8 Things You Need to Know About Holiday Shipping

If you want to make sure that your holiday shipping goes well this year, you may want to start planning your gift giving early. Specifically, if your shopping experiences will end up in sending packages to family and friends via various shipping companies. Because the hustle and bustle of shopping do take time, you need to know what the best strategy is to take. This is especially true if you are looking to save time and money, while also making sure each package makes it to their destination on time or before. Having said that, here are 8 common questions that people need responses to in advance.

1. When Should I Send My Gifts to Friends and Family?

While there is no fast and established rule for shipping packages by a certain time, there are some parameters that you need to think about for the holidays. Because the number of packages shipped during these times increases by 11 million and more, the chances of them reaching the destination on time get less and less. So, you must factor in this extra time and the season to plan your arrivals on time.

2. What do you recommend as the best Methods of Packing?

Fortunately, there are many great tips available. Many of which will help to prevent breakage and other damages in shipment. For instance, never use a box that is too large for the item since it will naturally shift and sometimes even break during transit. Before shipping furniture items, disassemble the parts as much as you can prior to placing them inside the box.

3. Should I wrap my gifts first?

One basic rule of thumb is not to let the gift wrapping fever get in the way of the actual shipping. For instance, if you are shipping a bike or any type of furniture, exclude the bows. However, if there are smaller packages like candy boxes, you have a better chance of getting away with it.

4. Common Items that Cannot Be Shipped

Since shipping food has become a staple in many areas of the country, people may expect food items to be shipped by any carrier. For TSI, this is not the case, so these items must be shipped by another food friendly carrier. Other items that cannot be shipped are those smaller parcels.

5. What is TSI’s response to the winter weather?

When the roads around the country are clear enough to drive, TSI will be driving too.

6. What Occurs If Shipments are Delayed?

TSi is known for charging lower rates so the dates provided are estimates only. However, if one has a shipping issue that they need to discuss, they can feel free to contact TSI’s representatives.

7. Economy or White Gloves – When is White Glove Service Appropriate

With 2 levels of service provided to TSI customers, people can choose the one that suits their needs. Normally, the economy is considered to be the best choice. However, if you premium service that you do not prefer to be concerned about, white glove service is always the way to go.

8. Should my Shipments Be Insured?

Presently, all packages that are sent through transit have a basic amount of insurance on each. However, for peace of mine on antiques, fragile and delicate items, you may want the additional protection of shipping insurance.

17 Things to do with Your Empty Cardboard Boxes

Most people just throw their boxes away once their initial usefulness expires. Below I will show you 17 things to do with a cardboard box other than throwing it out.

You can save those cardboard boxes until a time comes when you need to give someone else a present. You can use an old cardboard box to create and sturdy thank you card.

Dinner Circles
You can use an old cardboard tube, such as the ones found in aluminum foil or paper towels to create a custom napkin ring. Simple paint them up or wrap fabric around the cardboard tube and you have a beautiful one of a kind napkin ring.

Make a Plant Pot
With just a cardboard box and a trash bag with a few holes in it, you will be able to make the perfect plant pot, but although the trash bag will keep the inside of the box from getting wet, it is best to keep these cardboard plant pots inside to avoid them getting wet.

Children’s Toys
You can make some great activities for your child with a cardboard box. Sit down with your child and have an arts and crafts day and create something unique!

Storage Containers
With just a few sheets of fabric and some glue you can create some simple, yet luxurious totes. People won’t believe that you made them yourself.

Cat’s Best Friend
We all know felines love playing with boxes, but did you know you can shape and glue cardboard to make an excellent scratching post for your whiskered-friend?

A Maze
If you’ve just moved chances are you have a lot of empty boxes and probably some empty space in your house. Take the boxes all to one room and create a maze for your child to play with – at least until its time to furnish that new room.

Get yourself some decorative duct tape or a jar of waterproof finish and you can make some drink coasters whose design is only limited by your imagination.

You can use cardboard cut outs as gift tags, price tags, or simply as labels to keep your things organized.

Weed Killer
Take a peace of cardboard and place it on a weed riddled area of your lawn. By spraying water on the cardboard, the weeds below will drown with no access to the sun to dry them up, now just lay over some fresh top soil and plant your grass.

Paint Palette 
A simple cut out of a cardboard box makes an excellent paint palette for the artists out there.

Book Organization
You can use rectangular cardboard containers to store your magazines or books in on your bookshelf.

Party Decor
A lot of people use paper to create streamers and banners for their parties, but if you use cardboard it make give your party a much more professional look.

Coat your cardboard with primer and white paint. The cardboard wont have the same properties as real canvas but any artist worth his weight could still make it work.

Bird Feeder
By using the cardboard in a paper towel row, you can make a bird feeder for the local birds.

Gift Bags
Teachers can use cardboard to make unique gift bags for their students on special occasions. Perfect for parents too!

Picture Mats
Cut the cardboard in a square and wrap it in thin fabric and you have a custom made picture mat. They will make an excellent addition to your frames.

