shopping for Boxes Correctly

The thought of shopping for things like boxes was not on my mind when I took my current position at my job.  The reality is that our company has made a whole lot of changes and our entire marketing section just was told to do everything in the house.  That means that we are working projects that we never have and are learning just like major marketing companies how to purchase items from the best location in order to keep costs low and our business sales high. 

The thing we ended up doing was learning how to purchase items for corporate gifting first.  We knew we needed our products to be of high quality and they had to look fancy.  This is a complicated task when it comes to making regular cardboard look good.  I think that our process for finding those products was good and want to share it with you to save you time in the future.

The first thing we had to do was find out what type of products we needed.  We looked at what we had purchased last quarter from marketing companies and had sent out.  It was our first goal to deconstruct those items and then find out what we would need to look for when shopping.  So we learned that we needed a specific type of box, filling, and tape.  Those were the three main items to send these gifts which we would order separately depending on the company we were gifting to.  Now that we knew what we needed the plan was to find the best price, shipping, and availability.  That was a certainly complicated task but worth the time invested due to the cost savings we could get each quarter.  The goal was to save money so we knew we needed to get all of these shipping supplies cheap and fast.

The first thing we did was what we all do and check Amazon.  The idea was to find something that we could ship within two days and get in high quantity for a good price.  This was indeed what we found, but the shipping for large quantities actually was about a week because it was not on prime for most of the products we needed.  The other thing was that the custom great looking boxes were really not available.  This was a viable option and I kept all of the prices in the cart because I like to be precise.  I then decided I wanted to see what would happen if I went local and found a place that we could get any products we wanted by simply driving 10 minutes to.  This meant a local big box shipping supplies store was on the list.

We went right along to our local store and started looking around.  The convenience was great because if we had an issue we could get any box, tape, or filing right away by driving down the road.  But the options were varied limited in-store and the idea of custom was none existent.  The prices were also much higher than Amazon and that was a sad thing.  The convenience was great but probably not worth the lack of choice and the fact that the stock was not in great quantity. So the obvious choice was to buy online.  That is simply what we did and we saved a bunch.

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Household Supplies and tape to have on hand

This year my wife and I made a big change in our lives.  We decided to finally buy a house and it was a wild adventure.  Normally, we have enjoyed not having to do work on the location that we lived and it allowed us free time to have more fun.  But it is nice spending money on an investment and not free time.  Now we have moved into our new home and found that there are so many things needed to keep the house looking good.  There is always a new tape or some kind of packaging supplies item that we end up using. It really is wild to think of tall the small things that we didn’t need before but now that we keep fixing things in the home we need them. 

I have ended up simply opening up an account with a packaging supplies store because we go through so many products. I found that the cost of simply opening an account and order in bulk was better than making so many trips to home depot and spending more in the short run.  So this was a good decision for us and has been rather useful.  There are so many uses for these small things and even tape has been a big help. 

Duct tape and packing tape are used constantly.  Let us not forget painters tape even though it is terrible for painting.  The paint soaks right through it but we found that since it does not leave residue on items and comes off quickly it is amazing for marking things.  Just the other day we used it to measure and hang multiple pictures and shelves.  This is a really cool trick we learned on youtube.  First, you take a strip of tape and then put it on the back of your picture or shelf that you want to hang. Make sure the strip goes to all the sections that are actually going to be hung with a nail or hanging device.  Once you are done with that take a pen in either poke a hoke or use the ink to mark the spots.  Now because you have a market on the tape strip where the nails need to be you can simply then take that strip and move it on to the wall where you want the picture to hang.  From there I suggest getting a level and then making sure the tape is level and centered where you want it to be.  Then you simply place the painter’s tape on the wall.  Then you hammer in your nails or hang your device with screws or those plastic weighted screws and you are done.  Simply pull off the tape and then put your picture on the wall.  It is an amazing fix that saves time and energy. 

Now it is also important to have lots of duct tape on hand as well. I have used it to hold together parts of the home, pipes and paintbrushes. It is a wonderful tool that holds strong for a temporary fix.  That temporary fix can save thousands of dollars and I suggest doing it.  I buy this item in bulk because it is also fun for Christmas presents as well. That may be a family thing though.  Either way, I hope you are a little more set for your house from our lessons learned!

