Moving is a massive process that requires careful orchestration for success. Moving requires a lot of help from family, friends, and hired movers, and you’re always in a hurry. If everything is going to get where it needs to go, you must be organized as you label your boxes. A poor system will lead to lost time and misplaced items that can really throw a kink into your plans for the day.
Avoiding those complications is not hard to do! Boxing up your belongings with a good labeling system involves five basic steps.
1. Label by Location
Some people make the mistake of telling what’s in a box, not where it goes. That is pointless. Moving is all about getting the box into the right room. Once that’s accomplished, the details of exactly which shelf or nook they go in will take care of themselves. Tell the destination, not the contents.
2. Use Universal Terms
You may have built or decorated the new place from top to bottom, but your assistants will have no idea where you’re talking about if you label a box as to be placed in “baby’s room” or “big living room.” A good option is to label the house when you label the boxes; a simple piece of paper on each doorway will guide people to the right place quickly.
3. Keep It Brief
Boxes are heavy, awkward, fragile, or all of the above. The idea is to get them where they go as quickly as possible, and if your labels are too wordy or are likely to be partially blocked by the carrier’s hands, time will be lost. Make sure the descriptions of contents or rooms are just a word or two so that your worker won’t spend so much time reading that he or she trips over something.
4. Keep It Visible
Speaking of visible labels, be sure to place them where the carrier can see them. The ends and sides of boxes are typically against the body or under the arms, and whose neck can bend around to look there anyway? Label boxes on top for the carrier, and if they’ll be stacked, label at least one side as well. Remember, the carriers are strangers to your home so that they may be checking the label more than once. And use a fat, contrasting marker to write, not an ink pen.
5. Make It Durable
Speaking of your writing instrument, make sure that whatever you write and wherever you write it that it won’t be smeared off by sweaty palms or washed away by (heaven forbid) an unexpected rain. Many people use plastic tubs with masking tape labels for moving, but that can quickly turn into an illegible mess if the weather turns sour. And doesn’t it always rain when you’re moving?
For most people, moving is only fun because it represents the beginning of life in a new home. It’s certainly not anything that we want to make more difficult. An organized move means scheduling and timing everything appropriately, and it also means getting all your belongings labeled in an accurate and durable way.
That way, you can simply turn the crew loose and join them in getting the task done as quickly and efficiently as possible so that you can start unpacking and getting settled.