Shipping CD and Vinyl

What a weird time to be alive. People are being quarantined to their homes for weeks on end. Thankfully, many jobs can now be done from home because of laptops and instant communication. Unfortunately, laborers, retail workers, and waitressing staff are out of a job until bars and restaurants open again. One thing is for certain, people are going to be spending a lot of time at home now. Might as well get interested in a new hobby.

One trend that has recently resurfaced are CDs, vinyls, and cassette tapes. People really enjoy having their own digital copy of the music rather than just downloading the tunes onto their devices. Especially during a time like this where almost everything is uncertain, people prefer to have physical copies of their favorite music to pass down for generations.

During this time a lot of local CD and vinyl shops have closed their doors. Luckily, they have social media platforms to advertise their product and hopefully sell things online. Some buyers are skeptical from buying their products and having them shipped because they are nervous about their fragile products being broken. CD and vinyl shops understand and respect this concern, and have taken the appropriate steps to ensure the product’s safety.

The shops order packaging supplies that will protect the products from expensive damage. Consumers can feel comfortable ordering their products and be confident that their CD or vinyl will be placed in packaging supplies that can withstand the travel. Vinyls will also be packed in stiffeners to ensure the vinyl will not bend during the shipping process.

Many artists have also released limited CDs and DVDs. While CD and DVD are less likely to bend during shipping, the possibility of breaking is still pretty high. Stores will send the CDs and DVDs in protective sleeves. They could also consider packaging them into specific CD shipping boxes and then into an envelope or small package.

After receiving your package you can really start to enjoy your music on your CD or record player. People can start to broaden their taste in music by maybe purchasing a CD or vinyl that would not previously purchased. We do have a lot of time to get into new music, after all. Once you receive your CD or vinyl, make sure you are storing them responsibly in your collection. Some consumers even keep the shipping boxes their music came in to ensure that it stays safe.

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Purchasing Another Home

Four years ago we bought the house next-door to our home. We have lived at our address for 35 years, and have seen the property next to us go on the market three times prior to us owning the house. The first two times it was for sale we were absolutely not financially sound enough to make a bid, but like they say I guess, the third time was a charm. Not only was the price $30,000 cheaper than the second owners had quoted to us, but we were also financially situated to make a bid to purchase the house from an owner that knew us and actually wanted our family to have her mother’s home.

We were hoping to move through the closing process quickly so that we could do some remodeling, which usually meant breaking down cheap moving boxes and using them as “covers” for the floor so that paint didn’t get everywhere. We wanted this to still be done in time for my youngest son’s wedding day, in hopes that the groom and his men could spend the day at that house while his bride and her maids could stay next-door at our family home. Unfortunately the closing took longer than expected and we were unable to get into the house until only a week before the wedding, which was not enough time to get the house presentable for the groom and his six men.

Once we did get in it was so exciting to see this old farmhouse receive a facelift, that brought it into a more modern era, without losing its farmhouse charm. For example the lilac colored kitchen was painted a buttery shade of yellow. We dug into a few of our old cheap moving boxes to find painting supplies, and voila! It was transformed.

The plastic window covering, on all the windows, was removed along with the heavy curtains, which flooded the house with a ton of light! The dark brown tile backsplash was painted out white. The range hood was also painted out black, to match the refrigerator and stove. A scalloped board above the kitchen sink was removed, leaving a squared off craftsman style look to the cabinetry (talk about one simple thing changing the look drastically!) Several lights fixtures were replaced with metal light fixtures (in shades of black) and even more appropriately some were replaced with glass fixtures. Victorian mirrors were replaced with mirrors that also reflected a craftsman look, as the house is not Victorian in anyway, shape or form.

Although both our boys moved out of town and do not plan to live in our town anytime soon, my oldest son did live in the house while he was finishing up his Masters Degree so we often call this house “his” house. It brings us such joy when my son and his fiancé say “if we could only pick this house up and move it to Indy it would be the perfect house for us!” This home does have such an amazing floor plan for an older home and it also has storage galore, which is also unusual for some older homes. So, if you are in the market for the home next door I wish you blessings on being financially sound to have the winning bid. Happy second home purchasing to you all!

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Spring is Near!

Spring is coming soon, you can fill it in the air, if you try real hard. It won’t be long now and we will be doing our spring cleaning, boxing up all of our winter clothes and winter decor, swapping them out for pastels and greenery with new buds and generally decluttering all around.

