What does a good box labelling system look like?!

There are several clever ideas on the web so we’ll give you our top favs and let you decide which one works for you.

  1. Written labels
  2. Color system
  3. Number system

There are pros and cons to each, in our opinion, so let’s get a summary and choose one that works for you.  [Spoiler ALERT:  we opt for a combination of 2 & 3]

Written Labels

This is pretty self explanatory.  You write on the label a very short summary of what’s inside the box.

PROs – Quick, simple, and almost no planning needed

CONs – Requires good memory skills while packing, not private

A box marked “valuables” or “electronics” is convenient to identify but also very easy to target for theft.  And we aren’t talking about your friends taking it (although they might) but more likely hired moving companies.  And before you start in about moving companies, we agree, there are many honest and trustworthy individuals working at moving companies that will treat your things like their own.  The key word here being “individuals”.  It only takes one bad egg out there to lose your great grandmother’s favorite bracelet.  You get the point.  Also, moving happens fast and  boxes are coming off the truck quickly without a lot of reading going on.  For that reason, just plan on touching each box twice because who knows why the towels are in the kitchen and not the bathroom.

Color System

This involves colored markers or colored dots.  Either of which can be found at your local super store.  Basically, you will dedicate 1 color to each room of your home.  Boxes are packed and (in the case of dot stickers) a colored dot will be put onto the box on at least a couple of sides.  For example, red dots are used on only your boxes that come from the primary bedroom and will be delivered to your new primary bedroom.  You will put a red dot on the door of your new bedroom when you arrive to help the friends or movers know where to put things.

PROs – Private for boxed items, quick to unload, can be applied to furniture items as well

CONs – Takes more planning, requires opening all boxes to know what is inside

Number System

You will need a notepad for this system.  If you are into organization and tidiness then we think you will enjoy the number system.  Here’s what you do: pack your box (don’t tape it immediately), write on a label a number, and on your notepad write the number with a description of box contents.  For example, #8 knives, spatulas, can opener, and blender.

PROs – private

CONs – time consuming, requires organization

When you arrive to your new residence, it would be best to put a sticky note on each room identifying which numbers go where.  For example, #1-10 are the kitchen.


Are you feeling ready to get packing?  We like the idea of combining the color and number systems.  There is some planning needed here but worth the effort.  For example, you place orange dots on your kitchen boxes AND you number them.  You get to the new place and need a smoothie?  Easy.  You go to your notepad to look under the kitchen (orange) dot and see the blender is in the orange #3 box.  This way, you can quickly get the right colored boxes to the right rooms and you still have privacy about what is inside them. These techniques take a little organization, but so does putting away clean silverware from the dishwasher.  You can handle it!