Label Love: Labels for packing boxes and organising your moving boxes

So we are in the house, we managed to get all our belongings from our old house to our new house. I haven't unpacked them all yet, but so far no breakages (touch wood!).

If you've moved you will know, moving is definitely one of the most stressful days of your life. Particularly if like me, you discover the removal company have lost your booking! But that's another story... That said, with all the things that can go wrong on moving day, the more you can do to make the day go smoothly and to keep control over the things you can control the better. A great packing system is definitely one of those things.

When I first started thinking about moving I decided I wanted to design my own packing labels and I had lots of elaborate ideas. I did lots of research and read lots of blog posts, making note of the key things to remember. My initial label design was coming along beautifully, I was going to have a label for each room, it would be colour coded, it would have a number and an option to indicate that the contents were fragile. The stickers were quite small so I was going to need at least 4 per box. And then as it dawned on me that I was moving in less than 2 weeks time I had to get real.

At this stage I did a lot of prioritisation - in all aspects of my life - basically my priorities became packing, packing and packing. For my labels my thinking changed, I needed a labeling system that was quick to do for me, quick for the movers to understand and execute, sufficiently secure (i.e. not indicating contents) and useful for the unpacking at the other end. Then I had a brainwave! Duck Tape!

That evening I went to Hobby Craft and I bought 6 different coloured rolls of duck tape. My partner gawped at the £3 per roll cost but I convinced him that I had a plan, and in hindsight he agrees it was worth the money.

I allocated a colour to each of the rooms/areas in the house we were moving to. I created a packing spreadsheet on google docs where I could record the number and contents of each box. And I got labelling - for each box I put at least 3 strips of coloured duck tape, and then using a permanent marker wrote the number of the box on the tape. I bought a separate roll of "fragile" tape and used in addition to the duck tape where needed.

It worked like a dream, the boxes were easy and quick to label. I kept my tablet next to me so I could keep my spreadsheet detailed and up to date. My spreadsheet had a coloured tab for each of the 6 areas. The boxes were numbered with a 3 digit number, each room started with a different number, for example the lounge/diner boxes were numbered 101, 102 etc... and the kitchen/utility boxes were numbered 201, 202 etc... I tried to detail the contents of the box so that when we got to the new house we could search the spreadsheet to find the things we needed. For example I could search the kitchen boxes for "cups" to find which box I needed rather than having to open all of them to find things.

To carry on the system I also used the Duck Tape to label my furniture for the room it was going to. This was particularly useful where I was changing the use of the furniture. For instance I had a dresser which came from the bedroom in my old house but I have put it in the lounge in the new house. Having the labels meant I didn't have to follow the movers round telling them where to put furniture in my new house.

The day before we moved I created guides for the movers and room signs for the new house. I labelled all of the rooms with the name of the room and used the Duck Tape to add colour to each of the signs. I also created 2 colour code sheets which had the name of each room and the matching Duck Tape next to it. To go with that I created a plan of the house, with the name of each room.

On the day of the move I handed the movers a copy of the colour code sheet and the plan of the house when they arrived. On both sheets I also included the address of our new house and mobile phone numbers of both myself and my partner.

At the new house I put the plan of the house and colour code sheet right by the front door so that when they picked up a box they could match the colour as they walked through the door and take it to the right room. As a backup I also had the labels on the doors for each room.

It worked brilliantly. I think it helped that I had really good removal men who respected the systems I had in place and I noticed they consciously took the effort to check the colour as they walked through the door. I ended up with all my boxes and furniture in the right rooms, which is all one can hope for at the end of a very stressful day. The only problem is I have to now unpack them all!

Have you moved house before? How did you organise the whole process?
Speak soon x

1 comment:

  1. Label the boxes is an important thing. When you packing boxes to your house move, then do not pack your boxes too heavy and be sure to close them properly.


Powered by Blogger.