How To Label Boxes The Right Way When Moving Home

published by

Fran Puddefoot

Poor labelling of packing boxes can lead to disorganisation and chaos when moving to a new house, raising your stress levels significantly.  How can you label your boxes so that moving is smooth and efficient? Here are a few tips.

Choose your tools.


You will need high quality marker pens to do the job.  There are plenty of cheap knockoffs that will dry up after writing continuously for 30 minutes. Look for US or European brands (especially German). Ideally, you are looking for permanent and waterproof markers.  This is because some boxes could be marked for storage, or you may want to reuse the boxes in the future. You will need different colours for a colour-coded labelling system. Choose as many markers as the rooms you have, or at least 5 colours.


This is an alternative to colour markers.  You can design your own on the computer using Microsoft Word.  You can also download fancy labels from the net. Printable labels are available from retailers and come in a variety of different sizes; these are self-adhesive so you won’t need any tape either.

Coloured tape

If you opt for stick-on labels, you will need tape. It is better to use coloured tape to assist with your colour-coded system.

Colour-coding system

This is a simple system where each room is identified by one colour. The kitchen, for example, could be coded green. All boxes containing kitchen items like appliances, utensils and crockery should be coded green. You can use a green marker, or use green tape for sticking the labels. Alternatively, use labels printed in black on a green background. It is advisable that you colour-code the doors with corresponding colours, for example, having a green label on the kitchen door.


After colour-coding the boxes, there is still the tricky issue of tracking which box holds what.  You will want to fix a quick meal at the new house, have a drink or a cup of tea. In which case, where is the cookware, the crockery, the glasses or the kettle? Numbers come in very handy in keeping an inventory. Make a numbered list, assigning a number for each item. For example, Kitchen Box 1 could hold items 1-01 to 1-09 to represent utensils. This will speed up the process of unpacking and placement of items in the new home.

Special alerts

If you have boxes that need special handling, label them clearly.  It is common for items such as glassware and fine china to miss the original packing boxes. Use visible labels to indicate boxes holding fragile or heavy items and items that need to stay in an upright position.


Photo by Allen Taylor on Unsplash




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