How to Label Moving Boxes Like a Pro
May 27, 2021

We all know that moving houses can be rather stressful. Especially if this is your first time it can be quite overwhelming. The scale of organisation for the upcoming move, as well as the psychological adjustment and emotional strain involved in the process, are the main culprits behind the tremendous pressure we can experience during this transitional time in our lives.

First-time movers often under anticipate some key elements of the pre-moving stage, such as shopping around for a removalist service well in advance or packing their possessions in the right way.

So, to avoid feeling in a state of panic a week before the big day, do your homework and get a quote from a few short-listed removal companies. Also, make sure to start packing your stuff early enough and label the moving boxes properly.

This way, you will be able to find everything you need, fast and easy, when you start unpacking them in your new home.

Why is labeling so important

Imagine this. Utter chaos is reigning in your new house for days. You are on the brink of tears, struggling to find your belongings in a pile of “nondescript”, anonymous moving boxes. Are you ready for such a scenario? We thought not. Then, labelling your moving boxes as you go, while packing, is what you need to do.

By picking an easy-to-decipher code system for describing what’s in the box and where it should go, you will save yourself a lot of hassle when trying to locate a particular item later. You will also do the removalists a favour by guiding them as to which box goes first in the truck.

Moreover, clearly labeled packs will be unloaded and moved to the place they belong in your new home.

And not to mention that the antique crystal vase you got from aunt Margaret will get to its new destination intact if you furnish the packaging with a nice and big “Fragile”. Last, but not least, by numbering each box, you’ll know straight away if one goes missing.

But what is the best way to label your moving boxes? Is there a universal system that works in all cases?

Prepare your packing and labeling materials

  • Cardboard Boxes (or any other storage containers)
  • Coloured paper
  • Paper Tape
  • Pens and a few sheets of paper
  • Clear Packing Tape or/and Colored Tape
  • Good quality permanent markers in multiple colours
  • Download printable moving box labels or you can also make your own

    Before packing make a master inventory list

    Before you start with the packing process take the time to create a detailed inventory list of everything you have. You can include the prices of more precious items and also take pictures of them. This will not only make it a lot easier to keep track of your possessions when packing but also in the unlucky event that something gets damaged or broken during the moving process, you will have detailed information about the item and a picture prior to the move. You may be curious how this will help you with the labeling process but stay with us on this one!
  • How to label moving boxes

  • There isn’t just one right way to approach your packing venture. You can safely incorporate several proven methods of labeling without the risk of making things more confusing. By labeling your moving boxes you not only help the professional movers on moving day but also yourself when unpacking time comes. Get your packing and labeling supplies ready and let’s get down to business!
  • Using different colours to label your moving boxes will make the unpacking later a much easier process. The colour coded labeling system often goes hand in hand with the room-by-room labeling method as you can pick a different colour for each room.

    Go ahead and write “Kitchen” with a yellow permanent marker and “Living room” in blue to ensure that the removalists unload each moving box in its designated place. Use good quality waterproof marker pens to avoid ending up with smudged scribbles if it rains or snows on moving day.

    To “reinforce” your colour-coded labeling system, secure the moving boxes with the same colour tape or use clear tape to stick on the same colour paper.

    Don’t forget to leave a colour indication in your new home. Stick the same colour tape or paper on the doors of the destination room, corresponding to the moving boxes that need to go there. This will assure easy communication with the professional movers and save you some elbow grease moving boxes around on your own.

    Labels by room

    Ok, we have already covered the room-by-room packing system. It’s proven that it makes the unloading and unpacking simply a breeze, even if you use only one colour for writing the labels. Ensure that you tape the same label on each side of the box and even place one on top of the packaging.

    Again, this will facilitate the movers a great deal when trying to get your belongings to the right room. There is nothing more inconvenient than circling around a large box to locate its label when you are strapped for time or worse, trying to move it, because the neatly written sign is on the other side.

    Priority code labels

    This labelling system could combine a couple of house removals concepts. For instance, it could determine which box goes first in the moving truck and which is loaded last. This way, the removalists will be able to prioritise what items are coming off the vehicle first and get moved in their designated room.

    The other idea behind this system is to clearly state and remind yourself which box is a priority in terms of getting it unpacked first.

    So, you can label a box with an “H” for high priority, with an “M” for medium priority and with an “L” to emphasise its low level of priority. This labeling method will prevent you from unpacking your wedding dress first, while your kids’ school books are still buried somewhere in the heap of moving boxes. For packing books properly, check our guide and learn how to proceed when paperback editions need to be prepared for a move or storage.

    Number code labels

    Remember when we advised you to create an inventory list? Well, the number code labelling system involves that inventory list. Across each item list which number box you have packed it in and what numbers apply for each room. For example, you can easily refer to your list when unpacking boxes 1 to 5 that are destined to go in the kitchen.

    And, if the first thing that you want to do is to make a nice cup of tea, then you dash for box number 3 to get the kettle out. Well, the removalists still need to be directed somehow that box 3 belongs in the kitchen, so it won’t hurt if you jot down in red a nice and clear “Kitchen”.

    Labels by items

    Packing your possessions by items works only in a partial way. And the method cannot replace other labelling systems. For instance, you can group soft items together like bedding, throw overs, rugs, and cushions in a box and pack your kids’ winter clothes in a large bin bag. You can make labeling bin bags and other plastic containers by using paper tape.

    Another example is your camping equipment that can be packed nicely and labelled as such with an added “L” for low priority. All small electrical appliances that need to be handled with care can also go in a designated box.

    But whether you decide to pack the hairdryer and the table fan together with the coffee maker and the juicer is another matter. Just find what works for you by weighing out the drawbacks and benefits of this labelling system. The key to it is to itemise clearly the contents of each box.

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