Having the Right Supplies for V-Day

With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, you’re likely scrambling for gifts for your partner. To be completely honest, well, I haven’t even begun to get anything at all for my girlfriend. If it helps any, though, I can almost guarantee she hasn’t gotten anything for me yet, either.

But no matter. The procrastinators of the world are still people and still end up getting things done, even if it’s last minute.

Whether you’re opting to get your significant other jewelry, alcohol, dinner, a stuffed animal, loads of candy, a gift card, new technology, or tickets to an event, most of those items need some sort of presentation added to the gift itself. So, do you have the packaging supplies and container necessary to gift it up and hand it to them come February 14th?

Bags are personal favorites of mine on “lesser” holidays like V-Day. They just seem more acceptable to give than they would on a birthday or Christmas (i.e., holidays where people may expect a little more effort than simply tossing something in a bag).

But just because you’re opting to use a bag as a container doesn’t mean you can’t at least put a little thought into the packaging itself. Tissue paper works quite well to “seal” up the bag so that it’s not easily peeked into. And don’t forget to include a nice tag with your SO’s name on it. Lastly, make sure you do get a card to include your heartfelt writing within. This can go in or on the package itself once you present it.

As for packaging supplies, tape rests at the top of the list simply because it can be used on bags, cardboard boxes, cards, tags, and so many other things. Grab yourself a solid roll of packing tape the next time you think about it because this will be super useful on any gift-giving holiday.

One last note on how to “do” Valentine’s Day is to go out for dinner. A lot of couples are quite accustomed to eating out often, while others primarily cook dinner at home together. No matter which category you fall under, you should definitely take the opportunity to go out to a nicer restaurant with your partner to celebrate your relationship. No matter how “cheesy” you think the holiday is, it really can be exciting to dress up, get a reservation somewhere, and really enjoy who you’re with for an evening out.

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Preparing for the Wintry Storm

Sometimes during the dead of winter we find ourselves completely and utterly confounded as to how the weather can get so absolutely cold.

And what inspires that thought is the winter vortex that’s about to slam the Midwest.

For the most part, we’re all pretty good about preparing for inclement weather. You know, letting your coworkers know that it’s on the way when you talk about the weather in your everyday small talk. Going out to the grocery to prepare for a few days’ worth of vittles. Heck, you even remember to put your windshield wipers up before the ice takes hold and freezes them solid to the glass.

But boy oh boy, when it all hits, people still lose their minds.

Sometimes you’ll see countless vehicles along the side of the road when making your commute to work. And sometimes, you still see parking lots at grocery stores absolutely jammed back because of all of those people who forgot to stock up beforehand. (And the local liquor store is quite the popular spot during these times.)

It’s the activities you choose to engage in during particularly bad weather that determines your safety, though. If you absolutely insist on going to that event you had planned that’s two hours away, you’re seriously risking your safety all for something that could be done again, even if it means waiting until next year.

Just as well, there are things you could avoid even around your home that don’t require when the snow and ice hits in full force. You don’t need to be walking any more than a couple of minutes, even if it’s “safer” than driving to the store. Frostbite and hypothermia are serious things to humans who forgot their pair of gloves or stay out in the cold for just a few minutes too long.

Rather than be silly and absentminded, you should hole up in your home and do inside activities with your family or friends. Whether you’re playing video games, board games, hosting a marathon, or even partying, do it all within the safety and comfort of your home.

And if you must go out, dive into those old cheap moving boxes you have in your basement that contain your heaviest of winter coats, hats, and gloves. You’ll need them if you’re attempting to brave the elements. Heck, we understand if it means you’re making a quick walk to the local sports bar to watch your team. But bundling up is an understatement when it comes to truly preparing for heavy snow, ice, and seriously cold temperatures.

So like I said, dig into those cheap moving boxes containing your winter gear. We’d prefer you take caution and stay inside, but sometimes there’s not that much to do inside and you really just wanna walk down to someone else’s place that has more going on.

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Retooling and Reorganizing Your Office

Wallflowers, couches, lamps, new desk, comfy office chair, trash can, and the basic office and packaging supplies

Changing up your scenery can heavily boost your mood and productivity. It’s no surprise that people take the opportunity to switch up things in their house often enough to keep them on their feet. Spring cleaning makes you feel good about having a clean and organized house, but when you go to restructure how your living room is set up and finally do it, you’re amazed at how different the same room feels. It gives you new perspective, a new attitude, and a new feeling about your home.

So, doing the same for your office at work should work wonders for those same things, right? Even a simple shuffling of your furniture should help to get you motivated.

With that said, we’ve got a few ideas for you to add, subtract, and shuffle things in your office.

Couches.

