We’re moving! In like… 3 weeks! So I have to share my super awesome packing strategy, which seems to be working pretty smoothly so far. A few hiccups, but I’ll share those too.
As Ansen said, as extroverted as I am, I like systems more than people. So I set up the system before I started packing. Now everything goes smoothly into the system and it gets labeled and color coordinated. I honestly don’t feel like it was much more work than simply packing up, expect maybe the 30 minutes to an hour I used to get everything set up (including the shopping). Without further adieu…
This is my packing notepad. I just bought a legal note pad for like $.98. I’m using this to number the rooms and boxes.
These are my labels to color code each room. There are only 4 colors here, so I had to add a red masking tape and blue painters tape I already had. I decided to go ahead and use these 2 on rooms that have big pieces that I can mark now and easily remove later. The blog I got this idea from used colored duct tape but 1) duct tape is expensive to buy that many rolls and 2) it’s virtually impossible to get it off later. Not that I care for boxes, but for furniture items, it does matter.
Now to set it up, I chose a color for each room. Then I took scissors to the bottom of the note pad. I only left about 3 sheets each color/room (probably should have left more!) And then I cut little tabs on the bottom so I can easily find each section. I used a piece of the labels to label each section so I can see it at a glance and flip right to the correct room.
Each color also has a hundred number attached to it. For example, the living room is 100’s, the girls room is 200’s, our bedroom is 300’s and so on. For each page, I wrote out the number for each box (101, 102, 103 for the living room, 201, 202, 203 for the girls room and so on). I left space between each of them. I started with pen and switched to sharpie so it’s easily identifiable.
Then, I started boxing. Each box only contains what was in that room (so far…) so I mark it with a color label and the corresponding hundred number. This picture shows the kitchen (yellow) and the box numbers (there’s a 400, a 402, a 404, etc.). On my notepad, I go to the color page for that room and the number on the box and write down what’s in it. Some boxes have more detail than others. Some are simply “plates.” Others have a laundry list of contents. Those are usually for the miscellaneous boxes that I just know I’m going to need something from later and hope I can find it.
Now, I’m going to make a color key to put in several areas of the new house for move in day. If we have friends and family helping us unload, they don’t have to ask me where to put anything, it just automatically goes to it’s colored room. Then, when I need to unpack or look for a specific item, I look at my notepad and find that box and there it should be!
I can’t take credit for all of this. I simply put together a couple of different ideas (the color system, and the numbering system) from Pinterest. Now, if I could just find the motivation to get all this stuff in boxes!
Post moving, I have to say that this system worked really well. We had a lot of help on moving day, which mean the potential for a lot of “where does this box go” and confusion. But, thanks to the color coding, there were really only a few boxes that ended up in the wrong room. And because I had a list of each box, I knew which ones were the most urgent to unpack. We got the kitchen completely unpacked the first day and lots of boxes into closets to unpack later. But when we needed a bandaid, I knew where they were!
What would I do differently next time? Not much. Mostly be a bit more detailed with the contents of each box. At one point, I needed to find extra deodorant and had to open a couple of different “linen” closet boxes to find the right one because I had too generic of a list. But I also didn’t want take the extra time to list every single item of every single box because that might have sent me over the edge. All in all, this move (itself) went pretty smooth (the closing process, on the other hand).