When it comes time to move from one home to another, many people will grab (or run out and buy) a black marker to scribble on their moving boxes. As NYC movers, FlatRate has seen their fair share of interesting labeling techniques. From the guy in SoHo who ‘tagged up’ on all of his boxes, to the family from the Upper West Side who drew the boxes’ contents ON the box – we’ve pretty much seen it all. The most common approach is writing ‘living room’, ‘fragile’, or ‘books’ on a box. That approach is OK, but it can lead to confusion.
One of the best methods of labeling is color coding. Choose a color for each room and then use that color to mark your boxes. This can be done by purchasing colored permanent markers or using colored tape. Moving companies have colored tape and labels. These labels typically have the names of rooms already printed on them: kitchen, bathroom, and so on. Use a marker in the same color as the tape-label to indicate the contents on the top and sides of the box. To make your own labels of this type you may purchase packing or duct tape in colors, use to seal the box and cut labels. Write the room name and contents in black marker on these homemade labels.
Let your Flat Rate moving company know what each color indicates. To assist them, place colored cards on or over the doors of the rooms in your new home so the movers can place your boxes in the right area. Few things are as frustrating as finding the box of all your kitchen utensils in an upstairs bathroom, tucked under the bathroom sink. A month after buying all new ones!
You can also create labels with your printer. There are moving companies that have downloadable label templates on their websites for free. Print these on adhesive backed paper or create your own labels with a graphics program. Be sure to place clear packing tape over these labels as the adhesive could come loose during transport.
Markers are the most used tool, other than tape, when moving. For all of your boxes, choose a waterproof, permanent marker. Almost everyone jokes that it always rains or snows on moving day. This does happen! Even though your boxes will most likely be inside of a vehicle, they will have some sort of outside exposure. Pens or markers that are not waterproof can smudge and run in the rain or snow. Avoid confusion, buy waterproof or at the very least – cover your writing with clear packing tape.
Some people may opt to buy plastic totes for moving. Sticker labels are best used for these in case you wish to use the totes for something other than moving at a later date. The stickers can be peeled away and replaced with others if you will be using the totes for storage.
Each side of your boxes should be labeled. Labeling just one or two sides will not allow you to quickly identify the contents or where the box belongs. Efficient labeling speeds your move and your unpacking time. The sooner you are able to locate your possessions, the sooner you can settle in and enjoy your new home.