How we saved our home with boxes

This year my wife and I decided to take on a really complicated task.  We decided to take on a new place to live and saw an opportunity to make our lives a little bit better with a whole lot of work.  Due to the housing marketing being so good before the COVID-19 pandemic we moved into a super nice neighborhood at the lowest price that had ever been available in it.  This also came with a caveat of moving into a non-move in ready home.  We ended up with a timeframe to fix up the vast majority of the home and also we ended up with a giant mess doing so.  We ended up using cardboard boxes to organize and save our ability to live there.

The best decision we made was to work more organized.  Moving into a new home was going to be an exciting thing and at first, we were super happy about the ability to move into a great place with such a low cost. We didn’t have a ton of stuff moving from a small apartment into a large home but what we did have was still a bit too much for the location due to all the work we are doing with it.  I think that our issue was we were constantly working on the majority of the house at the same time.  By the time we moved in we only had really one room that was finished and able to be lived in and that was our bedroom. 

With the entire house being under construction we found that we simply didn’t have a lot of space to live.  It was livable until the winter started to kick in hard.  The issue that we had was that we could no longer work on projects the yard and we only had the space available in our garage to do messy jobs such as cutting wood and staining.  This left us with a big issue because our garage was so full of items and products.   This was where we had to organize in order to find room to work.  The house was already too full to add the garage stuff to ti so we had to be cleaver.  What we did was order a bunch of high-end cardboard boxes and we started to get to work.

We began by organizing all of our items by type and use.  This was important because we need to still be able to get to the items that we used constantly easily.  We decided that we could use the vertical space in our garage in order to save space.  We started packing up and actually building our towers vertically as well. 

In order to do this correctly, we ended up creating a system to know what we were stacking.  We stacked our packages by the type of items that are in it and the use we will need it for.  So an item we will use most often we will put a 1 on and a 5 on items that we wouldn’t not use much.  Then we would stack the packages in that order 1 on top so we could grab it out easy.  With this, we had more room to work and a garage we could continue to use. 

Getting the Right Tape

I never imagined that some situations would happen in 2020.  The movement from brick and mortar business to eCommerce has taken the entire country by storm.  The reality is though that with all the lockdowns and regulations that it is much safer to be an eCommerce company in 2020 than any other.  This is simply due to the demand for shipping.  People are not going out of their homes nearly as much and in many cases, they are not allowed to by law.  This means that the demand for online shopping has skyrocketed.  It has also meant that the need for shipping has increased and the products that are needed to do it.

If you are getting into the shipping industry or your company is now finding that its most important department is shipping then there are some good lessons to learn and know.  The big thing to know is to make sure you are staying competitive in the market.  This is hard to due because technology is so vast and people can learn anything.  But having good relationships with companies is a big way to stay on top of the competitive nature of eCommerce. 

One major area that you need to be competitive in and can really crush competition is having a most efficient shipping supplies supplier.  It is more important to make sure you have good quality contact that can get you the gear you need and on time.  There is no way to ship without product and having a company fail on delivering the things you need is not good.  That is why having a great contact is a good thing and being able to buy products in bulk is a big part of having a great contact.

Shipping supplies are simply expensive and you need to be able to find a place to get them at a good discount.  I have to say that being competitive is more than shopping on Amazon versus going to your local store.  Yes, Amazon will be cheaper, but it will also be way higher than a major store that only sales these items and gives bulk discounts.  Bulk Discounts are a huge part of this industry and making sure you know what you need is part of it.

You need to know every amount of each item you use per shipment.  This is tedious and can end up saving you tons of money. My business found a big problem with spending when we were packing up boxes to ship.  Our packers were using about 10 strips of packing tape per box.  To all of us this seemed normal and was needed to hold the weight of all these items.  But when talking with a specialist in the industry from our supplier we found that our tape was thin and not capable of sustaining our competitive nature.  So he started to inform me and my company of thicker tape that could do the job in 3 strips of tape.  This was shocking but we figured that it would just cost more.  It did, but not relative to the project.  The tape costs 25% more, but also we would be using 200% less of it. The savings were incredible and once we trained our staff they were happy they didn’t have to tape nearly as much. So I hope this tip helps you and your company!

Garage Filled with Boxes?

This weekend was certainly a lot of work at my house.  We decided to start cleaning out our garage after the COVID-19 pandemic.  It has been a long time since our State got back to any kind of normal but since we are all able to go back to work just about as usual we are finding that going out and doing normal things again is happening too.  That means that housework is getting back to normal and we found that our garage was riddled with Amazon packages.  It was just wrong and it was filling up our garage.  Now we know we needed to organize and move a lot of things from our garage to our shed, and this was the time to do it.

This all started out with us having to clean out a shed that we had never used.  It was filthy because the tenate who lived at out home kept a dog in there and never cleaned anything.  So with a shovel, broom, and preasurized hoze we went to town with bleach.  It took a few hours to clean and to dry but once we were done we were able to start taking all the filled cardboard boxes from the garage and move them into the shed. This took many hours to get it all sorted and filled up but it left us with a good amount of space in our garage.  Then we had to decide what to do with the insane stack of Amazon packages and how to best get rid of them.

We first tried to fill them with things and move them to the shed.  We did this for what we could but we still had a pile several feet long and many feet tall of cardboard boxes in our garage.  It was really hard to figure out what to do because we didn’t want to simply put these in the trash.  The next issue is that we are only able to recycle one trash can at a time and all these packages were simply not going to fit.  We tried just stacking some in the can, but that would literalyl take a year to recycle that way and we knew we were going to have to start breaking them down.