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Cardboard Can Change Your Life

This year was a rather stressful one.  The COVID-19 Pandemic took place and forced many people to stay at home or work from home too.  This was a big change for my family because we just moved into a fixer-upper house.  This was originally a great idea.  We found the lowest priced home in a super nice neighborhood.  We decided that we wanted to work on fixing it up while we lived in it in order to move to the best place in the state.  This was a very good idea to begin with and in reality, financially it still is.  But it caused a whole lot of work for us and because we were constantly working on the home we were short on space.  This is when the panic ordering from online stores ended up helping us a lot.  We ended up with so many Cheap moving boxes from different orderings that we didn’t know what to do with.  Then it hit us, we could create a vast and tall wall of boxes to store everything in, in order to create more space.  Here is what we did.

It all started when we began working in the living room.  We noticed that the entire room needed to have the carpet ripped up and several floorboards replaced.  This was a crazy subfloor job and it ended up taking up not only the living room but the kitchen to store the things in as well.  Then we had a crazy amount of tools everywhere.  While this was going on and yes we were doing it all by ourselves we decided we needed something to change.  We needed help and we really needed more space.  Our garage was totally full of tools and parts for the home and completely disorganized.  So the goal was to take all of those cheap moving boxes we had and all the internet cardboard boxes and start stacking all the items and tools vertically.  We had space to go up but the ground was strung out with things.  So we started to pile it all up by job or by use.

We took large boxes and labeled them in order of the project the pieces were needed to go into and also the importance of the tools.  So toolboxes had numbers from 1 to 5 and projects boxes simply had their name on them.  Then we started to stack them to the brim and put the most important boxes on the top of the stack.  This was so they were easier access.  Now what we were able to do was to clear a little more than half of the garage of useable space.  This meant that we were able to also clear about 2/3 of the kitchen of space as well.   With this, we ended up being able to do more projects in the garage and not in the home itself.  This left us with not only a more usable space but a safer space as well.  Fewer particles were in the air constantly and we didn’t have to tape off rooms in the house with tarps constantly. 

So all in all the moving into a fixer-upper during COVID was possibly a bad idea, but we managed to use what we had to make it better.

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Tape, boxes, pens, all things needed for a home

The changes in my life have been vast this last year.  My family ended up moving from an apartment to a new home.  COVID-19 struck and we have learned to spend months at a time with almost never leaving our home.  I work from home and so does my wife.  This means that we also spend lots of time working on the home as well since we have so much extra time on our hands.  This has taught us many lessons. From working on bathrooms to cabinets we have learned that there are some items that are a must-have for the house.  We also found that the best place to get them is at Shipping Supplies stores.  They simply have the best prices and there is no point in wasting time at a local big box store selling at retail.

We have learned that all situations do not need to be 100% fixed right away.  In fact, many situations have to have quick solutions to save disaster from happening.  If you want to not waste a day shopping for a part at a big box store or simply watch your house start to flood, quick fixes are important.  One of the things you need to have on hand and lots of types of it is tape.  The amount of problems you can solve with tape is incredible.  We have saved hours of wasted time and honestly lots of money by doing quick cheap fixes to solve problems.  

For instance this year we were painting the exterior of the house.  It was a terrible task and took many weekends.  The time came when we had just gotten back from the store and began painting.  We broke an extendable pole and were unable to reach the top of the home to paint.  This was because the part that broke was what screwed into brushes and rollers.  Instead of taking 1 hour of the day and 30 dollars for the part we instead improvised.  I pulled out some trusty duct tape and went to town putting a brush on the end of that pole.  It took five minutes and a total of 30 cents of tape.  We were right at it again and that part of the house was painted just fine.  This was not only time and money win, but a psychological win as well.  The more these problems don’t get fixed quickly the more disheartened you get and the less likely you are to do more projects.  So the best place to get this product and all tape is actually at shipping supplies stores.  We order duct tape, packing tape, and Teflon tape for water pipes all at once and save money. 

This is also a place we order boxes from too.  We wanted to make sure our attic was stored and ordered correctly. But plastic cartons cost a lot of money when you need 20 of them.  Instead, when we ordered tape we added thick heavy rated boxes to the list.  These were pretty cheap in bulk purchasing of twenty and they did not flex at all getting heavy items up the attic ladder and stored away.  Plus they will help keep out bad things and keep the items safer because they are corrugated with a moister barrier. So stay safe and shop wisely!

