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Label Moving Boxes Like the Pros

Full-service movers always offer expert packing as part of a complete interstate move. Think of it: Pro movers skillfully placing your most cherished items within properly configured boxes with just the right amount of packing paper as protection.

Still, some people prefer doing their own packing while leaving the heavy-lifting duties to the pros who make their living every day by managing the logistics of a cross country move. If you like the sound of crumpled paper or the “pop” of bubble wrap underfoot, then these box-labeling tips will get you as close as possible to how the professional movers do it.

Make your mark

Logically labeling boxes during packing will make the unpacking process in your new home proceed as smoothly as possible. (Note: This movers guide assumes you’ve read National Van Lines’ packing tips for an organized move.

Many times, people simply will buy a bunch of black, heavy-duty markers and scribble room names in big, capital letters on one side of their boxes. That’s better than nothing, but we’ve got a superior solution. Begin by purchasing plenty of thick-tip markers in various colors (green, blue, red, black, purple, etc.). The more, the merrier. Ensure these writing instruments are water-proof just in case a box is exposed to moisture.

You either can mark directly on your boxes or use labels. If opting for labels, cover them with clear packing tape to prevent their removal during out of state moving or while they’re in storage.

Color coordination

A few color-coding options are possible. You can label by the person, by room or a combination. Whichever might make the most sense for packing and unpacking easier and faster. You could group household items by marking in one color the room of origin on the box and then packing personal items (e.g., clothes, shoes, jewelry and toiletries) separately in boxes marked in colors per each individual in the family.

For example, write in green the word “kitchen” on the outside of the box containing your pots and pans. Write “family room” in purple on the box holding the knick-knacks that make that room so much fun. For Maureen’s wardrobe, use blue marker entirely, no matter from which room the items originate. Maureen’s shoes? Even though they’re in the downstairs closet, write in blue “Maureen’s shoes.” Maureen’s socks? Despite being stored in the upstairs master-bedroom dresser, still use blue to write “Maureen’s socks” on that box.

Detailed descriptions

Get even more detailed and jot the contents, too. So for the pots-and-pans example, not only write “kitchen” in green but also add “pots and pans” on the box sides so it says, “kitchen: pots and pans.” This will differentiate that box from “kitchen: glassware” or “kitchen: cutlery.”

People often react faster to what they see vs. what they read, so recognizing colors rather than deciphering different names and rooms all written in black will facilitate faster sorting when placing items in your new home.

Speaking of colors, red traditionally evokes an immediate reaction of concern, so it makes sense to reserve that color for marking items “fragile.” Write “fragile” on all sides to identify boxes holding these sensitive items. In general, boxes should be marked on the side (not on top). Since boxes will be stacked, messages written on top would be virtually invisible during transit. Should a box need to remain in an upright position, label boxes as such with an upward-pointing arrow.

Quantity control

Another vital step is to number all the boxes and record the final quantity on your moving cross country checklist. This ensures that if you move out with 55 boxes, you’ll expect to see that same number when you arrive at your interstate move’s final destination.

Of course, if you believe you’d be better off spending your pre-move time on other tasks, National Van Lines offers a simple solution: We’ll do it for you! We can pack your things and move you—even if it’s just across town—at an affordable rate. No surprise fees or research on where to get quality boxes for the best prices. Contact our team now for a moving quote: (877) 590-2810.

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