Using the right knife on Cardboard

A little known fact is that cardboard boxes are very dense. This may sound a little funny but in a way its very obvious.  We use cardboard boxes all the time and in many cases every day.  Look in your pantry and you will see them every where and they are used many times in heavy applications.  This is simply because of the density of cardboard and if you work in a factory or in packaging you may find yourself cutting lots of boxes every single day.  This becomes a problem if you are using cheap knives.  The problem is obvious if you are in the industry, and its because your knife is always dull. So how do you choose the proper knife to work in a factory?

The answer is complicated and yet simple.  Stop buying the most inexpensive knife you see that looks cool.  Yes, it may have a great looking design on the handle or blade, but most likely it is made from the lowest bidder and out of the least expensive materials.  Instead look for a brand name that is known in the knife industry.  Yes the knife industry, not the sporting goods industry.  So this means you actually need to do a little research.  Brands are not country of origan specific either.  Some of the best knife brands come from China, because they use quality materials and craftsmanship.  Look for brands like, Benchamde, Spyderco, We Knives.  These are the most known brands in the knife industry and starting with a high quality brand means most likely you will be getting a better knife.  Now the actual steel on the knife is important. It actually will be what determines how often you need to sharpen your knife if you do the same task each day.

Ask yourself an important question. Do I work in wet conditions. If the answer is yes, then you will most likely want a stainless steel.  Now remember, all steel rusts. Stainless, means it stains less quickly or rusts less quickly than a normal carbon steel.  There are more types of steel than I can count, but here are a few good ones to look for.  If you need a good stainless steel, look for knives that are made in cpm s35vn,  cpm154, or vg10. 

These knives will cost more than your truck stop knives, but will be 10 to 20 times the quality.  Which means they will be tougher and last longer at your normal cutting tasks.  For Carbon steel look for, cpm 3v, m4, or m390.  These steels are amazing for edge retention but will rust faster than your normal kitchen knife.  So keep them dry and enjoy your knew experience of cutting boxes without sharpening your knife every other day.

Wardrobe Boxes

Spring is always the busy season for buying and selling a home. People have been inside all winter and they are just too excited to get out. They plan on planting a garden, hosting barbeques, and just enjoying a new yard. They want to buy in early spring so they have time to work on their new yard before summer. There is also the benefit of buying in the spring to be able to do any repairs or renovations on the outside of the home. Not to mention the move will be in much nicer weather. No one wants to move and haul all of their belongings with snow on the ground. That’s why it is best to haul your cardboard boxes for moving in the spring.

You have to pick the right type of cardboard boxes, though. No one wants to be moving a box of heavy things and then the box bust on them. It is best to go with sturdy, durable boxes when it comes to moving heavy things. Packing your things into boxes you know won’t break is the responsible thing to do. It is also great to use the appropriate boxes for what you are packing in them. Yes, there are multitude of different boxes to choose from when it comes to moving.

The greatest box for moving that I didn’t even know existed is a wardrobe box. For so many times that I have moved I have had to just throw all of my clothes into a box. Even when I would try and fold them as neatly as I could, the clothes would still be wrinkled by the time I got to the new place and started to unpack everything (because let’s be honest, the clothes will sit in the boxes for a few days). This specific type of box is taller than regular boxes. It also has a bar across the top that your hanger goes right on! That way, your clothes are hanging up on your own hangers the entirety of the move. So even when I get a little lazy and wait a week to finally unpack my clothes, they will still be sitting nice and next to the closet just waiting for me.

Moving can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be terrible. Make sure you are set to move during a nice day. Also make sure you are using the best boxes you can to make the move as smooth as possible.

Your Online Business

Most businesses are shifting to an online business model. It seems like brick and mortar storefronts are on the decline more and more in every town. People enjoy searching for a product at home, filtering through thousands of options, reading reviews, and then making a final decision all while they are sitting on their couch at home. This means marketing has also started to shift. More and more advertisements for online stores are popping up all over social media. Influencers are even being sponsored by these online businesses to show off their products.

One thing that most of these influencers have hit on is the packaging of their products they are receiving. Plain, cardboard boxes seem to be a thing of the past when it comes to these popular millennial and Gen Z websites. Almost any box is colorful or has a cute little logo from the company. It may just seem like novelty, but it really seems to get the attention of buyers.

