What’s in a Cardboard Box?

Does anyone remember that scene from Seven, at the end, where Brad Pitt is freaking out because he got a cardboard box delivered to him out in the middle of nowhere?  He’s standing there with Morgan Freeman, and they both know it’s something really bad, and Brad Pitt is crying like only Brad Pitt can cry, and he’s saying, “What’s in the box?”

Well, in case you don’t remember that scene, because you have never seen the movie, I won’t spoil it for you.  If you do remember the scene, because you have seen the movie, then you know what I am referring to.  And even if you’ve never actually watched Seven for yourself, you are probably familiar with phrase, because anywhere you’ve ever worked has probably involved someone opening a cardboard box, and someone else being witty and clever and enacting Brad Pitt: “What’s in the box?”

It’s kind of strange how people can bond over a cardboard box, in this case because of a movie that may or may not have been seen, but is generally still known about.  And that one little reference, made over a simple cardboard box, would open the door to conversation.  “You know that movie?”  “Yes/No… And/But have you seen…?”  An amazing conversation begins to build about movies that have had Brad Pitt in them, or Morgan Freeman, or Kevin Spacey (who is the other main character of Seven), and then more conversation stems from people who have been in movies with those people: Angelina Jolie, Jim Carrey, Jason Sudeikes… And so on and so forth.  Until a friendship has blossomed, and continues the end of time. Then a movie gets made about their friendship, which started because of talking about movies, which started because of a cardboard box.

The world is complex like that.  A cardboard box can bring you a gift, signifying a healthy and beautiful relationship that brings you joy and can make you happy.  It can also be the Grim Reaper, in a way, like when you have to pack up your desk because you just got laid off and have to go find another job now.  The keeper of good memories, like mementos from your childhood.  The keeper of bad memories, like notes and pictures from your ex that you bring out every now and then when you want to have a good cry.  We can’t forget those tiny ones, bearing the request of a promise: will you marry me?  What’s in a cardboard box?  I’m sure a lot of things come to mind…

The Hidden Benefits of Stretch Film

 It’s common knowledge that stretch film is a vital asset when it comes to packaging and shipping. It would be impossible to transport pallets of product without it. Delivery men would have to move hundreds of boxes as opposed to utilizing a forklift and moving a few tightly wrapped pallets. The hidden benefits of stretch film are a lot less common knowledge. Probably because they are hidden. Not the type of hidden that involves discovering a map under an old floor board, which tells you to find the man with the glass eye, who will tell you to go here and do this, and in the end you are digging a gigantic hole and you discover this other realm… Or maybe that is just the plot to the novel that I’ve been meaning to write… Awkward…


No, the kind of ‘hidden’ I am talking about comes with knowing people, and a little thing called street cred. You see, someone with street cred has this hidden knowledge, which they share with you and then you act on it, and then you have street cred too. Consider this: a group of teenage guys work at this café, and after hours they may or may not get some booze from one of the chefs, and even party in his trailer, but they all have access to certain items that are necessary when it comes to running a restaurant. In this case: stretch film. Now, this would be the type of stretch film that is more or less just saran wrap on steroids.


A solid thousand feet of the stuff wrapped on a three-inch pole and requiring a special team of trained individuals to operate. Okay, maybe not the last part, but anyone that deals with normal sized saran wrap could probably believe that huge saran wrap needs some sort of license to operate. Anyway, this particular crew of teenage guys, who may or not be under some sort of influence (and I’m not talking about the thrill of adventure and the glory of youth), decide to use one of those giant rolls of stretch film to wrap up the manager’s car. It only takes about ten minutes to use half a roll and the result is incredible. It’s going to take the jaws of life to set that Toyota Camry free. And done: street cred earned, and a hidden benefit bestowed on multiple individuals who will, in turn, bestow it on multiple others.

Custom Packaging Tape to the Rescue

t’s gotten to the point where I keep multiple varieties of custom packaging tape in my vehicle at all times. There have just been too many times when I’ve needed a quick fix, and it was the electrical tape that slipped under the driver’s seat, or the barricade tape left over from a Halloween prank, that came to the rescue. Like the one time I was dropping my daughter off for her first day of junior high, and one of her backpack straps broke clean off. Besides my consternation at the fact that a brand new backpack was kaput on day one, my daughter began to panic at how seventh grade was starting out.

Custom Packaging Tape

You probably know what I’m going to say next. If it’s, “And then I whipped out some custom packaging tape…”, you would be correct. My cousin had given my son a bunch of half-used aisle marking tape from the last time he’d remarked the floors to his auto shop, and I had quickly confiscated the red roll for my custom packaging tape stash. It’s a good thing I took the red kind, too, because it matched perfectly with my daughter’s One-Direction backpack. For the one and only time I thanked God for all of those bright, pouting lips. I saw that years of listening to all of that crooning, and stumbling across too many awkward doodles, had led up to the purchase of this backpack so that I could use the red tape and become the coolest mom in the entire world.

