How to take gift wrapping to a new level of fun.

Wrapping gifts is really a fun tradition in my family.  Rather it is for your birthday or for Christmas it is always a great time to wrap gifts.  It may be part of the hobbit tradition but it is amazing to see someone’s face light up from a gift.  Putting in the thought and seeing the joy in someone’s face is even better than receiving a gift to me.  But that is 100% based on personality.  So it is not a surprise that one of my favorite times of the year is the Christmas Season.  This is mainly because of all the time I get to spend with my family.  It is not just my immediate family either, but my wife’s family as well. 

I find that I get to spend a whole week visiting and talking with all sides of my family each year and I absolutely love it.  Seeing all the kids from my family is a wonderful thing and watching them grow and hearing all the things they are doing is just fun! But probably the best thing about it is the gift-giving.  My side of the family has a fun tradition between the guys in the family. We love to make wrapping and unwrapping gift extreme.  How do we do this?  We use packaging supplies to the max and I certainly mean to the max

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

So, now that duct tape is available in a multitude of different patterns we are able to use it for a multitude of different things.  I love the camo patterns personally but my family does enjoy the Christmas wrapping look that duct tape also comes in.  So the candy cane stripes are one type of tape I now pick up.  There is also packing tape which is a favorite of my brothers. I will admit it is much more effective at making it hard to get into packages but it is also more time-consuming and harder to wrap gifts. So if I am in a hurry duct tape always wins, but if I have the time to add a layer of packing tape it does make it harder to get into a gift. I hope you can take my enthusiasm and have a fun time gift giving this year as well. 

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Learn about the cardboard waste of 2021

Knowing is half the battle of a whole lot of things and especially when it comes to the environment.  I am learning that 2021 is not going to be much different than the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 and that all the extra eCommerce companies are going to make cardboard even worse for the environment this year.  This year has brought on many thoughts that would not normally be brought to mind.  The Covid 19 pandemic has changed our entire way of life in the United States and most likely the world as a whole.  Our economies have in many ways been shut down temporarily.  The way of providing certain products has 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 cheap moving boxes originated from.  When was cardboard created and where was it created?  Does it even matter on days such as this?

The more I was interested the more I decided I wanted to know what was helping bring the ned of the world.  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 that 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 over 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.  The fact that it came from China was almost funny, but they are an industrial monstrosity now and it is due justice.  

Times have changed, but the product has also evolved as well.  Now cardboard was not actually called cardboard until recently.  Its 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 worldwide 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. 

It is only growing and the Pandemic has allowed it to thrive even more.  I can only hope we are being wise in our efforts to help the environment with our use. 

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Shopping in 2021 for Tasty Treats

If you are now shopping and baking in 2021 then you know things can be a bit hard. I am a huge fan of shopping and I know that things are different and when you finally get what you want it needs to be able to be kept safe.  When it comes to finding the right container for your things, it can sometimes be tough. I mean, when you have to turn to packing up and moving all your things, some items are simply too oddly shaped or need specific boxes to house them.

We all know about moving and think about the things that always break.  For example, think about picture frames. They almost always have glass covers and usually house a special photo you’ve had for years. You don’t exactly want to stack these in a cardboard box, do you? Seems like a pretty precarious idea. Instead, you look for thin picture boxes suited to protecting your frames. There is no difference than when it comes to your special bakes either!

We all know it is true that when it comes to confectionaries, cupcakes, and candies are no different. You may own your own bakery or candy store. Similarly, you may just be someone who enjoys baking and selling your goods to family, friends, and other people in your community. It brings you joy to create foods that people find sweet, delicious, and comforting. 

Now let’s get down to the parts that matter.  So, you need a container for them, whether you’re shipping them or simply wanting to give your customers something worth presentation. Look no further than candy boxes. These sorts of boxes are perfect for displaying your sweet treats in specific orders, or simply just separating different types of candy.  Times have changed and we are not talking about pizza boxes from the 50’s.  The best part of these boxes is how inexpensive they are. You can grab a ton in bulk to have in your storage for the next year if you please. The best part is that they don’t cut into your profit margins, as they’re very cheap and extremely useful. 

