These pro tricks will take you from stressed-out novice to moving master.
It’s a known fact that proper organization is the main prerequisite for a successful move. Even seemingly small details, such as labeling boxes, can make a big difference in the final outcome of your relocation adventure.
So, what is the best way to approach labeling moving boxes?
First, make sure you have everything you need. Then, choose a labeling system that works for you. And don’t forget to mark the boxes with your specific handling requirements.
Materials you’ll need
Before you can get down to work, you need to have a few items on hand:
Permanent markers. Get high-quality colored markers to make sure the writing on your moving boxes will be easy to read. Rain or snow on moving day, as well as unfavorable storage conditions, can cause the writing to smudge or run if you don’t use permanent waterproof markers.
Labels. Color labels are your best choice when it comes to easily organizing and identifying your moving boxes. You can purchase pre-made labels from your moving company; download printable labels from the Internet for free; or create custom labels on your computer to perfectly suit your needs.
Quality packing tape. You may need clear packing tape to attach the labels to the packed boxes, and, as an extra step, you can cover labels with clear tape to protect them from dirt and moisture.
If you’re moving yourself, you can come up with creative ways to label your moving boxes. It doesn’t really matter what kind of labeling system you choose, as long as it makes sense to you and helps you organize your stuff.
If you hired professional movers to help you relocate, however, make sure you use a clear and efficient labeling system that will facilitate their work and prevent confusion and mistakes.
Two labeling methods have proven to yield the best possible results during the hectic moving process:
Color codes. Assign a different color to each room in your home, and use that same color to mark all the boxes that should go into the respective room. If you choose purple for the children’s room, for example, attach purple labels on the boxes that contain your kids’ clothes, toys, and books, and use the purple marker to write your instructions. You can even seal the boxes shut with purple tape for easier identification. Color-code the boxes for each room in the same way, so the movers know exactly where to deliver every individual moving container.
Number codes. Instead of using different colors, you can simply number your moving boxes. This way, you will not only easily organize your items, but will also be able to keep better track of the boxes and immediately notice if any of them are missing upon delivery. If you decide to use number codes, create a comprehensive master list to record the contents of each moving box corresponding to its unique number. It’s a good idea to make several copies of the list, or scan it and email it to yourself.
Don’t forget to label the rooms in your new home as well: attach color cards or number cards on the doors, so that your movers can deliver the right boxes to the correct room.
How to label your moving boxes
When labeling boxes for moving, it’s best to use clear packing tape over the attached labels so they don’t come loose during the transportation. You should also write your instructions directly on the boxes using permanent waterproof markers.
Make sure you label every individual box right after packing it and sealing it. Otherwise, you may forget what exactly you’ve put inside.
You should label a moving box not only on its top, but on two or three of its sides as well. This way, you’ll be able to see all the relevant information (contents and destination room) even when the boxes are stacked together.
When getting a moving box ready for shipping, make sure you mark its destination room (even if you have opted for number codes), the contents of the box (or its unique number), and any necessary handling instructions (such as “Fragile,” “This Side Up,” and “Open First”).
Be as specific as possible when labeling the moving boxes to ensure the safety of your items during transit, and to facilitate the unpacking process once you get to your new home.