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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Helping Friends Move

We have all gotten the call one way or another.  A friend sneakily slips the inevitable question into a conversation that you are not sure why you are having it.  Do you have a truck?  The question that inevitably means, “Can you help me move”.  Or it may come in the trick question, “Are you Busy this weekend”.  That one is the worst. You think you are going to go out or to the zoo with a friend, but no. They trap you into lifting heavy things and lugging around cheap moving boxes for hours all for a free piece of pizza.  Honestly, make it a steak dinner at least. They just risked rolled ankles, pulled wrists and sore backs for days all for a piece of pizza.

I have personally moved myself and family 4 times in the last decade and helped my family move at least another 5 times.  So I can say with a some confidence, that I know a few things about moving things.  The most important part of all of moving is how you do it.  This means form of lifting.  There is no more important part then lifting with your legs especially if cheap moving boxes are used. This means that you take the extra time and focus on using your legs and not your back muscles for moving.  The legs are the powerhouse of the human body and injuries start to happen when you neglect to use them properly.

Another aspect that is completely overlooked when moving is the ability to take your time. When you rush, you lose.  I have caused more damage by rushing and moving too quickly through a house than I would like to admit.  If you are not in a hurry you are able to get heavy items or awkward items into places that are hard without damaging the house, your body, or the item itself.  So slow down, take brakes, and let everyone know that it will get done, but that your new home is worth not damaging.  For the most part they will agree with you.  As long as its not the end of the day. 

When everyone gets tired they start to care a little less and move a little faster.  This is when you need to stick to your ground and think like TreeBeard. Don’t be too hastey.  A little extra time and thought will be worth not having to do it again with a new undamaged item a week later.  So stay safe and lift slow and safe.

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Never Run Out

One thing I have had to adjust to during this time in history is stocking up on groceries for multiple days or even weeks. My partner and I were people who decided what we were going to eat that night and then went to the store to get the ingredients we did not already have at home. It was a little inconvenient to go to the grocery store multiple times a week, but we live within walking distance of a store so it was never really an issue. It was also great for us because we never bought too much food and then wasted it. We would cook dinner and then make extra to take for lunch the next day.

Now, it is encouraged to minimize the amount of shopping trips as possible. There is a safety concern with multiple, little trips to the store. We, and many people, are now left with no other choice but to stock up on food and necessities for an extended period of time. This limits the exposure to bacteria and virus, and people who may be infected.

Grocery stores must make sure they have an unlimited supply of packaging supplies during this time. If a customer comes up the checkout counter and there are no bags available, then the customer will likely be out of luck. Stores need to ensure they have a backup supply of packaging supplies always waiting in the back.

Multiple stores are not allowing customers to bring in their own bags. Many families had made the switch to supplying their own reusable bags to be stocked during checkout. In fear that the bag may have the active virus on it, many stores are asking that people do not bring outside bags into the store. This means that even more people will be in need of packaging for their groceries.

The two most common types of bags carried in the grocery stores are paper grocery bags and plastic grocery bags. Paper bags are great for produce and lighter items. Plastic bags are more durable and can handle canned goods and heavier items.

Stores need to make sure they stock up on multiple different sizes of paper and plastic grocery bags. Paper bags come in a variety of sizes for multiple reasons. There are bags that are great for baked bread. Another bag is used for liquor and wine bottles. Then, there are bags that have handles for ease of carrying out of the store.

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Storing Boxes

One thing I didn’t know could be easily shipped are cheap moving boxes. I am finding all these ideas about how to use these boxes in my own main (for cheap), but I didn’t have any in my house. You can actually bulk order cheap moving boxes pretty cheaply and have then shipped right to your door. You will have to put the boxes together once they arrive, but that doesn’t take much effort at all. Just grab some tape if you use the box for a heavy purpose, but if there isn’t going to be heavy things stuffed inside the box then there is not even a need for tape. There are many different uses for these boxes.

The most obvious thing you can use boxes for is moving. And honestly, some people may have to start moving now. Some people may not be able to afford rent and have to downsize or move in with a roommate. While moving isn’t ideal right now, it may be necessary. On the other end of the spectrum, some people are taking advantage of the low interest rate and plummeting house prices and trying to move into a home right away. Either way, you may need to think about ordering boxes online. At least you know they will be clean and sterile upon arrival.