Now move into the mind games that can make you profitable. By having your treats in candy boxes, you also boost the perceived value that your customer will associate with your goods. They’ll see a nice presentation and container that holds the things they actually wanted within. You’ll come off as more professional, more successful, and more detailed simply by having a sense of presentation attached to the things you bake and create.  So if you’re on the fence about taking the plunge into specified containers for your goods, I’m here to say you should do it. You must not go low end on the things that really matter.  Paper bags aren’t enough. And loaning your own Tupperware containers out can get exhausting, especially if you don’t get them back in a timely fashion from family members.   So add a few things to your home or store.  Having these boxes will boost your business, create a sense of professionalism, and even give you a “brand” that is recognizable by many. Don’t hesitate on grabbing some of these containers for your next few months of baking. It’ll serve you well.  Now bake like you mean it!

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Cardboard box winter uses

There are so many uses for boxes in our lives.  With 2020 bringing about so many more to our normal lives it is really fun to find ways to use them.  We all know how useful cardboard is throughout the year. You use it to store things away. You use it to move items from one house to another. You use it for crafts with the kids. These all seem to be ways that boxes are used “positively” or as they were intended to be used when you first obtained them. 

Now it is also fun to get creative when there are so many more of these items laying around.  But what about uses you hadn’t thought of? What about uses for cheap moving boxes you have lying around that are a little more on the side of clean up? What about uses that will ultimately destroy your old boxes? Well, here’s a list of ways you can put your old, tattered boxes to use this winter and not mind them getting destroyed in the process. It is also a little more environmentally friendly.

These boxes can be used to make those leaky messes better.  Do you have a motorcycle that leaks oil.  Well then start stacking these puppies under it.  Or if you have a car that does the same this is a great way to save your garage.   Not sure if you’ve ever seen your dad or grandpa do this, but if there’s been an oil spill or leak of some sort in your garage and you don’t have the means to soak it up with a typical clean-up salt or powder, portions of cheap moving boxes do the trick in a pinch. Just rip a slab off and place it on top of whatever liquid is pooled up in your garage. After a few hours, it’ll have soaked it up well enough to discard the cardboard.  It is a smart thing to do that can save you some money. 

Using these are also really nice to keep the mess down from firewood.  If you’ve got a fireplace but no indoor wood rack, you’ll eventually get tired of walking out into the cold to grab wood off your porch. Even though you may not want to fork out the cash to go get an indoor wood rack or even build one yourself, placing a strip of cardboard on your floor will protect your flooring from wood even when it’s stacked up and it shifts around.

I cut up wood and logs all the time for my fireplace.  It is something that I simply love to do but sometimes you do need a little extra help. Speaking of fires, sometimes it’s tough to find the smaller pieces of wood used for kindling, especially if you don’t use firebricks. Cardboard can get the fire going nicely since it burns slower than paper and can serve as your backup kindling whenever you’re out of the necessary pieces to kickstart your flame.

Before you break down those boxes. The next time you think about tossing your old boxes because they’re ripped, slightly wet, or just falling apart in general, create a stash to use during the winter for these few things. You never know when you may want to use something like this as a means to save some cash and time. I love doing it.

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Wrapping Gifts for Christmas

Christmas is one of the most fun times of the year.  Looking out my window right now the first snow of the year is going on and it seems that a little bit of magic has landed on my state.  It is just lovely to see the change in the weather and with that usually comes all of the fun gatherings of friends, family, and co-workers.  I love all the get-togethers and all the time spent, but with that usually comes the exchange of some kind of gifts.  With all the different types of people and gifts to give I have found that wrapping changes for each and every situation.  I know that either way I am going to stock up on my favorite packaging supplies in order to get all the wrapping done that I like to do.  And I mean packaging supplies are needed because I like to wrap my presents like a brick vault.  Or more like a bank vault I think is the correct term.

What I have found though is that wrapping presents need to be a little different depending on who is receiving them and where.  That is a key part of Christmas because some people do not react the same as others and you need to cater that wrapping in the best of ways.  So that is why I plan on going over a few different ways I wrap gifts and for which situation.

