Labeling your moving boxes for a move or for storage is one of the easiest, but most important things to do. Yet, did you know that you can be more efficient with your labeling process? You can do more than simply write the type of things that you put in the box.
Below, we put together a few tips on the most efficient and best ways to label moving boxes. We also included some don’ts for labeling — Yes, there are things you shouldn’t do. Plus, we answer some common questions most people ask themselves when they label their moving boxes.
Before You Label Your Moving Boxes
Like packing and moving, you need to prepare before you label your moving boxes. Start by gathering high-quality waterproof permanent markers. It also helps to get them in various colors.
Look for moving labels for your boxes, too. Many office supply stores and moving companies sell pre-printed labels for cardboard boxes. Buying moving labels meant for boxes can help you save time. Do you have a printer and sticker paper at home? Download and print the packing labels instead or create them by hand.
If you’ve checked out our other posts, you know that we’ve said this many times. Buy secondhand moving boxes. It’s a great alternative to buying brand new moving boxes. It’s perfect if you’re on a budget because it reduces your moving expenses. When you do this, ensure you inspect them first. Remove previous labels to keep you and the movers from getting confused.
How to Label Boxes When Moving
Let’s say you’re ready to start packing and labeling. How do you go about it to ensure all the boxes clearly tell you and the movers what’s inside them?
First, make it a habit to label all the sides of the boxes. It saves time because you’d know its contents from a glance. You won’t have to turn each one around to read the label. You can find something quickly whenever you need it.
Mark boxes with fragile contents and their right side up with an arrow or sticker. Do this for all boxes carrying fragile items only. With them, the movers will know how to haul the boxes properly and avoid damaging their contents.
It helps if you include the room and the box contents when you make or write the label. For example, instead of writing “Bedroom” only, add “linens and towels.” It’ll help speed up unpacking later.
Setting up a Labeling System: What to Write on Packing Boxes?
Whenever you’re packing and labeling, always consider how you’ll unpack them, as well. On top of labeling boxes, organizing them will also make unpacking easier and faster. Use one of the two methods we mention below or a combination of them.
Use a Color-Coding System
Set different color markers for different rooms. Doing this helps cut down on the time needed to write the specific room for the boxes. For example, use a black marker for the bedroom, red for the bathroom, etc.
Are you printing your labels? Add a colored border or background instead. Another alternative is to use colored tape when you’re packing. Don’t forget to write your color-coding system down on your phone or a piece of paper in case you forget what each color means.
Red markers and labels have one more function. Use them to add important instructions for boxes with fragile or important contents. Use them to mark your boxes as:
- THIS SIDE UP
- HANDLE WITH CARE
- OPEN FIRST
- DO NOT STACK
Use a Numbering System
A numbering system adds an extra layer of organization. Numbering every box will also quickly alert you to any missing moving boxes.
First, choose a unique number for every moving box. Number each box after you pack and seal it. Are you considering using the number system but not the color-coding system? Add the room or destination of the box. For example, “1: SHED.”
Next, create a master list for each box and its contents, whether written or digitally made. On this list, add the contents of each box. Below is an example:
- Box 1: Power tools.
- Box 2: Gardening tools + garden supplies.
Finally, keep this master list secure and make multiple copies of it. If you wrote it, take a photo and email the list to yourself to create an online copy. It will serve as a condensed inventory and full checklist of your moving boxes.
Should You Put Your Name on Moving Boxes?
Yes, it’ll help the movers distinguish which moving boxes belong to you. Do this for all boxes that will go into temporary storage or between moving trucks.
You don’t need to write your full name on the moving boxes. Consider adding your first name’s initials and full last name. You don’t want the movers to mix up your boxes with someone who shares the same last name, no matter how unlikely.
Packing and Labeling Tips
If you’re using labeling stickers, make sure they don’t easily fall off the cardboard boxes. If you want to be extra sure, secure them with tape.
Never label a box before you pack and seal it. You don’t know what you’ll put in the box until you pack it. It’ll also save time because you won’t have to look for the boxes with the proper labels.
Set aside one box that houses all immediate necessities. Treat it like a to-go backpack if you’re not already setting one up. These necessities may include:
- A change of clothes
- Food and water
- Chargers and batteries
You won’t have to unseal and reseal various boxes to get to these items. Putting all the necessities together will help you save time. It also helps to label and keep this box with you or in an easily reachable part on the movers’ vehicle.
We understand that packing, labeling, and moving can be exhausting. Find the best moving company to help you pack and move your items via the Mod24 Moving App today.