What I’ll Be Bringing to My Friend’s Gift Exchange

Some white elephant exchanges are gag gift exchanges (in which you’re typically told to bring something you already own). These often have items that are brought from year to year, especially with things that no one wants for 12 months straight.

And there are also gifts that are bought with a certain dollar limit in mind. I prefer these, as you typically get some sort of use out of something new and worth something. These are the gift exchanges I look forward to, and they’re the type I’ll be talking about here.

I’m going to a gift exchange this week. It’ll be highly sought afters simply because most people don’t splurge on these items on their own any other time of the year, and it’s just that: a gift set. It fits within the gift exchange’s proposed budget, so I’m going for it.

But I’ve been thinking of ideas for other things and figured I’d share them here. Some fall under the category of food and kitchen stuff, others fall under packaging supplies, but they all tend to be a bit unique and, because of that, should be gifts people will appreciate.

Bungee cords.

Alright, so I told you my list would be a bit off the radar of normal gift exchange ideas. But bungee cords are just “what the heck?” enough to fit into a gift exchange, especially if the gifts are supposed to be useful yet un-thought-of. Sure, you could probably find something more useful within the packaging supplies department, but why would you?

One month membership to a gym.

Maybe whoever ends up with would never be caught dead in a gym and refuses to leave their house so it’s ironic. Maybe someone secretly likes this gift because they needed the extra motivation to get up and go but just hasn’t taken the time to commit and throw down the cash needed. Either way, you can’t go wrong here.

Cutting board.

Look, there are some cool cutting boards out there that I would love. I have three, and none really stick out to me as awesome. One is cheap plastic and the other two better ones are wooden, but I’d love a unique and somewhat well-crafted cutting board in my kitchen with all the cooking I do. This would make for a neat gift that could inspire someone to cook their own meals more than they may currently.

6 Uses for Rubber Bands You Didn’t Consider

Rubber bands can usually be found in a random kitchen door at home. Sometimes, you keep others in a desk in your office. Whatever the case, they’re usually associated with packaging supplies.

But we’ve got a few handy uses for rubber bands that you likely hadn’t thought of. These ideas will have you stocking up on rubber bands and using them at will any chance you get.

Create a gripper for tight lids.

Pickle jars and other lids can be particularly tough to pop off when they’re new. By wrapping a rubber band around the side of the lid, you can make it easier to grip the lid and twist it off.

Keep books safe and closed in your bag.

Often times, books can flip open inside your bag, potentially damaging the pages inside. By binding your books with rubber bands, you can make sure they’re safe whenever you’re on the move.

Keep your measuring tape wrapped tight.

Fabric tape measures are incredibly useful for taking measurements of your clothing size and measuring round objects. However, it seems they always end up rolled out and in disarray in one of your drawers. Just roll up the tape and bind it in the middle with a rubber band to keep it (and your drawers) organized.

Prevent your cutting board from slipping.

Wooden and plastic cutting boards often come without rubber feet. And wielding a chef’s knife on an unstable base sounds extremely unsafe. Create rubber “feet” by wrapping each end of a slick cutting board with rubber bands.

Prevent tea bags from falling into a mug.

If you brew your tea loose leaf or steep tea bags in a large pot before serving, you’re not too bothered by this problem. But for the many (like me) who steep tea bags in their mugs of hot water at work, this is a genius idea for keeping the tea bag fastened near the side of the mug (and not floating around in the middle).

Bind chip bags (and other snacks).

I can’t say how often I’ve seen my friends worry about finding extra chip clips. I grew up rolling the bag down and binding it with a rubber band to keep the chips fresh. Simple, yet a no-brainer.

Whatever you end up using rubber bands for, they’re easily the most versatile of all the packaging supplies lying around your house. Make the most of them now that you’ve got plenty of ideas on how to use them.

Create a Branded Packaging Experience

Today, many sellers sell largely online. Selling online is very useful. Sellers can reach beyond local clients to find buyers all over the world. At the same time, sellers must be careful about precisely what they sell and how they package it to the world. Sellers who largely sell online need to be able to show their packages and make it clear they are providing valuable goods. They also need to make sure that anything they sell will arrive in good condition to their intended destination. Even more importantly, they need to provide packaging that will surprise and delight the recipient the second they open the package. The packaging and the act of taking something directly out of the box makes it more important than ever to create a stellar first impression.

