What is the best way to label moving boxes?

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There are two excellent ways to make sure that you never have to hear yourself or somebody else utter the dreaded words chaos or disorganization in regard to your own house move. Keep in mind that the moment these two words are said, it might be too late for you to get things back on track before Moving day comes banging on your door.

Number one is to create a detailed personal moving calendar where all the tasks you will ever need to take care of will be arranged in a customized and prioritized way that actually makes sense for you. This moving timeline checklist of yours will actually help you organize the pre-move time you have in the best possible way.

The second way to introduce order and organization into your moving preparations is to label your moving boxes the moment you’ve packed them. Now, there are some inexperienced home movers who think that the process of labeling boxes when moving to another home is a waste of time. Interestingly enough, anyone who tends to underestimate the importance of a good pre-move labeling system wishes they didn’t when they’re faced with the job of unpacking later on.

So, why is labeling moving boxes so essential? And what is the best way to label boxes when moving? Read on to find the answers.

What to have before labeling boxes for moving

To avoid time wasting interruptions once you initiate the task of labeling your moving boxes, you need to have a few items ready before you can get down to work.

  • Packed containers. Logic says that you can’t possibly start labeling boxes for moving if you don’t have moving containers that have been already packed. You are recommended to mark a box as soon as you fill it up and close it shut as opposed wait until you’ve packed up a number of boxes and then attempt to remember what was inside them. Therefore, timing is an important factor that you need to pay attention to.
  • Color markers. To introduce impeccable organization on Moving day and especially during the unpacking process, you will also need a set of color marker pens as writing tools. Make sure the markers you purchase are 1) of a brand you recognize for its high quality products, 2) of various colors in order to use the effective color code labeling system /see below/, and 3) are permanent and waterproof so that bad weather or unfavorable storage conditions don’t make the writings on them illegible.
  • Color labels. Color labels will help you speed up the identification of the moving boxes once they are delivered to your new home and will eliminate, or at least minimize any possible mistakes of containers being delivered to the wrong rooms. You can purchase pre-manufactured box labels from a local moving company, find downloadable and printable labels on the Internet for free, or create custom ones yourself if you have the required time, skills and desire to do so.
  • Clear and/or color tape. Use clear packing tape to attach the color labels on the packed boxes (glue is not really recommended as it can make things rather messy). Additionally, if you wish to make delivered boxes even easier to identify, then you can choose to use tape of different colors for the different rooms in your new house or apartment.

SEE ALSO: What packing supplies do I need?

How to label moving boxes?

Okay, so the packing marathon is on and you may be wondering what exactly to write on each box when you seal it with packing tape. The good news is that you actually have two labeling systems to choose from depending on your personal preferences and specific packing conditions:

Color code labeling system

This is the easiest and most preferred method for labeling boxes for moving. In fact, it can’t go any simpler than that – you choose one color for one room in your new residence and stick with that selected color until the very end. For example, you select the color BLUE to mean KITCHEN, so you use the blue marker to mark each packed container that must end up in your new-home kitchen. Also, attach blue labels and blue packing tape if you want to make your containers even more identifiable. Once you’ve marked all kitchen-bound boxes, select another color for another room (GREEN for BEDROOM, for instance) and so on. Remember that as long as you stay consistent with the various colors, it won’t really matter which color you pick for which room.

IMPORTANT: If you’ve hired a top rated moving company to help you move, then make sure you attach corresponding colored cards/labels on the doors of each room in your new home so that your hired men know where to deliver the color coded moving boxes.

SEE ALSO: Why should I hire top rated professional movers?

Numeric labeling system

Another labeling system that may actually work better for you is the usage of number codes. The idea, again, is pretty straightforward – you create a master list where you mark down the detailed contents of each individual moving box against a unique number. So, as long as contents go, all you have to write on your packed moving containers are just mere numbers while the master checklist will contain more information what those numbers mean. For example, boxes 1 through 15 contain your kitchen items, but a quick look at the checklist tells you that Box #10 is where you will find the coffee-maker.

IMPORTANT: Whatever you do, don’t lose your master labeling checklist. It’s best if you photograph or scan it, and then e-mail it to yourself as a backup in case something happens to the original one.

READ ALSO: How to pack for a move quickly

What to label moving boxes?

Our tips for labeling moving boxes end with essential info about what to write on your packed boxes.

  • Destination room. Use a color marker if you prefer the color code labeling system and write the destination room either on a label or directly on the box itself. If you fancy the numeric labeling system, you should mark the destination room nevertheless.
  • Contents. If you’ve opted for number codes, then you won’t have to write down the contents of each box as that information will be available in your master checklist. If using color codes, then mark down what each packed container has inside it and be as specific as you can.
  • Handling instructions. Depending on the exact contents of each packed box, you can choose to write FRAGILE, THIS SIDE UP, HANDLE WITH CARE or other specific instructions so that whoever’s handing the moving containers is more careful. Use big red letters for better visibility.

Now that you know how to label boxes for moving, what’s next for you?

Here is a short video with more tips on how to organize the whole packing process and label your boxes accordingly:

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