Some Super Simple but Totally Adorable Homemade Storage Suggestions

I was browsing through Pinterest the other day when I came upon an article that spoke of storage solutions that were not only thrifty but also DIY.  Now, I’m the kind of gal that loves storage, and I love thriftiness, and I love doing it all myself.  Naturally, I clicked on this article, and the first amazing thing that caught my eye was how she called herself a “housie”.

I immediately fell in love with this term.  I am not a “foodie”, but I could definitely call myself a “house”.  The rest of her ideas in this article were just too good to not share:

  • Hands down, my favorite suggestion was using metal baskets and securing them to the wall. You can secure them facing up for a basket, or facing out for shelves.  They can hold anything from outgoing mail to your favorite books.  A truly genius idea.
  • Those little dip containers that you get from your take-out orders? Save them!  Of course you will need to wash them first, but when they are clean you can decorate the lid with a cute piece of paper and then label them with a sharpie and use them to hold little stuff: keys, safety pins, paper clips, small batteries…
  • By now most of us have seen how you can cover and line just about any kind of cardboard boxes and they suddenly become adorable storage cubes.
  • If you aren’t into cardboard boxes you can get plain wooden ones from craft stores, on sale, and then spray paint all one color, but then cover the front of each one with different kinds of patterned fabric or paper.
  • If you are handy with a saw, or have someone in your life that is, take some old boards and use them to make a caddy. If you are using the caddy in your bathroom make the compartments large enough to hold a small mason jar, which makes for easy cleaning.   Use them to store toothbrushes and toothpaste, hair clips, Q-tips…
  • Back to cardboard boxes: cereal boxes apparently make THE best desk organizers and drawer dividers. You can cut them into all sorts of adorable sizes and shapes and glue them all together, or have them separate, or even attach them to the wall or fridge!  This is my second favorite idea, because the Lord knows how many cereal boxes we go through in my house.
  • Finally, print out pictures of the toys that go in each bin and then tape them to the front of the bins so that your kids (and anyone helping pick up!) has no doubt about what goes where.

The Best Way to Ship Your Camping Gear

You wouldn’t think that camping gear is a popular thing to ship, but it actually is.  It sounds a little counter-intuitive, right?  Sending camping gear on ahead to the campsite?  Turns out that it makes sense for a lot of people to do this.  There are hiking and biking trails that stretch across most of the United States, and no one is going to be able to carry all of their gear for that entire time.

This is when the hikers and bikers send boxes to themselves at certain checkpoints along the way.  Or maybe, quite simply, you want to go camping in the mountains of California but you live in the suburbs of Ohio.  You are obviously going to take a flight to Cali, but you are just as obviously not going to be lugging all that gear along with you.  So you ship it!  Before you start buying random shipping supplies and throwing your camping gear in boxes, read these helpful tips and hints:

Choosing the Best Carrier

Usually airline shipping has incredibly high rates, and you won’t be able to send certain items that you might find crucial for camping (things like matches and hatchets).  Parcel shipping through the regular postal service makes sense for packages weighing less than a hundred pounds, but it starts to get a little complicated when you take into consideration the sizes of things.

Are you shipping a large tent or a camping stove?  Due to size restrictions you’re going to have to send things in separate parcels, which means that you are going to be spending more on shipping supplies, and also that your stuff runs the risk of getting separated.  LTL shipping carriers are generally the best option.  Look for one that specializes in shipping awkward items, that they will ship prohibited items, and that they have a nationwide network.

Preparing Your Gear

When purchasing your shipping supplies, choose heavy duty cardboard boxes, lots of bubble wrap, and heavy duty sealing tape.  Wrap each item in bubble wrap and put them in shipping boxes meant for up to twenty to thirty pounds.  Label each box on the outside with the final destination.  As for restricted items, double check with the carrier as to how they will want those packaged.  If possible, wrap and box all of the large items as well.  You may want to consider putting all of the smaller packages into a large box, or even on a pallet if your carrier is outfitted for that.