Adding a couch, whether it’s a loveseat, an armchair, or something bigger, should give you a nice “homey” office. While you shouldn’t take advantage of it too often during the day lest you become tired, you allow yourself a comfortable change of perspective in your office from time to time. This will allow you to relax for a few to give yourself a breather. It also can help inspire some creativity in you just because you’re at ease and comfortable enough to let your mind wander.

Candles, oil burners, and wall scents.

No matter which of these you choose to use, giving your office a nice smell allows you to relax and enjoy where you work. You obviously don’t want the smell to be too overpowering, as that can cause a headache and even nausea from too much exposure. Nonetheless, adding any of these can really bring a new atmosphere to your office.

Office and packaging supplies.

What’s a complete office without enough office supplies and other packaging supplies? You’ll obviously want to keep this stuff out of sight and in your drawers or cabinets, but having supplies at the ready when you need them beats the heck out of scrambling and foraging for whatever you can around the workplace. Just make sure you have the essentials (like sharpies, tape, staples, and envelopes) and you’ll be set for a long time to come. Heck, you may even be known as the guy with the supplies for coworkers in a pinch, and they’ll come to appreciate your handiness.

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Restarting an Old Good Habit

So, you’ve begun getting your body and mind into a good routine these past few weeks by sticking to your resolutions. (You’re actually one of the few that takes them seriously, by the way.)

The thing is, this isn’t where it stops. It doesn’t suddenly become second nature and with you for life. No. Down the road, sometimes things happen. Sometimes you get really sick, or you have a child, or you get married, or you move into a new place. Well, these are the times that you have to remember your necessity and work extra hard at it. Because these are also the times that derail your routine and throw your everyday habits for a loop.

Think about it. Think back on your life when you started a good habit, a new one that changed your life for the better for the time being. Now, do you still do that same thing on the daily? Has it stuck with you?

If so, good for you. Good for you for keeping at it and making it a part of you.

If not, you’re not alone. But think back on where the habit died. I’ll go out on a limb and guess that it likely happened when you had a major event take part in your life.

Maybe you were packing up some cheap moving boxes and moving into a new house in a new neighborhood in a new city. Maybe you got rid of some of those cheap moving boxes worth of tons of books that you had read as a part of one of your good habits back in the day. Maybe having those books around would have served as a great reminder to keep reading, to increase your knowledge and keep your body on a great sleeping schedule.

Whatever the case may be, your habits have dropped off because you didn’t keep at them in the face of adversity. Can anyone blame you? Not at all. But you can blame yourself. And you can also remember the time that you did all of those good things and how they helped you.

So get started again with whatever it was you used to be good at doing. You did it once. It won’t be as hard as doing it that first time simply because you remember. You remember the good it did you and the way you felt after. That’s all the headstart you need on this second or third or fourth time going back into a good routine.

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The Best Christmas Gift I Got This Year

My favorite gift over the holidays may surprise you a bit, to be honest. While I got some notable things I asked for like a pair of high-top sneakers from Brazil, some reverse suspenders that hold dress shirts in your pants, and even a new Bluetooth speaker to take with me on the go, the thing that I think was most useful and much needed? Well, it was an 18- by 24-inch whiteboard.

So, why would this be my favorite gift I received over the last month? Why something as “bland” or plain as a whiteboard, you ask? Because it’s something I’ll be using often. It’ll keep me organized, on track, and in a good routine. The whiteboard is big enough to include a grocery list, to-do list, and other space for little notes back and forth to my girlfriend. Pretty useful right there.

The thing is, its value increases when I attach it to how much this will help me from day to day. I already know I’ll be much more organized in general because of it. I’ll pick up the apartment more often and be cleaner in general. And all this stuff? Well, it’ll lead to a happier mindset and a much more productive lifestyle.

The thing is, I actually seemed to enjoy other gifts like this that I would get a lot of actual use out of. The clothes, shoes, music, and other things I received which I really enjoy having aren’t necessarily of much use, per se. But some of the packaging supplies I got, like a stapler, will see much more use in my office and at home.

See, it’s great to get new things that make us feel better instantly, such as video games, other technology, new clothes, an experience, and whatever else you can think up that you really loved opening. But it’s the useful items that really get a lot of mileage out of them.

Heck, even the things I got for my kitchen like a mini charcuterie board, a recipe box, and mini shot glasses just seemed more welcome than things that were superficial by nature. It’s the packaging supplies, kitchen accessories, and whiteboards of our gifts that we should learn to appreciate and even ask for in the coming years.
No matter the case, try to get a lot of use out of the gifts you receive from loved ones. If you ask for something you know you’ll forget about in a week, you’re setting yourself up for a life of materialism.

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Unique Types of Cheap Moving Boxes

When most of us think about a cardboard box, we think about the stereotypical, brown, square or rectangular box. But did you know there are a lot of unique types of moving boxes, each with a unique use and purpose? Here’s some out of the ordinary boxes!

Hanging clothes boxes.

