The taming of the tape

You sit down with clear packing tape to secure a package for shipping.   But before you can get the tape off the roll, you have to spend approximately one week  27 hours OK, 3 minutes picking at the roll with your fingernails, trying to get the end of the tape to peel smoothly off the roll.  If you’re lucky, the tape stays intact, and you actually manage to keep the end of the tape unstuck for the entire wrapping job.  If you’re like me,  you lose the tape-end multiple times during the project, and at least half the time, the tape comes up ripped and tattered.

Granted, I make this problem worse by often refusing to buy the expensive tape that comes with its own dispenser.  But even in a good dispenser, my tape seems to love to come unthreaded. (Please tell me someone besides me has this issue!)

Today I had a tiny brainstorm.   I happened to have a little rubber band nearby and as I cut off my first strip of tape, I stuck the rubber band onto the end of the tape.  The tape peeled up easily when I needed the next strip, and all I had to do to prevent tape stickage the next time was move the rubber band towards the new cut each time before I made a cut.

Probably not the most revolutionary tip in the universe, but it’s one I’m going to remember.  I thought I’d share it in case there is another person or two in the world whose tape woes might also be solved with this quick fix.


40-Bag Challenge update:  a major clean-out of my boys’ bedroom brought my total to 20 bags!!!!


  1. I just bend the end bit of tape down onto itself to make a tab when I’m done using it each time.

    • yeah, I’ve done that before, but then I have that little non-sticky wasted bit on the end…OK, I guess I am weird. 😉

      • It used to bother my thrifty self and one day I actually tried to figure out how much of each roll of tape was unusable but it gave me a headache so I gave up. I’m a frivolous tape bit waster, do doubt about it. 🙂

  2. I was going to say exactly what Karen did. This is all I have ever done and kids know the routine each time they use tape also. Easy for all to remember!
    Works wonders and don’t have to look for a place to put that rubber band while using the tape and remember to put it back onto the tape when finished using. Especially hard for kids to use tape trying to remember this.

    • My kids know the routine too. Mama isn’t happy when she has to pick at a roll of tape. The rubber band idea is good if you are starting and stopping taping a lot of times in sucession but the bended tab is my habit, I don’t think I could stop doing it that way if I tried.

  3. I always just fold a corner down. Then, I can still use that part of the tape. No unused tape here!

  4. I like your idea, Mary. 😉

  5. Same idea, except I just a jumbo sized paper clip. I unroll however much tape i need, move the paper clip to the base of the tape (leave the tip of the paperclip hanging past, then cut. Don’t have to worry about tape falling back on itself, since the paperclip is there already.

  6. Same idea, except I just use a jumbo sized paper clip. I unroll however much tape i need, move the paper clip to the base of the tape (leave the tip of the paperclip hanging past, then cut. Don’t have to worry about tape falling back on itself, since the paperclip is there already.

  7. Great idea!! Thanks for sharing. Becky

  8. I have one of those dispensers for my packing tape, and I ALWAYS lose the end. Every. Single. Time. And hardly ever do I get it up and running again in one piece. Love your idea. So simple but so brilliant. Thanks 🙂

  9. I, like Karen, fold down the end so I can easily find it and peel it in the future. However, mid-job I would hate to waste the time and tape to fold it down every time I put down the tape, so I started sticking the scissors I used to cut the tape to the end. It holds the tape up and helps me remember where I set down the scissors (which is another common problem of mine!).

  10. I’m another end folder here. I figure the little bit I waste makes up for the time I waste picking at the end.

  11. When I need something stuck down, I just hand it to the youngest person in the household because that person is generally covered in Elmer’s glue, grape jelly and/or pancake syrup. Bada bing bada boom! Stickiness!

    Kidding. Sort of.

    I’m a folder-downer tapethrift (like a spendthrift, but with tape). What I love about your idea is the part where you just pick up whatever’s nearby and put it to use. Very Proverbs 31-y. Not sure it would work with the things that are usually near me: fussy baby…headless barbie…TV remote sans batteries…

    Yep, I’m better off folding.


    PS Can’t wait to see you when you come to OK to speak at our homeschool conventions!! Whee!

  12. were you watching me try to tape a package yesterday? Yes, I spent so much time peeling it back and mine even has a dispenser but I didn’t thread it through properly or something because it wouldn’t tear correctly…and then I got it all taped up to find out I had left a piece of paper out of the box that had to go in there, so I carefully peeled back a corner, shoved the paper in, and resealed that piece. its the little things that drive us nuts!

  13. You added a giggle to my day!

  14. That’s actually a really good idea!!!