Packing for your big move is often the most stressful aspect of the pre-move checklist. Packing can be full of emotions to boot - adding to the stress of such a tall order. Boxing up and organizing an entire household of memories can no doubt pull on the heartstrings in more ways that one. But have no fear - there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
Organizing your move, room by room is always the best way to help yourself come unpacking time. Labelling your boxes according to where they will go in your new home is crucial to making the move-in process as streamlined as possible for you and your movers. In this post, well help shed the secrets on labelling your moving boxes with colour as a great alternative to standard marker labelling.
Having a colour code for labelling your boxes is a great way to help organize and structure your packing day, and your truck loading, move-in, and unpacking tasks that lie ahead. Pick up a set of coloured stickers from your local dollar store or arts/crafts store. Think in terms of how many rooms you have to pack. As a general rule, pick up at least 8 different colours for the following rooms:
- Bedrooms (3 on average)
- Living room
- Basement/family rec room
- Bathroom (main and ensuite/spare)
- Home office
We advocate for a room-by-room packing process, wherein you can focus all of your energy on a specific space and check each of them off the list of things to do before the moving trucks show up. This mantra lends itself very well to a colour coded version of organization. As you’re packing, put a big bright sticker of the same colour on each box to help organize your stuff. These stickers will become a signifier of where each box should go in each room of your new address upon your arrival, helping to eliminate 650 conversations that begin with “where do you want this one?”
When you're packing is done, you’ll have a room filled with packed and organized boxes that are matching, with say, red stickers. The next room, you’ll employ this system again, using blue, or green, or orange.
Make a Legend
Key to this system is keeping track of what colour corresponds to what room. Without a comprehensive and organized legend on hand, your sticker system will mean nothing to no one.
Build your legend as you pack, room-by-room. Add a sticker to a piece of paper and write bathroom, or living room, on it - depending on where you’ve just packed. The legend will be your collective bible for the day, helping your movers and family/friends to learn and understand where boxes go without having to interrupt or slow you down as the move progresses. Post the legend at the front entranceway where boxes will enter the home to help streamline this chain gang of automated moving knowledge event further.
Do yourself the added favour of making a copy of this legend, just in case something unfortunate should happen to your master copy.
Packing the Truck
Just as we advocate for a room-by-room packing style, we also find that packing the truck room-by room helps to make moves easier as well. For example, let’s imagine that your new home has a similar basic layout as your current address: bedrooms and laundry on the upstairs level, living room on the main, and family rec room in the basement.
For most movers, common sense will dictate that each room should be stroked off the list all at once, so people are not backtracking through the entire house, holding each other up on stairways on in hallways. When you pack the truck according to your colour-coded boxes, you’re effectively organizing your move-in process to follow an efficient room-by-room system as well. Because the colour system makes it so easy to identify a box that’s out of place, you can organize your packing efforts as you go and minimize downtime.
As a tip, always do the most work first, tapering off your required energy exertion levels as the day goes on. This means moving in the upstairs rooms first, eliminating the need to walk up and down stairs all day. Organizing the truck by colour will help your movers to organize their plan of attack, too. Eventually moving a few boxes into the living room, that is probably just inside the front entranceway, rather than running from the garage, to the attic, to the basement, back-and-forth all day.
Colour Versus Standard Labelling?
When you consider the differences between colour coded labelling versus conventional labelling of boxes with a Sharpie, you begin to realize the subconscious power of visual stimuli as a viable way to communicate important facts to people.
When you label your boxes with a marker - this is still key to the moving process, and helps identify fragile possessions that need extra care) a traditional label is difficult to interpret from afar, and can easily end up taking much more time from your team of movers or friends/family helping you move. Taking the time to read and organize boxes according to old school labelling techniques can add up, and doesn’t lend itself to the identification benefits of a bright, bold colour on the side of a box.
Alternatively, using colour coded stickers is a great way to add efficiency and ease to your move and labelling efforts. Both are acceptable ways to do it, but we believe that colour coded box labels are the best choice for an organized and professional move.