These boxes tend to be relatively tall, generally four to five feet in height. From the outside they look pretty ordinary, albeit a bit larger than normal. But, when you open the box, you’ll find a single metal bar going across the inside of the box. The purpose of the box, and the metal bar inside, is to allow you to store and transport hanging clothes! The metal bar lets you to hang clothes up inside the box, and the tall height ensures that they don’t drag on the floor of the box, causing wrinkles or damage. These boxes can be hugely helpful if you need extra storage for your winter clothes or if you’re moving nice articles of clothing like fur coats or an old wedding dress.

Shipping tubes.

One of the biggest challenges when packing or moving is how to handle posters or large documents. Laying them flat would require a very large, and probably very skinny, box, but folding them up will leave permanent creases that could damage a poster or piece of art. That’s where shipping tubes come in! Shipping tubes are just what they sound like, cardboard tubes that can range in length from a foot to six feet long! Posters, documents or art can be rolled and inserted into the tube, keeping them safe and crease-free. Shipping tubes can also be a great way to transport long, skinny items like baseball bats or fishing poles.

Handled boxes.

We’ve all been there, trying to carry a heavy box upstairs and suddenly feeling our grip start to slip. If you’re simply carrying boxes of clothes or something similar, a dropped box may not be that big of a deal. But if you’re carrying a box filled with dishes or other valuables, a dropped box can be a day-ruining experience. And that’s where handled boxes come in. These boxes fold up in a way that provides a handle a the top, similar to a shopping bag. It makes the box easy to carry and gives you the peace of mind that you won’t drop anything and have to deal with broken dishes!

There are plenty of other unique box designs out there and, if you need it, you can even find companies that will provide custom built cardboard boxes that will fit your unique need perfectly!

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Tips for Getting You in the Wrapping Mindset!

Wrapping presents. It’s most people’s least favorite activity to perform around the holidays, as it can be time consuming, and confusing. There also is not usually a “one size fits all” way to wrap presents, as each package can be shaped differently and some gifts can be quite large! Also, the art of tying a box and using twine to make your packages look pretty can be quite confusing. Below are some short and simple tips for how to make wrapping a present a no-brainer for you this year.

Tip 1: Make sure you have the right supplies

Do not use that old wrapping paper you had stuffed in your basement closet, the one that was bent and torn apart by the dog last year. Instead, make a special shopping trip out to grab all of the necessary packaging supplies you will need to get these gifts wrapped! Suggested items include: tape, scissors, ribbons and bows, wrapping paper, maybe even some coffee to help you stay motivated! We recommend getting new everything, that way you will for sure not run out. There is nothing more frustrating than getting started on wrapping gifts to find out that you do not have enough tape to finish the job.

Tip 2: Make a dedicated “wrapping zone”

Clear some space in a part of your house that can become the DWZ (dedicated wrapping zone) and make sure the kids do not have access to this! Places like the den, office, and attic all work really well. From there, if you have to move some things around and get some space cleared, go ahead and do that! If you have a clutter-free zone, it will only be better for you in the long run. Put in a small coffee table or workbench next to you that you can put all of the packaging supplies on that you just bought! That way you will not have to waste time looking for the scissors!

Tip 3: Get a practice wrap in

People often laugh at this, but this is a serious tip that is highly recommended. Find a weird shaped object and practice wrapping it a few times to get used to it. Ask yourself questions during this time like “how much tape did I use?”or “what parts of the paper need to be crunched in to fill the empty holes? Also time yourself to see how long it takes you to wrap a gift, in case you have to rush through any last minute shopping and wrapping on Christmas eve!

These practical tips should make wrapping gifts a lot less stressful for you this year! Finally, make sure you wrap your gifts as early as you can, because who doesn’t want lots of presents under the tree?

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3 Things You Didn’t Know You Needed for Your Kitchen

Your kitchen is a place where a lot of magic happens. You create things in the kitchen. You destroy (err, consume) things in the kitchen. You could say it’s the place that your senses are used the most with all of the smells, tastes, touches, sights, and sounds that abound.

The thing is, a lot of people don’t treat it like the wonderful part of their house it is. The place where all of your food options exist is one to keep well stocked on groceries and cooking ingredients, of course, but it’s also where all of your tools to do your cooking are.


Now, while you may be aware that you need dishes to eat on (we’re sure hoping you knew this), there are a lot of tools that you’re missing out on in your kitchen.

Cheap moving boxes.
You’re probably asking “What?” at this point. But yes, cheap moving boxes like dish boxes are absolutely wonderful for more things than just moving. These boxes are superb for storage, too, in that they have partitioned dividers within that keep your mugs/plates/whatever else separated from one another, reducing the clanging around that can happen when you’re transporting your box of sometimes breakable materials.

 

Meat shredder.

