What’s the Best Way to Label Boxes?

The best way to label your moving boxes is in detail. There’s nothing worse than a dozen boxes labeled “Kitchen” when you’re trying to find the coffee maker, or rooting through four boxes marked “miscellaneous” to find the screwdriver. Everyone will have their own method, but here are the most important things to include:

Your last name. If your belongings are going into storage, will be transferred between trucks, or are part of a combined shipment, consider putting your last name on every box. This may make finding your boxes easier if anything goes missing.

The room the box belongs in. This will help you direct the movers to put things where they belong. If you have contents in the den in your old home and they should be in the dining room of the new house, label the box for the dining room.

Contents of the box: This can be as specific as you need, but it’s a good idea to include what’s in the box. If you have several types of items from the same room, include them all: 

                > Kitchen

                > Utensils, cookbooks, can opener, spice jars

It’s a good idea to write fragile/breakable on boxes for items like dishes, glassware, clocks and the like. You should also include an indication of which direction is up, as that will help protect items, and will help you when it’s time to unpack.

It’s also a good idea to label both a side and the top of all your boxes. That way, when the movers are carrying the boxes they’ll be able to read the label on the top, and when the boxes are stacked, you’ll be able to read the labels on the side.

Additionally, label your “open first” or “first night” box accordingly. This box should have the items you’ll need immediately, like tools, towels, sheets, and other items to get you through the first night.

Finally, number your boxes once they’re all packed. This will give you an accurate count and make it easier to tell on moving day whether you have all your boxes.

For more tips on labeling boxes, check out our moving resources section.


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