3 Labeling Tips That Will Make Your Next Move a Breeze

3 Labeling Tips That Will Make Your Next Move a Breeze

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Moving is messy. You have to bring down decorations, dig through old clothing, and sort through discarded toys. You must decide whether you should keep all of your furniture, sell some of your bigger pieces, or donate your older items. And don’t forget that you also need to hire a moving team, fill out seemingly endless change-of-address forms, and forward all your medical records to your new doctor.

Fortunately, you can take away some of the chaos with good, old-fashioned organization. When you pack and label your boxes properly, you can locate important items quickly.

If you don’t already have a labeling system in mind, try the following techniques to ensure your upcoming move goes smoothly.

1. Limit Color Coding to Floors

You likely already anticipated color coding your boxes, and you may have already realized that if you pack your home by rooms, then you can dramatically speed up your packing and unpacking.

However, if you have a particularly large home, color coding individual rooms can turn a simple task into a complicated one. With each additional room, you may have to branch into previously unexplored color choices such as maroon or mauve, and your movers may have a hard time distinguishing the teal for your child’s bedroom from the turquoise for your master bathroom.

To keep things clear and simple, limit your color choices to the floors or the biggest sections of your home. For example, you could choose red for your main floor, blue for your second floor, and yellow for your attic. Or you could opt for orange for all the bedrooms, green for your bathrooms, and purple for your living room.

2. Don’t Abbreviate Room Names

If you plan to label each of your boxes by hand, you may find yourself tiring after the first few boxes. In an attempt to speed things along, you may try to abbreviate some of your labels to just the first letter.

But though “K” for kitchen may seem obvious enough, other abbreviations could cause confusion. The letter “B,” for example, could mean bedroom, bathroom, or basement. The letter “D” could mean den, or your movers might interpret it as dining room. The letter “F” could represent family room, front room, or foyer.

If you need to shave off those few seconds with abbreviations, give each room a few extra letters, such as “bed” for bedroom or “bath” for “bathroom.” Better still, invest in printed stickers with the full names of each room. You can purchase pre-made stickers from moving websites, or you can create your own labels and print them at home.

3. Assign Each Box a Number

As you pack and color code your rooms, you’ll likely find that you can’t fit all of your belongings in one box per room. You may have 5 or 6 boxes dedicated to your child’s bedroom, another 3 for your guest bathroom, and 12 boxes for your kitchen.

Although you’ve taken the time to label each of these boxes by room, you might discover that some boxes will get jumbled during the move. At the end of the trip, you may wonder if you really had 12 boxes in your kitchen, or if you only had 8, or if you somehow lost 3 or 4 between the moving van and the storage unit.

To minimize confusion, total the number of boxes per room and assign each box a number. For example, you might write, “Living room, Box 3 of 7” or “Playroom, Box 2 of 9.” At the end of the move, you can line up your boxes according to their number to quickly determine which box, if any, is missing.

To take your organizational skills to the next level, assign box numbers according to their unpacking priority. You may want to open box 1 first, box 2 second, and so on.

4. Let Your Movers Know About Your System

The above techniques and tips can help you create an efficient labeling system for your next move. But remember, once you’ve established a system that works for you, you should inform your moving team about your methods. With their help, you can ensure each box ends up in the appropriate room with minimal mess.

By |2018-05-17T17:34:28+00:00May 12th, 2016|Blog|18 Comments

About the Author:

Island Movers, Inc. has been in business for more than 55 years and is a family-owned and operated business enterprise. We have deep roots in the Hawaii community, as well as strong partnerships on the mainland and internationally. We are proud to be ranked among the Top 250 companies in the State of Hawaii. Our staff and workforce combine years of knowledge and dedication to provide our customers with a broad range of services. In total, we are the largest diversified transportation services company in the State of Hawaii.


  1. Beckett Carson June 14, 2016 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing. Moving is a great time to “clean house” by staging a garage sale, putting rarely-used items on Ebay or Craig’s List, and making donations to your favorite charity. You’ll not only end up with less to move, but you’ll have some extra cash in hand as well.