So first we started to break them down with out hands and we ran into trouble.  Those massive staples in some of the packages were simply too tough to overcome.  That left us with a sad feeling and our hands were in pain trying to overcome the stress.  So we then decided that we needed to get scissors to break them down and get them into the can as neatly as possible.  We each got through one box before our hands were red and about to start blistering.  That was a bad idea, but we decided a knife was the answer.  So I went into my fishing kit and got out a nice fixed blade knife.

This fixed blade had a great rubber handle and was made of a good stainless steel to deal with fish and water without rusting.  It was a fallkniven f1 knife and it went through the packages really well. So the next time you run into the same issue as us you now know what to do and how to recycle them all safely and quickly.

What is the Best Candy Design

Growing up as a child in the midwest gave me my own perspective on what I deemed the best candy.  In many ways, I am certain that my location actually played a roll in what I liked and what I didn’t.  It turns out that the look and design of candy actually play one of the largest roles in the choice of candy according to children and study groups.  So I want to go over some of what I believe helped me create my love of the candy that I love today. It may be a little different for everyone because we all have defining moments in our past and I think mine was a long long time ago.

I am fairly certain my love of candy all started back when I was around 5 years old. I can remember fondly when my family would travel down to visit our family in Alabama.  One of the best parts of this was when my grandfather would take me and my siblings to the candy store.  Now this was a huge deal in that time and especially in that location.  Luckily, the gas station that had what seemed like an endless supply of candy was two miles down the road.  My grandfather would give us between 5 and 25 cents each trip and let us pick whatever we wanted.  Back then and in that location, candy was so inexpensive and somehow it was one of my favorite memories.  My siblings and I would run into the store and start counting out what we could get and for how much.  Now surprisingly the cost made a difference in what we would get.

It was indeed a big time and then candy boxes and their designs called to me.  The first thing I would do would be to pick out the coolest and most bright-looking candy.  This would always seem to happen and in reality, the best looking design ended up usually being the most expensive.  So even though I wanted the best candy boxes designs due to the way they looked I didn’t actually end up purchasing them. Now that is something to think about because even if the candy catches the most attention it may not be the best if it costs too much.  So designing candy that is not only attractive but cost effective is very important. 

Now on the other hand cost is also a big part of why something may seem so cool. If you see a great looking piece of candy and yet see something else that looks similar and costs more it may actually drive more demand.  It truly depends on the location.  In a lower-income area the cost-effective piece may be the best choice but word will spread due to the higher cost and unattainability.  This is a consideration to take when working on your own candy product or if you have a store.  Make sure to test the difference and see what works and sells the most in your location. I find that where you grew up makes a big difference and also the preferences that come from a good experience.  So make sure to test well and make a design that fits the cost well. Enjoy a wonderful candy career!

The Pros and Cons of 4 Top Snack Food Packaging

There are so many different packages available for snack food, and it is hardly possible to understand each of them in a vast ocean of the options to package snack foods. The following is to discuss the pros and cons of 4 top snack food packaging.

Flexible Pouches

The flexible pouches refer to the collection of various kinds of single-use containers made of plastics or foils. This kind of packaging is used typically for snacks and drinks. Its popularity rises due to the fact that it is resealable and has less impact on the environment. For snack food packaging, without a doubt, the flexible pouches are one of the most popular ones.

The Pros Of Flexible Pouches

  • Easy to source
  • Affordable
  • Full branding & graphic capabilities
  • Very low carbon footprint
  • Use little space in landfills
  • Resealable
  • Easy to open

The Cons Of Flexible Pouches

  • Impossible or hard to recycle
  • 1,000+ year average to fully degrade
  • Could affect the flavor of food or drink
  • Not viable for the luxury packaging applications
  • Low resistance to the extreme temperature during storage

 Paperboard Boxes

The paperboard boxes are also a popular option for snack food packaging. Paperboard boxes generally come with rectangular or square boxes, but less commonly come with others like hexagons or triangles. They could be made of 100% paperboard or mixed with other materials like small clear film windows to let consumers see the inside.

The Pros Of Paperboard Boxes

  • Full branding & graphic capabilities
  • Easy to source
  • Recyclable
  • Resealable
  • Easy to open

The Cons Of Paperboard Boxes

  • Higher carbon footprint
  • Costly
  • While recyclable, may end up in landfills because of contamination
  • Producing methane when in landfill

 Hard Plastic Container

The hard plastic containers are also another popular snack food packaging. This kind of packaging could come with various shapes as well as sizes, and it usually features the easy to open and pop-off lid. Most of them are made of easy to recycle plastics. The common snack foods packaged in the hard plastic containers are nuts, seeds, dried fruit, candy, chocolates, pretzels, snack mix, crisps, and many others.

The Pros For Hard Plastic Containers

  • Sturdy
  • Easy to source
  • Recyclable
  • Resealable
  • Easy to open

The Cons For Hard Plastic Containers

  • Costly
  • Expensive to ship
  • Higher carbon footprint
  • While recyclable, may end up in landfills because of contamination

 Glass Snack Containers

The glass containers are another top form for snack food packaging, but they are not as popular as the other kinds. Although this packaging has many shortcomings, glass is straightforward and easy to recycle. Also, glass presents an air of sophistication and luxury, which makes it very popular for gourmet as well as luxury snack food brands.

The Pros for Hard Glass Containers

  • Sturdy
  • Easy to source
  • Luxurious
  • Easy to open
  • Recyclable
  • Resealable

The Cons For Glass Containers

  • Expensive
  • Prone to cracking & breaking
  • Very high carbon footprint
  • Very expensive to ship
  • While recyclable, may end up in landfills because of contamination
  • Use excessive space in warehouse