How to label moving boxes

Organization – the one thing everyone keeps talking about during your move. “Stay organized! Plan ahead!” they say. The moving process is complicated and can easily go wrong. There isn’t a single person in the world who hasn’t made at least one mistake when moving. They all want you to avoid those mistakes and ease the relocation. However, sometimes all that information can be a bit overwhelming. Take a deep breath and let’s start from something as basic as labeling your cardboard boxes or plastic bins. It seems insignificant, but it can actually make a significant difference. If you figure out the right way to label moving boxes, you’re one step ahead to being more organized during this hectic time. So, let’s get started!

Writing the room on the box isn't the only way to label moving boxes!
Labeling your moving boxes isn’t always simple.

Things to do before you label moving boxes

You’ve got to start somewhere, and we’ll tell you where exactly. First of all, you have to get your boxes. Think about the things you need to pack in them. Some people prefer to pack their clothes in suitcases, and some like to pack them in boxes. Books, small kitchen appliances, kid’s toys… those are some of the most common things that usually go in moving boxes. Based on this, there are many different types of moving boxes and not each will suit your needs. Choosing proper moving boxes is your first step. Cardboard or plastic? Big or small? These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself.

Talk to your movers

If you’ve hired a moving company to help you out, discuss the matter of moving boxes with them beforehand. Some of them may provide them for you, and some won’t. In any case, the can help you and give you advice. For example, they may know where to get free cardboard boxes or at least cheaper ones. On the other hand, your fine art movers Brooklyn will advise you on the type of boxes or protection you need for your art. Experienced professionals know every trick in the book, and that’s why you should go to them for tips.

What to buy prior to labeling moving boxes

Apart from the obvious (boxes, duh!), there are other little things you need to purchase before you start to label moving boxes. Some of them are:

  1. Good quality markers – this one goes without saying. You need something to write on the boxes with! Preferably, the markers should be waterproof (in case it rains on moving day). If you want to be extra, buy a few different colors, especially if you’re going to color-code your moving boxes. Blue for the bedroom, green for the kitchen, red for the living room… You get the point.

    Labeling moving boxes in different colors can make a huge difference.
    Use markers and tape in different colors when packing and labeling boxes.
  2. Heavy-duty tape – again, this is a no-brainer. Spend an extra dollar or two when buying tape – you don’t want things to fall out during your moving process!
  3. Moving labels – this one is optional. Got bad handwriting? Forget markers and get moving labels. You can purchase them from office supply stores, or get a label maker and make them yourself. There are also plenty of free templates online you can download and print.

Different ways to label your moving boxes

Of course, there isn’t one right way you can do this. There are various methods you can pick from, or you can mix and adapt them for you, all while making your moving process less confusing!

Color-coding method

When we discussed markers, we mentioned that you get them in a few different colors. This is because you can color-code your moving boxes. Using markers in different colors for each room can make the packing and unpacking process much easier. If you want to go the extra mile, you could also buy tape in matching colors. This way, it’s much easier for you and your movers to know which boxes go together.

Numbering method

You’ve only got a black marker? No problem. There are other ways to ensure you have labeled your moving boxes properly. For instance, you can use the numbering method. It’s very likely that you will have multiple boxes for each room. If you’re afraid of losing or misplacing any boxes during transport, this is the method which will be the most helpful. Label each box with their room (Kitchen, Bathroom, etc.) and a number of the box and the total number of boxes for that room (1/15, 2/10 and so on.). This way, you will notice if a box is missing well before you need to unpack!

Priority method

To be honest, not every box will be unpacked right after you move. Some will stay in the hallways for quite some time. However, there are things you will need right away, whether you’ve moved your office or your home. If you label moving boxes by their priority, you will know exactly which you should unpack first. Label them “H”, “M” or “L” for high, medium or low priority.

Label boxes by their priority so you know what to unpack first.
Not every box needs to be unpacked right away – label them by priority!

Other useful tips to consider

Now that you’ve chosen your preferred labeling method, there are a few extra details you should keep in mind.

  • Write on the side of your moving boxes rather than on top! No matter if you’re using a marker, stickers or moving boxes labels, the labels will be easy to read even if the boxes are stacked on top of each other.
  • Label multiple box sides! Again, when all the boxes are gathered and neatly ordered in the moving truck, sometimes the side with the label can be hard to see. Help your movers so they don’t have to turn each box around multiple times.
  • Write “Fragile” on important boxes! It doesn’t matter if it’s plates or expensive art. Everything should be properly secured and protected during the move. Those who work in art shipping NYC will tell you to also draw an arrow next to the label, showing the right side up. No one wants to deal with broken or damaged things on their moving day!

    Write "fragile" or "this side up" for boxes with breakable items.
    Put a proper label on boxes which contain easily breakable items.

You’re now all set to label moving boxes! Take our tips into account and you’ll see that packing, transferring and unpacking will be so much easier when you know where things are.


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