It’s hard to put a finger on exactly why so many of us love to get our fingers on bubble wrap, but we do. Happy bubble wrap appreciation day!

Sure, while the primary purpose of bubble wrap is to protect items while they are being moved (our favorite use here at Bellhops), shipped, or stored, whenever we, say, get a package in the mail, open it, and find bubble wrap inside, it’s tough for many of us to fight the urge to sit and pop bubbles until every single one is gone.

Maybe we like the noise. Maybe it’s because we get to engage in some harmless, mess-less destruction. Maybe it’s because it’s relaxing. In fact, the makers of bubble wrap once conducted a survey in which respondents said that popping bubble wrap for just over a minute alleviated the same amount of stress as a 33-minute massage. (Seriously… They said that.)

Bubble Wrap has become so popular that the last Monday in January is now known as Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day (#BubbleWrapDay), though nobody is quite sure who decided that. That’s OK, though, because the popularity of everybody’s favorite thing to pop is sort of an accident, as well.

Ideas That Pop

In 1956, two engineers in New Jersey sealed a couple of shower curtains together. The technique created air bubbles, which the engineers thought would make a great wallpaper. Unfortunately, the public didn’t. The engineers then tried to sell their invention as greenhouse insulation, but their collective bubbles were burst again when that product also failed to catch on. Finally, in 1961, IBM began using bubble wrap as packing material for one of its computers, and a phenomenon was born.

The truth is, bubble wrap can be used as wallpaper or greenhouse insulation, and we’ve already mentioned its popularity as packing material. To help you celebrate Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day, we’ve compiled a list of 14 other creative uses for bubble wrap:

  • Not only is bubble wrap great to use to protect items that are being moved or shipped, it’s also great for protecting items when you go shopping. If you think you might buy something breakable at the mall, thrift store, or flea market, take a little wrap along with you for extra protection.
  • It can also come in handy at the grocery store. If you’re not going home right away or have other errands to run—and you need to keep your frozen items from thawing out—keep your food cold by lining your reusable shopping bag with bubble wrap.
  • Have you been tasked with bringing a hot dish to a party or family function? Use bubble wrap to keep it insulated.
  • Don’t want to spring for one of those pricey insulated mugs? Line the cup holder in your car with bubble wrap to keep your drink hot or cold.
  • Lumbar cushions can be expensive, too. instead of buying one, make your own. Take a roll of bubble wrap, and roll it tightly lengthwise until it’s thick enough to rest comfortably against the small of your back. Then, run some kitchen twine through the center, tape the toll shut, and use the twine to secure it to your favorite chair.
  • A layer of bubble wrap can also provide comfortable padding underneath your sleeping bag or under your knees when you’re gardening.
  • Camping and gardening are a few months away, however. With winter in full swing, wrap your outdoor plants—containers and all—with bubble wrap and use tape to keep the wrap secure.
  • You can wrap your pipes and outdoor spouts with bubble wrap, too.
  • Wrap a layer on your car windshield during the winter to stave off that pesky frost.
  • Keep your home warm and energy costs down by using bubble wrap to insulate any drafty windows you might have. Simply cut the wrap to fit, spray the window with a light layer of water, and apply the wrap with the flat side facing you.
  • Do you have shoes that have been crushed in a suitcase or in the back of your closet? Stuff them with bubble wrap until they’ve regained their shape.
  • If you have a door that hits a wall when it’s opened, place some wrap at the spot where the handle hits it.
  • Are you moving anytime soon? Yes? First call Bellhops, then use bubble wrap to wrap the sharp corners of your furniture so you or your movers don’t scratch your walls.
  • If you want to count down the days until your move or another exciting event—like your wedding or the arrival of a new baby—use bubble wrap to make a countdown calendar.

We hope you enjoy your Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day with these creative uses. We’ll be celebrating all week. Happy Popping!

Here are some more moving tips and tricks to help on your moving day.

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