  2. Sarah Anderson July 14, 2016 at 6:02 am - Reply

    I hadn’t thought to color code boxes before. If you color code to an area it’s supposed to go, and label it, that would make it so easy for people helping you move to know what to do with the boxes. I need to do this next time I move, so we can avoid getting boxes meant for upstairs going to the basement.

  3. Kody Loveless August 22, 2016 at 7:13 am - Reply

    What a truly clever idea. I think putting numbers on your boxes is genius. I am going to try that out on my upcoming move. I also think I will use different color sharpies for different rooms. That will give it just one more thing to make it easier to organize. This will be my best move yet.

  4. Richard September 22, 2016 at 9:22 am - Reply

    Good stuff! Love the color coding idea for floors.

  5. Luke McMasters October 4, 2016 at 11:36 am - Reply

    Labelling the boxes by room is such a great idea. My last move was really messy because we didn’t label anything. Putting proper labels on the boxes will allow the movers to take the boxes where they actually go. That makes moving so much easier!

  6. Lillian Schaeffer January 24, 2017 at 9:55 am - Reply

    I like how you suggested color coding by floor instead of by individual room when packing for a move. My husband and I are going to be relocating in the next couple months, so we’re starting to pack some things. We have a lot of rooms, so maybe we could just stick with color coding based on floor instead so it doesn’t get too complicated for us or for the moving company.

  7. Long distance moving companies February 1, 2017 at 5:17 am - Reply

    Moving was the most stressful event in my life. Luckily, very professional moving company help me a lot.When you hire a moving company to transport your household items across a long distance, reliability and reputation should top your list of priorities. A reasonable price is also important, so you’ll want to get quotes from moving companies that pass your screening process.

  8. Braden Bills February 22, 2017 at 7:13 am - Reply

    I want to make my upcoming move as easy as possible. It makes sense that I would want to avoid abbreviating too much! It would be really bad if I forgot what the abbreviations meant. That would make organization an nightmare!

  9. Long Distance Moving February 24, 2017 at 6:37 am - Reply

    Be wary of complaints left by customers who have used your potential mover before. Like with anything, it’s good to shop around and do your research before making any hasty decisions.

  10. Sunrise Moving & Storage April 3, 2017 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    I have not tried color coding idea by floor but I am excited to try that soon if I move in with my in-laws next year. Excellent tips! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Michael April 11, 2017 at 7:50 am - Reply

    Loved the article 🙂 Labelling is one of those things that people tend to forget easily! But so very important! After reaching the detination, it really helps us movers to place the boxes in the appropriate rooms.

  12. Caden Dahl May 1, 2017 at 7:29 am - Reply

    I like how you suggested using color coding but limiting it to floors instead of each individual room if you have a large home. My wife and I are going to be moving in the next couple of months, so we want to start packing and getting ready for that. I’ve heard that color coding is a good idea, but it sounded overwhelming to try and do that for all the rooms of our house. Maybe it would be better to stick with only coding for the basement, ground floor, and second floor. Thanks for the article!

  13. sanju May 16, 2017 at 8:12 am - Reply

    Nice post I found this much informative. I’m impressed with details that you have given.

  14. John Brooklyn June 1, 2017 at 12:37 am - Reply

    It’s really nice tips for moving. I appreciate the efforts you people put in to share blogs on such kind of topics; it was helpful. Keep Posting!

  15. Revan July 16, 2017 at 8:19 am - Reply

    Very impressive tips and suggestions.. I will try this if we plan to move! but for now i won’t needed theme but I still take a note for just in case my situation might change.

  16. Sagar November 11, 2017 at 10:28 pm - Reply

    Really great information. I appreciate your effort. Thanks

  17. Sagar November 11, 2017 at 10:30 pm - Reply

    These are great tips and ideas. Thanks for sharing this post and keep posting.

  18. Alex November 28, 2017 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    Great info! Love the idea of color coding. Also, great tip on avoiding abbreviations. Speaking from experience this actually ends up costing you way more time trying to figure out where everything goes once you are ready to unpack.

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