Delighting the Customer

Your goal should be to delight the customer the second they see the item you’ve shipped. Studies show that people who see something special they like are more likely to show these items on Pinterest and other website such as Instagram. As you do that, you’ll find that it is possible for your grow your business because people love not only the product that you’re selling but also way that you bring it them. You want to capture their attention in an expected way. Organic sharing this way is one way to create repeat business and make new clients.

Packing a Basic Box

Many things go into creating the experience of opening the box and creating what is known as a branded packing moment. You should start with a box as the base for your packaging supplies. It should be large enough to hold the items you’re shipping. Think about the use of tissue paper as well. Another thing to think about is the use of tissue paper. Tissue paper holds your items in place all during the shipping process. Using custom made wrapping paper in a colorful shade creates a unique experience.

The Details

After settling on the basics, it’s time to add lots of wonderful details. Details make the package come alive and add a personal touch at the same time. Now is the time to grab the customer and make them think about becoming a repeat customer. This is where you’ll want to put in your business card and other personal touches. Consider offering the client a nice discount on their order. This will give them added incentives to pay attention to your business and think about you can provide for them.

Customizing It

Even if you do lots of business, it’s possible to create a custom experience for your clients. It takes only a minute or two to create a personal note for each client. You can also think about including a small gift based on the customer’s personal tastes. A little package of candy makes it clear that you’re thinking about the customer’s needs. You can also consider including a sample of any additional products you sell. For example, if you are selling food products, you might include a jar of honey for the recipient can sample. All of these opportunities present the chance to create a total experience for your client and make it clear you have something special to offer.

How To Ensure Your Health & Safety When Moving

Hiring professional movers to relocate from one house to another can be very expensive so some people may be forced to do the move themselves. In many cases, people can solicit the help of close friends and family members to start and complete these types of jobs. Even though the hefty lifting may be left to those who have the strength and skill to do it right, everyone who is working during these times should be aware that the possibilities of injuries can occur. To minimize and eliminate the potential risks, there are some things that homeowner can do in advance.

#1 – Pack by Specifications

While some of the boxes that people bring for the move can hold a hefty loads, there are some rules and guidelines to packing right that will need to be followed. These guidelines are meant to ensure the boxes are not so heavy that it causes the potential for an injury. For example, the boxes should only weigh the maximum amount of 50 pounds.

#2 – Backs Should Be Prepared

Even though it may seem like the professionals just starting picking up and moving things, this is not true at all. In fact, when they are preparing themselves for their moving responsibilities they are trained to stretch their whole body so that they can lift the heavy stuff without injury.

#3- Clothing is Important

Preventing accidents from occurring is also a significant part of a safe move. So, the clothing that should be worn should not be taken lightly. Typically, loose clothing that can catch on various kinds of items and open shoes are not recommended at all.

#4 – Use Proper Lifting Procedures

Another precaution that must be taken is lifting both small weights and large weight properly. Fortunately, some people already know how they should bend their knees first and how to push their waist back before attempting to pick up various kinds of loads. On the other hand, there are others who may know little to nothing about the proper lifting procedures. Either way, these lifting procedures must be done properly in order to have a move without unnecessary back problems that may occur instantly or later on after everything is completely over.

#5 – The Right Renting Equipment and Packaging Supplies must be on hand

Straps, gloves, dollies, and other things that’s needed for a move should always be on hand. These items will not only make moving boxes easier to do, but will also ensure everyone’s hands are protected from various kinds of injuries and cuts.

#6 – Lookout for Dangers

Before starting the process of moving, it is important that everyone is alert at all times. Bumping into one another with hefty loads can be an accident just waiting to happen. Water on a floor can be issues too since people can slip and fall. Obstacles on sidewalks can obstruct the path of those who are moving the boxes inside and outside of the home. Unfortunately, there are so many different things that can happen in a move. So, it is best for people to remain on alert throughout the entire process.

#7 – Emergency Kits and Packaging Supplies on Standby

Rather than wait on an accident to occur, another part of the preparation for a move is getting an emergency kit. Emergency kits have all types of different essential things that can be very helpful if the inevitable does occur.

#8 – Kids and Pets Should Be kept out of the Path of the Movers

Living life as usual is not a part of moving day. So, all pets and children should be moved into a safe area out of the way of these activities.

#9 – Hire Movers

For the heavier items, people should always hire professional movers. Even if most of the work is done by friends and family, leave the heavier jobs for the professionals who know how to do this with ease.