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Create a Master List for Your Moving Boxes

Moving can be chaos. With a little planning, you can reduce that chaos though. The best way to use the following method is to start packing as early as possible. You do not want to rush, as using the techniques here can take longer than simply taping up a box. However, the result is worth it. You will know what is in every single box you pack. There will be no more mystery box that could contain everything from out of season shorts to cleaning supplies!


Step One: Your Moving Supplies


First, get all of the supplies for moving. You need boxes, markers, a lot of packaging tape, a computer, and a printer. You need packing materials such as packing peanuts, bubble wrap, and newspaper as well. Have plenty of these materials on hand. A pen and paper are optional if you do not want to use the computer and printer.


Step Two: Sorting Your Items


Determine which items you will keep. Separate the ones you will give away or sell. Get rid of the items you do not want first, as this reduces clutter packing. It also removes the temptation to keep things you do not need.


Step Three: Start Packing and Log the Information


Start packing your box. Add packing materials and the items. Remember to keep the weight of the box under fifty pounds. Keep items from specific rooms together. The bathroom items should not mingle with the kitchen items. Once the items are packed into the box, fire up the computer.


Type the name of every item in the box into a spreadsheet or word processing file. Each box should have a number, followed by the room, and then the items. Check out the example:


Box #1: Kitchen

  • Everyday silverware
  • Tupperware
  • Plastic bowls


Box #2: Bathroom

  • Toothbrush holder
  • Electric razor
  • Hair dryer


As you finish each box, print the selection. Keep a full digital log of all of the boxes and information.


Step Four: Close and Label the Box


Close the box and tape it up. Place the printout onto the box and cover it with clear packing tape to keep it in place. This lets you see the list and it protects the paper from moisture and other possible damage. In addition, use a marker to write the box number on the actual box. If the paper separates from the box, you still have the number on the box. Refer to your master log you kept on your computer so you know what’s in each box. If the box contains fragile items, label it as such.


Does this method take longer when packing? Yes, it certainly does. However, having boxes that use this level of detail in labeling makes moving and unpacking so much easier. When you move into your new house, the last thing you need to do is spend an hour searching for your favorite necklace or watch. Detailed lists and logs eliminate that problem.

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