Custom Packaging Tape

A little bit here, a little bit there, and not only was her backpack fixed but she now had a custom striped design on her straps. As she walked into school with renewed vim and vigor, I overheard someone say to her, “Cool tape job. I should do that to mine…”. That’s right, world; you can’t touch this! That was a pretty amazing day. It was not so much an amazing day when I fell down some stairs and my shirt split down the side seam.

Custom Packaging Tape

It wasn’t the most perfect thing, but if I wouldn’t have had some custom packaging tape at my disposal I would have been forced to expose myself to society, whereas I was able to mend the tear with some strips of adhesive enough to get me home fully clothed. And the thing that really sucks is that was my favorite shirt, too…

Custom Shipping Bags for Everyday Use: Part 2

As a kid I always really loved that song Auld Lang Syne. It’s got a bit of a haunting-ness to it, and it always gave me the chills. Loosely translated, it means “for old times”. This doesn’t have much to do with custom shipping bags, but it’s the beginning of the new year and I wanted to put in a plug for 2016. And now: custom shipping bags, and how you can use them for everyday projects, purposes, problems, etc.

Custom Shipping Bags

I was talking in Part 1 about how, if you are like me, you probably have a nice stash of custom shipping bags accumulated from the holiday season: grocery bags, both plastic and paper (we already talked about what to do with those), bubble bags from the Precious Moments figurines your grandmimi still sends you every stinking chance she gets, poly bags which were for making up little Christmas sacks that your kids could pass out in class, and some really snazzy eurototes that most of your presents came in because you are an adult and it is assumed that you no longer like to tear up wrapping paper. Before you throw all of that stuff away, let’s talk about different ways they can be used now that the holidays are over.

Custom Shipping Bags

The bubble bags. I use those to wrap my ornaments in. You have probably put all of your ornaments away by now, and I don’t blame you for not wanting to drag out the boxes simply for the sake of repackaging. So if you don’t want to throw them through the attic hole so that they are waiting for you next year, use to protect precious objects in your china cabinets and what not. If not, the kids love these things.

All of those leftover poly bags, that make such cute little handouts, can safely be tucked away and used for birthday favors in the future. Or for passing out samples for your home business. And of course all of those eurototes can be put in an actual plastic tote for when you need to wrap something. If the eurotote is blatantly holiday-themed, you are just going to have to wait until next year to reuse them. Or, once again, there is something about the simplicity of such a thing that is charming to a child. My kids play with these things for hours. Whatever the case, don’t be frustrated by leftover custom shipping bags. They don’t have to be a one trick pony; get creative!

Custom Shipping Bags for Everyday Use, Pt. 1

Well, Happy New Year, everyone. It’s that time again. 2016. Over three hundred glorious (right?) days ahead of us. I’m sure there will be some amazing, and some terrifying, things lurking, ahemm, waiting for us this year, but I know that it’s all going to be okay in the end. Anyway, before I get too sappy, let me get into talking about all those custom shipping bags you got over the holiday season, and how you can wind up using them for everyday projects, problems, and everything in between.

Custom Shipping Bags

Consider all of those bags from the grocery store that you’ve been stashing to the side. How many trips did you take because you forgot one stinking thing for the recipe and twenty plus ticking time bombs are counting on you to feed them before they explode? All over each other, and your house… So, in your haste, you tossed all those grocery bags, plastic and paper alike, onto the back porch. Well, now I will tell you a use for them. A friend of mine keeps a little bin on her kitchen counter, and she lines it with one of those plastic grocery bags, and she puts her compostable stuff in there: egg shells, chicken pieces, leftovers… She takes it out every day so that the big garbage can doesn’t start stinking before it’s even halfway full.

Custom Shipping Bags

Remember how you were trying to light the annual, celebratory bonfire, and you were having a really hard time doing it? All of those nieces and nephews staring at you, their roasting sticks at the ready, silent looks of passive aggressive embarrassment and condemnation on their faces. You tried to tell them that it had just rained, but the snicker triggered something in your brain and you spent the next hour rubbing two sticks together until you finally got a blaze.

Custom Shipping Bags

Well, remember the paper grocery bags (which also count as custom shipping bags)? If you had stuffed them with leaves you could have used them as a giant sack of tinder and put all those crazy kids to shame. The awe that would have been shining in their eyes, with the reflection of a massive blaze that roasted many, many marshmallows that night…

There’s more to say about custom shipping bags, and how they can be used for the everyday. Join me in part two to pick up some other great ideas!