Make Candy Boxes By Yourself

A present that’s handmade is a precious thing. It’s worth much more than anything you can purchase at the store, too. If you want to wow someone with a gift they’ll cherish for life, bake cookies or anything else and package them with care and love. The present will stand the test of time for sure. It can be wise to make use of a particularly attractive and sturdy container as well. Gift recipients consume the tasty foods that are in the containers. The containers, however, last for ages. People can depend on them to store all sorts of items. Some random examples are coins, accessories, letters, paper clips and stationery.

‘Decoupage’ is how French people say “cut out.” If you cut something out, you can proceed by placing it right on top of a flat surface. Visit a local store that specializes in arts and crafts supplies and hobbies in general. You should be able to easily come across numerous boxes that are unfinished. These boxes shouldn’t cost a lot, either. They typically consist of light wood or sturdy cardboard. They’re generally accessible in sizes big, medium and small. Many shape options are typically accessible as well. You should be able to locate a box that can easily accommodate all of your requirements.

Decoupage is a practice that can suit so many kinds of containers. It can suit containers that are composed of the majority of material options out there. Metal isn’t an exception. It can be appropriate for all forms of artwork, too. If you find magazine images that strike your fancy, decoupage can be a good activity. Decoupage can be fitting for images that come from greeting cards, catalogs, books and a whole lot more. Some people go for fabric decoupage.

If you take the time to research decoupage, you should get a lot of inspiration. Getting immersed in the universe of decoupage can be quite a motivating and fulfilling experience for any arts and crafts lover.

Think carefully about the exact color of the box you use for decoupage applications. Does it provide your project with an unassuming background? Is it beige, off-white or white? It can work well to select a color that doesn’t interfere with your overall design and theme in any manner. You want to prioritize a shade that doesn’t steal the show at all. Acrylic gesso can come in handy for decoupage projects. If you apply a significant amount of coating, it should contribute to a surface that’s even, nice and free of any imperfections and roughness. Acrylic paint can make a strong choice for a background. It’s also imperative to go for a classic decoupage finish. This finish can keep the design on for good. These materials are water-soluble and because of that won’t lead to the need for extensive and time-consuming cleanup work.

Think about trying an antiquing finish. This kind of finish can give your box a pleasant nostalgic and traditional vibe. If you want your box to complement the style of the woodcut beautifully, antiquing finish can be effective. Antiquing is optimal on top of backdrops that are comparatively light and subtle in atmosphere. Avoid trying antiquing on backgrounds that are loud or excessively flashy and fancy. You don’t want your project to look too busy and involved. Decoupage projects for candy boxes can be joyous experiences

Re-purposing Cardboard Boxes

Although many things change and develop with time, there are still a few things where the original design is still the best. One of these items is the cardboard box. It is said that the cardboard box dates all the way back to 1817! In today’s world with all of the technology and “better ways to do things”, it is estimated that 90% of all items shipped, use some type of cardboard packaging. Surprising isn’t it! That being said, as a result, that’s a lot of waste when we are done with the box!

This useful guide will help you not only reduce the waste, but also provide useful ways to make your life a daily tasks easier and cheaper. Impress your friends with your creativity!

1. Re-Gifting
This one is my favorite. Usually you can find a box to fit the item better without the need for all of that messy Styrofoam packing. The best part is that it adds an additional element of surprise with the receiver unwraps the gift. The box doesn’t give away what’s inside!

2. Napkin Bands
These are a great way to spice up any event. It really adds class to any event when the napkins are rolled neatly with a touch of creativity. All you need is tube from a paper towel roll and some fabric. You can usually get the fabric as scraps from a fabric shop.

3. Storage.
Cardboard boxes have many options. You can cover the box with fabric, or even paint it with left over paint from when you painted the room. The paint or fabric with some tacks or pins from a craft store lets you personalize as much or little as you wish.

4. Cats Love It!
Let’s face it, cats love empty boxes! Why, we do not know but they love them. You can use anything from a heavy duty thick box, to a tissue box. Basically give them the box and sit back and watch.

5. Painting
It’s always good to have extra cardboard around when doing painting jobs. It works great as a floor covering to keep paint from getting everywhere. It even works to wipe off excess paint from brushes when done.

6. Wall Art
Cardboard boxes that are small and thin are great ways to make neat wall art. You can personalize it to your liking. Different sizes, shapes and thicknesses allow you to add some dimension to the art as well.

7. Bird Feeder
This is a great way to recycle. Birds are like cats, for some reason they like the natural smell of cardboard. Usually a cardboard tube from a paper towel roll or similar works great. Fill it or cover it with birdseed then sit back and watch.

8. Packing
Just as you can re-use a box to ship something, you can also use a box for packing. You can use it to add packing material or even smaller boxes in a larger box. It works great and is very universal.

These are just a few things that cardboard can be re-purposed for. There are many others. The best way to find those uses is whenever you are in a pinch, ask yourself if cardboard can be used as a solution. You may be surprised!