When packing yourself for a move, one of the most common mistakes people make is to stack all boxes they pack together without any marks on them.
It’s very easy to forget to label the boxes since moving on your own is a complex process with a lot of decisions to make. And it is even easier to forget what’s inside each box after it’s packed, which leads to a lot of additional heavy lifting and stress once you start unpacking them.
To make the labelling process easier for you and help you settle into a new home quicker, we’ve prepared this simple guide. So let’s dive right into it!
#1 Get Labels and Markers
Supplies you need for labelling are very cheap and can be found in any store like Walmart.
You need high-quality markers that have very bright colours. Using regular pens or pencils is not the best option because they have a very thin line that will be difficult to read during the move.
The best tool for this job is water-proof permanent markers. Even better if it’s a set of 10 or 20 with different colours. They hold on to the labels way better than regular markers and are clearly visible even in rooms with fewer lights.
With labels, you have 3 options:
- Buy some from your local store. This is the best option because they have a sticky side on the back and enough room for writing.
- Print some from the Internet. In this case, you must use double-sided tape to ensure they don’t fall off during the move.
- Design them yourself using the materials you have. In this case, don’t make them too small so there’s enough room for writing.
Another option with print labels is to skip them altogether and write labels directly on the moving box. This option is obviously available to those who use their own moving boxes and don’t have to return them.
#2 Label Boxes At The Right Time
Even though many people have the urge to label boxes as soon as they get supplies, this is not the best time to do it.
The reason for that is very simple – you don’t know what’s going to fit into each box before you pack it.
So in order to avoid the replacement of labels and general confusion about the contents of each box, label it only after you seal it.
Follow the tree-step rule: pack it, seal it, label it.
#3 Correct Use of Labels
There’s no right or wrong way to label the boxes. You can use whichever system you can remember and understand best. The most important thing here is to keep the labels consistent and remember what you meant by each letter or colour.
Here are 4 most popular techniques for labelling:
1 – Labelling using colour
The first method is the easiest and most used one. The idea here is to use a different colour for every room.
For example, for the bathroom, you can use blue colour. For the kitchen, green colour. For the living room, orange colour and so on.
The only drawback of this method is that you will be the only one who knows what each colour means. So once you arrive at your new home, attach coloured paper or sticky notes near the entrance to each room to avoid confusion.
2 – Labelling using numbers
The second method is a bit more difficult, but it’s often used on large residential and commercial moves.
What you need to do here is to put a number on each box after you pack it and add this number to your notepad or spreadsheet. In your spreadsheet, you need to write down the contents of the box as well as the room where it goes near each number.
The most important thing here is to keep your records safe and make a couple of copies to make sure you don’t lose track of the contents of each box, as it will lead to a lot of additional moving after your boxes are transported into your new place.
3 – Labelling by room
The third method is the most logical one, as you will need to put the name of the room on the box.
For small moves, that is usually the best method. If you use it for larger moves, make sure you attach coloured paper or sticky notes near the entrance to each room, just like in the first method. Because boxes for “living room 1” and “living room 3” can easily be misplaced in a large house.
4 – Labelling by contents
The last method, which will also work for small moves, is to write down the contents on the side of each box.
This method is far from the best because you will be the only one who knows where exactly you want to place these items in your new home.
For larger moves, use the first or the second method.
#4 Label Your Boxes on All Sides
Another reason why the 4th labelling method is not that good is that you need to write your labels on all 4 sides of the box.
During the moving process, your boxes will turn around more than a few times, which means that if you write your labels only on one side, you will constantly have to turn them around to see where they should go, and your unloading process will take far more time.
#5 Add Special Instructions
Since we all have things that we use every day and those that we use a couple of times a year, it is a good idea to add additional priority labels to save you some time.
The most common system here is to use the letters “H”, “M,” and “L”. “H” stands for high-priority items, “M” is for medium priority and “L” is for low-priority items that you won’t need for quite some time.
As the last step, add special instructions like “Fragile”, “Handle With Care,” and “This Side Up” for boxes with fragile items that need special attention. Just like any other labels, these must be added on all sides of the boxes.
As you can probably tell from our guide, labelling boxes is not hard, and everyone can do it. The most important thing you need to remember is to use one labelling system for all your boxes, label them only after they are sealed and put additional marks on boxes that need special attention.
How do you name moving boxes?
The two most popular ways to name your moving boxes are by contents or by the room where they should go. For larger moves, the best ways to name boxes are by using colours or numbers.
Where should you label moving boxes?
You should label your moving boxes on all four sides to avoid confusion when they get stacked on top of each other.
Looking For Professional Packers in Montreal?
As one of Montreal’s top movers, we know a thing or three about moving and packing, and we can handle any type of move in a speedy manner. No staircase is too steep, no box is too heavy, and no weather is too harsh!
Owner/Founder – STC Movers
I’m Pavel, and I run this company, with the unwavering support of my wife and kids. My team shares my values: we work hard, care about the outcome and want every single customer to feel good about doing business with us.