Dealing with mountains of unmarked boxes in your new home is no fun. This is especially true in a smaller house or apartment where there isn’t much room to unpack and move furniture around. Even if you are someone who is always up for an adventure, not being able to find the coffee maker or your shower liner when you need it could put a damper on your move. If you have a higher budget to work with then you can take advantage of packing, furniture disassembly, and other moving services.

What are the best ways to label a box when moving?

If you are tackling the packing process on your own, labeling boxes and keeping track of inventory is in your best interest. You may think it is a hassle or find it unnecessary now, but when you get into your new place and start unpacking, you will be grateful that you took the time to think about how to label boxes for a move.

The Basic Black Marker

Using a black marker is the most basic method for labeling boxes. You can label by room this way and you can also number the boxes to coincide with your inventory list. Many people do just fine with this method, but if you have a lot of boxes it is not necessarily the most practical option. It can also be time-consuming to handwrite your inventory. Still, it is better than nothing! At the very least, make a marker your friend.

Colored Stickers

Colored stickers can make identifying boxes a little easier from a glance. There is a good chance your movers will put the boxes with green stickers in their right room. Identifying boxes by color is a lot easier than having to read the room written on each box.

Mobile Inventory Software

With today’s technology, it should come as no surprise that there are mobile inventory apps available to make your life easier. You use your phone for everything else; you might as well put it to work for your move. As each box is packed you take photos of the contents. and then assign each box a number or name. You can also assign a room. This will save you from doing a lot of writing. It can be helpful for insurance purposes, and it is highly recommended if putting boxes in storage or make an interstate move.

QR Codes

QR codes are not for everyone. If you love tech-geeky stuff, this labeling method will prove to be quite fun for you. If you are scratching your head, trying to figure out what QR even stands for, this is probably something you want to avoid. With this method, you can use a text file to manage your inventory and then transfer the contents to a QR code using a generator. You can only use 250 characters so you will need to use plenty of abbreviations to squeeze in the information.

Color Your Boxes

Designate each room in your home with a different color. It doesn’t matter which color you choose for which room because it only needs to make sense to you and your fellow packers. Adhere to the specific color by using markers and packing tape in those colors. Permanent, waterproof markers come in a rainbow array of colors and so does duct tape. Patterns, too!

Inform the movers about your color-coding system and mark the box tops with the corresponding color. If you can, place a colored sticker or card on each doorway, so the movers know which room gets which color-coordinated box.

Create or Collect Labels

Using your printer to create labels is a great option because you can customize the labels to your specifications. Visit moving company websites to see what printable moving labels are available.  Make sure you attach adhesive on the back or secure labels with a layer of clear tape. You can also purchase sticker labels to adorn boxes or plastic totes and reuse them.

Label by Numbers

Along with color-coding your boxes, designate a number for each room and number each box accordingly. Create a list of what rooms have what color and number assigned to them for the movers. Follow the same system you used for colors.

Keep Them Together

Begin packing by starting one room at a time and finishing once the entire room is packed. This way you follow your color-coding and numbering system as well as keep the boxes together.  If you store the boxes in one central location, ensure the boxes for each room stay with their group.

Write the Right Words

Even though you used colors and numbers to identify your boxes, don’t rely on just those indicators. Write the room where the box belongs on the side of the box as well as other notations like “Open First,” Fragile, or This End Up with directional arrows for reference.

Get Kids Involved

If your kids love arts and crafts or are hesitant about moving, involve them in the labeling process. Having them post colored stickers on boxes or carefully doodling designs could be entertaining and distract them from their moving concerns.

Build an Inventory Scrapbook

While you’re “designing” your moving boxes, photograph the items packed within and create a master inventory list or scrapbook of what they contain and where the boxes go according to their assigned colors and numbers.

If this all seems like a lot of extra work, get a price on hiring packers. You may be surprised at how affordable these moving services can be if you don’t wait until the last minute to book them.