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Different ways to shop for your Storage Room

This year I was put in charge of what I thought was an inconsequential part of my company.  The storage room where we keep all of our supplies from tape to boxes was put into my control.  Originally, I believed this was simply a waste of my time and not going to be anything but a burden on me.  Instead of simply brushing this task off, I decided to take it as a challenge to make this small burden a positive for my career.  There is one policy that we do follow in our company and that is if you can save the company money then you will end up with half of what you saved.  That is really the motivation that led me to take this task to heart.  I wanted to show not only that I was a capable employee who cared about the company but I wanted to take our packaging supplies to a new level of profitability.

Now our storage room is used for mostly marketing and office supplies.  This means that it does get used a good amount and especially since Covid-19 we have been doing a lot more marketing internally.  That means we use, boxes, tape, and shipping items constantly.  I had a whole list of all the costs for the last several months and that was part of the reason I was put in charge of this area was the extra charges being placed on it. The cost of these orders was starting to become two and three thousand dollars a month.  This certainly adds up after a year and it was my goal to save as much as a could.  In my honest opinion if I could save us 15 thousand dollars then a seven thousand dollar bonus would be nice.

 

So I took a tally of all the packaging supplies we used every single day for each project.  Then I went to the people doing our marketing and took down each and every item they used per project.  I had them work on solving their marketing projects in different ways and I did it with them.  I wanted to find the most efficient way to tape a box and to send a letter.  It came down to man movements and also how much of a product they were using. 

I then decided we needed to shop at a different location. Most of our shopping had been done in big box stores or Amazon for convenience.  I noticed that Amazon had better prices but they didn’t offer discounts for large quantity orders.  This meant that I knew there would be specific stores that cut out the middlemen who would do discounts.  This led me to look at packaging supplies stores themselves. Then I started calling and asking questions about my position and what they thought I could do to lower costs. I started to learn more things about my new position and found out I could bid them against each other. By doing this I took the number of items we needed and ended up with massive discounts.

I learned lots of different ways to lower the costs of products we used and ended up with a 5000 dollar bonus.  That was a wonderful way to show I cared about the company. I hope this help you and your company as well!

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Don’t Break Your Back with Boxes

These last few years have been an eye opening experience for me.  I have learned many things and one of them is simply how to utilize different types of items to make moving from home to home better. It has literally been the year of moving for my personal family and also a lot of my friends as well.  We have had the opportunity to help out many people and they have also been kind in helping us as well.  So even though I hope I am done I want to share a few tips that really ended up being a big help for us in getting from place to place.  With interest rates as low as they are and the housing market booming, I figured this might be able to help someone else out.

The first thing to know about moving is that the equipment matters.  It took me a while to get my moving gear together but I finally have it.  It turns out that if you look in the right places that many people already have really good moving packages set up and ready to go.  Normally I wouldn’t dare spend money on extra boxes for moving, but the reality is that it would have saved me some pain and in the end a lot of money.  So what am I talking about?

I am talking about using cheap moving boxes that have been used over and over again.  This is what we all do when we move.  We ask friends for boxes and go around and ask stores for used ones and the reality is they are old and used. Five years ago I would have told you to do just that, but after moving so much I now know that using cheap moving boxes causes pain and financial burdens. Let me tell you why.

On our first move of the year I picked up a bunch of old boxes that I had in my posession for years.  I put lots of weight in them and got them ready to go.  I used extra tape because they were old and figured they would still work.  Well one of them happened to be put in line to hold dishes.  Our plates and a few mugs were in this box and it was a bit wobbly and flimsy even with the extra tape.  But I picked it up walked down the stairs and it shifted.  THe box flexed and as with age the cardboard bent and it made me move in a weird way.  60 pounds shifted on me and my back pulled a muscle.  I then dropped the wobbly shifting box and hundreds of dollars of dishes broke.  Now this was the first time I thought about getting a new box.  But I didn’t and the next time it was a box of clothes. It was no big deal but I still pulled a muscle.  Moving was super hard after that and it was costly to see the Doctor. 