Aesthetic has really seemed to be the word of the decade. Everyone is focused on how something looks and if it matches their personality or their style. Cardboard boxes are just another way companies can appeal to consumers. If there are cute ads of a model holding their beautifully decorated box, then more people are likely to check out that website. Amazon uses this with their “smile” packages. Everyone associates these boxes with Amazon, which is just a marketing scheme for them. Some companies even change up their design depending on the season or the holiday. So the boxes then become sort of a collectors item, and people are more inclined to buy at certain times of the year.

Even the size of the box is something companies have to consider. Are they just going to have one medium size box that every item(s) gets shipped in. Or will they have multiple sizes with multiple different designs? These are things to think about when thinking of marketing or branding.

Next, companies need to decide how these are going to get stuffed. They could look into fun, colored shredded paper. Or they could choose packing peanuts or maybe even inflatable fillers. Maybe each item could be wrapped in pretty tissue paper. The same amount of thought that goes into the outside of the package should go on the inside. Companies should always consider adding extra inside the boxes. A little friend referral of 10% off your next purchase really keeps the customer coming back to their site.


Holiday Candy Sales

I absolutely love sales, and we all know there are no sales like after Christmas Day sales. As much as I love sales, I equally hate marketing ploys that increase prices only to mark them down, so the true mark down price is not actually as good as one might think. When shopping for sales don’t forget those online sales too. Two years ago I was searching online sales and found some really nice evergreen wreaths for nearly free! The original price was over $50 a piece and I got six wreaths for $48. Needless to say I was ecstatic when the arrived and they were quite nice in quality. This experience helps me to remember to check online sales every year.

Now think about the savings I made on candy boxes! It was immeasurable how much joy I got out of the candy that I found for extremely cheap.

And guess what? I was able to put all that candy to use by making specific holiday wreaths for my friends and family and inserting their favorite candy boxes into the garland. Talk about everyone being pleased! The latest projects coming from the Wreath Shoppe are two wreaths, one is being donated to a fund raiser for a small Christian School called Miss Holly’s House and the second is a wreath for a friend who’s young daughter passed away, leaving a husband and three small children. And what’s cool is that everyone wins when it comes to this sort of stuff, because it cost me next to nothing to buy and produce.

It only takes looking on the bright side of things, letting your hands do the work when crafting, and trying to spread good cheer to everyone in your life. Without positivity and love, where would we be? Absolutely in a darker place than even some seem to think we’re currently in. Whether your hobby is wreaths like mine or you enjoy making other things with your hands (or brain!), try to incorporate it into your holiday experiences. You’ll be surprised at what you find you can do for yourself and for others.

So to you and your post-holiday shopping, I say “good luck and Merry Christmas.” May you enjoy all aspects of your Christmas shopping, both before and after! And may you welcome others into your home with open arms and most importantly may you find the holidays spiritually exciting and grounding.

A Valentine’s Surprise

People all across the United States are already making reservations for February 14. They are buying little gifts, pre-ordering flowers, and purchasing new outfits for their little date night. It does not matter if this is your 2nd date or your 20th year of marriage, most people really get excited for Valentine’s Day and what it means to them.

Valentine’s Day is not an important holiday for my partner and me. We value showing our love every day rather than picking a few days a year to show our love to each other. Little things matter more to us than anything else. My partner shows me love by doing the dishes even when it is not their turn. Taking the dog out alone when I do not want to bundle up and join. He does my laundry when he knows I am running low on work clothes for the week.

Big, fancy dinners do not excited us. Actually, we would rather prepare our own meals at home because we really enjoy cooking together. Food is a big part of our lives together. We have completely changed our diets to better fit our ideals and beliefs. One surprise I have considered for Valentine’s Day is candy boxes of chocolate. We really enjoy chocolate, but have to hunt to find chocolate we can actually eat. So loading up on candy boxes for a few months would definitely be worth it.

But the best plan we have come up with is waiting until AFTER Valentine’s Day to purchase our candy. Fifty percent off candy for getting it one day later? Absolutely. It really helps that Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday this year. The candy will go on sale on the weekend! Just in time for our weekly trip to the grocery store. We just have to be sure to be quick because I’m sure everyone else has the same idea we do.

There are so many different ways to show someone you love them. Do not get sucked into society’s way of thinking that only specific days are for showing love. Little trinkets or meaningful notes are nice on Valentine’s Day, but they are more appreciated on a random Wednesday in May. We should value our time together no matter what time of year it is. I say get the discounted candy the weekend after, order some take-out (or cook your own meal), and just enjoy your time together.