Personally, I can’t stand the word “always” because does something ALWAYS happen? Is it ALWAYS true? etc… “Always” is a very definitive word that I rarely let my students ever use in their writing. However, today, I make an exception for “always” because you should always have a good box labeling system when you’re packing things for a move or for storage. It’s hard for me to contemplate what circumstances might arise where having a box labeling system wouldn’t be necessary. Maybe, perhaps, if there was only 1 box involved, but that’s about it. Let’s take a look at some ways to establish a good box labeling system.
First, I’m a fan of color coding. I like to have either different colored tape or different colors of bold markers to use. Putting a piece of pink tape around each box that goes in the kitchen is a great way to help those who are helping you move quickly ascertain where that box should go. Having a different color to different rooms is a great way to keep things organized and nowadays, there are so many different kinds of tape, this is not only convenient, but kind of a fun thing to do to! As previously mentioned, using bold markers of various colors works just as well for quick identification.
Next, make sure you label which room each box goes in at a minimum. You should make sure you differentiate between different similar rooms as well. Just putting “bathroom” doesn’t completely help if you are moving into a 2 and a half bath home. The things for the kids’ bathroom might end up in the bottom of a stack in the guest bathroom. Make sure you specify as much as possible.
Also, another part of a box labeling system is to be sure to list a few of the major items in that box so you can identify its contents easily. Trust me, it’s much harder to remember what you put in boxes than you think! Putting a few descriptions can go a long way.
Lastly, with a really good box labeling system, you’ll put stars or some special symbol on important boxes that need to be opened sooner rather than later. Every person has a different priority list of what needs to be done first. You pick out the 15 or so boxes that need to be opened day one or at least by day two and put a mark on those. That should help you get settled quicker. (The box with the coffee machine in it generally has the biggest star on it when I move.)
Find out what box labeling system works for you. You will always need one unless like I said before, you’re only moving one box–and maybe have memorized everything in it. Labeling might feel like it it taking a lot of time, but it is well worth it!