Ever used a fork to shred chicken for a recipe? It’s the absolute worse. And your fingers do no better, despite the fact that it may seem like you’re more in control.

Enter the kitchen bear claws. These things act as extensions of your fingers while being better forks overall. You grip them like you would brass knuckles and then just start shredding away at your meat. It’s honestly an amazing tool that makes the few recipes you struggle with a lot, lot easier to handle.

The best part? They’re actually pretty cheap, even for having nice metal claws that can rip into the meat quite easily. Just know you should have a cutting board of sorts down beneath your meat when shredding, as these could likely tear up your counter.

Tenderizer.
Alright, so admittedly some people know they should have this, but when it comes to flattening or tenderizing your chicken, steak, or pork chops, there is absolutely no substitute to a meat tenderizer. Hammers or mallets are unclean since you use them for other parts of your house.

Note: It’s best to wrap your meat in saran wrap before pummelling it to keep it unharmed and in the best possible condition before you marinate/grill/broil/whatever it.

 

 

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4 More Gift Ideas for Your Coworkers

We had one of these articles recently, but another couldn’t hurt around this time of year. Whether your office is having a holiday gift exchange (and no matter how the rules work) or you just wanted to present something to one of your coworkers, this list of items contains enough unique but useful things that would be appreciated by someone in your office.

Mug.

Just stuff a nice or unique coffee mug (or tin mug!) into a box with packaging supplies like bubble wrap or packing paper and you’re good to go. If you don’t have packaging supplies like this, wrapping it in newspaper and putting it in a bag is fine, too. Just make sure you let people know not to knock it around if the mug you get is ceramic.

 

USB outlet converter.

I’m always peeved when I need one of these things but don’t have one. They’re useful for plugging phone chargers in. They’re useful for computers. They’re just downright useful. And who has ever been disappointed to have multiple of these? No one. This makes a great gift for a coworker.

Desk decor.

Whether it’s holiday themed or something that could sit on a desk yearound, pieces of decor like picture frames, figurines, or abstract artsy items can spice up a coworker’s desk for the better. If anything, they’ll at least have it on their desk for the first month after the gift exchange since they’ll likely suspect you’re looking for it to be on display.

Desk lamp.

I absolutely love desk lamps, to be honest. I have a standing floor lamp in my office currently, yet I’m fixing to move it across the room and put a desk lamp on my desk for a more ambient vibe. The cool thing is that desk lamps aren’t just functional; they also look great and come in thousands of varieties. The shades are quite unique and customizable among them too, so your coworker can always go out and get a different lampshade or even type of light bulb for different lighting. (Maybe I’m just hyped up about getting myself a new desk lamp soon. Maybe this isn’t as cool of a gift as I’m making it out to be. Ehhh, who cares?)

You’re sure to make an impression on someone in your office by bringing one of these gifts to your gift exchange this year (or whatever else you’re doing), so get to looking for something neat!

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Preparing Your Kids’ Move from College over Break

When your kid comes home from college, it can be quite an overwhelming task that they didn’t think about. But when it comes down to transferring their living things, clothes, books, and other essentials, it seems like there’s always a shortage on containers—you don’t have enough totes, bags, or other odd containers laying around. However, you can fix that problem and make the move home so much easier for your kid by getting a handful of cheap moving boxes. The uses you’ll get out of these things are numerous.

Reliable.
A lot of lids for containers like totes seem to go missing at some point or another. Moving boxes, on the other hand, always have their trusty flaps. Whether you crisscross the top flaps to secure them or use packaging tape, you’ll never misplace its “lid.” This is especially useful when they use these boxes during breaks throughout the school year. They’ll be using these boxes a lot.

Cost efficient.

Compared to other alternatives, moving boxes are quite cheap. As mentioned before, you’ll be using these moving boxes quite frequently while your child is in college. Why fork out a pretty penny just to move them to and from college when you’re likely already paying enough for their tuition?

Environmentally friendly.

I’m sure your child will come home at some point mentioning how many recycling bins there are on campus or the amount of student organizations there are centered around the environment. Get ahead of the game and choose corrugated cardboard boxes—they’re entirely recyclable and biodegradable (unlike plastic totes or bags!). Your kid will think you’re pretty up-to-date and cool for thinking of the environment.

Easily stored.

Because you can break down cardboard boxes by flatpacking them, their required storage space in your home is almost nonexistent. Whereas other containers, crates, and totes take up a lot of space, cardboard boxes can slide into thin areas or lean up against walls to take up virtually zero room.

So, when you’re helping your kid pack to come back home, send them along with some cheap moving boxes to make packing for break a lot easier on them. Their advantages far outweigh other common containers, because you’ll save a decent amount of money. As a bonus, there are all sorts of sizes to choose from when it comes to cardboard boxes. You’ll always have the size you need thanks to the many dimensions they come in.

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