If you aren’t moving, you can still use these boxes for something. One thing could be storage. Many people have extra time on their hands and are spending it on household chores they have been putting off. At the top of most people’s list is storing items neatly somewhere. A cheap way to do this is boxes. Simply put a stack of boxes together and label each one. Obviously ideal places to store these boxes would be attics, basements, and closets. This gets mess and clutter out of the way in an organized fashion.

Another use for the boxes is storing dishes that you have specific for holidays. Instead of keeping a clutter cabinet, simply store the mugs and dishware into boxes. Dishware specific boxes have partitioned dividers that keep all the dishes separate and protected. So, the dishes are getting stored neatly, but will not break. This is perfect or fragile and expensive pieces that need to be stored throughout the year. You could even transport your dishes like this, if you needed to. Or simply store them until the next season.

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School Work

As we enter into our third week of quarantine and no end in sight, schools are starting to close for the school year. This leaves a lot of questions about what will happen with students’ education. Many states have already dismissed state testing for the year. So, some schools are left thinking about how they will fill the gaps for their students.

Some schools already had online, digital learning in place. This program was originally set up for short term days missed–like snow days. But it has actually worked for many schools during this extended recess from school. Teachers can post lessons, videos, and activities online for their students. The students can then ask the teacher questions through the messaging app or work collaboratively with other students on their assignments. While this program has been great for schools that have already implemented this technology, many schools do not have this capability. And it would be almost impossible to roll out during this time and try to teach teachers, students, and parents how the program works.

So what about all the schools we don’t already have online learning in place? This has proven a little more difficult for them. Many teachers were instructed to send their students’ books home with them every evening in the middle of March, just in case. This has allowed teachers to send assignments to parents or students and the students can refer to their textbooks for help. Teachers can assign certain pages and questions in their textbooks to complete after they have read each lesson. This is not ideal learning, but it may be the only options schools have.

The last resort for some school districts have been worksheet packets. The teachers have gone into school and copied packets for each student to be distributed in front of the school building. These packets contain two weeks worth of activities for the core subjects. Distribution worked fine until the rules and restrictions got a little bit tighter. Now, schools are scrambling because the state recommends that no more than 5 people gather at a time. The solution to this is mailing the packets. Teachers have to come in, print the packets, and use packaging supplies to package up the worksheets.

Packaging supplies can add up, so a lot of local businesses have been donating supplies to schools so students can get their packets. The packets also have to be limited because the cost of shipping goes up with every new paper added to the package.

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Sending Gifts

Most families would agree that they do not get to see each other as much as they would really like to. Now, we have all this time on our hands, but we know we can’t visit our families. Especially our older parents as their immune systems cannot handle the virus nearly as well as ours can. Staying at home means staying at your own home you live in now, not the homes of your parents or siblings. If everyone is still visiting their close family, the virus will continue to spread rapidly.

Many people are opting for video chat and conferencing. This could mean talking to over 10 people at one time! Just prop your phone or home computer up and have a video chat with your family. This is a great way to keep everyone connected while safe and protected! Another option some people have gone with is to go to their parents’ house and call them through the window. Some people are even opting to do this at hospitals or nursing homes. They can see their loved ones and talk to them over the phone in real time.

If you are like me, though, and your parents are several hours away from you then going to visit them through a window isn’t really ideal. We have tried video chat a few times, and I really enjoy it. I’m still concerned about mother’s and father’s day coming up soon. I want to keep our tradition of giving silly gifts to them alive, but I want to make sure they stay happy and healthy during this time.

The best part about silly gifts is I don’t even have to leave my house to get these things! I have already been cleaning out all of my closets and storage because I have nothing better to do. So now that I have all the things I want to send, I just had to order some cheap moving boxes. I even looked into ordering cute cheap moving boxes to make it look like the package is going to be really fancy.

It doesn’t have to be a silly tradition like ours to bring joy to people stuck inside during this time. You don’t even need to wait until the next holiday. Just send a box or two to those who matter most to you. They will certainly love and appreciate the thought. Everyone needs a little cheering up in their life right now.

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