When it comes to wrapping gifts for close friends and family that are usually buddies I like to go an extra step.  I like to make gifts super hard to get into and the more complicated and tricky they are the more fun.  Usually, I know that my brother in particular is truly expecting the extra work he has to put in.  I think it is hilarious that most people know to bring a nice knife when they come to one of my gift-giving moments. Duct tape is a favorite of mine and when you are able ot mix that with packing tape at the same time the package can get crazy.  Boxes are super easy to get into, so I like to use plastic wrap and tape to suffice as the wrapping material.  But this is all for fun and I am careful not to put the gift in jeopardy as a knife is being used.  Now many people hate these types of gifts and simply get angry at having to dig into them so harshly.  So be careful who you wrap a gift for this hard. 

For work gifts, I am now over the whole idea of wrapping.  I like to actually use Christmas gift bags instead and find that this tends to work super well.  The best part of gift bags is the time savings that goes into them.  I don’t really like spending a ton of time on a gift that needs to go quickly in a group setting.  No one wants to wait around while someone takes forever to open a gift when 50 people have to do the same.  So be smart when it comes to company gift wrapping and do yourself a favor and simply make it quick.  Your whole company will thank you and your coworker who is opening the gift will as well.

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Moving in the Rain.

There is so much hustle and bustle in the air right now in the real estate market.  The country is well, falling apart, but that has allowed the housing market to boom.  Interest rates are at an all-time low and are most likely going to stay that way for a super long time.  This means that people are selling, and buying faster than ever before.  It is a wild thing to see and it is pretty fun to see as well.  But during this time of year where I live we get a lot of rain and that can really complicated things if you are planning to move in this season.  It means you never know when a rainstorm may pop up and you should probably plan on being able to change days or deal with the weather one way or the other.  I know that sounds like a pretty hard thing to do and with closing issues and dates and deadlines it is sometimes simply not an option at all.  But I have moved a lot of times and helped many family members move as well and this has taught me a few things and I just want to prepare you for what can happen. 

The one thing that seems to matter the most is the actual way you are going to transport all of your goods on a moving day.  Most people already know that they are going to call all their friends and family who have trucks to help move, but in some ways that is honestly a bad moving move and more costly than you might think.  I have had a lot of experience with moving items in and out of trucks and moving them a long distance in trucks as well.  What I found out is that this is usually one of the worst vehicles to use to move heavy objects.  It is also terrible in the rain because the vast majority do not have covers or if they do it severely limits what can go in them. 

The fact is that trucks sit up higher than most vehicles.  Or they also have sides on the truck bed that don’t allow for easy access to getting items in or out.  I have seen multiple times damage occur to not only the truck but the item going in it.  What more likely happens is the person who is putting heavy items in the truck gets hurt as well.  This is because the truck or the bed sits up too high and the items are being lifted in an unsafe or in a tired state.  Either way, it leads to damage and usually cost of damage to the item and truck.  This is costly and it also hurts morale of the people moving too.  So try to avoid the truck on a rainy day because it is hard and items get wet when it rains.

Getting a moving vehicle that is covered on all sides is truly the best option because now these almost always come with a ramp.  The cost of these is usually 100 bucks a day and that generally is much less than damage to a truck or your goods.  It covers the items so no cheap moving boxes get drenched and all the items ruined.  I have seam so many cheap moving boxes covered in rain and then when someone goes to pick them up they fall apart.  Get a moving truck and pat yourself on the back!

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The Tape You Need

Growing up comes with lots of responsibilities for the average person.  It also means learning a lot of things that you never thought you would or that you ever really wanted to learn.  This year I have had expansive knowledge thrown upon me by necessity and some of those random tidbits of information have come in strange ways.  I have learned more about tape this year than I ever imagined I would and that is because I have used it in so many different places this year.  I have jumped into eCommerce and also jumped into homeownership and learned that so many different types of tape are good for different things.  It has been a crazy adventure of learning and it has cost me many lessons and some of that cost and also saved me lots of money.  So i just want to talk about a few of them and how I was able to procure the packaging supplies I needed for the different tasks and the things I have learned.

The first task that I was thrust into was because my work ended up doing more in-house marketing.  We needed to cut some budget funds due to COVID-19 losses and we decided to cut out some of our marketing budgets.  This meant some projects that still needed to be done had to be done in our own office and by our own hands.  We sent out gift boxes and had outsourced that job before but decided to do it on our own.  Our boxes were all packed in one giant box that we sent over to cut down on some costs.  What we saw as that the tape involved was having troubles holding and with all the strips we were using it looked super bad. 