THe answer to all this was that packaging supplies stores sell moving kits for about 20 bucks.  They have new heavy duty boxes, thick tape, and markers.  Now I spend 20 bucks rather I am moving me or my friends.  I send it over to them days in advance as a mini gift and in the end we are all happier.

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Did your warehouse shop well last quarter?

This year is a bit different from many others and we have seen many companies struggle with the changes that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought.  Millions of Americans are out of work and thousands of companies are shutting down or really struggling.  There are lots of reasons why and if you run a warehouse or are in a company that has one this is an area where you can help your company succeed in the trying pandemic times.  The first thing is to make sure your warehouse is operating at the best efficiency possible. There are lots of things to do in order to be at the top of the market but there are a few things we want to go over that may apply to you.

The first thing is that if your company is going to be shipping more online or if you company is about to shift from a brick and mortar to a full blown ecommerce store than the warehouse is going to grow.  The amount of space you will need and organization will become key.  A small thing to know is that expensive racking and crazy pre-made systems are not necessary.  Most billion dollar big box stores have warehouses in stores that are run by a simple ABC’s system for aisles and also simple racks that are filled with corrugated boxes for storage.  The boxes are simply cardboard boxes that are sized to fit the shelves and those are a really inexpensive way to cut down on costs.  It is also a super easy way to constantly make changes without growing costs.  It is really simple to replace a box that costs a dollar or free if you cut them to shape from boxes you already use.  Make sure your aisle letter and number system is simple and consistent and then you can really inexpensive organize your products. I have found that purchasing these products from packaging supplies stores is the best place to do it. 

Packaging Supplies stores generally give discounts and end up being very cheap in other areas as well.  Shipping from the warehouse is generally based on those stores and buying the best quantity and amount from them. This will be another large area to keep track of and that is all the products you are currently using.  Buying from these stores is best done in bulk and the higher the quantity the better deals you can get.  It is also important to be buying the right products you need. Tape for instance.

If the tape you use for shipping takes more than one piece in order to keep the box you are shipping closed then you may need a different tape.  The box you are using may be the wrong thickness or not be weighted enough for your products. I suggest talking to a good customer service agent at a packaging store and find the best product so you are not spending more money on areas that you don’t need.  The best place to save money is to make sure your products arrive safely with less returns and no bad ratings. So asking about the filling for your packaging is just as important at cutting down long term costs and yes this is at the warehouse level.  So rock your warehouse and I hope this helps you become the best one out there!

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Are you moving again?

The housing market is simply going gangbusters in my state and lots of people are changing locations.  Houses are the highest prices I have seen and the ability to purchase them is the easiest it’s ever been.  The low interest rates on loans allows most people to be able to break into the housing market. This is a really cool thing so if you are planning on getting your move on I want to go over a few tips I have learned to actually make the move go better.

The first thing that changed my moving career is when my father in law showed up with a flat trailer with 3 foot walls.  This open trailer had a big gate that swung down and made a ramp.  This changed our moving completely.  We were able to walk up easily and place large furniture and all those cheap moving boxes easily onto the trailer.  It was easy to drive around and boy it just made all the insane jobs of getting couches in a truck so much better. Since we didn’t have to lift things up high or worry about scratching anything it was just wonderful.

The next thing I learned was to actually get the correct boxes.  I used to use just good old cheap moving boxes and used, used boxes.  Well that lead to lots of bending boxes wich led to lots of dropped boxes when you put weight into them.  They shift while you lift and things shift and then all things fall.  I actually pulled a muscle in my back and I am sure lots of people do that every time they move.  It causes pain and also has financial issues.  The way to overcome this was to purchase from a packaging supplies company. I learned that for 20 bucks you could get really cool packages that had tape, markers, and lots of different sized heavy gauge boxes.  This was a game changer for me and I suggest it to everyone I know who is moving.  It was a small investment to help not break things in bad boxes or break myself!

Planning is the next and most important thing.  Plan out what your going to move and how many boxes you may need.  Then plan out how many trips you think it will take.  Then check the weather. Moving in the rain is so not fun and things get ruined.

