Ayla with Moving Made Smooth, Inc.
Nobody wants to spend the first night in their new place opening all their boxes, desperately trying to find an item they need. To save time and energy during the first night in your new home it is beneficial to label your moving boxes.
The 'Open First' Box
The Open First box is for all the items that you will need immediately upon arriving in your new place. Many of the items you may want in this box include bed sheets, toiletries (toilet paper, tooth brush, etc.), a change of clothes, a coffee pot if you aren't a morning person, or anything you may need right away. Remember to keep it simple though. You don't want to overfill the box or fill it to the brim with keepsakes. Have this box clearly labeled.
Pack Room by Room with Colored Labels
Every other box should be composed of items for a specific room. To make the transition easier on yourself and your mover, you may want to color code the room for where each box should go in your new home. For example, blue for the kitchen and green for the bathroom. Color labels should be large and placed on several sides of each box so your movers can easily see the label. If you run out of individual colors you can add them together, for example, red and blue means the master bedroom. These labels can be bought almost anywhere; craft stores, grocery stores, etc.
This is beneficial to you and your movers because it saves time. Before unloading your boxes and furniture, you can place a colored label on the door or on an index card by it to indicate what room is what color (or you can make a list to give to the mover). This way the mover can just match the labels instead of having to ask where you want him to put each individual box or piece of furniture.
Any box that contains fragile items or valuables should be labeled as such. Simply write "FRAGILE" or "THIS END UP" on boxes that you want handled with extra care or in a particular way. Be sure to write large (possibly in a bright, but readable color) and in capital letters.
Advanced Packing Tricks
If you want to be even more prepared for your move, you may want to consider an inventory list to go along with your color coding. As you pack number your boxes. Then, on your inventory list write down the number and a summary of what the box contains. This method makes it a breeze to find a particular item. You simply find it on your inventory list and open up only the box that is numbered to contain the item.Inventory lists made on a computer or device may be the most useful if you will have them on you the day of the move. For instance, if I need a pair of socks out of my boxes, I can open the file and use ctrl+F. This opens up the find menu, I simply type in 'socks' and my inventory list tells me that I put it in box 14. I can now open box 14 and retrieve my socks. Its as easy as that! All it takes is a little extra effort packing and the rest of the move is easy-peasey.