Instead of using regular packing tape we decided to instead move into a new realm of gum tape.  THis allowed us to use one strip at a time and it helps up super well.  It made the overall look of the gift box much better and it didn’t look like trash.  The worst thing is to send a gift that looks bad and we found out by talking to packaging supplies stores that we could change our entire tape to a wet tape.  THis allowed us to use less and it was much stronger in the long run.  IT cut down on some costs for us and saved us a ton of money.

What I also found was that different tapes are around for a ton of different things.  When working on my home we found plumbing issues to be the least fun.  That is because they leaked and it was making a costly mess on things.  So instead of highering a plumber we searched and found Teflon tape was what professionals used on all threadings for homes plumbing due to the sizing inconsistencies in different companies and years manufacturing.  This little tape saved us thousands on plumbing costs and hourly rates.  It was easy to use and a simple strip on each pipe cutdown on a lot of leaks, dribbles, and costs.  So make sure to pick up some of that for your home because you never know when you may need it!  Tape is awesome and I suggest you learn a bit about it too because it can save some money.

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Get the Right Box for the Right Job

This year I have learned a whole lot of new skills and tricks in the business industry.  I am always looking to learn new things and to stay on top of the market, but this year is 2020 and the whole economy started to change.  Half of it got shutdown and eCommerce went nuts.  This left the industry in a frenzy trying to get online and to make money while your brick and mortar store was shutdown.  I am blown away by the rush to the eCommerce market and it has left many people in bankruptcy and many people in crazy success.  So one thing I have seen is that people are purchasing their packaging supplies in a not so wise manner and it is costing them thousands of dollars and a big percentage of every single sale they make.  So I wanted to go over some tips for eCommerce to may help you not start out in a hole.

The craziest thing I have seen was a company who simply went to their nearest office depot to get packaging supplies.  They spent a lot of money on retail pricing that did not fit their product well. They kept doing this for several months before conceding their business and declaring bankruptcy.  They were flat out losing money on every single sale they made compared to their competition and it was very sad.  They simply could have increased their margins by 10% on each sale if they even went shopping on Amazon for supplies and that is not even the best place to look for those products.

So the main idea here is also to know what type of box you need for the item you are even selling.  That can be a huge determining factor in the rest of what you will need.  You may need a different kind of box or bag altogether. The fact is that you probably don’t know what you need and that is ok. I certainly didn’t know what I needed when I started selling online.  I wasted money on buying products that were overpriced and did not fit well. This was when I conceded I needed help and ended up calling some major manufactures of boxes and tape.  They ended up telling me that I was in the whole wrong area and gave multiple companies they worked for and what they did and how much less they spent.  Knowing they worked with major companies helped me to feel better about feeling stupid about spending so much on the wrong products.

After a great call with an agent from the company, I learned how to cut my costs by 30% and found the right products that terminated a lot of items I was using.  The knowledge I gained was huge and i would never have gotten that from Amazon or Office Depot.  Understanding the right package also saved me on returns.  THe lost money on returns from having a box that was too big lost me a good amount of money and this was a great way to cut down on those losses as well.  It was beyond a win-win for me and I plan on sticking with this company for a long time for the advice and bulk pricing discounts that I received.

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Best Barrier Bags to Suit your Needs

What are the Barrier Bags?

Barrier bags are unique bags made to protect the content inside. The bag is sealed to prevent dirt, moisture, and other impurities. Barrier bags are either made with heavy specific properties to counter smell or puncture. The bags are available depending on the industry you are working in, or else they are simply available on a large scale in the market.

A barrier bag will stop the smell, gas, or light movement. They can, therefore, serve a better function in food preservation and will ultimately reduce food wastage a lot.

There are different materials used in the manufacture of barrier bags. The material will determine the purpose and, more so, the oxygen transmission rate. The most common custom material is foil.

Barrier bag Alternatives

Check out the options available when looking for a barrier bag to suit your storage needs.

1. Nylon/ Poly Coextruded Bags

These are the most utilized barrier bag materials in the history of barrier bag manufacture. The oxygen transmission rate for this type ranges between 2-5cc. They are widely used because of their affordability. Their OTR is also a great contributor since their counterparts; the pallet wrapper stretch firm, has an OTR of 450-500cc. The best barrier bag ought to have a lower OTR. To increase the preservation times, gas flush works well.