Several years ago I was moving by myself from an apartment in the south all the way to the north a few states.  I had no choice but to move out and it was not a positive move.  I was leaving due to job issues and injuries so it was a terrible experience.  Not even thinking about the weather and honestly I didn’t have much of a choice I rented a trailer and borrowed a truck.  I ended up moving all my things in the rain because I didn’t check and didn’t have the time.  It was awful.  Luckily, my trailer was covered so from the door to the trailer was the only exposure of my things. But in reality it destroyed many of my things and most of my boxes.  So knowing how much and how long it will take to move can keep you out of the rain by knowing all these things. Happy Moving!

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Moving Again?

If you are following this real estate market then you may be thinking about moving.  I know I am and my family keep looking at all the homes being sold.  The big reason for this is that the interest rates for loans are the lowest they have ever been and this has lots of people packing up and getting ready to change homes or buy their first homes.  I feel that the market won’t be this way forever, but if you are going to be moving soon I want to go over a few things that can help that move go a bit easier. 

The first thing is to have the right tape on hand.  I have learned that all tape is not made alike.  When you go to a packaging supplies store or talk to a pro they will ask you what type of box you are using and how much weight is going to be in it. If you are using 5 strips of a regular packing tape they will tell you it is cheaper to buy a thicker stronger tape instead of using 5 strips.  This means you can use one strip of tape that holds just as well and that can lower the cost a lot when moving.  This makes moving faster, cheaper and keeps everyone happy that things are not falling out of boxes.

Another thing to think about is getting the right boxes for the move.  I have found many companies sell moving packages that simply have lots of different types of boxes that people usually use when moving.  I really love the ability to spend 20 bucks from a packaging supplies store and get the entire set up of tape, boxes, and the makers needed to label all the boxes. I have found that having the right box can save you lots of money and pain in the long run.  This is because I have moved with older boxes.  When you use a old used box it bends a lot more.  When the box bends and there is a lot of heavy things in it the box can shift, and bend when carrying it. 

This usually means the box will be dropped and that person will shift their body to hold it until it falls.  When this is done you can get lots of injuries do to many previous injuries or simply weaker muscles that they don’t use very often. So be safe and get the right gear.

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Positives and Negatives of Flexible and Glass Packaging

When a brand is deciding on how to package there products, they have a few different options. There are pros and cons to both glass and flexible (plastic) packaging depending on many different variables.

 Glass packaging is traditional and has been used for many years. Items such as bottles of alcohol, candles, and baby food, and more are all packaged using glass. Glass packaging provides a sleek look and smooth texture to a product. It also provides a luxurious aspect to the product. An example of this strive for luxury is shown in a recent rise in popularity of glass water bottles. These are bought partially for the aesthetic achieved due to the glass. Many companies choose to package their products with glass even though it may be more expensive than flexible packaging. This is due to the fact that plastic can change the flavor of the drink and does not maintain carbonation, flavor, or scent as well as a glass container would. Glass is also becoming more popular as a means of packaging due to the fact that it is seemingly more environmentally friendly than plastic is. Although glass is one hundred percent recyclable, a lot of glass still ends up in land fills. On top of this, the manufacturing and delivery of glass is not good for the environment especially due to the heavier weight of glass.

 Flexible packaging through plastic is another way to contain products. There are different types of films for flexible packaging including shrink and stretch film. These provide options to find which type of packaging would work the best for any specific product. Flexible packaging is created to help with extended shelf life, food safety, tear resistance, protection from environmental elements, and to maintain freshness of the product. It is also used to increase shelf life and to conceal the smell of the product. One specific type of flexible packaging that can be used in place of certain traditionally glass-packaged products are stand up pouches. These pouches are generally used to package foods and liquids, such as apple sauce, soap, and drinks. These pouches are very resistant to breaking in most circumstances unlike glass-packaged items.

They are also affordable. These pouches are resealable, like glass packaging, allowing for easy and convenient use of the product. They are also easily decorated and can be made to be very eye-catching. Certain stand up pouches are sold with child safety locks, which make it easy to protect children from attempting to open a product not meant for them, such as medicine. A downside to these packages is that they are porous, which means they may alter the flavor or scent of the food or liquid that is being packaged. Another negative is that stand up pouches are not recyclable. Other types of flexible packaging are recyclable, but they require special infrastructure that is not available in many places. Sending these products to a third party recycling company is expensive and leads a lot of this plastic in landfills.

 Depending on the type of product a company is looking to package, glass or flexible packaging may be considered. There are positives and negatives to both, so the decision is very individualized.

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