Sending packages for the holidays

The holidays are in the air. I have festive music playing as I type. Shopping started before Halloween this year, I think! Does it seem to get earlier every year, or is that just me? One good thing I’ve found: with all the boxes swimming around, I don’t know why we’d ever need to buy any when we go to post a package!

Whenever I receive something in the mail, I keep the boxes and the packaging material and store them safely in the attic or the back porch so when a birthday or holidays pop up, I don’t have to buy a load of material. If I haven’t used them by the next move, I let go and recycle them.

During military moves, the packers always throw just the last bit of packaging tape in the box before they start a new roll. It drives my husband crazy. “It isn’t enough to do anything with! Why don’t they throw it away?” he complains. But it is just enough to seal a package to make sure it doesn’t bust open.

Speaking of that, I have a family member that works at the U.S. Post Office. Be sure you seal those packages well, no matter who you send them through! The workers throw them across the room in a game to see who can keep from missing the tote. So, package them well and seal tightly!

Truthfully, I’m not very traditional and holidays and birthdays come and go. BUT I hang onto my boxes because if I find something small my tiny niece might like or I want to pass on a book to a friend, I have a choice of various sized boxes stacked on the back porch– with peanuts and everything. Once they’ve been reused a few times, they can be recycled, composted or cut up into my business cards.

Mostly, I like to reuse them. It makes my heart happy.

So, this holiday season if you get something in the mail, hang onto a couple of the boxes so you can reuse them. And this year, before you go buying packaging materials, ask around. You’d be surprised who can pull something out of their hat.

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who saves to reuse…right? What do you hold off from throwing away in order to reuse?

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11 responses to “Sending packages for the holidays

  1. Yeah… I keep my boxes, too. Especially the one that we buy diapers in. Many of then go to worms but I keep some just in case.
    btw, I do not make my own shampoo. I don use any shampoo. The method is called “no poo”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_poo
    It means that I mix water with bakin soda and wash my skalp with it. For a al conditioner I use apple cider vinegar but you can use lime or lemon juice as well.
    It works great.
    from what I know people make their own and the base is always castile soap and some oils (like jojoba or grapes). I’ve tried it but it made my hair really heavy and greasy. yuck. for some people it works.
    Homemade body wash is based on castile soap, too. If you just google “homemade body wash” or “homemade shampoo” you’ll get plenty of websites with recipes how to make it. Google is awesome 🙂
    Have a great day!
    Hugs from my corner

  2. Hmm. No poo. That is a new one for me. But your hair looks great so it must work. I’m almost out of shampoo. I’ll have to try that! Do you have thick hair? Does it matter?
    I have made homemade soap before. It smells good and lasts a long time and doesn’t really take very long. But I’ve never tried body wash. And I’d like to try that coffee lotion one you put up. Maybe I could try a coffee body wash. Nothing like the smell of coffee in the shower to wake you in the morning! I LOVE your blog!!

    • I enjoy your blog as well. Great that we’ve found each other. We’ve got so many common things 🙂
      Speaking about my hair. I can’t say they are thick but they are not very thin neither.
      You can read about people experience with that method here: http://no-poo.livejournal.com/

      I really like it. I have to wash my hair every 3 days but it was the same when I was using commercial shampoos. My hair is much “lighter” now without all the stuff and oils that is put in inside the store bought ones. I have never made my soaps but I was planning to get some castile soap making my own liguid hand soap.
      Instead of body wash with coffee try body scrub with coffee grounds. I would drink my coffee every morning and keep the coffee grounds to use in the shower later. Mixed with some white sugar and cinnamon and a teaspoon on olive oil. A.W.E.S.O.M.E!!!

  3. I always keep empty boxes and those packets that books come in, some have bubble wrap linings… These are not cheap to buy so when I need one I sort out the size, stick a paper label over the original address, tape it all up and hey! presto! off it goes…

  4. Great advice. I don’t get much stuff in the mail and when I do I recycle immediately. When it comes to Christmas gifts, I am usually with whoever is going to get one from me (namely the grands). So, there is no need to mail anything. I am soooo… lucky. Lol!

  5. I notice how hard our mail clerks work to convince me that I need to “BUY UP” to the Priority mail rate and use their boxes. They warn me about how long it will take if I choose to mail “Parcel Post”–like I care! And in every case, the box still gets there within five working days.

    I mailed my daughter a heavy B-Day box and the difference in cost was $17 vs. $40.

    • That is a huge difference Anne! My mom works at the post office. She was telling me it’s because the post office doesn’t get any federal funds. The only money they make is through stamps and packages, so it’s “part of their job” to push those package upgrades. You know the post office is going under, right? It’s just a matter of time. Privitization wins the prize. They closed over 500 branches this year, including the one where my mom works. It’s so sad. But I’m not going to pay anything for faster service either. I’m not in a hurry. I wouldn’t do it through Fed Ex or UPS either. They’ll get it when they get it! Everyone’s in such a hurry.

  6. Good Job! This year we reduced our waste in total by buying no wrapping. We repurposed bows and ribbons from gifts given to us in the past and used our leftover Trader Joe’s bags for wrapping on the small childrens gifts. I unfortunately forgot my bags this last visit to Trader Joe’s and was going to just take the nuts outside the store without wasting a bag but they had cute little brown bag to and from all over the bags that I used for hand made gifts this year. I love to use brown bags and a simple marker pen when writing is a must to keep recycling, re-purposing and re-using. Thank you for all your great tips, you help us be better! Have a wonderful day and upcoming week my friend. Take care.

    • Girl! You are so encouraging!! Thank you for that. I loved the story about the Trader Joe “to and from” bags. How cute! I would have had to put my one item in there too! I love brown paper bags as gift wrapping. It makes me think there’s something special in there for me! Have a wonderful week too!! 🙂

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