Homemade Candy Boxes (and the History of Decoupage)

By a show of hands, how many of us have received a homemade gift and thought it was the worst possible gift ever?  On the other hand, how many of us have ever received a homemade gift and thought it was the greatest gift ever?  The thing is that a homemade gift is basically always the best, and if you think they are terrible than you are probably egotistical and materialistic.  (Just kidding. Not kidding).  This is because a gift doesn’t have to be expensive or even that pertinent to hold value.  Still, if you want to make a homemade gift that will be universally appreciated, I suggest you start handing out handmade candy boxes.

Allow me to explain.

Just about any craft store is going to sell unfinished candy boxes, which you would then buy and decorate and stuff with [preferably] homemade candy.  Or, if you are really gung-ho and not willing to cop out, you can make your own candy boxes using cardstock and templates.

Consider decoupage.  The word “decoupage” is obviously French, therefore you would think that it has French origins.  Well, get this.  Someone out there supposedly uncovered that original decoupage (which was obviously not called by this French word yet) was actually tomb art.  That’s right.  Tomb art.  In Siberia, of all places, they supposedly cut out pieces of felt and used the cutouts to decorate the tombs of their loved ones.  The Chinese caught on, and then the Italians became famous for it.  Don’t ask me where the French word came from all of that.

The point of me providing you with that free history lesson is to show that decoupage is quite artisan and classic, therefore beloved by all.  Thankfully, in our day and age, it is a lot easier to accomplish.  You can literally cut some pictures out of a magazine and Modge Podge them to just about anything.  In this situation it would be your homemade candy boxes.  Then, after your joyful recipient finishes savoring their final bite of homemade confectionary, they can use the decorated box for storing keepsakes, or jewelry.

The thing that I like best about making these is that I can personalize them.  I can theme them based on whomever I’m giving them to, and I can give them to just about everyone I know.  You can even consider lining the inside of the box with satin, or the bottom with a piece of felt.  You can paint the inside for added flare or decoupage a solitary cutout at the bottom, to be a little bit of a surprise when the candy is all gone.

Should you Outsource your Freight Logistics Management?

If you own a business, either directly or indirectly, you are dealing with the shipping industry. Which means that you are dealing with everything from keeping the shipping boxes fully stocked to knowing about freight logistics.  Due to the exponential increase in shipping demands, primarily because of the exponential increase in ecommerce companies, freight logistics has been experiencing a lot of its own changes.


As a result, a lot of companies have begun to outsource their logistics management.  There are a couple things to look at when considering whether or not you should outsource, or if you are capable of handling your freight logistics on your own:

  • Logistics business is incredibly large and keeps growing. Being able to stay on top of the trends and changes is crucial to improving margins and customer satisfaction.  Therefore, someone who knows what to look for needs to be in charge of this component of your business.  (Hint: the person ordering your shipping boxes should not be the same person in charge of your logistics).
  • Logistics is international, with hugely emerging markets in countries like China and India. Part of the changes and trends related to freight logistics have to do with international policies, procedures, and regulations, which are also always changing.
  • A lot of economic problems and challenges have begun to effect freight logistics. Regulations and taxes have become especially stringent and problematic.  Physical space being available for moving everything (truck space, place space, etc.) is incredibly limited compared to the demand.  The number of drivers is at an all-time low.  Profits are low, which results in equipment growing old and and not being properly repaired.  Whomever is in charge of your company’s freight logistics needs to have a working knowledge of all of these components and know how to navigate through them in order to find the best possible carriers to work with.

In short, freight logistics is a lot more complicated than putting some shipping boxes on the back of a truck and getting them from point A to point B.  Are you savvy enough to handle all of the ins and outs and ups and downs of maximizing your company’s resources?  Especially for an e-commerce business, shipping is a crucial component of the customer’s experience.  It is a large representation of how your company conducts their business.  You just might need to consider outsourcing to a specialized logistics firm.