Organization is the key to any form of decorating. What I like to do is take a load of packaging supplies and get to boxing things up. From a mind full of ideas to organize, to boxes full of home decor to organize. We start by looking over all the items that we have on hand and we break them down into categories. Whether it’s categories of what we need to do, categories that we only wish we could do, or categories of what we have already done, yet didn’t complete fully.

Of course the need to do categories should be top priority. Things such as boxing up Christmas decorations with packaging supplies needs to be done before spring arrives. Swapping out winter clothes for a few cooler clothing items is also something that needs to be done. After the needs to be done category is completely finished then the next easiest is to tie up all those loose ends on the category of things that have already been completed but yet not fully completed. In other words ask your husband to finish nailing in that one last piece of trim that never got finished when you were installing that new hardwood. It only takes a matter of minutes, yet for some reason we always find a way to put it off entirely too long. And lastly work on organizing the wish you could category. You may not be able to do it all right now but possibly you could do parts right now? So do as much as you can now, and make a list of dates that you hope to have the other parts completed by.

Along with organizing for spring comes cleaning for spring. The easiest that I’ve figured out is to take your spring cleaning one room at a time. The reason this works for me is because I need to see progress. I am motivated by that one room being completely done.

So instead of cleaning out all the closets in your house, then washing all the windows in your house, and finally washing all the glass throughout your house, concentrate on just one room at a time. Clean that one closet, wash only the windows in that one room, mop the floors in that one room, display some new greenery in just that one room and voilà you have completed one entire room! So let that motivate you to move onto the next room, next weekend. Happy spring cleaning all.

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Wreathery and Caring

When I heard the heartbreaking news of a former coworker losing her 40 year old, only child, to stage 4 pancreatic cancer I knew immediately I had to create a wreath for my friend named Sandy. I worked with Sandy for over 13 years starting in 1985. Sandy loves gardening so I wanted to to make a wreath that she could possibly hang in a quiet spot in her garden. With a little bit of shipping supplies and a lot of love, this piece began coming together.

I’ve often seen these unique wrought iron and wood, angel wings at Hobby Lobby so that was my inspiration. Saturday I picked up two angel wings, along with a starfish and a wrought-iron ring holding three wooded seagulls inside. I plan to attach the angel wings to a huge grapevine wreath then add some soft pink flowers and finish it with the starfish and seagulls as the beach was her daughters most favorite thing. How sad must my friend be, missing her only child, wondering why and longing to hug her daughter just one more time. It’s my hope that this unique wreath will show my heat felt love and my sympathy.

The second Wreath Shoppe project is being donated to the Sunflower Galla, a fundraiser for Miss Holly’s House (a private Christian school that my friends little girls attend.) Rita approached me for donating a wreath this year, since last year’s wreath was a huge hit, bringing in over $150 at the auction. This is a special fund raiser as it would have been Miss Holly’s son’s birthday. Her son was killed in a farming accident when he fell into a full grain bin and suffocated before he could be rescued. His death came at an extremely hard time, because Miss Holly was close to opening her private school and her son was her number one supporter. Miss Holly somehow found the strength to finish the school in honor of her son.

This year’s wreath is a messy, rambling, spring event of the ever palest of pinks and the deepest of purples. It just goes to show how useful shipping supplies can be in putting together beautiful wreaths. Like many of my past Christmas decorations that were tweaked for a different look, this wreath was tweaked from hanging on my son and daughter in-laws front door last year. It was one of my all time favorite creations simply because of its wildflower look, and its rambling vines and twigs. The twigs were tweaked from a wedding event, so they were repurposed for the third time. I still remember gathering the twigs and spray painting them white, with no idea that they would end up on a donation wreath to Miss Holly.

This should catch you up on the latest projections at the Wreath Shoppe, until next time, may you enjoy life to its fullest and may you be blessed beyond anything you could fathom.

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Kitting Out Your Travel Bus

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

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

So what goes into this process?

Make your mark on it.

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

Comfy sleeping.

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

Build out a kitchen area.

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

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Keeping Up with the Times

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

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

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

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

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

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Cleaning Up Your Bad Habits

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Packing Up

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

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

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

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

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

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Is Christmas Still Around?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Change Is Coming

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

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

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

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

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

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