2. Nylon/ Poly Coextruded Opaque Barrier Bags

The opaque bags are similar to poly coextruded but are made of opaque color to block sunlight. Black and white is a commonly used color. The bags are used while seeking to preserve products which are more sensitive to light and oxygen. Opaque bags offer the best food preservation ways.

3. Nylon/ EVOH Coextruded Barrier Bags

EVOH storage is used when storing acidic or products high in oil. The importance of EVOH, Ethylene Vinyl Alcohol can be laminated with nylon to make these bags at home. The material reduces transmission and heightens the storage period. Going the EVOH way is also a contributor to lower OTR. It takes the OTR down to 0.02. This type works best with nuts, metal plants, and dried fruits, among others.

4. Foil+PET/LLDPE Barrier bag clear Front

The other foil in this bag reduces the bag’s permeability. The bags display the contents carried. These bags will serve you best if you are interested in increasing the barriers as you display the bag content at the same time.

5. Foil+PET/LLDPE Barrier Bags

This is all-foil enclosure bags. The bag prevents internal content from lighting and offers the highest oxygen barriers. These enclosed foil bags can be used in coffee, dairy products, and cannabis preservation.

There are several additional options to be considered when getting a barrier bag.

1. Printing will not make the bag more expensive but determines the transmission levels.

2. Hanger holes type. The custom barrier bag should consider the hanger holes. They give much more privacy. Through hanger holes, you can display more sales options.

3. Childproof Re-Closable seal.-this seal is the best to have in a home with small kids. The childproof means it will keep the content far from the children. The bags contain a hidden lip, which has to be pulled to open the seal.

4. Re-closable seal. The takes care of wasting many barrier bags. The bag has a re-closable seal. This means it’s possible to preserve food after the initial opening.

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Don’t Waste Your Boxes

If you are living in this century and the year is 2020 or greater then you are probably living in a box world.  If you don’t know what I mean then you may have not lived through the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic.  This has led to an entire change in lifestyles and how people get and receive goods.  The fact of the matter is that eCommerce and having items shipped directly to your home is the way things are happening for a near majority of all shopping due to the pandemic and regulations restricting shopping in person.  This has led to millions of boxes being produced shipped and finding their way to people’s home and soon their trash.  I implore you to change the way you are getting rid of those 5, 10, 50 boxes a week and not to just throw them into the trash.  I want you to recycle them properly so they don’t go to waste and the cost of shipping does not go up for all.

This is not the easiest thing to do and I know because in my neighborhood and with my city recycling is hard.  I only have one trashcan a week to use for recycling and it is not big and my boxes will not all just be able to be tossed in.  Instead of having a great system, my garage was filled up with boxes for months until I figured out a reasonable way to recycle properly.  I was not able to just drive and drop them off at a recycling factory like I used to.  So many things became illegal and nonessential overnight that it was hard to see that become one of them.  So I had to find a way to get all of these packaging supplies into my recycling bin safely and easily. 

What I found is that the only way to get all of the packaging supplies into the single trashcan was to cut them up and put them in by perfect shape.  This sounds super simple and really easy, but in fact it was really not.  I ended up getting blisters to start and tons of paper cuts.  This was because first I just tossed the boxes in and saw they didn’t really fit. I tried to crush them down but then the trash people would not shake the can or help get the boxes out.  Now I was stuck with a half-full recycling can after the trashmen had come.  This was disappointing and I had to find a better way.

So I then went to get some scissors after I tried tearing the boxes.  I had to get scissors because my hands got these huge cardboard paper cuts and it was simply not worth it.  I then tried to scissor the boxes into the right shape and for a bit it worked great.  Then after a few boxes my hands got red hot spots and blisters started to form.  This was not fun, not sustainable and I had to find a better way.  Finally, I found a big fishing knife and it worked really well.

This knife was a fixed blade knife that had a good steel on it.  Cardboard is actually really hard on knife steel and dulls it quickly so you may need a good sharpener to go along with your knife.  But this was easy to use and didn’t cause my hand to get blisters.  I cut the boxes safely into small pieces and put them in the can allowing it to be filled to capacity.

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