How to Label Moving Boxes

Michael Miller is a reputable author at Great Nation Moving and an expert in moving, packing and storage topics.

How to Label Moving Boxes

Packing for a move is an entire process that is made up of different steps that follow a well-organized logical progression. When one step is completed successfully, you move on to the next one and you keep doing it until you manage to tackle all of them.

And here comes the tricky part when you’ve made up your mind to pack your things without any packing assistance from the pros – if you skip even a single step, you’re very likely to lose plenty of time and even some money as a result, which in turn will increase the stress you must be already feeling during the preparation stage of your relocation project.

One great example is the step of labeling your boxes after you’ve packed them and sealed them up. You should never underestimate the act of labeling boxes for moving.

Labeling is a critical step that will ensure you won’t lose precious time during the unpacking task after the move is over.

Find below more information about how to label moving boxes properly.

Why is labeling boxes for moving so important?

As mentioned above, labeling boxes for moving plays a major role in keeping the packing process organized and structured. In fact, failure to label moving boxes is considered to be a costly mistake that will potentially result in many hours of wasted time during the unpacking process.

Here’s why labeling your boxes is more important than you might think:

·        Cardboard boxes look more or less the same so even if you have a very good memory, it’ll be impossible to remember what you have packed in each container just by looking at them. To be able to identify those packing boxes, you’ll need clues and that’s exactly where the box labeling step comes in.

·        When your moving boxes do not contain any information about which room they should be delivered to, all those cardboard containers will be taken inside the new place and stacked up in the central area of the biggest room.

·        Without any labels, you won’t really know what’s inside each container. Basically, this means that you’ll have to open up each box and then take it to the destination room one by one – a tough job that’ll probably take at least one full day to complete, maybe more.

·        Some of your ultra-fragile items might get damaged during the move simply because there are no handling instructions such as FRAGILE, HANDLE WITH CARE written with big (red) letters on the boxes.

When should you label your moving boxes?

When packing your things for moving, one of your major goals should be to increase the efficiency of the arduous task. If you can find a way to pack more quickly without compromising the overall level of safety, then you should definitely do it.  

During the house packing process, you might wonder when to label your boxes. It’s obvious that you can’t label those containers before you even begin to fill them up, so the right timing is:

Labeling should be right after you pack each box and NOT after you’ve packed some or maybe even all of them.

Remember that the correct sequence of packing boxes is:

  1. Pack
  2. Seal
  3. Label

Even though this packing order is highly logical, you may still get tempted to pack several boxes before you get down to labeling them.

What box labeling tools will you need?

Of course, you’re going to have to have the right tools to be able to label your boxes properly during the packing task.

Here’s what you’ll need to be able to do just that:

  • Markers. Make sure the marker pens you’ll be using to label your boxes are permanent markers of a brand you know and can trust. Ideally, you’ll get a set of at least 5 color markers that will let you use the color-coding labeling system in case you choose to implement it. If possible, buy markers that are waterproof as well in case there’s rain on Moving day.
  • Labels. If you wish, you can use ready-to-use labels to make packing easier and faster. A simple Google search should help you find many downloadable moving labels that you can print out and use during packing. You can also design your own labels if you have enough time. Nevertheless, you don’t really need to use labels when packing for a move. Instead, you can write directly onto the cardboard boxes using the markers you’ve already bought.
  •  Colored tape. If you have enough time and you wish to make labeling more effective and packing more fun in general, then you can use colored packing tape to be able to identify super quickly which boxes belong to which room in the new house or apartment.

Labeling techniques for moving boxes

How to label your moving boxes using COLORS

The best way to label moving boxes is to use color codes. The color-coding system of labeling boxes for moving has proven to be quite effective with virtually zero chance of mistakes at the time of delivery.

Luckily, the idea of labeling your containers using color codes is simple enough – all you have to do is to assign a different color for each room in the new place.

Let’s assume that you pick the color RED for the new home’s kitchen. Now, every single box you pack with kitchen items should be labeled with a red marker pen. Also, to make post-move identification even easier, you can choose to use red packing tape to seal those kitchen-bound boxes. Pretty easy, right?

Once you’ve picked RED for the kitchen, you should choose another color for the bedroom, for example. Which color it’ll be makes no difference at all – the important thing is that it makes sense for you. For example, GREEN can be your bedroom, while BLUE can be your living room. Can YELLOW be the color for the bathroom? Absolutely.

So the example color coding in our case would be:

  • RED: Kitchen
  • GREEN: Bedroom
  • BLUE: Living room
  • YELLOW: Bathroom

Also, you can use colored moving labels that will correspond to the colors you have already assigned for each room in the new residence. Once you have determined the corresponding colors, you shouldn’t change (reassign) them midway through the packing process.

Bear in mind that you will know which color corresponds to which room… but your movers won’t. So, when using professional moving services, make it abundantly clear which color should do into which room to prevent mix-ups. And the easiest and fastest way to let your movers know the colors of the rooms is to tape a piece of colored paper to each door.

Important: Remember that in addition to the pre-determined room colors, you must also write the content of each box and any special handling instructions, if necessary.

How to label your moving boxes using NUMBERS

Another effective way to label moving boxes when packing is to use numbers and not colors for easier and quicker post-relocation identification.

Here’s how it works:

  •  You create a master inventory list where each number will correspond to one single box.
  • You write down in the inventory sheet the content of box #1. For example, the box will contain books, so you write down BOOKS. In some cases, you may choose to include exactly which books you have packed inside it.
  • You label the container with the number 1 on at least two of its sides and then add the destination room, which in this case is most likely to be LIVING ROOM.
  • You pack the next box, mark it as #2 when you’ve sealed it up, and then write down the content of the container on the inventory list.

When using movers to help you transport your household items, the pros will know where to take each box because they will be able to read the destination room marked clearly on the container. However, they won’t know what’s inside the boxes since you’ll be the only one who has access to the master inventory sheet.

Important: Remember to make a copy of the inventory list and keep it somewhere safe in case you lose or misplace the original document. For peace of mind, do consider photographing it or scanning it, and then saving the digital file to cloud-based online storage.

Regardless of which labeling system you choose to use when packing up your boxes, the most important thing in the end is to NOT leave any containers unlabeled. If you do, then you’ll surely lose hours and hours of valuable time after the move, trying to figure out what’s packed inside each carton.

And besides, labeling a moving box won’t normally take more than a minute so there aren’t really any good reasons not to label your boxes properly when packing for a move.

If you’re wondering how to label your moving boxes, you can contact us right now at (800) 403-7552 and we will be happy to assist you.

By Michael Miller

Michael Miller is a reputable author at Great Nation Moving and an expert in moving, packing and storage topics.

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